Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sandusky High School Band of 1935

Photographer Ernst Niebergall took this picture of the Sandusky High School Band on April 25, 1935 on the steps of the former Sandusky High School, later Adams Junior High. The band had recently purchased new uniforms for the band members, made by the Ward Company of New London, Ohio. A few days after this picture was taken, the band gave a concert at the annual Scout Circus, held at Jackson Junior High. In May the Sandusky High School band was asked to give a concert at the Bellevue Cherry Festival. The May 29, 1935 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that the band had been invited aboard one of the steamers of the Ashley and Dustin Line on opening day, June 10, 1935, when the steamer was scheduled to take an excursion trip to Detroit. Both the Sandusky High School and Shelby High School bands were asked to give concerts throughout the excursion. Several of the members of the 1935 SHS band were still in the organization when the band played at the dedication of Strobel Field (now Strobel Field at Cedar Point Stadium) on September 25, 1936.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

“Fi-Fi of the Toy Shop” at the Sandusky Theatre

On April 21 and April 22, 1915, the play “Fi-Fi of the Toy Shop” was performed at the Sandusky Theatre in downtown Sandusky, then at the southwest corner of Jackson and Water Streets.

The cast was made up of all local residents, primarily young women and girls. (Unfortunately, some of the characterizations reflected prejudices that were acceptable at the time.)  The production was directed by H.S. Munsey. The theme of the play involved the daughter of a toy maker who is cast into a magic sleep by the sandman. Miss Ada Gundlach played the role of a retired fairy. Miss Catherine Winters played “Bo Peep” and sang several musical numbers. A chorus of over one hundred singers joined in the chorus of the song “The Honey Bee’s Honey Moon.” 

An article in the April 23, 1915 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that both performances of “Fi-Fi of the Toy Shop” were quite successful. After expenses were paid, one half of the proceeds were to go to the Sandusky High School choir. The advertisement below appeared in the April 19, 1915 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

“You Never Can Tell” in Sandusky, 1922

On April 20, 1922  the play You Never Can Tell, by George Bernard Shaw, was presented by Sandusky Federation of Women’s Clubs at the Sandusky Theater.

Charlotte Atwater DeVine directed the performance, which was put on for the benefit of a free dental clinic for school age children in Sandusky. The play was about a dentist falling in love. A subplot in the play was about three children who accidentally meet their father for the first time. Mrs. Lilly Johnson wrote a review of the local production in the April 21, 1922 issue of the Sandusky Register, declaring that a large and distinctive audience saw the play, which featured many professional touches. Two actors who played their roles very well were George Lehrer as the semi-villainous father, and Charles Selkirk, who portrayed the suave attorney. The article concluded, “In this group of people Sandusky possesses dramatic talent of a high order and it is to be hoped that lovers of the drama have an opportunity of seeing them at frequent intervals. A total of $300 was raised for the future dental clinic.”

Along the edges of the play’s program were advertisements for local businesses, which were written in rhyme. These two ads are from Gassen and Werner’s and  W.A. Bishop, photographer.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Carl L. Mackey, Superintendent of Sandusky City Schools

Carl L. Mackey was born in Marietta, Ohio in 1895. He graduated from Marietta College in 1918, where he played baseball and football, and he was on the track team. Shortly after graduation, he entered an officers’ training camp, but as he was about to receive his orders, the war ended and he was honorably discharged. Late in 1918, he was hired by Sandusky High School to be the Athletic Director. He also taught Science and Civics. He coached Sandusky’s basketball team during the 1918-1919 academic year, where the team played to capacity crowds at every game. In the mid-1920s, he took a job in Oberlin, but by 1928, when Jackson Junior High School was opened, Mr. Mackey was the principal of the new school.

The opening of Jackson Junior High School was an exciting event in Sandusky. The school had a swimming pool and a large gymnasium which was also used as a community center from the late 1920s through the 1940s.  By the early 1950s, Mr. Mackey had become the assistant superintendent of Sandusky City Schools, and from 1953 to 1958, he served as superintendent of the school system.

