Friday, September 22, 2017

When Brown’s Boats Was at the Foot of Columbus Avenue

Worthy R. Brown was born in Port Clinton, Ohio on March 17, 1884. He was the first person to operate charter boats for reel fishing on Lake Erie. He founded Channel Grove Marina in East Harbor, and for many years operated "Sandy Beach," now known as East Harbor State Park. In 1904, Mr. Brown started Worthy Brown & Sons, Inc., which was later known as Brown's Marina. In 1928, he purchased the boats and the route of the Maley Transportation Company. By 1929 Mr. Brown leased space in the G.A. Boeckling building for office use. He changed the company name to Brown’s Boats, Inc. about that time.

The G.A. Boeckling building and dock, originally used for ferries to Cedar Point
 By 1931, Worthy Brown had purchased all the buildings between the Lay Brothers fishery and the east pier, and used the area as a boat docking facility. If you look closely, you can read the words Brown’s Boats, Inc. in the building in the center of the picture below.

For several years, Brown Boats was the local representative for Lyman Boats Works of Sandusky.  A Lyman boat catalog was included in the 1953 WLEC Time Capsule, which was opened in 2003, and is now housed at the Follett House Museum.

Worthy Brown died suddenly on March 31, 1959, and William Brown took over management of the company. A listing in the 1962 Sandusky City Directory states that at that time William R. Brown was the president and manager of Brown’s Boats, Inc. The company was then the distributor in the Lake Erie Islands District for Chris-Craft boats, Johnson Motors, Thompson and Henry outboard motors, marine supplies, and marine sales and service. Brown’s Boats, Inc. ceased operations in 1973. For several years in the 1970s and 1980s, Erie Bay Graphics was located on the site of the former Brown’s Boats. The legal firm of Murray and Murray Co. L.P.A. and Dock of the Bay Marina are now located on the property. For an interesting and detailed history of Brown’s Boats, Inc. see the December 19, 1993 issue of the Sandusky Register, now available on microfilm. The article is on the second front page, in a feature known as “By the Bay.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ledger Book from Lee Chambers Brickyard

A ledger book from the business of Lee Chambers is housed in the Business Collections of the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library. The book dates from March 1865 through May 1889. Lee Chambers was a mason and contractor from the 1850s until his death in 1891. The ledger lists accounts of both household and business transactions. Between 1855 and 1871, according to listings in the Sandusky City Directories, Mr. Chambers was a mason, carpenter, and bricklayer; by 1886 he was listed as a brick manufacturer. Mr. Chambers’ residence, as well as his brickyard, was on the west side of Milan Road, south of the corporation line, not far from Oakland Cemetery. 

This page of the ledger lists some of Mr. Chambers’ incoming and outgoing expenses in September of 1882.

The listings on pages 176 and 177 are related to his involvement in the construction of a tunnel for the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in 1887.

Besides hundreds of business-related entries in the Chambers ledger, there are also details about household expenses and recipes. Below is a handwritten recipe for a remedy for cholera.

Lee Chambers died on February 17, 1891. His obituary stated that he had been “one of our old and respected citizens.” A heartfelt tribute appeared in the Sandusky Register of February 21, 1891: In 1873, at the time that Jay Cooke suffered severe financial losses, the Third National Bank of Sandusky lost significant funds. People in Sandusky were in a state of excitement, and were worried about losing money they had deposited in their local bank. Depositors began clamoring for their money. In the midst of this turmoil, Lee Chambers walked into the bank and said to Laurence Cable, the bank president that he wanted to deposit $500. Lee’s confidence in the bank meant a great deal to the officers of the Third National Bank, and helped to calm down the excitement and fears of the bank customers. The article concluded, “Lee Chambers was a man of remarkably strong characteristics and when he died the life of an honest man went out.”

Saturday, September 16, 2017

When the Lake Shore Coach Lines Ran from Sandusky to Cleveland

From 1938 until well into the 1940s, the Lake Shore Coach Lines transported passengers by bus from Sandusky to Cleveland, as well as from Sandusky to Toledo. The Lake Shore Coach Lines was created after the Lake Shore Electric Railway lines ceased operations. Several of these buses were manufactured by the Yellow Coach Manufacturing Company. The buses that served Sandusky were Model 742s.  Pictured below is bus number 157.

Here is a side view of bus number 153.

Time tables which appeared in the December 2, 1942 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News indicated that buses traveled daily from Sandusky to Cleveland at 7:30 and 10:05 a.m., and 12:05, 2:05, 3:35, 6:05, 8:35 and 9:55 p.m. daily. Another 6:20 a.m. route ran from Sandusky to Cleveland every day except Sundays and holidays. The Lake Shore Coach Lines also ran several trips to and from Toledo every day. Having such frequent bus stops in Sandusky would have enabled local residents to work or shop in Cleveland or Toledo quite easily. Many Christmas shoppers enjoyed the convenience of taking the bus to the big city, without having to drive their own vehicle. 

