Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Charles Livingston Hubbard, Yale 1873

This tintype portrait of Charles Livingston Hubbard was taken when he was a young man. Charles was born in 1851 to Lester S. Hubbard and his wife, the former Jane Patterson Livingston. When Charles was still an infant, his family moved into an impressive large home at the southwest corner of Wayne and Adams Streets, which still stands today.

Charles was educated at Kenyon College and Yale College, graduating from Yale in 1873. After being associated with an iron manufacturing plant in Chicago for a brief time, he returned to his hometown of Sandusky to practice law. In 1876 he lived with his mother, who was by then a widow, in his childhood home. His law office was in the Hubbard Block. You can see the Law Office sign in this stereographic image, taken at Sandusky’s Centennial Fourth of July Celebration in 1876.

When Charles L. Hubbard married Jennie West in 1877, it was reported as “grandest wedding of the season” in the October 20, 1877 issue of the Sandusky Register. Both the bride and groom were the children of pioneer residents of Sandusky. The marriage produced four daughters: Eleanor (who died in early childhood), Millicent, Marion, and Jenna. 

Charles Livingston Hubbard died unexpectedly after suffering a stroke on May 20, 1904. He was only 53 at the time of his sudden death. The Sandusky Register of June 2, 1904, published a lengthy memorial article which featured numerous tributes from members of the Erie County Bar. A Resolution read, in part:

 Resolved, that in the death of Charles Livingston Hubbard, late a member of this Bar, having assembled at the court house to express in some manner their sorrow at his death and their appreciation of him as a man and a lawyer duly adopt the following resolutions:
Resolved, that in the death of Charles Livingston Hubbard the community has lost a valuable and high minded citizen who has for years been identified with the best interests of this city in which he was brought up.

The Resolutions continued, and pointed out that Mr. Hubbard was an avid reader, an agreeable companion, and a friend to many. C.W. Sadler noted that he was “pure in word and deed.” Several other local attorneys offered high praise of  the deceased, and noted that he had helped tutor high school students in Latin, Greek and mathematics. 

Mr. Hubbard was buried in the family plot at Oakland Cemetery. Though Charles L. Hubbard died as a relatively young man, his wife Jennie lived to be 103 years of age. Daughters Marion and Jennie lived until their nineties. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Sandusky Library’s Bookmobile

From the late 1940s through the 1980s, the Sandusky Library operated a Bookmobile to bring library services to rural areas and housing developments in Sandusky and Erie County. Pictured above in this 1949 photo in front of the Erie County Courthouse are:  Ray Speers, County Commissioner; Mary McCann, head librarian; Mrs. Leland Spore, president of the Library Board of Trustees; L.G. Parker, County Commissioner, and Robert Crecelius, County Commissioner. Though Miss Mary McCann was the Head Librarian, on occasion she worked on the Bookmobile. She is the first person on the left on this interior view of the Bookmobile.

Area residents of all ages enjoyed the convenience of checking out items on the Bookmobile! 

Though we no longer have a Bookmobile, anyone with a Sandusky Library card can get free and easy delivery of books, streaming videos, music and recorded books through Clevnet's eMedia offerings and Hoopla. Check out the Quick Start guides at the home page of the Sandusky Library to learn more about getting started with digital downloads.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Steamer Eastland

The Eastland served as a passenger liner between Cleveland and the Cedar Point amusement park from 1907 to 1913. 

In its final season in 1913, it is estimated that the Eastland carried 200,000 people to and from Cedar Point. A steam calliope entertained passengers on the Eastland on their boat ride. Below is a postcard of the Eastland arriving at Cedar Point.

In 1911, S.J. Monck wrote words and music to a song titled On the Boat Eastland. It was considered the waltz hit of that summer season. The Sandusky Library Archives Research Center owns a photocopy of the sheet music.

By 1915, the Eastland had moved to Chicago as its primary port. It became infamous for the disaster of July 24, 1915. More than 800 people lost their lives when the boat rolled over into the Chicago River just at the edge of the wharf shortly after its departure. The Eastland Disaster Historical Society is devoted to the memory of those who lost their lives in this tragedy.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

American Legion Convention at Cedar Point, 1934

The sixteenth annual convention of the American Legion, Department of Ohio, was held in Sandusky, Ohio from August 18 to August 20, 1934. The Hotel Breakers was the headquarters for the American Legion convention, and meetings were held at the Convention Hall at Cedar Point.

Other conventions were held in Sandusky at the same time. The American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Ohio, had their headquarters at the Hotel Cedars at Cedar Point, and meetings were held at Cedar Point’s Coliseum. Other groups which convened were the Grande Voiture D’Ohio, Le Societe Des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux, La Boutique Des Huit Chapeaux et Quarante Femmes, and the National Organization of American Legion Nurses. Each of the separate organizations held meetings, had speeches, special music, and reports from various committees.

