Saturday, April 21, 2018

Barr Rubber Products began in Lorain, Ohio in 1920, with Nelt Barr serving as the company’s president. In 1923, the company moved its operations to Market Street in Sandusky. The company began as a balloon manufacturing plant, but soon it branched out into the manufacturing of balls, pet toys, and other quality rubber products. Not long after the business suffered a disastrous fire in 1928, the company moved to the site of the former Dauch Manufacturing Company in the 1500 block of First Street. During World War II, Barr Rubber switched its operations to the war effort.

Gaskets, fuel tanks, and rubber life rafts were some of the items made at Barr Rubber during the 1940s. An advertisement in the Sandusky Register Star News of September 22, 1943 stated that
Barr Rubber Products was adding a “Victory Shift.” It was intended to be a part time job for people that already were working a full time job. The Victory Shift ran for five hours a night, for five nights a week. Products made included parts for bombers, life rafts, self-sealing oil tanks and bullet cores for machine guns.

After the war, the company branched out into making rubber components for boats and automobiles, besides producing a wide variety of balloons and recreational balls. These are just a few of the types of products made at Barr Rubber in 1965:

This page from a 1973 Barr Rubber Products catalog shows the clever retail displays that could house the toys made by Barr Rubber:

In 1965 Barr Rubber Products became a subsidiary of Lancaster Colony Corporation. An article in the February 4, 2007 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that the company’s Sandusky factory closed in 1986 following declining sales. Though it is no longer in existence, Barr Rubber Products provided employment for hundreds of local residents, and sold recreational products throughout the United States.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

City Marshall George Washington Gilbert

These badges were once worn by Sandusky’s City Marshal, George Washington Gilbert. They are now in the historical collections of the Follett House Museum. George W. Gilbert served as Marshal in 1895 and 1896. His office was on the second floor of the city’s central fire and police station, seen here in 1901, at the time of President William McKinley’s death.

According to a Sandusky Register article written by Helen Hansen on June 18, 1989, in about 1904 the title of city marshal was changed to police chief, when Charles Weingates held that position. 

From 1887 to 1900, George W. Gilbert served on the City Council. For many years Mr. Gilbert also worked as a fisherman. He died on April 25, 1926, at the age of 79, survived by four sons and four daughters. His obituary in the Sandusky Register of April 27, 1926 stated that he had been one of Sandusky’s best known residents.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Baptismal Certificate of George Schade

A baptismal record for George Julius Schade is in the collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. George J. Schade was born on February 15, 1869, in Sandusky. His parents were Wilhelm (later known as William) Schade and Susanna Heck Schade. Rev. J.G. Lehrer, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church officiated at the baptism, which took place on April 11, 1869. The baptismal sponsors were George and Maria Maul. All the words on this baptismal record are in German. Bible verses from Galatians and I Corinthians are found on either side of the document, which is decorated with intricate engravings.  

The life of George J. Schade is well documented at the Sandusky Library. This carte de visite shows him as a young man.

From the early 1900s to 1921, George J. Schade was the manager of the Schade Coal Company, located at 810 West Water Street, across from the Big Four Depot. At the time of his death in 1937 he had served longer on the Sandusky City Commission than any other person. Mr. Schade had been a pharmacist, and owned the Schade Theater.  Page 40 of the 1937 Obituary Notebook features a lengthy obituary which had been clipped from a local newspaper.

George J. Schade was married to Anna Schade, the daughter of pioneer brewer Jacob Kuebeler. He was the grandfather of George L. Mylander, who went on to serve his community as a well-respected educator, philanthropist and civic leader. They are buried in the family mausoleum at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

When you look closely at the door to the Schade-Mylander Mausoleum, you can learn a bit of family history of several members of the Schade and Mylander families.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Sandusky High School Track Teams from the 1910s

According to the June 1910 issue of the Fram, Sandusky High School’s 1910 track team was the best track team that ever represented SHS. Chemistry teacher Charles Fleming was the team’s coach. He is on the far right in the picture above. Members of the 1910 track team included: Captain Clifton Schropp, Herbert Gregg, Orwell Schoepfle, Leland Spore, Elmer Scott, Howard Neill, John Tanney, Charles Merz, and Olen Dunn. During the 1910 track season, seven different track and field records for Sandusky High School were broken. 

