Monday, November 23, 2015

Fuchs Grocery Store and Fuchs Hall

In the 1890 Sandusky City Directory, Charles P. Fuchs was listed as a partner with his mother Mary Fuchs in the grocery business at 781 Fulton Street in Sandusky, now 702 West Monroe Street.  Charles’ father Joseph had previously run a grocery store at the corner of Fulton and Fox Streets. The name Fuchs is translated into Fox in the English language. Helen Hansen and Virginia Steinemann wrote in an article that appeared in the November 7, 1993 issue of the Sandusky Register that Joseph Fuchs/Fox had platted lots on the west side of Fulton Street, south of Monroe Street. That area was known as “Foxtown” and once featured a German beer garden. From about 1906 through the mid-1930s, the upper floor of the Fox Grocery was known as Fuchs Hall, or Fox Hall. 

This hall was a popular meeting place for the German Singing Society and the Low German Mutual Aid Society, as well as for card parties and dancing lessons. In 1916 the First Spiritual Reform Church met weekly at Fuchs Hall. Charles P. Fuchs died in 1934, and in 1935, a fire did considerable damage to Fuchs Hall. You will recognize the location of the Fuchs Grocery and Fuchs Hall at the southwest corner of Fulton and Monroe Streets as the longtime home of Cameo Pizza.

Friday, November 20, 2015

1922 Fram Available at Internet Archive

Recently the Sandusky High School yearbook for 1922, the Fram, was made available at the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive is a non-profit library of books, movies, and more which are freely available online. In the 1922 Fram, you will find pictures of students, such as these members of the 1922 Sandusky High School senior class.

Here is a picture of the Debating Club from SHS in 1922. One of its members, Andrew Biemiller, went on to serve as a U.S. Representative in Congress.

Many local businesses advertised in the Fram.

Check out the Fram on the Internet Archive. It is accessible at all hours, and is free to view.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The “Elderlies” Column by Karl Kurtz

Karl Kurtz can be seen at the right in the picture above at WLEC Radio. From 1974 to 1979, Mr. Kurtz wrote a column for the Sandusky Register entitled “The Elderlies.”  The articles usually featured photographs, and included topics of interest to senior citizens. Karl interviewed area residents and asked them their memories about businesses, school days, sporting events, and customs from Sandusky in years gone by. Here is a column from 1975 talking about the days when local residents used an ice box instead of a refrigerator.

Copies of “The Elderies” columns have been clipped and were bound into three large notebooks. If you would like to read more of these articles, stop by the Reference Services desk at Sandusky Library. The three bound volumes kept in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. 

Karl Kurz worked in advertising and radio for many years. He passed away on May 15, 1980. His tombstone at Oakland Cemetery includes the inscription “Oddity Man,” named for his popular WLEC radio program based on unusual facts and stories.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Wagner Palace, at the Junction of Columbus and Hayes Avenues

The road once known as the Columbus and Sandusky Pike, now Route 4, began at the intersection of Columbus and Hayes Avenues in Sandusky, Ohio.  Michael Wagner built a structure at the junction of these two key streets in Sandusky about 1882. He and his family lived on the upper floor, and at the street level was a saloon known as the Wagner Palace. In the book Treasure by the Bay, Ellie Damm describes the architecture of the building, designed in the Second Empire style, with a front tower and arched windows.  

In 1893, Michael Wagner founded the Wagner Quarries, now a part of Lehigh Hanson. This listing for Michael Wagner from the 1902 Sandusky City Directory indicates both of his business ventures.

The Wagner Palace was considered a fine saloon. This picture shows the interior of the business. Note the large fan, ornate ceiling, and mirrored bar.
This postcard image, which was published in the Sandusky Register on February 23, 1909, shows the downed wires in front of the saloon after a severe sleet storm hit the city on February 14, 1909.

By 1910, Anthony Uhl and John Oswald were the proprietors of the business. From about 1912 to 1919, Mr. Uhl was the sole proprietor. After Prohibition, Mr. Uhl served soft drinks at the former saloon.  In the late 1930s, Edward Brindley operated a sandwich shop at the site. For several decades, the building was home to a beauty salon, first as the Vogue Beauty Salon from 1941 to 1961.  For many years in the 1960s and 1970s, the Marge Marie Beauty Salon operated here. Since the mid 1990s, an insurance company has been in business at this location. 