A procession of buses at the Northwest Territory Celebration parade, April 30, 1938

In September of 1943, the Sandusky routes of the Lake Shore Coach Lines were taken over by the Sandusky Rapid Transit. The Lake Shore Coach Company was eventually sold to Greyhound. Today most people drive their own vehicles to and from Toledo and Cleveland, but it is fun to see these images from a time gone by in our community.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Elementary School Children in Sandusky, 1883

Walter Ritter donated this picture of an elementary school class taken on the steps of the old Sandusky High School (later Adams Junior High School) in 1883.  Martha Anthony (later Mrs. I.C. Brewer), number 16 in the picture, was the original owner of the photograph. 

Listed as number 40 is Allen Stroud, the son of Dr. C. Eugene Stroud. Allen Stroud became a mail carrier in Sandusky, and he also owned the Stroud Gardens that were adjacent to his home on Milan Road.

Edward W. Altstaetter, number 46 on the picture, once served as Sandusky’s Mayor. When he passed away in 1970 at the age of 91, he was the oldest insurance agent in the city of Sandusky. Young Mr. Altstaetter is the second boy from the left in the image below.

To view hundreds of historic images related to Sandusky and Erie County, see the Past Perfect Local History Archives online.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sandusky Gas and Electric Company

Several employees of the Sandusky Gas and Electric Company are seen in front of the old Power House which was on the west side of Lawrence Street, between Market and Water Streets about 1908. Notes with the original item stated that at that time the company had a “horsepower of one.” The power house can be seen below on the 1886 Sanborn Map. It was then listed as Sandusky Electric Light, Gas, Fuel and Supply Company. The power house was situated to the south of the old Number 2 Fire Station, and across the street from the R.B. Hubbard & Son Lumber Yard.  The building was constructed of stone, as were so many early buildings in Sandusky and Erie County.

The history of the Sandusky Gas and Light Company is interesting. The company changed names often, as technology changed. According to  McKelvey’s  1867 Sandusky City Directory, it began in 1854 as the Sandusky Gas Light Company.

An article in Sandusky of To-Day reported that in 1886 the Sandusky Gas Light Company entered into the electrical field, and had one of the most complete electric stations in the country, with a capacity for 200 arc lights and 1,400 incandescent.   By 1919, the Sandusky Gas and Electric Company eliminated horse-drawn vehicles in all departments, and switched to automobiles. 

In the 1920s, the Sandusky Gas and Light Company was purchased by Ohio Public Service, a processor of Ohio Edison.  The former Sandusky Gas and Light power house in Sandusky no longer stands. This link at Google Maps shows its former location, now a part of Sandusky International Division of MetalTek.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Norbert A. Lange’s Remembrances from the Summer of 1915

Dr. Norbert A. Lange bequeathed a scrapbook to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center, which he kept during the years he attended the University of Michigan. In the snapshot above, he is wearing a hat in a photo with friends. 

Here he is on the Cedar Point beach:

An envelope containing several season passes is included in the Lange scrapbook, including this 1915 employee pass, which was good on all boats of the Cedar Point Line. Note the signature of G.A. Boeckling.

A souvenir program from the Carnival of Boxing held on Labor Day at Cedar Point in 1915 is tucked in the pages of the scrapbook.

Promoter Matt Hinkel gave away some complimentary tickets to Cedar Point employees.

Featherweight champion Johnny Kilbane defeated Alvie Miller of Lorain, Ohio, in twelve rounds.

Because of the generosity of the Langes, we have a better understanding of how area residents spent leisure time during the summer of 1915.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Apex Employees in the 1940s

As the United States celebrates another Labor Day, today’s post takes a look back at employees of the Apex Manufacturing Company in Sandusky in the 1940s. All the pictures are from the Gerald I. Cockerill Collection at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. 

Apex and its predecessor Holland Rieger made appliances, but during World War II, the factory shifted to manufacturing materials needed for the war effort. Below is a picture from the balance operation of Jack and Heintz Starters.

These women were working in the Pesco armature and field department at Apex.

The assembly department for Bendix starters can be seen in the next photo.

The final picture was taken on the Bendix starter armature line.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view these and hundreds of other historic photographs and documents.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Mystery Photo: Hinde and Dauch Employees

Harley W. Hoffman took this photograph of ten female and five male employees of the Hinde and Dauch Division, West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company sometime in the decade of the 1950s. The ladies are all wearing corsages. Everyone is jovial in this picture, and the styles certainly remind us of outfits that our grandparents may have worn. If you can identify any of the individuals in this photo, please leave a message in the Comments section of this post.

Followers of the Sandusky History blog and the "You Know You're From Sandusky" Facebook Group have identified some of the people in this picture. In the front row, left to right, are: Ruth Holzhauser, Betty LaFene, and Anna Margaret Buchanan. Second person to the left in the second row is Jane Maddrell. The lady in the hat may be Mildred Pietschman McCrystal, and behind her is Hinde and Dauch employee Gordon Wendt. This is a group of local teachers who were participating in an event called Business-Industry-Education Day, or B-I-E Day, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Teachers toured area businesses and factories to see firsthand how local companies operated under the free enterprise system. You can read more about this event in the Sandusky Register Star News of November 2, 1953, now on microfilm at the Sandusky Library.