Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sandusky City Ordinances

You never know what interesting things you can find in a book -- and it doesn't always have to be a novel or history book (my preference), either. You can find some interesting reading in the Revised Ordinances of the City of Sandusky of 1887 and 1906. (Copies of each are in the Archives Research Center and local history collection at the Sandusky Library.)


For example, on the first page of the 1887 ordinances is "an ordinance to regulate ale, beer and porter houses, to aid in the preservation of peace and good order of the City of Sandusky and to abate the nuisance arising from offensive practices prohibited by this ordinance." The first section of this law stated that "it shall be unlawful for the keeper or proprietor . . . of any saloon . . . to employ any female in the supplying of or waiting on customers in furnishing ale, beer, porter, or intoxicating liquors of any kind whatever . . ." (although they did make exceptions for women who were married to the owner or were his daughters). The penalty for violating this ordinance was up to fifty dollars. (This rule was still in effect in the 1906 laws.)

In 1889, a law was passed outlawing the playing of music in saloons.


Another law, on page 6 of the 1887 ordinances, stated "it shall be unlawful for any person, in a unclothed and naked condition, to go into or bathe in the open waters of Sandusky Bay, within the corporate limits of the city, at any time after the rising of the sun and before dark." Nighttime skinny-dipping was okay, apparently.

Keep Your Cows off the Sidewalk!

In 1887, it was "unlawful for the owner or owners or any person having the custody or control of any horse, mare, mule or other beast of burden, or of any ox, steer, heifer, cow, calf, or of any swine, sheep, goat or goose, to suffer or permit the same to run at large, upon any sidewalk, street, alley, park, common or public ground, within the corporate limits of the city of Sandusky." (I hope it is still unlawful today!)

No Dressing Fish in the Summer

Also in the 1887 laws, it was forbidden "at any time between the 25th day of May and the 1st day of September of each and every year, to receive into any fish shanty, store room, store house or any other building, any fresh fish, for the purpose of dressing or salting the same."

Only a Little Gunpowder

In 1887, residents of Sandusky were prohibited from storing more than 28 pounds of gunpowder on their property, and nobody was allowed to sell gunpowder at night.

Watch Your Speed!

By 1906, it was necessary to have some laws regulating that new invention, the motorized automobile. For example, Section 397 of the 1906 city ordinances stated that "No person, driver or operator in charge of any automobile or motor vehicle shall move or permit the same to be driven, operated and moved at a rate of more than eight miles per hour within the limits of the city."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a copy of the 1887 book of The Revised Ordinances of the City of Sandusky. If anyone is interested in obtaining this copy from me, please contact me:

David A. Pasqualini