Mr. Mackey was superintendent of schools in Sandusky when the new high school building opened in 1957.

Mr. Mackey was not only active as a teacher and administrator, but he was very involved in other community affairs as well. In the 1940s, he was the president of the local chapter of the Lions Club, and he was involved with the first Safety Town in Sandusky, sponsored by the Rotary Club in 1956. 

After retiring from Sandusky City Schools, Mr. Mackey moved to High Point, North Carolina; he died in North Carolina on March 25, 1976. He was survived by his wife, two sons, and four grandchildren. In his time in Sandusky, Mr. Mackey got to know many local residents through his many years of committed service to the school system and the community. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Firelands Chorus at the Follett House Museum, 1977

This photograph of members of the Firelands Chorus was taken by Alden Photographers on September 6, 1977. The fashions and hairstyles are definitely reminiscent of the 1970s. 

Don’t forget that the Follett House Museum is open for tours from April through December. You can see four floors of artifacts, furniture and historic photographs from Sandusky and Erie County. Admission to the museum is free.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mr. and Mrs. William Townsend

Now on display at the Follett House Museum, oil paintings of William Townsend and his wife, the former Maria Lamson, were donated to the museum by descendants of Mr. and Mrs. Townsend. William Townsend settled in Sandusky, Ohio between 1815 and 1819. He opened a dry goods store opposite the Colton House in Sandusky, and later went into the commission and forwarding business. Mr. Townsend was the first local merchant to advertise in the Sandusky Clarion. The advertisement below appeared in the Sandusky Clarion of May 15, 1822.

William Townsend was a Sandusky council member when the city was incorporated in 1824, and he also served as the city’s first recorder. He invested in the Mad River Railroad, and owned a line of steamers that ran between Buffalo and western lake ports, including the city of Sandusky. He married Maria Lamson (sometimes listed as Lampson) in 1824.

The Townsends had a large family of eight children, all of whom were girls except for one son named William Kneeland Dell Townsend. An article in At Home in Early Sandusky, by Helen Hansen, states that William Townsend’s employees celebrated the birth of the son in 1840 by firing off guns from the roof of the commission house.  

The former home of William and Maria Townsend was built in 1844, and it still stands on West Washington Street, now a multi-family unit.

Sadly, the happiness of this prosperous local family was shattered in 1849. William and Maria Townsend, their daughter Sarah, as well as a sister of Mrs. Townsend all died between July 27 and July 31, 1849 when a cholera epidemic swept through Sandusky. The oldest Townsend child was Mary Elizabeth Cooke, the wife of Pitt Cooke.  Mr. and Mrs. Pitt Cooke took in Mary’s orphaned siblings, and raised them. A lovely monument at Oakland Cemetery, which honors the memory of William and Maria Townsend, is pictured on this stereographic card created by photographer A.C. Platt.


Another beautiful memorial at Oakland Cemetery is connected to the Townsend family. William and Maria Townsend’s youngest daughter Louisa married Theodore Hosmer, the first Mayor of Tacoma, Washington. The final resting place of Louisa Townsend Hosmer, who died in 1885, and Theodore Hosmer, who died in 1900, is in Lot 25 in the North Ridge section of Oakland Cemetery.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Miss America of 1922 Had Ties to Sandusky

One hundred years after David Campbell founded the Sandusky Clarion, his great great granddaughter Mary Katherine Campbell was named Miss America in Atlantic City. A former “Miss Columbus,” she won the title in both 1922 and 1923. The clipping above appeared in the Sandusky Register on August 24, 1924. Miss Campbell had been invited to Sandusky’s Centennial Celebration. (It is unknown if she actually attended the celebration in Sandusky.) Mary Katherine was the daughter of H.R. Campbell, who worked for several years in Ohio governmental offices, including the State Auditor and the Ohio Bureau of Inspection. The grandfather of Mary Katherine Campbell was Frank Little Campbell, former owner of the Blue Limestone Company. Mary Katherine’s great grandfather was George W. Campbell.

