History is constantly evolving and being created day by day— both nationwide and on a local level. Toledo, in particular, is a diverse place full of historic moments for those interested in the past.
Author Tedd Long moved to Toledo, OH thirty years ago, bringing with him his long held love of history. In his new book, Forgotten Visitors: Northwest Ohio’s Notable Guests, Long curates and writes stories of famous and infamous people (plus one elephant and one train) who visited Toledo.
Wyatt Earp and Jack Dempsey
Long has been passionate about history for most of his life, and passionate about Toledo as long as he’s lived here. “Forgotten Visitors” came to be after Long read a story in the New York Times about Wyatt Earp, the famous law enforcement officer, and Bat Masterson, a scout and a sheriff. The pair were together in Toledo as security for the legendary Dempsey/Willard fight in July of 1919.
“When Jack Dempsey stepped into the ring,” Long recalled, “he looked out into the crowd and Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson were taking guns and knives from people in the crowd.” He had never known that Earp and Masterson had visited Toledo. This revelation sparked a search for more historical moments and visitors to Northwest Ohio.
Susan B. Anthony visited Toledo in 1869 during the women’s suffrage movement. Martin Luther King Jr. visited in 1967 to carry out a speech at Oberlin College about banding together against racism. Even the famous escape artist Harry Houdini visited Ohio in 1893. When Houdini was here, he and his brother Dash put on a show by escaping a locked trunk.
A love for Toledo
Long’s passion for the project stemmed from his love of Toledo as a community. You can see this as his work captures a variety of different moments and locations.
Despite his vast knowledge of the Toledo area, Long is actually a native of Mansfield. Prior to his time in Toledo, he traveled to multiple locations before finding himself in the Glass City for a job opportunity. He hadn’t planned on staying in Ohio very long, but over time he found a love for the community. He has now lived in Toledo for over thirty-five years.
Long’s love for the area can be seen outside of his book, as well. He volunteers his time doing tours of historical sites in or around Toledo, including Fort Meigs.
Long sees Toledo as a historically rich place. Local landmarks like the Manor House, the Valentine Theatre, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Opera all stand as testament to that. He can’t understand the dislike some community members express toward their hometown.
He said that the book was written with people from the Toledo area in mind, but anyone interested in the unknown or history in general can enjoy it. Long considered making a second volume to Forgotten visitors (he still might), but at this moment he has decided to move onto other projects.
The book is available at
Toledo-Lucas Public Library
Rocket’s Bookstore, 3047 W. Bancroft, Toledo, OH