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The story of Captain Ebenezer Fletcher Stark begins in 1814 when he emigrated with his family as a 16-year-old from Colchester, Connecticut to the sparsely settled territory on the shores of Lake Erie, known as the Connecticut Western Reserve. The village later took its name from the leader of the first surveying team, General Moses Cleaveland, to one day to become the major US city, Cleveland, Ohio.
Stark’s arrival coincided with the height of fighting of the War of 1812; one of its legendary battles, Perry’s victory on Lake Erie, was fought within earshot of the Western Reserve settlement. Stark and his future brother-in-law, Lewis Dibble, rubbed shoulders with many of the early Cleveland founders as they struggled with an inhospitable environment and dire economic conditions. Ravages of war, packs of wolves, renegade Indians, a Cholera epidemic, and the stormy Lake Erie were just a few of the challenges faced by early settlers.
Great Lakes Skipper was the product of research conducted over 15 years by the author, after he discovered an 1863 obituary of Ebenezer’s son, Henry Stark. Ebenezer Stark was the author’s great-great-great grandfather.
Jim Stark, a former Naval Aviator, is author of the memoir, Two Turning, Two Burning, a screenplay, “Letters,” and a number of magazine articles, and award winning short stories. He is retired, living part of the year in Indiana and part in Florida.