Before moving to Delaware, Ohio, George W. Campbell worked for several years with his father in the newspaper publishing business in Sandusky. His father, and great great grandfather of Mary Katherine Campbell was David Campbell, who died in Sandusky in 1861. An inscription on Mr. Campbell’s tombstone in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery reads: “An Honest Man.”

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

George W. Campbell and His Letter to Mrs. Hubbard

George W. Campbell was born in the state of New York to David and Mary Jones Todd Campbell on January 12, 1817. In the early 1820s he moved with his parents to Sandusky, Ohio, where his father published the Sandusky Clarion. The Clarion was the first newspaper published in the Firelands area, and was the predecessor of the Sandusky Register. Mr. Campbell worked with his father in the publishing business in Sandusky, until he relocated to Delaware, Ohio in 1849. In Delaware, he worked in the mercantile business. Later he devoted his pursuits to the propagation of a wide variety of fruits, and he became well known as a horticulturist. Mr. Campbell was best known for his promotion of the Delaware grape. The popular Delaware grape was known for its hardiness, productivity, and unsurpassed flavor and quality. 

George W. Campbell died on July 15, 1898 and was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in Delaware County, Ohio. He was survived by his widow, the former Elizabeth Little. He had been president of the Ohio Horticultural Society and was appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes as United States Commissioner to the Paris Exposition of 1878.  In 2002 an Ohio historic marker was dedicated at the former Campbell home, now the Delaware County Cultural Arts Center.

A letter from George W. Campbell to Mrs. Jennie West Hubbard is housed at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Mrs. Hubbard was working on a project to collect biographical information about women who resided in the Western Reserve before 1850. She was hoping that her relative, Mr. Campbell, could tell her some of the birth and death dates of their mutual female relatives. It turns out that he did not recall the dates exactly, but he did remember with fondness the work that several Sandusky ladies did when creating a banner for the visit of William Henry Harrison to Sandusky. The letter and transcription are below.

Delaware, O., June 3, 1896
My dear Jennie:
            I am really ashamed of myself for allowing your letter of last March to remain so long unanswered, asking for information about the pioneer women of the Western Reserve; and I now regret that I am unable to give you so little of interest. I have somewhere, a book of records of my father’s family; but it has been mislaid, and I have been unable to find it; but I am not certain that it contains much. I have filled out the blank record of names you sent me, as far as I can. I have not the date of Aunt Eleanor’s birth or death – but I think they are recorded on her headstone in the cemetery of Sandusky. Of Wealthy’s record, I have only the state of her marriage to brother Henry.
            As to that flag, I am sorry my memory is so indistinct. I feel certain that Aunt Eleanor did work on a flag, and I think I saw the design; but cannot recall much about it. I was under the impression that it was modeled in whole or in part from the inclosed picture which I drew for the heading of a little campaign paper printed in the days of “Tippecanoe and Tyler too,” and had engraved at Buffalo by Mr. J.W. Orr. If you find the design on the flag is the same, or substantially so, you may be pretty sure that it is the same upon which Aunt Eleanor and other ladies worked. When I come to Sandusky, as I hope to do sometime this season I will investigate it and I think the sight of the flag will enable me to mark the names on the printed list which enclose also. When I am in Sandusky, perhaps I may be able to give you some items of interest with your assistance in prompting me as to what you would like to have.
            We are in health about as usual. Weather has been pleasant generally, with play of rain and sunshine; and lately cool, but without frost. Everything sure now must propicous for a fruitful answer, if we are not visited by storms or hail or cyclones. I sincerely hope you and your family and all the connections are well and happy, and that you and your mother – my sweet little Auntie had a delightful visit at Cincinnati. With kindred love from both, at this end of the line. I am affectionately and truly yours.
                                                            George W. Campbell

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Burger Chef in Sandusky

From the early 1960s until 1977, Sandusky area residents enjoyed hamburgers, French fries, and milkshakes at Burger Chef. The first Burger Chef was at 302 West Perkins Avenue. Manager Joe Brennan once presented Jacquelyn Mayer, Miss America of 1963, with a gold plated lifetime pass to Burger Chef.