The headline of the August 19, 1934 issue of the Sandusky Register read, “American Legion ‘Takes’ Sandusky.” An article on the front page reported that twelve thousand Legionnaires were in Sandusky and Cedar Point. Several more thousand former U.S.  service men and their families were expected for the parade held on Monday afternoon. An article in the August 21, 1934 Register stated that 60,000 individuals witnessed the American Legion parade, led by Colonel Robert L. Denig of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The parade passed through 34 city blocks of Sandusky. Both the parade and the American Legion Convention had been quite successful. The convention in 1934 was the first American Legion Convention held in Ohio since the Prohibition era, and record liquor sales in Sandusky were recorded. Local merchants also fared well with the influx of tourists to Sandusky. Many special events were held in the area from August 18 to August 20, 1934, including yacht races, a water carnival, a golf tournament, and reunions of veterans associations.

Visit the Sandusky Library to view the commemorative program from the 1934 American Legion held in Sandusky, or to read newspaper accounts of the 1934 convention featured in the Sandusky Register and Sandusky Star Journal, now on microfilm.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dan Rice's Circus in Sandusky

The Sandusky Register of August 17, 1872 reported that while the afternoon crowd was not very large for Dan Rice’s Circus, every seat was filled at the evening performance. One of the favorite parts of the circus was when Frank Gardner did a double somersault over ten horses. Dan Rice kept the audience entertained with his “lively witticisms.” A blind horse named Excelsior, Jr. was also very much admired by the audience. Prof. Menter’s band was “the best we have seen in connection with any circus.” 

Dan Rice had a long and interesting career in traveling entertainment. After he died on February 22, 1900, a lengthy article about him appeared in the February 27, 1900 issue of the Sandusky Star. The article reported that he had been a frequent visitor to Sandusky, Ohio. Born Daniel McLaren in New York City in 1823, his father nicknamed him “Dan Rice” after a well-known Irish clown. The new Dan Rice made his own way in the world as a young man. After working for a time in Pittsburgh as a stable boy and a hack driver, he began traveling around the Midwest with his trained pig. In 1845 he began performing with the Seth B. Howes Circus. Eventually he became known as the “Shakespearean Clown,” as he performed dramatic readings while with the circus. It is said that Dan Rice was the first person to train and perform with a trained rhinoceros. After traveling with several entertainment shows and circuses, he created his own traveling show. Though he achieved great prominence, he earned and lost three fortunes during his long career, and he died a poor man. A blog post from the New York Times stated that some believe Dan Rice was the model for “Uncle Sam.” To read more about Dan Rice, borrow the book Dan Rice:The Most Famous Man You’ve Never Heard Of, by David Carlyon available through the ClevNet system

Monday, August 14, 2017

Grand Opening of Hills Department Store in Sandusky

On August 14, 1963, the Hills Department Store opened in Sandusky, Ohio in the Perkins Plaza. Alden Wintersteller, a local photographer, captured images of the grand opening. You can tell by the number of cars in the parking lot, that area residents welcomed the new store.

Officials cut the ribbon at the front of the store.

A full page advertisement for Hills appeared in the August 14, 1963 issue of the Sandusky Register. The ad stated that customers could shop between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. in air-conditioned comfort. There was plenty of free parking, and any item could be returned for a “cheerful exchange.”  Customers could cash their paychecks at no cost. The toy section in the Hills store made it seem like Christmas every day. Clothing was sold for every member of the family. Tools, sporting goods, housewares and lawn and garden equipment could all be purchased under the roof of one store at Hills. 

Customers in the picture below were eager to make their purchases at the new department store.

Through the years, Hills Department Store had special events for its customers. Santa Claus would arrive in November, often on a fire truck, and then Santa would make his way to the “throne” in the store, where boys and girls could tell him their Christmas wish list. Fireworks were set off in the parking lot on July 4th. Hills was a popular place to shop for back to school clothing, and the lay-away service allowed customers to pay off the bill in weekly payments. Popcorn and Icees were favorite items at the snack shop at the front of the store. 

In December 1998, the Ames store chain acquired Hills, and took over operation of the former Hills store in Sandusky. By 2002, Ames went out of business. Eventually the building that was home to Hills Department Store in the Perkins Plaza was razed, but many Sandusky residents still have fond memories of the once booming department store.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Steamer Lakeside, Later Named the Olcott

Ernst Niebergall took this picture of the Steamer Lakeside as it was coming in through icy waters, around 1905. The Lakeside had been built in 1901 by the Craig Shipbuilding Company.  An advertisement from the Sandusky Register of August 10, 1908 provides us with the prices for round trips aboard the Lakeside from Sandusky to Cleveland and Sandusky to Detroit (about $13.50 and $20 in today's money).

In 1911, the name of the steamer Lakeside was changed to the Olcott. During the summer of 1911, the Olcott was chartered by the Buffalo, Lockport and Rochester Transit Company, to ferry passengers from Olcott, New York to Toronto, Canada. The Olcott returned to Sandusky in October, 1911. The Niebergall photo below shows the Olcott travelling through open waters.

The photograph below, by Ernst Niebergall, shows the Olcott as viewed from the rear.

In 1916, the Olcott was sold to the Government of France, and never returned to the Great Lakes region.  


