People walking up sidewalk to Hough Auditorium.

Photo by Sgt. Joanna Bradshaw, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

Attendees enter the doors to Hough Auditorium to witness the grand reopening ceremony celebrating the building’s refurbishment July 9, 2018, at Camp Perry Joint Training Center near Port Clinton, Ohio. The Ohio National Guard received a Preservation Merit Award from the Ohio History Connection for completion of a $1.6 million federally-funded historic renovation that upgraded the interior of the 81-year-old theatre, including new seating, restrooms and lighting.

Ohio National Guard earns Ohio History Connection’s Preservation Merit Award

Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (10/19/19)

Historic renovations to the Hough Auditorium at Camp Perry Joint Training Center in Port Clinton, Ohio have led to the Ohio National Guard being recognized with a Preservation Merit Award from the Ohio History Connection.

A $1.6 million federally-funded renovation project completed last year upgraded the interior of the theatre, including new seating, restrooms and lighting. The 1,000-seat facility was built in 1938 and has hosted many dignitaries during its 81-year history, including comedian Bob Hope.

The award was one of seven presented at the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office Awards on Saturday, Oct. 19. Each year, the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office recognizes achievements in historic preservation by presenting awards in two categories: Public Education and Awareness, and Preservation Merit.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the Ohio History Connection,” said Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general. “The renovations at Hough Auditorium are a testament to preserving the building’s historic features while making much needed modern-day improvements. It is my hope this auditorium continues to inspire Ohioans for years into the future.”

The Preservation Merit Award is presented for preserving Ohio’s prehistory, history, architecture or culture. This includes restoring, rehabilitating or otherwise preserving an important building or site; longtime stewardship of a property; promoting protective legislation; funding preservation projects; offering leadership, support or service; and furthering preservation at the local, regional or state level.

“These awards showcase the strong achievement in historic preservation across the state of Ohio,” said Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection. “Preservation fosters vibrant communities, drives local economies and inspires pride in our heritage.”

Camp Perry, located in Ottawa County along Lake Erie, opened in 1907 as a state rifle range and camp. Today, it serves as an Ohio National Guard training facility, and also has public lodging and banquet facilities.

The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history. This includes housing the state historic preservation office, the official state archives and local history office, and managing more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio.


Historic auditorium at Camp Perry reopens during national shooting competition

The Ohio National Guard welcomed visitors in July 2018 at the Camp Perry Joint Training Center to celebrate the grand reopening of the historic Hough Auditorium. The facility’s $1.6 million renovations to entranceways, seating, restrooms and lighting encompassed over 13,600 square feet, and is part of more than $3.5 million in improvements at Camp Perry.


Col. Daniel Shank and Burt Logan unveil a historic marker.

New historical marker ties railroad to Camp Perry’s history

The Ohio National Guard and the Ohio History Connection unveiled a historic marker that ties the significance of the railroad system to Camp Perry’s past during a Sept. 27, 2019, ceremony at Camp Perry Joint Training Center, near Port Clinton, Ohio. Camp Perry, which currently consists of 640 acres, was the primary training center for the Ohio National Guard for much of the 20th century, and rail accessibility was a deciding factor in the site’s selection.


Buckeye Guard page from 2007, Celebrating the 100th year anniversary of Camp Perry and the National Matches.

Celebrating 100 Years: Camp Perry and the National Matches

When Ohio National Guard Cpl. L. B. Jarrett fired the “First Shot” early in the morning of Aug. 19, 1907, at the newly-built Camp Perry Training Site, Brig. Gen. Ammon B. Critchfield, Ohio adjutant general, and others in attendance had no idea that the sound from his .30-.40-caliber Krag-Jorgensen rifle would echo for years to come.