The Burger Chef restaurant was air conditioned, but customers often ate in their automobiles. In 1966 hamburgers at Burger Chef cost fifteen cents.  In 1974, Burger Chef offered larger sandwiches, like the “Big Chef” and the “Super Chef.” By 1974 there were two Burger Chef restaurants in the Sandusky area, the original on Perkins Avenue and the other at 3002 Milan Road. By 1975, the first Burger Chef had closed, and the Brew and Watcha took over the property on West Perkins Avenue.  According to the July 3, 1976 issue of the Sandusky Register, “Burger Chef and Jeff” were to appear on the Burger Chef float in the Bicentennial parade. In an article which appeared in the December 17, 1977 issue of the Sandusky Register, the last Sandusky Burger Chef was scheduled to close on the following day. Burger Chef expressed its appreciation for customers having patronized the restaurant for the past seventeen years.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sandusky High Schools Girls Basketball Team of 1922

These young ladies were on the Sandusky High School girls basketball team during the academic year 1921-1922. In the back are: Hyacinth Brownworth, Ruth Thom, and Coach, Mrs. Carl Mackey. In the front are; Elsie Hofer, Betty Grulich, Ruth Laux, Vesta Dwelle, and Alyne Wiedenhaefer. All the members of the team earned a letter at an assembly held at Sandusky High School in March of 1922.

Hyacinth Brownworth, later Mrs. John Rheinegger, served as the Clerk of the Board of
Education of the Sandusky City Schools for several years. In 1957 Hyacinth Rheinegger was honored at a dinner party for “the meticulous and efficient way” she ran her office. Several school officials, past and present, attended the dinner at the Rockwell Springs Trout Club in her honor.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Corydon Whitten Bell, Author and Artist

On July 16, 1894, Corydon Whitten Bell was born in Tiffin, Ohio to Mr. and Mrs. Alvin J. Bell. The Bell family moved to Sandusky around 1910.  Corydon graduated from Sandusky High School in 1913, where he had been active in the high school orchestra under Eugene Ackley.  In the picture below, a copy of the Fram can be seen on the table beside his desk.

Corydon Bell attended the University of Michigan and Western Reserve University before entering Army Medical School. During World War I he served as a bacteriologist and instructor. In 1921 he married Thelma Harrington. They both worked in advertising in Cleveland, but later both husband and wife became writers. Often Thelma wrote the text of the book and Corydon did the illustrations. In 1944 the Bells moved to North Carolina where they lived on an old farm in the mountains, and enjoyed being away from the pressures of the business world. Bell says “Immersed in undiluted nature on our remote mountain, I evolved the idea of writing about some of the fundamental aspects of natural science.”  A few titles that he authored are: The Wonder of Snow; Thunderstorm; and The Riddle of Time. Corydon Bell’s works are featured in libraries throughout the U.S., the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Ohioana Collection of Ohio Authors.

On page 22 of the June 1913 issue of the Fram is a piece entitled “The Class Motto.”  The names of several members of the graduating class are listed, with specific letters in bold that spell out Ready For All Things. Corydon Bell’s name is the fifth in the list.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sandusky’s Former Post Office

Seen here in the 1930s or 1940s, this building was opened as Sandusky’s Federal Building in March of 1927.  In 1923, Congressman James T. Begg introduced a bill in the U.S. House which requested an increase in the appropriation for the proposed Federal Building at Sandusky, making a total of $215,00 in funds to be used for the project. Congressman Begg pointed out that the current Post Office and Customs House had been built before the Civil War, and was very congested.  Ground was broken for the new Post Office on November 1, 1925.  T.M. Samford was the superintendent of the project, under the leadership of contractor Algernon Blair. M.J. Callan and Sons, of Sandusky, did the excavation work at the building site, beginning November 6, 1925. The building site was located at the intersection of Central Avenue, Jackson Street, and Washington Street. Formerly Bernard Lodick’s carriage shop and Trinity Methodist Church were at this location.

