Group Trying To Save Civil War Prison Site

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.

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