Thursday, October 31, 2013

Who Are the Men in the Under the Baton Banner?

The Sandusky Library is pleased to announce the documentary film Under the Baton: Music at Old Cedar Point. The premiere screening will take place on Friday, November 1 at 7:15 p.m., with additional presentations on Thursday, November 7 at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, November 14 at 10:30 a.m., and Friday, November 15 at 1:30 p.m., all at the Sandusky Library’s Program Room. The television premiere will be on November 14 at 8:00 p.m. on WGTE, Toledo.

You may be wondering about the names of the men featured in the picture of Ackley’s Band, which appears on the promotional flyers related to the documentary:

This photograph of Ackley’s Band was taken in the early 1900s. From left to right in the back row are: Ed Senne, John Bauman, M. McAdams, A. Becker, William Hauser, J. Thomas, F. Ortman, and F.W. Bauer. In the front row are: N. Bergmoser, Elmer Center, W. Scott, J. Samsel, F. Bauman, George Godfrey, C. Schaufelberger, and E.B. Ackley.  We know more details about some of the band members than others. Ed Senne played in several local musical groups, including the Great Western Band, Dials Concert Orchestra, and in the orchestra of the Lakeside Association, besides playing in Ackley’s Band. William Hauser, an uncle of Dr. Norbert Lange, also played in several bands through the years, and survived the tornado of 1924; he was inside his home, which was seriously damaged, but he was not injured. There were three members of the Bauman family in Ackley’s Band. Elmer Center was in the plumbing business for over thirty years, and he also operated the Center Hotel. F.W. Bauer went on to serve as Erie County Auditor, and he was instrumental in the founding of Winnebago Park, now known as Lions Park.

George Godfrey conducted a series of free concerts at the Big Store in the spring of 1902.  Mr. Godfrey’s musical composition entitled Sandusky’s Big Store March and Two-Step was published by the C.L. Engels Company in Sandusky, Ohio.

 E.B. Ackley was well known as a band leader and musician.

He also published postcards, operated a billiards parlor, was director of music at Cedar Point and served as the instructor of the Sandusky Band and Orchestra. He wrote the Cedar Point March in 1902, the first piece of music dedicated to the resort. Ackley’s Band contributed greatly to the cultural heritage of Cedar Point and Sandusky. Many of our grandparents and great grandparents had the pleasure of hearing them play, when live music was a significant form of entertainment, before radio and television brought music to the masses.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Merrill L. Starr, Erie County Sheriff, 1876 to 1880

Merrill Leroy Starr was born in the state of New York in 1842 to Daniel and Bathsheba (Chadwick) Starr. The Starr family moved to Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio in the 1850s. During the Civil War, Merrill L. Starr enlisted in Company E, Ohio 8th Infantry Regiment. Military records indicate that he was honorably discharged in 1863, after he was wounded at Antietam. According to Erie County Probate Court records, he married Kate Cooper on December 5, 1867. From 1876 to 1880, he served as Erie County Sheriff. Mr. Starr also was Superintendent of the Erie County infirmary in 1870 and in 1884-1885. In the 1880s, he was a partner in a shoe and boot business with E. W. Dewitt.

Merrill L. Starr died January 6, 1914 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Alfred Huntley on Adams Street.  Mr. Starr was survived by his widow, four daughters, a son, a brother and a sister. He was buried in the Sand Hill Cemetery. Mr. Starr is sitting in front of the bench in the courtroom at the Erie County Courthouse in this picture taken in 1875.

To learn more about Merrill L. Starr and many other former Erie County officials, see Elected to Serve, by Patty Pascoe, in the Sandusky Library genealogy collection.

Friday, October 25, 2013

J. G. Buderer, Groceries and Provisions

From 1890 until his death in 1908, John George Buderer operated a grocery store at the northeast corner of Seneca and Pearl Streets in Sandusky. A listing for the store in the 1908 Sandusky City Directory stated that J. George Buderer was a dealer in groceries and provisions, fine liquors, cigars and tobacco. Members of the Buderer family can be seen standing in front of the store around 1900.