Below is a picture of some of the members of the 1915 Sandusky High School track team.

Only a few of the individuals in this 1915 photo have been identified. They are: Glen Schropp (left front),  Coach William Slygh in the center, Leon Weichel (to the left of the coach), J. Payne, (back left) and T. Dempsey (Back right.) 

Notes on the picture below indicate that these are members of the Sandusky High School track team of 1919.

The May 1919 issue of the Fram describes the track meet between Lorain and Sandusky; unfortunately Sandusky was defeated.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view several decades of historical copies of yearbooks from local high schools. You may learn more about your own family history.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Early Twentieth Century Postcard of Sandusky

This postcard was created by noted photographer Louis James Pesha in the early 1900s. The eastern side of Columbus Avenue is pictured in Sandusky’s busy downtown district.   The Cooke building, with a flagpole atop a decorative tower, can be seen at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Market Street. Stone’s Block, which housed the general offices of the Lake Shore Electric Railway, is at the southeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Market Street. At this time N.E. Marshall ran a bookstore at 210 Columbus Avenue. The S.H. Knox and Co. 5 and 10 Cent Store was in business at 214 and 216 Columbus Avenue. The Dietz and Mischler cigar store, at 224 Columbus Avenue, was known for selling Siesta cigars for five cents each. Puck, a cast zinc statue, stood in the front window of the store from the late 1800s until about 1915. Puck now can be seen at the Follett House Museum.

The Bauman Brothers sold wallpaper at 226 Columbus Avenue, and the Melville Brothers drugstore was located at 228 Columbus Avenue. Also in the 200 block of Columbus Avenue was William Seitz Sons, merchant tailor and the American Banking and Trust Company. O.S. Alcott ran a men’s furnishing store at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Washington Row. You can read a portion of the sign of the O.S. Alcott store in the close up view of the postcard below.

Thanks to Mr. Pesha, we can take a peek into our community’s past. Sadly, L.J. Pesha was killed in an automobile accident in 1912.

Friday, April 06, 2018

The Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry

The 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry War Album was compiled and published by Captain L.W. Howard of Toledo, Ohio. The 6th O.V. I.  served with the occupation forces in Cuba following the Spanish American War. Company B was organized in Sandusky, Ohio as Co. B, Sixteenth Regiment Infantry, Ohio National Guard. The soldiers served from April 1898 to May 1899.

Here is a picture of the Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of Company B in April, 1898:

On Thanksgiving in 1998, Company B of the 1st West Virginia regiment served Thanksgiving dinner to Co. B, 6th Ohio in Knoxville, Ohio.

This historic photograph in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center shows Company B’s return to Sandusky in May of 1899.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Congregational Church Cookbook

In 1909 a committee was formed to publish a cookbook by the members of the Congregational Church in Sandusky. It was printed by the Register Publishing Company.The preface read, in part: “We endorse all the literature between these covers, and hope that young housekeepers may find it a subtle oil for the cog-wheels of domestic machinery, and that older housewives may find it a refuge when harassed by the cry, ‘Can we never have anything new?’” The cookbook is filled with recipes that are arranged in over twenty categories. Throughout the book are blank pages, so that owner of the book could add their own recipes to the book. There is an index at the back of the book, and many advertisements from local businesses are scattered all through the cookbook.  Below is an excerpt from page 20,  which gives information about how to make roast meat and gravy.

Accompanying the recipe for almond cookies is a poem about how many weary mothers wish for a cookie bush or a doughnut tree.

Five ways to prepare cabbage are provided on this page from the vegetable section of the Congregational Church Cookbook.

Koehler Brothers and Weier Brothers were just two of the local companies that placed advertisements in the cookbook.