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Jungle Larry at Cedar Point

In 1964 Lawrence Tetzlaff, known as “Jungle Larry,” a highly respected zoologist, opened a wild animal exhibit at Cedar Point. By 1965 Jungle Larry’s exhibit was located in the lagoon area of Cedar Point known as Safari Island.

For several years, both Jungle Larry and his wife, Safari Jane, could be seen driving this van around the Cedar Point amusement park.

Jungle Larry was very popular with the media in Northern Ohio. He appeared on the Captain Penny show and Gene Carroll’s Uncle Jake's House, local programs out of Cleveland. 

In 1966, the Sandusky Register reported on Jungle Larry’s recent rescue from quicksand while he was on safari in West Africa.  An article in the Sandusky Register of August 25, 1967 reported on Jungle Larry showing a Cleveland dentist how to clean the teeth of a tiger.


Lawrence Tetzlaff died on February 6, 1984 at the age of 65. A lengthy obituary in the Sandusky Register chronicled his long career as a zoologist. Robin Innes, the Cedar Point public relations manager at that time, said, “Cedar Point was Jungle Larry’s summer home for nineteen years. During that time we got to know him as an entertainer and a conservationist of the highest caliber. Jungle Larry was an institution at the park and we will miss miss him a great deal.” Members of the Tetzlaff family continued the wild animal exhibit at Cedar Point through the 1994 season.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

With the 308th Engineers from Ohio to the Rhine and Back

In the military section of the Genealogical and Local History books at the Sandusky Library is a book entitled With the 308th Engineers from Ohio to the Rhine and Back. The book was published in 1923 by the 308th Engineers Veterans Association. Pictured below are insignia and symbols associated with the 308th Engineers.

The major operations of the 308th Engineers in World War I were in France in 1918, and included the Aisne-Marne Offensive, the Oise-Aisne Offensive, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The main tasks of the 308th Engineers were to repair and maintain roads and build bridges. The 308th Engineers were the first American troops to bridge the Rhine. The 308th also furnished Guards of Honor for General Pershing, the Prince of Wales, and Marshall Ferdinand Foch. Several men from Sandusky, Ohio served with the 308th Engineers during this war: Edwin Uhl, Reinhold Ahlers, Henry Baker, Ralph Carney, Vergil Grant, Fred Kranz, Victor J. Moore, John Riesterer, Emil Grahl, Paul Knupke, Robert Mees, Henry Cycoly, Walter J. Kleinfelder, Edward Klueg, Carl Mainzer, Lee Staffler, Guy Norton, Henry Bates, Norman Martin, Charles Hasbrook, Peter Scavio, Charles Voight, and Herbert Textor.

The third annual reunion of the 308th Engineers Veteran Association was held at Cedar Point on August 5 through August 7, 1923. The headquarters for the group during their stay at Cedar Point was at the Hotel Breakers. During the reunion, business meetings were held, along with a banquet, athletic events, and several speeches. A dance was held at the Coliseum on August 5, 1923. Sandusky resident Herbert Textor served as Treasurer of the organization for that year.

Visit the Sandusky Library to see the book With the 308th Engineers from Ohio to the Rhine and Back. Another outstanding resource at the library is Erie County Edition, Honor Roll of Ohio, 1917-1918, which provides brief biographical sketches and photographs of Erie County World War I veterans. Inquire at the Reference Services desk for more information.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Watson Hubbard, Sandusky Businessman

Watson Hubbard was born in Bloomfield, Connecticut on July 11, 1819. He married Georgiana A. Holcomb in 1845. Mr. and Mrs. Watson Hubbard, along with Watson’s brother Langdon, moved to Lexington, Michigan in 1848, where the brothers began work in the lumber business. The lumber business they founded developed into the firm of R.B. Hubbard and Company. 

Watson Hubbard moved to Sandusky, Ohio in 1860, where he lived with his family in the West House for eight years. He had a house built at the northwest corner of Wayne and Jefferson Streets, just down the block from the home of his cousin, Lester S.Hubbard. Watson Hubbard served as Director and Vice President of the Second National Bank, and he was on the Board of Directors of the Sandusky Plow Company and the Nes Silicon Steel Works. He was among the earliest contributors to Good Samaritan Hospital. 

Watson and Georgiana Hubbard had three children, but only one survived to adulthood, Elizabeth Hubbard. Elizabeth married Jay Caldwell Butler, a Civil War Veteran who ran a business in Sandusky that manufactured sashes, doors, blinds and other wooden items. Pictured below are the daughter and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Watson Hubbard, Mrs. Elizabeth Hubbard Butler and Mrs. Elizabeth Butler Harten.

In 1955, the former home of Watson Hubbard and his descendants, at 429 Wayne Street, was razed, to make room for an office for the telephone company. Before the house was razed, a neighbor, Mary Dauch, made this sketch of the home at 429 Wayne Street.

To read a biographical sketch about Watson Hubbard, written by his daughter Elizabeth, see the April 1925 issue of the FirelandsPioneer.