Thursday, February 15, 2018

Promotional Items from Pusch, Martin and Company

Promotional items which were once given away to customers of the Pusch, Martin and Company in downtown Sandusky were donated by the Steinert family to the Follett House Museum. Pictured above is a print that shows a smartly dressed young woman walking her dog near Niagara Falls. Another print features a lovely lady who appears to be emerging from a waterfall, with a rainbow overhead.

The company’s stamp appears on the back of each item.

The Pusch, Martin and Company store was at the northeast corner of West Market and Jackson Streets from about 1910 to 1913. In the 1920s, E.B. Ackley had his billiard parlor at this location. Edwin D. Martin and Edward W. Pusch were the proprietors of the store, which sold ready to wear clothing for women. 

This 1913 advertisement from Pusch, Martin and Company, states that the “North Shore” ready-made dresses sold there were “good enough for anybody and cheap enough for everybody.” Dresses for women ranged in price from $1.40 to $2.98. Children’s dresses sold for ninety-five cents. Aprons and rompers cost less than a dollar each.

The partnership between Mr. Pusch and Mr. Martin was dissolved in August of 1913. Soon after, Edward W. Pusch opened a dry goods store in the 600 block on Hancock Street. Edwin Martin went on to work as a salesman for the Globe Paper Company.

Monday, February 12, 2018

1935 Calendar Created by Sandusky High School’s Art Class

In 1934 the students of Sandusky High School’s Senior High art class created illustrations for a 1935 calendar.  Miss Marian Yocum, head of Sandusky’s Art Department, taught the senior high school art class. Illustrations created for each of the twelve months featured a print that had been engraved by students onto linoleum blocks. John Schoepfle illustrated the calendar page for May, 1935, which featured the Sandusky Library.

John Schoepfle, a 1934 graduate of Sandusky High School, was the son of Sandusky physician Dr. H. C. Schoepfle. John went on to study at the Cleveland Art Institute and later taught adult education classes in Los Angeles, California. In the 1970s, he and his wife Nadine moved from California to Kennebunk, Maine, where they owned and operated the Harbor House Gallery. The Gallery featured art work by both John and Nadine Schoepfle. Mr. Schoepfle died on January 4, 2011, at the age of 94. 

An article in the November 24, 1934 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal lists the names of the student artists, and describes the prints for each of the twelve months, as well as the cover illustration. The article went on to suggest that the 1935 Calendar would be ideal for gift giving during of the holiday season.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Historical Receipts from Sandusky Newspapers

In April, 1822, David Campbell issued the first copy of the Sandusky Clarion, a predecessor of the Sandusky Register. The paper was renamed the Daily Register after Earl Bill and Clark Waggoner took over as editors of the paper in 1851. Eventually Henry D. Cooke became associated with the business. The newspaper firm was owned by Bill, Cooke and Company when this receipt was issued to David Campbell in 1853.

Hewson Peeke wrote in A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio (Lewis Publishing Co., 1916) that the Register changed hands three or four times between 1855 and 1869. It was after Isaac Foster Mack became half-owner in the newspaper in 1869 that the local newspaper in Sandusky became known as the Sandusky Register.  In this 1872 receipt, signed by I.F. Mack, the paper was known as the Sandusky Daily Register, under the proprietorship of the Register Printing Company.

According to the letterhead on this receipt from August 3, 1889, at that time the Sandusky Register had a daily, tri-weekly, weekly, and Sunday edition. I.F. Mack and Brother were the publishers of the Sandusky Register in 1889.

 Though the names changed slightly throughout the years, the Sandusky Register has a long history with the residents of Sandusky and Erie County. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view historical copies of Sandusky newspapers on microfilm. There was you will also find  an interesting biography of I.F. Mack by Charles E. Frohman, entitled Sandusky's Editor.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

A Look at the Foot of Columbus Avenue in the 1890s

In the late nineteenth century, the foot of Columbus Avenue looked quite different from Sandusky’s waterfront today. People could board trains as well as steamships here. The interurban also had tracks that brought people to these docks. From downtown Sandusky, visitors could travel to Cedar Point, the Lake Erie Islands, and even to Detroit. 

The business at the left side of the picture below shows a stand that sold cigars and newspapers. A popcorn stand was located beside the news stand. A diamond shaped railroad crossing sign warned people to look out for railway cars. A group of men were deep in conversation in front of the fountain.

In this close-up view of the Arrow, you can see two men walking on the deck. A bicycle is visible on the lower level, suggesting that a passenger planned to take a bicycle ride once they got to their destination in the Lake Erie Islands area.

The steamer R.B. Hayes can be seen right next to the Johnson’s Island boat landing. A faded sign on the dock read “Over 12 Million Passengers.”

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view hundreds of historical photographs from Sandusky and Erie County. You can also access historical photos online at the Past Perfect Local History Archives.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Cartes-de-Visite of Mr. and Mrs. Ulmer

A carte-de-visite labelled only as “Mr. Ulmer” is in the biographical section of historical photographs at the Sandusky Library Archives Center. There is also a portrait of Mrs. Ulmer.

