Miami Group History

May 3, 2006



1961 – in the Fall – Beginning of the Ohio Section of the Great Lakes Chapter

1965 – Beginning of the Ohio Group of the Great Lakes Chapter

1969 – Beginning of the Ohio Chapter.

1971 – January 25 – Beginning of the Southwest Group, Ohio Chapter, Sierra Club

1973 – Summer – Constitution accepted and recognition of the Miami Group of the Ohio Chapter of Sierra Club by National Sierra Club.

1975 – As per National, Beginning of the Miami Group (Charter), Ohio Chapter, Sierra Club




Below are quotes from articles in Newsletters Stew Rowe had regarding our early history of the Sierra Club in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.  This will give you some idea as to how our group evolved of the years.


The Beginning of the Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club

Conception (Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club) occurred in the fall of 1961 with the association of **** Kahlstrom, Bridge Cooke and Klaus Bols.  They started out small, with a meeting in Cincinnati, three outings in Southwestern Ohio and the first “Lodge Weekend” at Glen Helen in 1962.” From “Ten Years – Looking Backward” Miami Happenings September-October 1975 page 6.

“The Sierra Club got its start in Ohio when **** and Lucy Kahlstrom came to Cincinnati from California as ardent Sierrans, organized a group of outdoor enthusiasts, and formed the Ohio Group of the Great Lakes Chapter in 1965.”  From Our First 20 Years- Fueled by Our Foes; Miami Group Happenings, January-February, 1989.

“Stew Rowe organized a meeting in Cleveland in 1965 to get members there together, and a nucleus was formed.  A fall weekend at Yellow Springs brought leaders from around the state, a five-member Executive Committee was formed, that the group began the formal organization of the “section” with the guidance and blessing of Ken and Anne Anglemire, who had come down from Chicago for the purpose.  The initial Executive Committee consisted of  **** Kahlstrom, Charles Ferguson, Eleanor Morison, Stew Rowe and Floyd Byrd.” From “Ten Years – Looking Backward” Miami Happenings September-October 1975 page 6.

In 1968 full Chapter status [for the Ohio Chapter] was applied for and received by the end of 1969.   Membership in the state was at 1,230 people with 439 in Southwest Ohio.  By 1975 there were six groups and a membership of 3,341 of which 1,184 were in Southwest Ohio. From “Ten Years – Looking Backward” Miami Happenings September-October 1975 page 6.


The Beginning of the Northeast Ohio Group

On December  29, 1969 – Sixty people met at the Shaker Lakes Nature Center.  This was the beginning of the Northeast Ohio Group.  The Chapter Executive Committee approved the formation of the group on January 5, 1970.  It was to include 15 counties including Sandusky, Ashland, Wooster, Canton and Youngstown.  From Northeast Ohio Group Organizes Newsletter, by Stew Rowe, Newsletter Ohio Chapter, Sierra Club, Vol 2, No. 1 March-May 1970.


The Beginning of the Southwest Ohio Group

The organizational meeting of the Executive Committee of the Southwest group met Monday, Jan. 25, 1971 to elect officers and plan strategy.  From Southwest Ohio Group Organizes,  Newsletter Ohio Chapter, Sierra Club, April-March 1971.


The first Outing of the Southwest Group was on March 6 with the Rock Climbing School.   On Saturday and Sunday March 6-7, a Nature Conservancy Work Session was held in the Lynx Prairie area in Southern Ohio.


The first Southwest Ohio Newsletter published in May. 1971.

Chairman: John Foreman

Membership: Howard Krauss

Conservation: Graham Hunt

Outings: Glenn Allman

Secretary and Innings: Kathie Hagist

Newsletter Editor: Allen Sawtelle

Articles included were:

A contest for a “Flamboyant, Eye-Catching Heading by Readers.”

The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the Little Miami River.  A meeting was held on April 30, 1971 regarding the Little Miami Legislation.

As the newly formed Southwest Group, the weekend of May 1-2, 1971 saw the following activities:

All Weekend

Backpacking Trip on the Mischa-Moqua Trail at Cumberland Gap, KY.


A Wild Flower Walk in Fort Hill, Ohio.

Canoeing on the East Fork for the Little Miami

Rock Climbing


Canoeing on the Olentangy River

The First Innings meeting was held on Monday, May 17, 1971 and was entitled “What are your concerns for the environment?”  It was held at Hartwell Methodist Church.


The Second Newsletter “Miami Happenings” was published in July, 1971.

The three winners for the newsletter naming contest were: Graham Hunt, Jeffrey Sawtelle, and Bobbie Sawtelle.

“What’s in a Name?  In this case, an area association with the Miami Indians, who formerly stalked these parts, and set an enviable example of leaving the environment undisturbed for future desecration by the white man.  Also, an association with the two river basins which constitute the heartland of the southwest industrial area and our principal recreational and scenic area.”  From “What’s in a Name?” Miami Happenings July-August, 1971.


Up to this point, the name of the group was Southwest Ohio, Sierra Club.


The Miami Group Charter

“The Miami Group Charter is written, but still under discussion as to how the boundaries are to be defined.  This is expected to be resolved by the end of April,” From “Updates” page 3, Southwest Ohio Sierra Club Miami Happenings March-April 1973


A Constitution was to be submitted to Sierra Club National by March 31, 1973 From Exe Com Report for March, 1973.


The Constitution was re-submitted in April 1973 redefining the Zip Codes to be included. From Exe Com Report for April, 1973.


“A letter from National Sierra Club Office was received recognizing the Miami Group’s official existence.” From Exe Com Report for August 20, 1973.


Copies of the Constitution were made for Exe Com Members at the Sept 24, 1973 Exe Com Meeting. From Exe Com Report Sept 24, 1973.


During early 1973 a new group in the Dayton-Springfield area was starting up.


By the September/October, 1975 issue of the Miami Happenings, the group’s name was “Miami Group, Ohio Chapter, Sierra Club.


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