Through the years, many different businesses have been in operation at this prime site, including a bookstore, thrift shop, meat market, and an appliance store. The historical Sandusky City Directories provide the exact years of operation for these businesses. As you drive down Columbus Avenue or Hayes Avenue in Sandusky,  take a few moments to look at this historic building. Many of the fine architectural details remain from its early days, especially the designs above the arched windows and the tower on the northern most point of the building.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sandusky Chapter of the American Red Cross was very Active during the Great War

Prior to the entry of the United States into World War I, and throughout the war years, hundreds of volunteers in Sandusky and Erie County worked tirelessly for the local chapters of the American Red Cross. Here are some of the volunteers of the Sandusky Chapter:

In 1916 a sewing room on the third floor of the Parish House of Grace Episcopal Church was used by local volunteers to sew night shirts for the office of the American Fund for French Wounded. Later work done at this location was for the American Red Cross. During World War I, the Sandusky Chapter of the American Red Cross made 59,043 surgical dressings; 13,775 knitted articles; and over 20,000 other articles. The members participated in five parades and raised money for Red Cross Nurses. Red Cross members participated in collecting items for the Tin and Lead Foil Drive and provided financial support to the emergency hospital for victims of influenza in Erie County. Mrs. Elizabeth D.G. Moss Marsh served as chairman of the surgical dressing committee of the Red Cross during the Great War years.

This 1917 American Red Cross display helped to promote the services of the local chapters of the American Red Cross during the War. It depicts a Red Cross nurse giving medical aid to a wounded soldier.

The participation of members of Sandusky and other Erie County chapters of the American Red Cross have been chronicled in detail in the Honor Roll, Erie County Edition, from pages 179 to 213. Many pictures are included on these pages, as well as the names of key individuals and their length of service with the Red Cross. Inquire at the Reference Services Desk to view this valuable local history resource. Military records of servicemen, including family details and brief service records are provided for hundreds of local men who served their country during World War I. Also included are details about the hundreds of local residents who lent aid to the war effort on the home front.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Jessica Follett Foster

Jessica Follett Foster was born in 1869 in Sandusky, Ohio to Frank E. Foster and his wife, the former Eliza Ward Follett. Jessica’s father and her maternal grandfather, Oran Follett, were the publishers of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. While living in DeKalb, Illinois, Jessica taught at the Northern Illinois State Teachers College for seventeen years. She was a member of the Martha Pitkin Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, tracing her ancestry back to Revolutionary soldier Frederick Follett. Jessica’s lineage is found in volume 35 of the Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Book.

From about 1923 to 1934, Miss Foster resided on Wayne Street in Sandusky, and during that time worked as an agent for the New York Life Insurance Company. This advertisement appeared in the January 19, 1924 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal.

In Sandusky, Jessica was a member of the Art Study Club, pictured below at an event in which all the members dressed in historic costume.

In the Centennial issue of the Sandusky Register, on December 22, 1922, she shared excerpts from her grandfather Oran Follett’s meeting with President Abraham Lincoln in October of 1862 (available on microfilm at the Sandusky Archives Research Center).  

In the 1930s, Jessica Follett Foster moved to Los Angeles. She resided there until her death on April 30, 1960. Miss Foster was buried in the family lot at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. 

In the collections of the Follett House Museum is a chair which once belonged to her grandparents, Oran and Eliza Follett, and was a favorite of her mother when she was a child.

Friday, November 06, 2015

The Bustling Waterfront in Sandusky in the 1910s

This photograph of a busy day in downtown Sandusky’s waterfront district was taken in the 1910s. The steamer “R.B. Hayes” was docked at the Cedar Point pier, while the “Arrow” was out in Sandusky Bay, most likely heading towards Cedar Point.  A third vessel, the “Ottawa,”  is on the western side of the Cedar Point pier. Several people are located near the train, including some local policemen. In this closer view, you can see a Penny Arcade located near the pier, as vacationers head towards the boarding area. 

On the very right side of the full picture, you can see the steps on the side of the Post, Lewis & Radcliffe building, now 101 East Water Street. In the view below, you can read the words New York Central Lines on the U.S. mail car number 105.

In the close-up view below, the abbreviation CCC & STL appears on the locomotive. The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, also known as the “BigFour was an affiliate of the New York Central System for much of the first half of the twentieth century.