Looking through the pages of the Congregational Church Cookbook gives us a look into the lives of past residents of Sandusky, indicating where they may have shopped and what kind of meals they made for their families. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view this vintage cookbook.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Carter Sisters, Sandusky Schoolteachers

In the picture above, taken in July of 1945,  are three Carter sisters, along with three identified individuals. The three older ladies are (left to right): Minnie Carter, Lucy Carter, and Frances Carter. The Carter sisters were the daughters of Robert and Mary Ann Carter, who were natives of England. Robert N. Carter was born in Yorkshire, England in 1855. He came to the United States with his wife Mary Ann and young daughter Emily in 1865. The next three Carter children were born in the United States, including William, born in New York in 1865; Lucy, born in New York in 1868; and Frances, born in New Jersey, in 1871. 

By 1873, the large Carter family was residing in Sandusky, Ohio, where Robert was employed as a plane maker. Mr. and Mrs. Carter had two more children, Minnie, born in 1874, and Amelia, born in 1879. Mrs. Mary Ann Carter died shortly after birth of her youngest child Amelia, known fondly as Millie. When Amelia was only 10, Robert N. Carter died, on March 13, 1899. It is no surprise that after the death of their parents, several of the Carter siblings were residing with their older sister Emily in 1900. By that time, Emily had married George Siggens. Lucy, Frances and Millie Carter all became teachers. In 1955, an article in the May 28, 1955 issue of the Sandusky Register stated that Lucy Carter was believed to be the oldest living teacher in Sandusky, though by then she had been retired for several years. She had taught at Sycamore School and Campbell School, as well as at the Junior High and High School in Sandusky.

Lucy said she was very proud of her former students,who included Attorney Russell Ramsey and Sandusky City Manager Karl Kugel. All of the Carter siblings are buried at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. I am sure that Lucy and all her siblings were also very proud of their nephew, Ernie Siggens, the son of Emily Carter Siggens. Ernest “Ernie” Siggens was a standout athlete at Sandusky High School, and later served as Sandusky’s Mayor. He died at the age of 37.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tolls on the Sandusky Bay Bridge

When the old Sandusky Bay Bridge opened on February 2, 1929, people from both Erie and Ottawa Counties were delighted to have direct automobile access across Sandusky Bay. The thousands of tourists to the Lake Erie Islands region were also very glad to have a quick and easy way to travel across the bay to get to their favorite beach or fishing spot. The bridge was originally operated by the Sandusky Bay Bridge Company, which charged each vehicle fifty cents to cross the bridge. On May 1, 1936, the State Bridge Commission of Ohio took over operation, and immediately  reduced the toll from fifty cents to twenty-five cents. A toll collector was stationed near the drawbridge.

In the close up below, you can clearly read the sign which states the fee for autos is twenty five cents.

On Friday, August 30, 1946, Governor Frank J. Lausche cut the tape across the bridge span near the toll gate, and the Sandusky Bay Bridge became toll free. The first car to head west on the bridge after the ribbon cutting was Howard Higgins of Rochester, New York. The driver of the car traveling east on the bridge was Jay Johnson from Los Angeles, California. You can read more about the Sandusky Bay Bridge becoming toll-free in the August 31, 1946 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News, now on microfilm at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. 

The Sandusky Bay Bridge ceased operations in the mid-1980s. Today drivers cross the Sandusky via the Thomas A. Edison Memorial Bridge.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

A Sandusky Team at the American Bowling Congress Championships, 1961

Though these men have not been identified, it appears that they were all on a bowling team during the American Bowling Congress Championships held in Detroit, Michigan in 1961. The same men are in the picture below.

An article on the sports page of the March 31, 1961 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that the Sandusky Bowling Association was going to be sending a squad of bowlers to the American Bowling Congress to be held in Detroit at the “glamorous Cobo Hall.”

If anyone knows who the men are in the group photograph, please leave a message in the comments field of this blog post.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Who Were Herb and Myers?

Mr. Michael R. Herb and Frank H. Myers were partners in the Herb and Myers Company for over twenty-five years in downtown Sandusky. At one time Herb and Myers was one of the largest department stores in northwest Ohio. An article in the Sandusky Register of February 22, 1900 stated that the business had its formal opening on February 21, 1900. The first location was in the Mahala Block on Washington Row. By 1910 the company had purchased the “Big Store” on East Market Street, which had previously been owned by C.L. Engels. Both Mr. Herb and Mr. Myers had been previously employed at the Big Store. Below is an image of the Herb and Myers store when it was on East Market Street, in the former Big Store location.

