Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Family Portrait of the Ramsdell and Linn Families

In about 1910, a photograph of the Ramsdell and Linn families was taken by Sandusky photographer Edward H. Schlessman in Bloomingville, Ohio. The elderly man in the center of the picture is Horace Valentine Ramsdell. Horace V. Ramsdell was born in Bloomingville in 1842, one of twelve children born to Horace and Sarah Ramsdell. During the Civil War, Horace V. Ramsdell enlisted in Company G of the 101st Ohio Volunteer Infantry when he was only nineteen years old. He was severely injured at the Battle of Stones River. He was shot twice on December 31, 1861. When the ambulance picked him up, the army surgeons thought he would never survive his wounds. After two months of nursing care, Horace did recover from his war injuries, though it took him a full year to completely recover. 

After the war, Horace V. Ramsdell took charge of the family farm in Oxford Township. For a brief time he worked in the fishing business, and went mining in the Black Hills district in the 1870s, but soon he returned home. Horace V. Ramsdell and his wife, the former Alma Louise Bardwell, were the parents of four children, one who died young. A biographical sketch about him is found in Hewson L. Peeke’s A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio. Mr. Peeke wrote: “A life that was significant of sturdy character, upright manhood, long-continued industry, patriotic service during the period which insured the integrity of the Union, and lasting esteem from family, friends and neighbors, was lived by the late Horace Valentine Ramsdell in Oxford Township.” On January 17, 1914, Horace V. Ramsdell died from heart failure. He was buried in the Bloomingville Cemetery. Mr. Ramsdell was survived by his wife, two daughters, one son, a brother and sister, and seven grandchildren.

Several family photographs from the Ramsdell and Linn families were bequeathed to the Sandusky Library by descendants of Horatio V. Ramsdell.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Testimonial Dinner in Honor of Jesse P. White in 1939

A testimonial dinner in honor of Jesse P. White was held at Jackson Junior High School in Sandusky on December 28, 1939. The photograph pictured above was taken by Mound Photographers of Sandusky. Mr. White retired from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1939, after having served for 25 years as the area’s district manager. Nearly 200 individuals attended the dinner, including guests from the home office of Metropolitan Life Insurance.  Walter Shepherd served as toastmaster of the dinner. He paid high tribute to Jesse P. White, and presented him with a diamond medal of honor. Company officials considered Mr. White to be one the outstanding managers in the company. After his retirement, Jesse P. White devoted his interests to civic activities. During World War II, Mr. White served as co-chairman of five wartime savings bond drives. He passed away on March 29, 1950. He was survived by his wife of fifty years, the former Chloe Herron, two sons, and two daughters. Funeral services for Mr. White were held at the Lutz Funeral Home with the Rev. C.L. Alspach officiating, and burial was at Oakland Cemetery.

During the 1920s through the 1940s, Jackson Junior High School served as a community center in Sandusky. Though the tables were decorated nicely, plants were placed around the gymnasium, the lines used for playing basketball are clearly visible on the floor.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Dinner for Company G, Twelfth Ammunition Train, during the Great War

During World War I, Company G of the Twelfth Ammunition Train had a lovely Christmas dinner at Camp McClellan in Alabama. Most likely, this event took place during the holiday season of 1918.

Listed in the Roster of Company G, Twelfth Ammunition Train are two young men from Erie County. Elson W. Kent was a Sergeant, and Jay R. Platte was Private, First Class.


Visit the Sandusky Library to view the Erie County Honor Roll, which provides photographs, military assignments, and the many activities with took place on the home front in Sandusky and Erie County during World War One.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sandusky Themed Christmas Cards Created by Eileen Detlefsen

In time for the holiday season of 1966, Eileen Detlefsen created several original Christmas cards using the linoleum block print technique. “Old Sandusky” was the theme of these cards. Notes inside the card which depicted the Follett House on the cover stated that the residence of pioneer Sandusky resident Oran Follett was once the scene of many social festivities in early Sandusky.

Inside the Christmas card which featured the Sandusky harbor, Mrs. Detlefsen pointed out that in 1848 Sandusky was larger than Cleveland. In those days many sailing ships visited the Sandusky harbor.

For many years the West House, pictured above in another of “Eileen’s Originals,” was known as one of the best hotels between New York and Chicago. The popular hotel, in operation in Sandusky from the 1850s until the 1910s, was host to many notable visitors through the years.

On the inside of each Christmas card is provided an account of Christmas in Sandusky from 1824, as was described by historian Hewson L. Peeke. (Some of the account might be more legendary than historical.)

 Visit the Sandusky Archives Research Center to view these unique Christmas cards created by Eileen Detlefsen, as well as an article about the cards from the December 12, 1966 issue of the RFD News.  Eileen, along with her husband Harold Detlefsen, were the founders of the RFD News in 1958.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas in Sandusky in 1950

A series of pictures featuring holiday decorations in Sandusky’s Washington Park in 1950 is found in the historical collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. The Industrial Nut Corporation sponsored this Santa Claus decoration.      

A large group of singing carolers is seen here in front of faux stained glass windows.

Hinde and Dauch sponsored this candy cane display.

Rudolph and a sleigh full of gifts were sponsored by the Lyman Boat Company.

