Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sandusky’s Masonic Temple

In the picture above, hundreds of people have gathered for the laying of the cornerstone for the Masonic Temple, located at 302 Wayne Street, on June 24, 1889. Ellie Damm wrote in Treasure by the Bay that Sandusky’s Masonic building was made of buff sandstone and blue limestone, and built in the Second Romanesque-Revival style. H.C. Lindsay of Zanesville was the architect, and Adam Feick and Brothers were the builders.

The Science Lodge No. 50 F & AM was established in Sandusky in 1818. The first master of the lodge, Hector Kilbourne, platted the city of Sandusky in the pattern of the Masonic emblem. Former museum curator Helen Hansen holds a copy of the original plat map in this image.
In 1940, the Sandusky Chamber of Commerce had its offices in the street level of the Masonic Temple.
A fire damaged the roof and top floors of the Masonic Temple in January of 1943.
A view of the Sanduksy Masonic Temple in 1983 shows how the building was redesigned after the fire, with changes to the roof and removal of two towers:
Sandusky physician Dr. Charles Hope Merz was an outstanding Masonic scholar who wrote several Masonic books, and served as editor of the Masonic Bulletin in Sandusky for nearly twenty eight years. Guild Masonry in the Making, by Dr. Merz, is available full text at Google Books. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view several copies of The Sandusky Masonic Bulletin from the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Monday, August 30, 2010

100th Anniversary of Glenn Curtiss Flight to Cedar Point

Tuesday, August 31 marks the 100th anniversary of the record-setting flight of aviation pioneer GlennCurtiss, who flew from Euclid Beach in Cleveland to Cedar Point beach in Sandusky, flying the entire trip over Lake Erie. It was the longest airplane flight over water at that time. Cedar Point is holding a special commemoration of the event.

For more information about the 1910 flight, see our article from 2007.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Promotion at N. R. Holzaepfel Confectionery

In 1916 Norman R. Holzaepfel operated a confectionery at the corner of Madison Street and Columbus Avenue in Sandusky. His shop sold cigars, candy, newspapers and magazines. The March 23, 1916 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal featured a small ad that stated that every customer who made a purchase on Saturday, March 25, 1916, would be given a free copy of the Saturday Evening Post. Here a group of news carriers hold copies of the magazine in front of the store. In 1919 Norman Holzaepfel ran a newsstand at the West House hotel.

Mr. Norman R. Holzepfel’s obituary, which appeared in the October 20, 1970 issue of the Sandusky Register, indicated that Mr. Holzaepfel had been a concessionaire in the Sandusky area for fifty years.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Partridge Carbon Works

The letter opener pictured below is a promotional item from the Partridge Carbon Works of Sandusky, Ohio.

In 1890 James Partridge came to Sandusky from Pittsburgh, and along with John Spear, organized the Partridge Carbon Works. The factory was located at the southeast corner of Campbell Street and Perkins Avenue. The firm manufactured carbon brushes for use in motors and generators. Many of the carbon brushes made in Sandusky were used for the electric street railway system, a mode of transportation that was very popular in Ohio in the 1890’s. Representatives from the South Jersey Street Railway Company wrote a letter to the Electrical Engineer (Vol. XXI, No. 415) stating that the carbon brushes that had been manufactured in Sandusky had proved to be remarkable.

In 1899, the Partridge Carbon Company of Sandusky, Ohio was purchased by the National Carbon Company. Mr. Partridge remained as manager of the factory until his death. The Sandusky plant of the National Carbon Company remained in Sandusky until about 1907.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Program Announcement: Letters from the Library's Collections

Do you remember hearing stories about people writing letters? On paper?! On Wednesday, August 25, at 6:30 p.m. in the Library Program Room, Archives Librarian Ron Davidson will show letters from the 19th and 20th Centuries on a variety of topics from the historical collections of the Library’s Archives Research Center. You will see letters from early settlers of Sandusky and share their experiences and hardships; view the last letter written by a condemned prisoner at Johnson’s Island; read soldiers’ letters to home; and see how business transactions were often handled through correspondence. Registration is requested. To register, call 419-625-3834 and press 0 to speak with a switchboard operator (10-5, Monday-Friday) or press Option 6 to leave a message.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sandusky Coal Company

In the early 1890’s, the Sandusky Coal Company had its offices at R. B. Hubbard & Son. Mr. Rollin B. Hubbard and his son were wholesale lumber dealers, located at 903 Water Street in downtown Sandusky.