The foot of Columbus Avenue in Sandusky has long been the  hub of activity and transportation center, especially during the warm weather months. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. to learn much more about the history of Sandusky and Erie County. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Interior Views of an Unidentified Sandusky Store

In the Business Collection of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center are some interior views of an unidentified business, taken in the 1950s or 1960s.  A male employee can be seen on the right side of the picture. He is surrounded by a wide array of merchandise for sale. “Approved Comics” were sold, one of which was Walt Disney’s Uncle Donald and His Nephews Dude Ranch. The store had a display of Sheaffer Scrip ink cartridges, and a wide variety of Dr. Scholl’s foot comfort remedies. Other health and beauty products sold here were Q-tips, hair nets, and “Pic a Puff” tissues. Band-aids had recently introduced their “stars and strips” bandages. Color prints could be developed from Kodacolor film for 25 cents. The picture was likely taken in the Fall, as Halloween masks can be seen next to the display of Ballreich’s chips, and a sign from Esmond’s advertised their “Fall Festival” sale. The store had recently opened a dairy delicatessen department which sold many Esmond Dairy products, including milk which cost 75 cents for two half gallon cartons. Other Esmond products sold at this unidentified store included ice cream, cottage cheese, coffee cream, sour cream and “snak dip.” In the picture below, many more Halloween masks can be seen. Decorative candy boxes line the counter at the bottom of the picture.

Here is a different view of the dairy delicatessen section of the store, which includes a wide range of grocery items in a relatively small space.

Seeing these pictures is like going back in time, when residents could buy their groceries in neighborhood stores. If you think you can identify this business, please leave a message in the Comments field of this post.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Laurence Cable, Originally Known as Lorenz Kobul

Laurence Cable, also known as Lorenz Kobul, was born in 1824 in Siegen, Alsace-Lorraine, which was then a part of France, but later was incorporated into the German Empire. Laurence emigrated to the United States in 1843, and he first settled in Indiana, where his brother was living. After attending college classes at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, he moved to Sandusky. 

In the spring of 1848, Laurence Cable married Miss Josephine Zuercher. She died of cholera in 1849, leaving behind a young daughter named Josephine. That year he began working for the Mad River Railroad. For a time in the 1850s he worked with Ben Icsman, to furnish timber for the railroad bridge across Sandusky Bay. He worked in the shoe business from about 1856 to 1867. In 1872, Mr. Cable was named president of the newly formed Third National Bank, and he stayed in this position until his death in 1904. Ernst Von Schulenburg wrote in Sandusky Then and Now, that Cable and the bank’s treasurer, F.P. Zollinger, protected the Third National Bank “with the eyes of an Argus.” In 1904 he purchased the site of the old fairgrounds at the end of Wayne Street with the intent of building an upper middle class neighborhood. After he died, his sons Edward and Frank Cable continued the development of Cable Park, located at 1103-1234 Wayne Street.

Laurence Cable had married Victoria Stoll in 1852, and they had five children. Mrs. Victoria Cable died in 1874. Laurence married for a third time in 1880, to Miss Mena Walter. In 1880 he built a two story home at 910 West Monroe Street, which still stands today. After his death, his wife stayed at this home until she died in 1930.

Laurence Cable was known for his generosity. He, along with two other parishioners, donated three bells to the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, when the current church building was in its early days. In 1902 Mr. Cable donated money to buy the former residence of C.C. Keech on Hayes Avenue for use as a hospital under the direction of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. This home eventually became Providence Hospital, which later became a part of Firelands Regional Medical Center.


Laurence Cable died on October 16, 1904; he was buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Sandusky. In a long life, beginning in Europe and ending in Sandusky, he became one of the community’s most respected residents. You can read much more about Laurence Cable in the book, History of the Western Reserve.  The Cable Family Collection is housed in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.  This collection documents some of the business activities of Laurence Cable and his sons Edward and Frank in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Glimpse of Sandusky

An image titled Glimpse of Sandusky, From St. Paul’s Church is housed in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.   The engraving was done by John Douglas Woodward for the book Picturesque America, or the Land We Live In, which was edited by William Cullen Bryant in 1872, and published by D. Appleton and Company, New York. Most likely the view was actually from Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, looking northward toward Sandusky Bay. In the view you can see the two steeples of the First Congregational Church, which was then in Washington Park. Further north, you can see the West House hotel, which once stood where the State Theater now stands. On the right half of the illustration you can see SanduskyHigh School, and the old Academy building, which had once served as an early courthouse in Erie County.  

Picturesque America was a two volume set that described and illustrated scenes all across the United States. It was first published as a series in Appletons’ Journal, and then was published as a serialized subscription book.

Here are two pages from Picturesque America from the Internet Archive, one of which features the illustration of Sandusky in black and white.

If you would like to learn more about Picturesque America and how it was created, the book Creating Picturesque America is available for loan through the CLEVNET system.