Both of the cartes-de-visite were created at the studio of Sandusky photographer A.C. Platt, who died in Sandusky in 1884.

By looking at the 1880 U.S. Census for Erie County, Ohio, there are two logical choices for helping in the indentification these individuals. In 1880, Albert Ulmer, age 38,  was listed as a dairyman. He resided in Perkins Township with his wife Louise, and their four daughters.  Jacob Ulmer a wagonmaker, age 39, lived in Sandusky, Ohio with his wife Susan, and brother Florian. Albert and Jacob Ulmer both stated that they had been born in Germany. 

Please be sure to label your family photographs so that in the future, your descendants will be able to know who the people are in the family pictures that you may pass on to them. Even though we do not know exactly which Ulmer family is pictured in these cartes-de-visite, it is delightful that we have pictures of German immigrants in our collections. It seems that Mr. Ulmer adapted well to his new home in Erie County, Ohio. Hundreds of early residents of Sandusky and Erie County came from many different parts of the world, helping to create the proverbial “melting pot.”

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Diners in Sandusky

Diners were very popular throughout the Midwestern U.S. in mid-twentieth century, and were known for tasty and quick meals at a low price, often cooked to order for each customer.  Of course diners still exist today in some locations. We have a few photographs of local diners in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center’s collection of historical photographs. Pictured above is Jean’s Diner, in business from 1939 to the 1960s at the corner of Warren and Monroe Street. 

Stadium Diner, now where Berardi’s Family Kitchen is located, was in operation from 1941 to the 1980s at 1019 West Perkins Avenue. Like many other diners, the main structure of the Stadium Diner was made from former interurban cars.

When the YMCA was on Washington Row, Mary’s Diner (later June’s Diner) was located nearby at 151 East Washington Row. The diner was razed in 1967.

This advertisement from Mary’s Diner, which appeared in the Sandusky Register Star News of July 1, 1943, reminds us of the time during the World Wars when the Office of Price Administration required some businesses to remain closed on Sundays. Often known as the “Blue Laws,” these regulations varied greatly, depending on the time frame and location; many states imposed Blue Laws for traditional and religious reasons. During World War II, however, laws such as these were seen as a conservation measure for the war effort. In 1943, Mary stated that she would be going fishing on Sundays, and the Diner would remain closed.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to learn more about the historic people and businesses of Sandusky and Erie County.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Big Four Shops in Sandusky in 1893

The image above shows employees of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company, also known as the “Big Four.” This railroad was formed in in June of 1889, by the consolidation of several railroads. Railroads have been important to Sandusky, because of the many jobs they provided, and for allowing a wide variety of raw materials as well as finished products to be transported in and out of the region. 

In the 1890s, the passenger depot for the Big Four was located on the north side of Water Street east of Lawrence Street. The shops for the Big Four were situated on the city’s west side, east of Harrison Street, and just north of Adams Street. These views from the Sanborn Insurance Map of 1893 give an idea of the layout of the yard.

In the view above you can see the turntables, which allowed for railroad cars to be moved in and out of the various wood shops and machine shops. Skylights illuminated the carpenter’s shop and the locomotive works. Other shops included the pattern loft, machine shop, and wood planing shop. A blacksmith’s forge was onsite so repairs could be made to hardware related to the railroad cars, doors, and boilers. A large lumber yard was adjacent to the carpenter’s shop.

To the west of the main shops were smaller buildings which housed the brass foundry,  tin shop, spring forge shop, and wood house.

It took a large number of skilled workers to keep the railroad cars and boilers in good working order in the nineteenth century. The 1893 Sanborn Map helps us to clearly see the many different aspects of this operation. Railroads were a key component to the infrastructure and economy of Ohio and the nation. 

Below is another photograph from the historical collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center which features of a large group of employees of the Big Four in 1901. It appears that at that time there was a Big Four shop on the west end of Market Street.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Early Apartment Buildings in Sandusky

Though not all the apartment buildings are still in existence, many of the named apartments buildings listed in the 1941 Sandusky City Directory are still providing homes for Sandusky residents. Pictured above is the Ramsey Apartment building located at 335 Central Avenue.

The Erie Apartments at 1517 Columbus Avenue were built in 1919 for employees of the Erie Tire and Rubber Company. Though the company was only in Sandusky for a few years, the apartment building still stands.  The apartment building at 515 West Washington Street was once the home of the William T. Townsend family.

Mentions of apartment buildings often appeared in the society pages of the local newspapers. The Sandusky Star Journal of March 28, 1911 reported that Mrs. John Renner had recently been hostess to the Fortnightly Club in her apartment at the Feick Flats, and Mrs. W.H. Nolte served an elegant lunch when the L.G.A. met at her apartment at the Willdred. 

At least two of the buildings from the 1941 listing have been named to the National Register of Historic Places, the Willdred Flats and the Mertz apartments. The apartments at 310-303 East Washington Street were listed as the Converse-Mertz Apartments in the National Register.

According to the Ohio Historic Places Dictionary (Somerset Publishers Inc., 1999), the Greek Revival style apartment building was built by Charles Converse, an early dry goods merchant in Sandusky. Andrianna Van Deusen purchased the property about 1867, and ran it as a boarding house. Sandusky businessman John Mertz purchased the building in 1912 and remodeled it. The property remained in the Mertz family until the 1960s.

