Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Christmas Season in Sandusky, 1891

This was the menu for Christmas time at the West House, a large hotel in Sandusky:

A variety of game and seafood were the main course, along with cold ham, chicken and tongue. Desserts included mince pie, lemon pie, cake, ice cream, and English plum pudding with brandy sauce.

Local companies advertised in the Sandusky Register for several weeks in December of 1891. The Fair, a store managed by M.N. Sisenwain opposite the Sloane House, sold dolls, books, mechanical toys, jewelry, china cups, glassware, pictures, and a wide assortment of gift items of “Christmas delights.” J. Krupp and Son sold books cases, beds, rockers, tapestries and furniture for the home or office. M. & A. Lebensburger, a leading Sandusky clothier, sold several styles of overcoats. The Bazar at 615 and 617 Market Street slashed prices just a few days before Christmas Day.

D.C. Powers ran a lengthy poem advertising the many items for sale at the D.C. Powers dry goods store at 142 Columbus Avenue. The first three stanzas, which appeared in the December 18, 1891 issue of the Sandusky Register, were:

Mother Christmas’ Answer

Santa came to “Mother Christmas”-
“Dear,” said he, “I’m sore perplexed!
Knotted was the kind old forehead,
One might almost think him vexed.
“Where I’m going to get my sleighful
of the rarest, brightest, best,
Prettiest things to please this worldful
Grown so captious, can’t be guessed!

Said his Dame, “I wonder at you!
Must be you’ve forgotten Powers;
I have found there gifts to rapture
These expectant bairns of ours.
For, you know, with all the worldful-
Stockings large, and stockings small,
You must cram form out your sleighful-
Nothing’s left for ours at all!”
“Then the quaint, delightful boxes-
Filled, the yare, with daintiest things-
Charming souvenirs, cards and booklets –
Everything the season brings,
Kerchiefs, hemstitched, plain, embroidered,
Silk and linen, grave and gay-
Finest values for the prices –
In bewildering display!”

The poem concludes with Santa deciding to fill his sleigh with items from D.C. Powers’ stock. This photograph, which shows an interior view of the D.C. Powers store, was taken in the latter part of the 1800s:

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