The 1890 Sandusky City Directory lists R. B. Hubbard as president of The Sandusky Coal Company, as well as the proprietor of R. B. Hubbard & Son. Rollin’s son, Shannon B. Hubbard was the treasurer and manager of The Sandusky Coal Company.
An article that appeared in the November 21, 1889 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Jackson Hill coal was being transported by barge from Sandusky to Port Huron, Michigan, for the Sandusky Coal Company. The “Big Four” railway transported Jackson Hill Coal from southern Ohio to the railway derricks in Sandusky. Jackson Hill Coal was considered one of the best domestic and steam coals mined in the state of Ohio.

At some point in time the Sandusky Coal Company was called the Hubbard Coal Company. The ruler below advertised that Jackson Coal was the "Best Steam Coal Mined."
Besides running the lumber business, Rollin B. Hubbard was also associated with the Second National Bank in Sandusky. His son S.B. Hubbard died at the age of 37, in 1894.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Kingsbury Block

Helen Hansen and Virginia Steinemann wrote in From the Widow's Walk that the Kingsbury Block was built by the heirs of Abel Kingsbury West at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Washington Row about 1894. It was built in the Commercial style of architecture, featuring bay windows. O.S. Alcott's “gents furnishings” was an early business in the Kingsbury Block. In 1923, the southern portion of the building was demolished to make way for the building of the Commercial National Bank. The northern portion of the Kingsbury Block was sold to Tenants Realty, and would later be the location of the S.S. Kresge Co. and the H. & S. Bakery.

The Kingsbury Block was home to dentists, physicians, attorneys, insurance companies, and many other businesses. C. J. Pascoe had a photography studio in the Kingsbury Building for many years.
In 1907, when the Ohio State Medical Association met in Sandusky for their annual meeting, Dr. William Graefe and Dr. H. C. Schoepfle, as well as dentists Dr. William S. Deeley, Dr. D. D. Smith, and Dr. J. K. Douglas all had their offices in the Kingsbury Block.
A photograph of the directory of the Kingsbury Block was taken about 1920.

To read more about the history of the Kingsbury Block in Sandusky, see article 43 in From the Widow's Walk. The Sandusky Library has several years of Sandusky City Directories which also provide valuable information about the former residents and businesses in Sandusky.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Murschel House

For a century, the Murschel House was located in the 1200 block of North Depot Street close to the train station in Sandusky. Ellie Damm wrote in Treasure by the Bay that Jacob Murschel built a saloon and hotel in 1876, opposite the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad depot. The hotel and saloon were convenient for both railroad workers and travelers. (The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway later became a part of the New York Central Railroad.)
After the death of Jacob Murschel, his son William Y. Murschel ran the hotel for many years. By 1902, John Sinerson was listed in the Sandusky City Directory as being the proprietor of the Murschel House.

A full page advertisement in the book What: Souvenir of Sandusky, Ohio and the Islands of Lake Erie, features interior views of the bar, reading room, dining room, and barber shop of the Murschel House.

The Murschel House was often mentioned on the society pages of the Sandusky Register and the Sandusky Star Journal, as it was the location for many banquets, meetings, family gatherings, and even wedding receptions. An article from the Star Journal of September 3, 1911 reported that Alice Cherry, who weighed 450 pounds, was “the largest and most impressive guest” in the history of the Murschel House. Alice Cherry had been appearing as the “Fat Lady” at the county fair. Her visit to the Murschel House caused local excitement. In July of 1916, a troop train from the New York Central Railroad stopped in Sandusky. Several servicemen from Maine, all clad in khaki, stopped at the Murschel House for coffee and sandwiches. Newspaper reports state that the cash register bell was “working over time for a while.” In 1925, the Murschel House was a polling location for voters in the Third Ward of Sandusky. Murschel House sponsored a bowling team in Sandusky’s Industrial League during the 1930’s.

Through the years, the Murschel House had several different owners. It was still listed in the 1981 Sandusky City Directory, but by 1991 the city ordered the building to be demolished for safety concerns. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to learn more about the Murschel House and other historic hotels and businesses in Sandusky and Erie County.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Late Nineteenth Century Stereograph Images

In 1976, Irma Schoeneman donated eleven stereographic images to the Sandusky Library’s historical room, now the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Stereographs were popular in the latter part of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Stereographs are similar to a child’s ViewMaster toy. Two images placed side by side appear to be three dimensional, when viewed through a special viewer.