Of course today, there are many more choices in apartment living in Sandusky, including several high rise buildings, and the recently converted buildings such as the Cheapeake Lofts and the Rieger Loft. Visit the Sandusky Library, to view historic Sandusky City Directories, to learn more about the residents of our city in years gone by.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Account Book of Dr. R.R. McMeens

Before Dr. Robert Ritchie McMeens enlisted for military service in 1861 as a surgeon in the Third Ohio Infantry during the Civil War, he was in private practice as a physician in Sandusky, Ohio for over ten years.

The account book of Dr. McMeens, which covers the period from July 18, 1858 to April 25, 1861, is now in the historical files of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

At the bottom of page 1 in the account book is a listing for O. Follett, most likely publisher Oran Follett, who saw Dr. McMeens in July of 1858. Mr. Follett’s bill was thirty cents.

Someone from the Rush Sloane family saw Dr. McMeens in September of 1858. The bill was $1.50. It appears that the patients may have been Mr. Sloane’s son and wife.

Page 454 is the last page of the account book, dated April 25, 1861. The name of prominent Sandusky businessman W.T. West appears twice on this page. His fees were $1.50 and $2.00.

Sadly, Dr. McMeens died while in military service during the Civil War. The Firelands Pioneer of January 1888 contains an article about his death. Within the article is a reprint of a letter which George G. Shumard, M.D. wrote to Ohio Governor David Tod:

To His Excellency, Gov. Tod, Ohio:

SIR:—It is with feelings of the deepest regret that I have to announce the death of Surgeon R. R. McMeens of the Third Reg., Ohio Vol. Army, which occurred suddenly at Perryville, Ky., on the night of the 30th inst. Surgeon McMeens was among the first to offer his services to his country after the breaking out of the rebellion. Entering the three months service as a regimental surgeon, he was immediately after ordered to Camp Dennison, where his gentlemanly deportment and great professional skill soon won for him the esteem and confidence of his brother officers, at whose request he was appointed Medical Director of the post; all the arduous duties of which office he performed in such a manner as to win for him the warmest commendations of the Surgeon General of the State. From that time until the period of his death, he has continued in active service, filling many important positions in the medical department of the army. Shortly before the battle of Perryville, he was appointed Medical Director to the troops under the command of the lamented Jackson, and after having participated actively in the battle, was detailed to assist in taking care of the wounded at Perryville, in which position his kindness of heart, sound judgment, and great professional skill, enabled him to contribute very largely toward the relief of our suffering soldiers. He has fallen while nobly working at his post; although suffering greatly from disease, he refused to abandon his work, and performed several important surgical operations only a few hours before his death. In his death the army has lost a kind-hearted, faithful and efficient officer; the country a pure patriot, and the medical profession one of its brightest ornaments. I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant, GEORGE G. SHUMARD, M. D., Medical Director Danville District.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Soergel, Dorn & Raible Brewery

From about 1864 through 1871, there was a brewery on Harrison Street, just north of Adams Street, run by George Soergel, Philip Dorn, and Paul Raible. Though this business was in operation for less than ten years, there are interesting facts we can learn about the company from the City Directory for Sandusky, as well as the 1870 United States Census. By doing a search for the surname Dorn in the 1867 McKelvey Directory for Sandusky, we find out the names of several employees of the company.

·        *  J.G. Engler worked as a cooper 
·        * Sebastian Fox and Henry Hinkle were teamsters
·        *  Henry Schoepfle  and Brobert Stugir worked as brewers

In the 1870 United States Census, the families of George Soergel (spelled Sorgel in the 1870 census enumeration), Philip Dorn, and Paul Raible were listed all together in the same neighborhood in the Fifth Ward of the city of Sandusky. George Soergel was age 52, and was born in Bavaria, Germany. He was married to Catherine, and they had four children living in their household, ranging in age from 5 to 17. Philip and Margaret Dorn, ages 42 and 32, were also natives of Bavaria. Their children were ages 5 and 8. Paul Raible, age 35, had been born in Prussia, while his wife Christina, age 26, was a native of W├╝rttemberg. The four youngsters in their household were all under age 5.
By looking at the image of the trade card from Soergel, Dorn and Raible, we can surmise that the lagerbeer and ale that was created at the company was distributed by railroad cars.

Deliveries were also made by horse drawn vehicles.

On page 23 of McKelvey’s Sandusky Directory, we see that there were several German social and musical societies to which the proprietors of Soergel, Dorn and Raible may have belonged. There was even a German language newspaper at that time, the Bay Stadt Demokrat.

By 1879, Anthony Ilg was running a brewery at the former site of Soergel, Dorn and Raible. In 1905, the Diamond Wine Company and Lake Erie Wine Company were in business at this location. In the 1910s,  the Easiest Way Manufacturing Company made washing machines here. In 1942, the Peerless Stove and Manufacturing relocated from Columbus to the northeast corner of Adams and Harrison Streets in Sandusky. If walls could talk, the walls of these buildings would have many stories to tell!