Michael R. Herb was born on July 26, 1870, to Mr. and Mrs. Michael Herb, both natives of Baden, Germany. Below is a picture of Michael R. Herb in 1924. The elder Mr. Herb was a Civil War veteran, and he worked as a stone mason in Sandusky, Ohio for many years.

Frank H. Myers was born on June 30, 1875 to Mr. and Mrs. Max Myers. Max Myers had been born in Germany. In 1880, the family resided on Jefferson Street in Sandusky, and Max listed his occupation simply as “laborer.” This picture of Frank H. Myers was taken in 1927.

Throughout their long years of being in business together, Mr. Herb and Mr. Myers sold thousands of dollars of merchandise to residents in the greater Sandusky area. They sponsored bowling and baseball teams. Herb and Myers advertised heavily in local newspapers.

During the First World War, the Herb and Myers Company contributed to the Erie County Liberty Loan Committee, and printed a patriotic songbook for local residents. 

An article in the May 31, 1933 Sandusky Star Journal reported that M.R. Herb had bought out Mr. Myers’ stock in the company. Following a big liquidation sale, the store formerly known as Herb and Myers changed its name to the M.R. Herb Company. This notice appeared in the Sandusky Register of July 6, 1933.

The M.R. Herb Company continued in business until 1939, when it was destroyed by a massive fire in downtown Sandusky. Mr. Michael R. Herb died on November 6, 1962, at the age of 92. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. Frank H. Myers founded the Sandusky Folding Box Company in 1931, with James Plain, and retired as that company’s president in 1955.  Mr. Myers passed away on February 22, 1965, at the age of 89. He was buried in Section L of Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. Both Mr. Herb and Mr. Myers are remembered as being vital members of the community. Many of our grandparents and great grandparents probably shopped at the Herb and Myers store.

Monday, March 19, 2018

When St. Stephen’s Church was at the Corner of Lawrence and Jefferson

St. Stephen United Church of Christ began in Sandusky in 1882 as St. Stephen German Evangelical Protestant Church. It was located at the intersection of Poplar, Lawrence, and Jefferson Streets. In 1886 the Rev. Ernst Von Schulenberg was the pastor. He is well known as the author of Sandusky Einst und Jetzt, later translated to Sandusky Then and Now, which chronicles the lives and activities of Sandusky’s early residents of German descent. 

This picture of the interior of St. Stephen’s Church once belonged to Norbert A. Lange. A large pipe organ and several wooden pews are visible inside the church.

This organization at St. Stephen’s was known as the Crusaders.

The church changed its name to St. Stephen Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1934, and was renamed again in 1957 to St. Stephen United Church of Christ. On April 25, 1965 the church dedicated its new church building at 905 East Perkins Avenue. Photographer Robert Frank took this picture in 1982.

Visit the Sandusky Library to learn more about the churches of Sandusky. The historical Sandusky city directories contain church listings that  provide the name and location of the churches in town as well as listings of clergymen.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Plan in 1945 to Drain Sandusky Bay?

Known as the Post-War America Beautiful Commission Project No. 2211411, an interesting plan was set forth in which Sandusky Bay was to be drained, and a concrete wall was to be built from Sandusky Bay to the Sandusky River. Another sea wall was to connect Cedar Point to the eastern end of the Marblehead Peninsula. The result would be the draining of underground caverns from Sandusky to Bellevue. Once the Sandusky Bay was drained, there would be room for a gigantic parking lot for all the visitors to Vacationland. Sound preposterous?

The Sandusky Register Star News of March 14, 1945, reported that the project was the subject of a skit put on at the annual dinner of the Chamber of Commerce, held at Jackson Junior High School. Judge G.W. Collinworth, an employee of the Trojan Powder Company, portrayed the character of secretary of the Post-War America Beautiful Commission. Members of the audience asked him questions. The news article reported that the humorous skit was “a big hit.” Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to read more about this skit, which of course was never meant to be taken seriously.

Note: There were several obvious mistakes on the fictitious map, including the placement of Elyria on the Marblehead peninsula and Perry Memorial on Kelleys Island.