Below is an image of the Erie County Jail, now a part of the Sandusky Library, about 1885. The building to the left of the jail served as the medical office of Dr. J. D. Parker for many years. This image was created by N. H. Hammond for the American Views series.
Another stereograph by N. H. Hammond shows the north side of East Market Street about 1890. The Melville brothers operated a drugstore in the Cooke Block at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Market Street. John H. Wagenet and Josh B. Davis had an insurance company in the upper floor of the Cooke Building. Jay Cooke was born near the site of the Cooke Block, though the building was named for an unrelated Cooke family, according to Article 51 of From the Widow's Walk, volume 2. The Bazar can be seen at 615 and 617 East Market Street. This business called itself “Sandusky’s Great Bargain Store.”
A.C. Platt was the photographer for this stereograph of an unidentified home in Sandusky, Ohio. Relaxing on the porch seems to be an enjoyable pastime that has remained throughout the years.
The date for the stereograph below, also taken by A. C. Platt, was March 3, 1887. A very large group of people, mostly children, can be seen on the porch. Notes on the back of the original stereograph card read, “Compliments of Sakie and Georgie.” While do not have enough clues to be absolutely sure, the names Sakie and Georgie may refer to the children of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew W. Prout. Andrew W. Prout was a well known banker and real estate agent in Sandusky. His daughter Sakie Prout Merz was a longtime member of the Board of Trustees of the Sandusky Library.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Charles A. Judson, Civil Engineer

Charles Albert Judson was born in Florence Township of Erie County on August 11, 1856, to Mr. and Mrs. Albert W. Judson. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1882 and married Roxie Lowry in 1883. After their marriage, Charles and Roxie Judson settled in Sandusky, Ohio. Charles A. Judson became a civil engineer, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Charles A. Judson served his community in many different capacities. He was Corporal in Co. B of the 16th Regiment of the Ohio National Guard from 1882-1887. He served as city engineer of Sandusky from 1894 to 1891, and was superintendent of the Water Works from 1884 to 1907. In 1902, Charles A. Judson was elected to the Ohio State Senate, and he was appointed to be the Collector of U.S. Customs in Sandusky during the Theodore Roosevelt administration, and he was re-appointed under President Taft. After retiring from the Customs Office, Charles A. Judson returned to surveying. He was elected as a city commissioner in the early 1920’s. Ancestors of both Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Judson were early settlers of Erie County, Ohio.

On the evening of September 30, 1926, Charles A. and Roxie Judson were killed in a tragic accident in which the Judson vehicle collided with a freight train in Friendship, New York. The couple was en route to visit two of their married daughters in Pennsylvania. At first it was feared that some of their grandchildren had also been killed, as at the scene of the accident, several items of children’s clothing were found in the wreckage. (The Judsons had planned to take gifts of clothing to their grandchildren in Pennsylvania.) The Associated Press carried news of the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Judson, which caused great sorrow in the Sandusky area. Mr. and Mrs. Judson were very active in their church and community organizations, and both were held in high esteem. Mr. and Mrs. Judson were survived by two sons and three daughters. Joint funeral services were conducted at the First Congregational Church, and the couple was buried at Oakland Cemetery. A lengthy obituary for Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Judson is found in the 1926 Obituary Notebook at the Sandusky Library. A tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Judson also appears in the April 1930 issue of the Firelands Pioneer.

James C. Judson, son of Charles A. and Roxie Judson, wrote the book Agony and Attainment, a history of the First Congregational Church of Sandusky, covering the years 1819 to 1869. This book, while it focused on the history of the church, also contains a lot of anecdotal history about early residents of Sandusky.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

All Ohio Veterans Get Together Day

Veterans from all over the state of Ohio met in Sandusky, Ohio on August 3, 1946. Major General John B. Coulter, personal representative of General Jonathan Wainwright, arrived at the Hinde-Dietrick Airport at 11:30 a.m. on August 3rd.
According to the August 3, 1946 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News, a procession of military policeman and several other marching units escorted the General and other honored guests through the city of Sandusky. Army planes roared overhead as the guests of honor reached the Cedar Point pier. Thousands of area residents lined the streets of Sandusky as they watched the parade
The visiting military officials were treated to a luncheon at Cedar Point. An ox roast was also held in the picnic grove for Ohio Veterans and their families. Cedar Point officials estimated that at least 30,000 visitors were at Cedar Point for the day’s festivities. Throughout the day aerial exhibitions by U.S. Army and Navy planes were held near the Cedar Point Beach. You can read more about the All Ohio Veterans Get Together Day in the August 1 through August 5 issues of the Sandusky Register Star News, available on microfilm at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.