You can see the layout of the Post Office in 1939 in the portion of the Sanborn Map below.

The new Federal Building was built in the Neo-Classical style. It features a very large portico with fluted columns. Besides housing the Post Office in 1927, this building held offices for U.S. Customs, the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Weather Bureau. During war years, the U.S. Armed Forces had recruiting offices here as well. The men in this picture are the first draftees from Erie County in January of 1941, standing on the steps of the Post Office:

Of course the former Sandusky Post Office and Federal Building is now home to the Merry-Go-Round Museum. When you walk into the lobby of the Museum, you can still see one of the windows where stamps were sold.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sandusky Furniture Company

The Sandusky Furniture Company opened in 1894, with three partners: Carl G. Nielsen, August Muehlhauser, and F.W. Molitor. The office and factory was on South Depot Street in Sandusky, Ohio. In the picture above, you can see engine number 441 from the old Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad. An advertisement in the October 9, 1894 issue of the Sandusky Register stated that the Sandusky Furniture Company manufactured bar, bank and office fixtures. The company also did stair and grille work, and made folding doors and bay windows.

The interior of Henry Dehnel’s jewelry store in Sandusky was furnished by the Sandusky Furniture Company, as seen in this picture which appeared in the 1895 publication Men of Sandusky.

In the 1890s, the Sandusky Furniture Company began making household window screens, so that local residents could keep the flies out of their homes. In 1895, the company built a new desk and office furniture for the Sandusky Post Office. The Third National Bank purchased new office furniture from the company around the same time.

An article in the July 18, 1979 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that the Follett House Museum had taken cabinets made by the Sandusky Furniture Company to the attic level, where they were to display military items from the Spanish-American War and World War I

. In 1901, the Sandusky Furniture Company suffered a devastating fire, and by 1902 the company had gone into receivership. Though this local company was only in existence for a few short years, it provided excellent quality materials for many area businesses and homes while it was in operation.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Jeffrey's Pool Parlor

In the 1930s, Tuty S. Jeffrey operated a pool parlor at 931 West Washington Street. He also sold soft drinks and had a lunch counter at his establishment. Jeffrey’s Pool Parlor was in the same block as Link’s Hall, and across the street from the Mertz Hardware store. 

This lovely image of a young lady was given away as apromotion for the business. This item also features a sentiment from James Whitcomb Riley that reads:

It’s the song ye sing
And the smile ye wear,
That’s amaking the sun shine,
Every where.

Tutti Salvatore Jeffrey, also known as Thomas, died on June 16, 1961. In his later years, he was well known as the steward at the Knights of Columbus. Funeral services for Mr. Jeffrey were held at the Charles J. Andres Sons’ Funeral Home and at Saints Peter and Paul Church, with Father Marlborough officiating. Burial was at Calvary Cemetery.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Foster M. Follett, Cartoonist

From the September 30, 1899 issue of Collier’s Weekly magazine

Foster M. Follett was born in Sandusky in the 1870s, to Foster Valentine and Portia Follett. Both Foster M. Follett’s father and grandfather served in the 128th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. The grandfather, also named Foster Morse Follett, was an early Health Commissioner of Sandusky, who worked tirelessly during the 1849 Cholera Epidemic; he died in 1862. Foster Valentine Follett died when his son was only ten years of age.