After John George Buderer’s death in 1908, his wife Amanda operated the store for several years. From the mid 1920s to the mid 1930s, J. George and Amanda’s son George ran the family business. (After 1936, this address was a private residence.) Mrs. Amanda Buderer passed away in 1936. She was survived by two daughters, Mrs. Frank Folz and Mrs. Joseph Reminger, and two sons, George and Alvin H. Buderer. Descendants of John George and Amanda Buderer have been active in Sandusky in the pharaceutical business for several decades. Mr. and Mrs. J. George Buderer, both natives of Germany, were buried in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Columbus Day Celebrated by Sandusky Schools in 1892

On October 21, 1892, the pupils and staff of Sandusky’s schools celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. Literary and musical programs were presented at several local schools. In the afternoon a parade was held, in which students from public and parochial schools were joined by members of several Sandusky civic and military organizations.  Almost three thousand school students and their teachers took part in the event. A parade began at Sandusky High School (now Adams Junior High School) and extended to the fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth and tenth ward buildings, and returned to the high school. An American flag was raised at saluted at each building. At the eighth ward school (later known as Campbell School), students from several classes gave recitations, sang songs, and gave tributes.

Betsy Graefe and Bertha McFadden, in Class D at the eighth ward school, presented a selection entitled “The Man Who Believes that the Earth is Round.”  At Sandusky High School, Jessie Hornig gave an oration entitled “Four Centuries.” Dr. Charles Graefe, president of the Board of Education, was one of the speakers who gave an address in the day’s festivities.

To read more about the Columbus Day’s celebration in Sandusky in 1892, see pages 92 to 100 in the Annual Report of the Board of Education of the City of Sandusky, Ohio, for the School Year Ending August 31ST, 1893, published by I.F. Mack and Brother, Printers, in Sandusky, Ohio.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

German celebration in Sandusky, 1883

On Sunday, October 7, 1883, Sandusky residents celebrated the bicentennial anniversary of the first permanent German settlement in the United States. Accounts of the gala event were featured in the October 8, 1883 issue of the Sandusky Register and the October 8, 1883 issue of the Sandusky Demokrat.

Adam Bauer was the president of the day, while Constantine Zipfel served as the Marshall. They were assisted by M. Osterman, William Koch, John Weideman and Alex Motry. Over one thousand people took part in the procession, which started at West Market Street, and ended at the Erie County Fairgrounds. The Great Western Band provided music for the parade.

All the German societies of Sandusky were represented, including the Active Turn Verein, pioneer German citizens, the Harmonie and Frohsinn Societies, Workingmen’s Association, German Knights of Labor, Cigar Makers’ Union, the Platte Deutsch Verein, Union Benevolent Society, Odd Fellows, Druids, along with delegations from local factories and fire departments. A large delegation of German Americans from Kelleys Island, Middle Bass Island, and Put in Bay also participated in the procession. Gottlieb Epple led a cavalry troop of one hundred men. Thousands of area residents lined the streets along the parade route. After arriving at the Erie County Fair Grounds, the Great Western Band played an overture, and Dr. Von Schulenburg spoke about the mission of the German element in America. Herman Ruess gave an elegant address. Gymnastic exercises were performed by both the Active and Social Turnverein. According to the Sandusky Demokrat, the German celebration was “the most imposing demonstration ever witnessed in Erie County.”

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Music and Musicians at Cedar Point

(Reposted) The premiere of the video presentation, Under the Baton: Music at Old Cedar Point, will be at the Sandusky Library on Friday, November 1, at 7PM; a lecture on the subject by Dr. Steven Plank, Oberlin College, with a question & answer session, will follow. 