You can see the Ohio Edison office in the Odd Fellows building behind this large candle display in Washington Park.

The New Departure Division of General Motors sponsored this display of singers.

 Looking through microfilmed issues of the Sandusky Register Star News from 1950, we learn that at the Sears store in downtown Sandusky, shoppers could purchase a recording of their child’s conversation with the store’s Santa Claus. An ad from Cooper Chevrolet on Cleveland Avenue stated that the new 1951 Chevrolet was “America’s largest and finest low-priced car.” The Jaycees encouraged everyone to put a light in every window for the holiday season. Bing’s Furniture sold a wide variety of small and large appliances for the holiday season. The Frankel’s store offered a lay-away service, offering to “keep secrets safe” until the week of Christmas, and the J.C. Penney store in downtown Sandusky was selling men’s bomber jackets for $8.90. Herman’s Furniture advertised Lane hope chests for “a gift that starts the home.”  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Living Santa Claus at the Bazar

An advertisement from the December 14, 1900 issue of the Sandusky Register invites area residents to “Come and Visit with the Living Santa Claus” at the Bazar. Santa assisted shoppers make their selections at this popular dry goods store located at 615 and 617 Market Street at the turn of the twentieth century. Prices for dolls ranged from five cents to ten dollars. Circular railways sold for $1.25 to $5.00. Other items for sale for Christmas at the Bazar included books, Bibles, games, blocks, magic lanterns, desks, blackboards, and magic lanterns.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Vintage Views of Bakeries in Sandusky

Before Amandus Smith, Sr. co-founded the H and S Modern Baking Company with Edward Hartzel in 1918, he operated a bakery at Tiffin and Pearl Streets in Sandusky.  Pictured below is a photograph of the H and S Modern Bakery on Hancock Street which was taken in 1920. Eventually the H and S Modern Baking Company had facilities at 625 Hancock Street, 221 East Monroe Street, and 244 Columbus Avenue. The company also had facilities at other locations in Sandusky through the years. The H and S Modern Baking Company continued in business in Sandusky into the early 1950s.

Conrad Frank founded a bakery business in Sandusky about 1882. After his death, Mrs. Conrad Frank continued to operate the bakery for thirty-four years, until shortly before she passed away in 1926.

Check out the loaf of bread from the Armbruster Bakery, which was in business in Sandusky in the 1920s.

John Armbruster and Sons Bakery was located at 1614 West Jefferson Street for most of the 1920s in Sandusky.

These are not the only bakeries that have existed in Sandusky through the years, but unfortunately we do not have photographs of every historic business in the area.  Visit the Sandusky Library to find listings of bakeries and many other businesses in the Sandusky City Directories, which date back to 1855.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Mrs. Martin Eldis

According to History of  Erie County, Ohio, ed. by Lewis Cass Aldrich, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Eldis settled in Sandusky, Ohio in 1828. Martin Eldis was born in Elsass (Alsace?) in 1798, and came to America in 1817. He married Louise Guckenberger in Cincinnati in 1827. In the Spring of 1828, Martin Eldis opened a provisions store and bakery on Water Street in downtown Sandusky. On November 28, 1852 Martin Eldis died, leaving Mrs. Louise Eldis a widow with several children. Mrs. Eldis stated in History of  Erie County, Ohio, that when they first settled in Sandusky, she and her husband were not welcomed. She said, in part, “On our arrival sixty years ago, we were advised to better move on. If it had not have been for the steamboat trade, we never could have made a living in the first year or two. By and by though, the inborn element became more friendly to us, and learned to respect our ways. For nearly four years we were the only German family in this hamlet, and in all probability in the county."

Mrs. Louise Eldis died on December 19, 1888, at the age of 82. Her obituary, which appeared in the December 21, 1888 issue of the Sandusky Register, reported that she was probably the oldest resident in Sandusky at the time of her death. Mrs. Eldis was survived by three grown daughters and two sons. She was preceded in death by a son, George W. Eldis, as well as three little girls who died at a very young age. The Register article said about Mrs. Eldis, “The deceased through a long life filled its measure of usefulness and duty, a true wife, a devoted mother, a consistent Christian woman, a lifelong member of Grace church, giving of her means and labor with unwavering fidelity and always with cheerfulness for the poor and the spread of the gospel, and making her home a center of sunshine to her friends and a joy to her loved ones. Her death, peaceful and serene, like the setting of the sun at the close of a clear and calm day, was a fitting ending of this earthly life forth that entrance into the beyond.” Mrs. Eldis was buried in the family lot at Oakland Cemetery. Martin and Louise Eldis and all their children were interred in Lot 8 of Block 9 at Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Huron Parks Basketball Team, 1912-1913

While the players in this picture of the Huron Parks basketball team of 1912-1913 have not been identified, we know the last names of the team members from an old newspaper clipping. According to the November 16, 1912 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal, the last names of the players were: Oesterle, Pietschman, Schnell, Hallet, Simon and Kurtz.

Local photographer N.J. Abele created these picture postcards in 1912. On Thanksgiving evening in 1912, the Huron Parks were defeated by the members of the St. John’s Athletic Club basketball team at St. Mary’s Hall.