Monday, April 18, 2011

Bay Bridge and the Medusa Factory, 1950

A part of the Tom Root collection of aerial photographs, this picture shows a view of the small unincorporated area of northwestern Erie County along the Sandusky Bay known as Bay Bridge. Clearly visible in the photo are the silos from the Medusa Portland Cement Company. From 1892 until 1960, the Medusa Portland Cement Company employed many area residents. The company, originally named the Sandusky Portland Cement Company, was founded by three brothers in 1892, Spencer, Arthur and William Newberry. The men were all sons of well known geologist John Strong Newberry. Marl and clay, key components in the manufacturing in portland cement at that time, were widely available in the marshy land surrounding Bay Bridge.

In its first fifty years, Medusa expanded to eight facilities in five states. Medusa Portland Cement Company was a very profitable company in the  early “baby boom” years following World War II, due an increase in demand for cement for use in the building of homes, businesses, and highways, but by 1960 the Bay Bridge plant of the Medusa Cement Company closed. Eventually Medusa was acquired by Southdown, Inc. While the busy days of the booming cement mill town are now a memory, the small village of Bay Bridge once had its own Post Office and store, to take care of the needs of the many employees who worked at Medusa.

4 comments:

ron schneider said...

It seems to me that this area is more correctly identified as Bay View. That's how Google Earth identifies it.

Anonymous said...

Bay View, is a village is located at 41°28'7"N 82°49'37"W.

Bay Bridge is an unincorporated area just east of Bay View. Bay Bridge is close to the railroad bridge; along Barrett Road, and west of Medusa Marsh. See:

http://www.wcasohio.org/medusa_marsh.htm

Adam Balduff said...

Yes, that is definitely in Bay Bridge. I grew up in Bay View, just down the road in the 1980's and used to ride my bike past Cleman's Marina to explore the closed cement company. My grandfather, Edward Balduff, was a crane operator between the silos for a few years and I wanted to climb them to see the view of Sandusky Bay that he always talked about. And yes, although it was trespassing, the view was beautiful.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me a lot of kids who grew up in Bay View rode their bikes to this place to "take a look" at the old Medusa cement plant at one time or another. It was sort of a right of passage for most of the boys in Bay View to take a look at the cement plant at one time or another. Viewing Medusa was like taking a good long look back at what used to be for the community that once was, especially when accompanied by a boy who's grandfathers or great grandfather's worked there or built it.