For more than forty years, the younger Foster Morse Follett was an artist and cartoonist. His work appeared in The New York World, The Saturday Evening Post, Life Magazine, and Collier’s Weekly. Several Follett cartoons about the character “Tidy Teddy” are featured on the website of Barnacle Press. He also created some animated short subjects in 1916 and 1917. Two characters from Mr. Follett’s early animated films were “Quacky Doodle” and “Mr. Fuller Pep.” 

These cartoons appeared on pages 178 and 179 of the August, 1903 issue of Life Magazine. The cartoons follow a hunter who caught a lion. After trying to get a photograph taken, both the hunter and photographer can be seen running away in the distance.

In 1937, a short while after he was involved in an automobile accident, Foster M. Follett died in Richmond, Virginia. He was survived by his wife the former Nettie Bell, and three children. His obituary appeared in the February 21, 1937 issue of the New York Times.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hugo Engels' Scrapbook of Performances

From 1882 through the 1890s, Hugo Engels kept a scrapbook containing programs and newspaper articles from local concerts, recitals, and plays. Many of the newspaper articles are in German. 

Hugo Engels was born in Germany on February 9, 1863. He came to the United States with his family in 1876, when his father Herman came to Sandusky to take over the wine business of his uncle Jacob Engels, who had died in 1875. Herman and Louisa Engels had five children, Hermine, Otto, Hugo, and Paul. Hugo and his brothers worked with their father in the winery, which became the Engels and Krudwig Wine Company when R. P. Krudwig joined the company in 1878. Hugo’s brother Carl L. Engels was also associated with the “Big Store,” a Sandusky department store.  

On June 4 1885, Hugo Engels performed Das Bild der Rose in Harmony Hall. Gesang Vereins is the German phrase for Singing Association.

On May 28, 1890, Mrs. A. P. Lange and Hugo Engels played a duet entitled Kucken in a Musicale.

Hugo Engels died on November 7, 1912. His wife Charlotte Engels donated the scrapbook to the historical collections of the Sandusky Library after his death. By looking through the scrapbook, one can learn more about the musical entertainment of Sandusky area residents in the late nineteenth century. It is interesting to note that many of the pioneer residents of Sandusky shared the love of music with residents of German descent who came to Sandusky as immigrants. 

The obituary of Hugo Engels, in the November 9, 1912 Sandusky Register stated that he participated in all of the Elks entertainments, particularly the musical performances.

At the funeral, Mayor John J. Molter delivered an address in German. Music was performed by a string quartet, under the organization of George F. Anderson. Hugo Engels was buried at Oakland Cemetery, with the Elks Lodge conducting the graveyard services.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Captain Alva Bradley

Alva Bradley was born in Connecticut in 1814, and moved with his family to Brownhelm Township, Lorain County, Ohio in 1823. At age 19, he began working on ships of the Great Lakes, and by 1839 he was in command of the schooner Commodore Lawrence

The famous inventor Thomas Alva Edison received his middle name in honor of Captain Bradley, as his parents Samuel and Nancy Edison were close friends. 

 In 1841 Captain Bradley, along with Ahira Cobb, built the ship the South America. He began building more ships, and by 1852 he gave up sailing in order to devote himself solely to constructing ships. The Bradley fleet of ships became the largest on the Great Lakes. W. Scott Robison wrote in his book History of the City of Cleveland, that Captain Bradley “owed his success entirely to his own efforts, to his Yankee grit and shrewd business sense.” Eventually Captain Bradley became a millionaire through his success as one of the Great Lakes’ best known ship owners. 

Alva Bradley married Helen Burgess, of Milan, in 1851. They had three daughters and one son. A grandson, also named Alva Bradley, was president of the group that owned the Cleveland Indians from 1927 until 1946.The younger Alva Bradley was successful in real estate, and served on the board of several businesses. 

Captain Alva Bradley and his family used to visit Lakeside during the summer months. After his death in 1885, his wife had the Bradley Temple built in Lakeside as a memorial to her husband, with the stipulation that it was to be used solely for children’s programs and Sunday School sessions.