EATON — Another piece of Preble County history now hangs in the Preble County Room, Preble County District Library’s genealogy department. Longtime Eaton resident Sara Spitler donated the painting on March 2.
The subject of the painting is a cabin on the property of the Laurentian Lodge in Ontario, Canada, and the painter was the founder of Preble County’s Delta Theta Tau sorority, Charlene Putnam Rector. Spitler was a member of, and very active in, the sorority.
The lodge sits on Flack Lake, about a two and a half hour drive east from Sault Ste. Marie. The lodge itself, which is still in operation, has ties to Preble County, as well. James D. Christman had worked at Hoover’s Pharmacy on North Barron Street in the building razed by U.S. Bank to build its drive-through. Christman went to the Laurentian Valley in the 1930s, bought the property, and built the fishing lodge and camp there.
Rector’s painting depicts a cabin on the property Christman built, which had a water wheel attached. Water was carried down a sluice box to spin the wheel, which was connected to a generator used to power the lodge.
“We’re excited to have another piece of Preble County’s history in our collection,” said Preble County Room Supervisor Marlene Ressler. “It’s a beautiful painting, and because both the subject and artist have a connection to Preble County, that makes it an excellent addition to our room.”
The painting is available to view in the Preble County Room at 450 S. Barron St. in Eaton.