January 21, 2002 at 7:22 PM EST - Updated June 30 at 1:05 AM
JOHNSON'S ISLAND, Ohio (AP) - An anthropology professor and other history buffs are trying to preserve a Lake Erie island site that once held 10,000 Confederate prisoners.
Johnson's Island sits in Sandusky Bay, off the coast of Marblehead.
Heidelberg College professor David Bush said that he's optimistic a preservation group would be able to buy the land. But if the group -- the Friends and Descendants of Johnson's Island -- can't raise $50,000, vacation homes could be built there.
Some island residents said that they're worried archaeological digs and a possible museum on the prison site could turn the area into a tourist trap. But resident Bob Swartz said that the preservationists want to save and display history for others.
Johnson's Island was named a National Historic Landmark in 1990, but that label doesn't bar future development of the area.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)