Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Letter by Ida Buyer

The German greeting on the cover of the letter below, translated into English, reads “Cordial Congratulations to New Year.”

In January of 1892, a member of the Buyer family wrote a letter in the German language. It is difficult to decipher the writing of the first name of the author of this letter, but it was written by either Ida Buyer, born in 1854, or her daughter Ora Buyer, who was born in 1882. According to the 1880 U.S. Census for Erie County, Ohio, Ida Buyer’s parents were both born in Baden, and her husband Jerome’s parents were natives of Bayern. The letter could have been intended for relatives still residing in Germany, or it could have been an exercise is preserving the German heritage of the Buyer family.

To date the body of the 1892 letter has not been translated. If anyone reads German, perhaps you could leave us a comment and inform us of what sentiments were recorded in the New Year’s season by a Sandusky resident so long ago.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Second Annual Christmas Tree Party and Dance by the Sandusky Sangerbund

On Christmas evening in 1916, the Sandusky Sangerbund (sometimes spelled Saenger Bund) held their second annual Christmas Tree Party and Dance at Lea’s Hall at 172 East Market Street in Sandusky. In 1916, the group met on Sunday evenings at the northwest corner of Water and Columbus Avenue in Sandusky. Saenger Bunds were associations of singers, often comprised of individuals of German descent. The groups sang for dances, holiday events, and participated in competitions. On occasion the Sandusky Saenger Bund sang at funerals.

You can read more about the social life of German American residents of Sandusky in chapter five of Sandusky Then and Now, available at the Sandusky Library.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Scene of Downtown Sandusky at Christmas Time

Ernst Niebergall, a well known Sandusky photographer, took this photograph of downtown Sandusky, probably in the 1930s:

In a closer view, the Weinberger Cut Rate Drugstore can be seen at the southwest corner of Columbus Avenue and Market Street. Adolph Weinberger owned the drugstore, which was later known as Gray Drug Store. Just south of Weinberger’s Drugstore are the Montgomery Ward and J.C. Penney stores. Later J.C. Penney would have a much larger business at this location. Rosino’s Shoe Store was located south of the J.C. Penney store.

On the east side of Columbus Avenue, the following businesses can be seen: Denzer’s Books and Gifts, Textor Jeweler’s, the S. S. Kresge Company, and the H and S Modern Bakery. In the distance, the marquee of the Seitz State Theater is visible as well.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Albert Textor, Jeweler

Albert Textor was a pioneer wine manufacturer in Sandusky. According to an article in the January 23, 1920 issue of the Sandusky Register, Albert Textor came to the United States from Germany in 1849. He and his brothers William and Charles first went to Sandusky, but due to the cholera epidemic, they settled on a farm in Marblehead in Ottawa County. After about a year, Albert moved to Sandusky. On page 417 of History of Erie County, Ohio, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, we read that Albert Textor manufactured ten to twelve varieties of dry and sweet wines, which were shipped to all parts of the United States east of Kansas.

In 1860 Albert Textor opened a jewelry store. A listing in the 1882 Sandusky City Directory states that A. Textor was a dealer in jewelry, watches, clocks, silverware, spectacles and eye glasses at his store located at 211 Columbus Avenue, opposite the Sloane House. Later, Albert Textor’s son Alexander took over the business. Following the death of Alexander Textor in 1927, Albert Textor’s grandson Herbert M. Textor became owner and operator of the Textor Jewelry store. Pictured below are the owner and employees of the A. Textor store in Sandusky about 1890. Most likely Albert Textor is the gentleman on the far right of the photograph.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Shopping in Early Sandusky

In 1884, George W. Plummer ran a confectionery at 108 Columbus Avenue, opposite the West House. His advertising card stated that the business made fresh candies every hour.  Plummer’s sold several types of candies and a full line of Christmas novelties.

G. Pommert was a grocer who sold Heywood & Williams’ Leader Flour. Russell Heywood operated a mill in Venice, Ohio in the early 1830’s.

The Sandusky Steam Baking Company operated in Sandusky at the corner of Osborne and Carr Streets for many years. The company had several different owners through the years, and it was in business in Sandusky until about 1973.

R. J. Rife sold pianos and organs at 531 Columbus Avenue.
Visit the Sandusky Library to view these and many other historical advertising trade cards from former Sandusky businesses, which are housed in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Cookie House

Sandusky's Cookie House has been in the news lately. After a lot of hard work, it's looking good again!

Here are a couple of views of what it looked like in the early days:

In the 1950s, in front of Sandusky High School (now Adams Junior High).

In 1952, in front of the Erie County Courthouse.

(A closer view.)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Teacher’s Institute in Sandusky, 1845

The first Teachers’ Institute in Ohio met in Sandusky on September 2, 1845. Hewson L. Peeke wrote in his book, A Standard History of Erie County, that Ebenezer Lane, Rev. Leverett Hull, and C. B. Squires were active in securing lecturers for the Institute. The purpose of the Teachers’ Institute was for the improvement of common schools. Any Ohio teacher was invited to attend the Institute. Those who attended the Institute were not charged any fees, except for their own paper and paying board while in Sandusky. Private homes were opened to the teachers for a fee of not over $2.00 a week.

The main speakers of the Teachers’ Institute were Salem Lord, a teacher from New York State, Asa Lord, and M.F. Cowdery, who would later serve as Superintendent of Sandusky’s school system. Asa Lord was a teacher of mathematics, while M.F. Cowdery specialized in geography. Over ninety Ohio teachers attended the Teacher’s Institute. The Catalogue of the Instructors and Students of the Teachers’ Institute held in Sandusky, Ohio in 1845 was printed by W. S. Mills and Sylvester Ross. Sessions continued for two weeks, with instruction during the day, and lectures and general discussion held during the evening hours.

The names of the teachers who attended the Teachers’ Institute were listed in the Catalogue. Usually known as Rush R. Sloane, Mr. Sloane’s name was given as Richard Rush Sloane in the catalogue. Rush Sloane became well known as an abolitionist and served as Mayor of Sandusky from 1879 to 1880. Daughters of another Sandusky Mayor, Foster M. Follett, also attended the Teacher’s Institute. Helen and Sarah Follett worked along side their parents in attending to the sick during the 1849 cholera epidemic in Sandusky. Sarah and Emily Townsend were daughters of pioneer Sandusky resident, William Townsend. Sadly, Sarah Townsend and both her parents died in the cholera epidemic in 1849.

Several resolutions were adopted at the closing of the Institute. One encouraged the continuation of Teachers’ Institutes so that teachers could obtain practical instruction on subjects connected with teaching and governing schools. Another resolution demanded that the business of teaching be made a distinct profession. A significant resolution recommended “the introduction of vocal music into the Common Schools of this state, as an aid in mental and moral improvement, and an agreeable relaxation from study.” Paul D. Sanders wrote about this early support of vocal music education in Ohio in an article in the October 2001 issue of the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. (subscription required)