Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Sandusky of To-Day" (when "To-Day" was in 1888)

One of the more fascinating and informative items in the Sandusky Library's collections is the publication, Sandusky of To-Day, published by I.F. Mack & Bro. in 1888. It was designed as a promotional document to encourage people and businesses to settle in Sandusky, but for us today (no hyphen anymore) it is an invaluable historical document that gives an interesting snapshot of local business and commerce during that era. Its full title is Sandusky of To-Day (Historically Reviewed) Its Facilities and Inducements for the Investment of Capital, Comprising Sketches of Its Extensive Fisheries, Its Lumber Interests and Complete Railroad Connections, While Affording All the Advantages of a Lovely Lakeside Residence.

As you can tell from this subtitle, a significant portion of the volume describes local businesses, and gives us a good picture of the dominant industries of the time -- an entire chapter on "our fish interests," for example.

As you can see on the image of page 29, Sandusky was said to be the largest fresh water fish market in the world at that time. It was estimated that 1000-1500 men were employed in the profession, and that 500-600 tons of fish or more per day were harvested.
Other industries and businesses received attention in the book -- "our lumber interests," ice companies, wineries, breweries, tool factories, and many others.

And not surprisingly, much was written about the "Cedar Point Pleasure Resort," "the Coney Island of the West."

Unfortunately, due to its condition, access to the original book is restricted, but for those with a research need, the original document may be used under strict conditions in the Archives Research Center. A digital copy is also available; ask a reference librarian for more information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you have a digital copy, is there any chance you can post it for viewing on the web.