Since the late nineteenth century, a variety of bands, orchestras, and singers have been associated with Cedar Point.  Highlighted in this post are just a few of the individuals and groups associated with the resort's long, rich musical history. Charles Baetz an early general manager at Cedar Point, founded the Great Western Band in 1867. Baetz was born in RenghausenGermany in 1836, where he learned the violin and cornet as a young man.  In 1854 he immigrated to the United States. He was the principal musician for Company A of the 128th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.  He participated in seven battles, and then returned home where he directed the military band at the federal prison on Johnson's Island, which was just across the bay from Sandusky.

The Great Western Band performed at Cedar Point for concerts and dances until about 1892.

The Ackley Band, founded by E.B. Ackley, was the successor to the Great Western Band.

E.B. Ackley came to Sandusky in 1893. He was the instructor of the Sandusky Band and Orchestra, and he also worked as the director of music at Cedar Point. Several members of Ackley's Band appear in the picture below, taken at Cedar Point.

In 1902, E.B. Ackley published the Cedar Point Two-Step. The music was arranged for Band, Orchestra, Mandolin and Guitar, and was dedicated to the Cedar Point Pleasure Resort Company.

Other compositions of sheet music dedicated to Cedar Point include Cedar Point March, by Francesco P. Russo (1910), the Cedar Point March composed by T. J. Martin (no date listed),  and Cedar Point That’s the Place, composed in honor of G.A. Boeckling by J. Otto Martin in 1922.

Charles Bauman was a member of both the Great Western Band and Ackley's Band.

From 1914 to 1919, Leopold Adler was the popular director of the orchestra at Cedar Point. He conducted hundreds of concerts in the Coliseum.

 Leopold Adler composed the G.A. Boeckling March in 1916. The G.A. Boeckling March was played in the Coliseum at every concert directed by Leopold Adler.

During the Great Depression and World War Two, big bands performed in the Coliseum's Grand Ballroom. Bands included: Woody Herman, Blue Barron, Guy Lombardo, Benny Goodman, and Ozzie Nelson’s band.

Today several venues at Cedar Point offer live musical performances throughout the park's season. To read more about the history of Cedar Point, see the book Cedar Point: The Queen of American Watering Places, by David W. and Francis (Amusement Park Books, 1995), available at the Sandusky Library.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hanson’s Restaurant

In 1927 William H. and Martha Hanson established Hanson’s Restaurant at 140 West Water Street in downtown Sandusky. Mr. Hanson learned how to cook when he lived in New York. As a young man he was a cook aboard Great Lakes steamers, where he earned a good reputation. He was known as “Bill” to all who knew him. This advertisement for Hanson’s Restaurant, from the May 28, 1927 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal, features fresh frogs (apparently a popular entree at the time). Special Sunday dinners were served for seventy-five cents.

 Hanson’s was a popular location for business meetings. Several traditional glass bottles of steak sauce, hot sauce, and ketchup can be seen on the table in the lower right section of the picture below. The restaurant was decorated in the fish and wildlife theme.

 After the death of Mr. Hanson in 1936, Mrs. Hanson continued operating the restaurant. In the 1940s, for several years, a Hanson’s Annex was at 240 West Water Street, and the original Hanson’s was still at 140 West Water Street. From 1948 through the late 1950s, Daniel Hanson, son of the original owners, took over proprietorship of Hanson’s Restaurant. By the 1960s, various owners operated a restaurant at the former Hanson’s location. Later in the 1960s and 1970s, the building served as a private residence, with an apartment on the upper level. Now a parking lot is located at the site of the former Hanson’s Restaurant, just west of the State Theater. Below is an undated postcard from Hanson’s Restaurant, from the historical postcard collection of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center

Friday, October 11, 2013

Portrait Photo of Louise Rinkleff

Louise Rinkleff is pictured on a cabinet card created by Sandusky photographer C.W. Platt about 1890. Louise was born in 1887 to George and Louisa (Taubert) Rinkleff. When Louise Rinkleff was just a small child, her mother died. An article in the June 19, 1923 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal stated that Louise spent many happy hours at her maternal grandparents’ home when she was a youngster. In the 1910 U.S. Census, Louise Rinkleff was aged 23, and she still resided with her maternal grandmother, Kate Taubert, in Sandusky. In the 1910 Sandusky City Directory, Louise Rinkleff’s occupation was listed as music teacher. Several newspaper articles through the years reported Louise Rinkleff as providing musical entertainment for church services, dances, and other community events. Her future husband, Frank Curtis, was also a popular local musician. In June of 1923, Louise Rinkleff married Frank Curtis. Both Mr. and Mrs. Curtis provided musical entertainment at the graduation ceremony of the Providencde Hospital School of Nursing in June of 1928. Mrs. Louise Rinkleff Curtis passed away on March 3, 1962 at the age of 75. She was survived by a half brother, and several nieces and nephews.

By looking at vital records, census records, and newspaper accounts about Louise, we were able to glean a few more details about the little girl in this lovely cabinet card.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Cedar Point Grew Along with the Middle Class in America

After the Civil War in the United States, there was a period of rapidly increasing industrialization. As machines replaced hand labor in industry, production increased and work hours for employees were shortened. Railroads helped boost economic development in the U.S. as they transported both raw materials and finished products throughout the country and abroad. Ohio was blessed with early railways, besides having access to Lake Erie for shipment of goods by water. Industrialization helped lead to the development of a rising middle class in the U.S. Individuals in the middle class were not necessarily wealthy, but they were comfortable. Improvements in labor conditions allowed workers to have more leisure time and more disposable income. While the wealthy may have been able to spend a whole summer at the seashore, middle class residents could take their families to a weekend at the lake, or perhaps even a week's vacation once a year. The warm summertime weather and access to water in the Sandusky Bay and Lake Erie Islands region made the area popular to vacationers. Visitors to the Lake Erie Island area enjoyed cool lake breezes, beaches, fishing, boating and camping. Cedar Point began as a popular site for fishermen in the late nineteenth century. As early as 1870 Louis Zistel ferried Sandusky residents to Cedar Point, where there was a bath house, sand boxes and swings for children, and dancing for adults. The fee for the boat ride was twenty five cents.
Louis Zistel, 1830-1889
Cedar Point's first roller coaster, the Switchback Railway, was built in 1892. In the 1890s, more and more people visited Cedar Point. They traveled to the amusement park by steamship, railway and electric railway.

In 1897, The Cedar Point Pleasure Resort Company purchased Cedar Point, with George A. Boeckling serving as General Manager.

George Boeckling, 1862-1931

Under Boeckling's leadership Cedar Point was transformed from a summer picnic and fishing area to a thriving amusement park with wide appeal. Always seeming to anticipate what would appeal to the public, Boeckling offered concerts, movies, and dancing, and encouraged military groups and businessmen to hold their annual conventions at Cedar Point. The Hotel Breakers, which opened to Cedar Point guests in 1905, offered visitors amenities such as brass beds, wicker furniture, and Tiffany stained glass windows in the lobby. Services available included a manicurist, physician, barbers, beautician, stenographer, and tailor.

Throughout the twentieth century more and more rides and attractions were featured at Cedar Point.  You can see the Sea Swing in the background of the picture below taken at the Cedar Point beach about 1930.

Land developers George Roose and Emile Legros purchased Cedar Point in 1956, and aimed to make Cedar Point the "Disneyland of the Midwest." Today, Cedar Point draws millions of visitors each year, and is especially known for its roller coasters. To read a more thorough history of Cedar Point, see the book Cedar Point: The Queen of American Watering Places, by David W. and Francis (Amusement Park Books, 1995), available at the Sandusky Library. An article by Mr. Francis entitled “Cedar Point and the Characteristics of American Summer Resorts During the Gilded Age,” which appeared in the Hayes Historical Journal, is available online.