Thursday, May 24, 2018

Day of Jubilee in Honor of the Fifteenth Amendment



According to the May 25, 1870 issue of the Sandusky Register, a Day of Jubilee was held in honor of the ratification of the fifteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited federal and state governments from denying the right to vote based on that citizen’s “race, color or previous condition of servitude.”


The Great Western Band led a procession to the Erie County Fairgrounds, then located south of Scott Street in the area now known as Cable Park. There were delegations here from several neighboring communities. The first feature of the activities was a glee club of five African American ladies who sang the song “America.” Rev. Thomas Holland Boston (below) offered up a prayer.


Mrs. Handy from Fremont read messages from President U.S. Grant and Secretary of State Hamilton Fish which proclaimed the ratification of the 15th constitutional amendment. The next speakers were Mr. Moore, and Mr. W. J. Scott, who had been an enslaved individual at one time. Well known attorney F.D. Parish also addressed the group. Mr. Parish had been an active participant of the Underground Railroad of the Firelands.


The final speech at the Jubilee was given by Oran Follett.


In the evening, a ball was held at Fisher’s Hall. Although African Americans did not actually receive full voting equality in some states for several years, in 1870 there was great celebration in honor of the 15th constitutional amendment.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Our American Cousin Played in Sandusky



On May 19, 1875, the play Our American Cousin was presented at the Sandusky Opera House in Sandusky by the Sandusky Amateur Dramatic Association. Admission to the play was fifty cents, and proceeds were donated to the Young Men’s Christian Association. Of course Our American Cousin is best known as being the play that President and Mrs. Lincoln were watching on the evening of  the President’s assassination at Ford’s Theatre on April 16, 1865. 

In 1875 the building known as the Sandusky Opera House was Norman Hall, on the north side of Water Street between Jackson and Decatur.


The building later known as the Sandusky Opera House, the Biemiller Opera House, was not built until 1877. 

Ulysses T. Curran, superintendent of Sandusky Schools, played the part of Lord Dundreary.


Two of the local play’s performers, Miss Jennie M. West and Mr. C.L. Hubbard, would marry in 1877. 

A brief article which appeared in the May 20, 1875 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that, “The play was received in the best possible manner, and that it deserved such a reception will not be gainsaid by anyone who saw it. The members of the Sandusky Amateur Dramatic Association deserve the highest praise for their faultless interpretation of the many difficult characters in the piece.”

Friday, May 18, 2018

Oscar F. Cook Majestic Stock Company



From about 1905 to 1908, Oscar F. Cook operated a stock (theater) company in Sandusky, Ohio. The May 15, 1905 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that the Oscar F. Cook Stock Company performed a play entitled The Convict’s Sweetheart, in a large tent at the corner of Columbus Avenue and Monroe Street in Sandusky.  This small advertisement announced a play performed in May of 1905. The four act comedy-drama offered “polite vaudeville” between each act.



In September of 1905, the company appeared at the Cedar Point Theater. During the winter of 1905-1906, the company was to open a winter season in Piqua, Ohio.  By February of 1907, Mr. Cook announced that he had leased Link’s Hall on West Washington Street. He planned to put on stock company performances at that location, to be known as the New Family Theater. 

On January 7, 1928 the Sandusky Star Journal  reported that Mr. Cook and his family had moved to Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where he had been named president of the Colonial Coach Lines, which operated buses in Kingston and Ottawa, Ontario. Oscar F. Cook passed away at his home in Kingston, Ontario on March 28, 1947. His remains were brought back to Sandusky, Ohio for burial in Oakland Cemetery

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Pied Piper of Hamelin at Jackson Junior High



On May 14, 1937, Sandusky students performed the opera, “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” at the Jackson Junior High School. Miss Eulalie Shaw, the first director of Sandusky High School’s A Capella Choir, directed the one hundred seventy five students in the production. The lead role was played by Delbert Persons. Joe Freeman portrayed the Mayor, and the little lame boy was played by Dick Burton. Joyce White portrayed the dream lady, who sang of the joys of childhood in the mystic forest. The opera included a large chorus, and several children played the parts of the townspeople of Hamelin, toys, soldiers, dolls, jumping jacks and sprites. The opera was well attended, and the audience gave enthusiastic applause throughout the production. 

An article in the May 15, 1937 issue of the Sandusky Register listed the named of every student who took part in the performance of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin.” 


Jackson Junior High School opened in 1928, and served as a community center for dozens of school and civic events from the late 1920s through the 1940s. The school auditorium can be seen in the picture below, when Cryle’s Orchestra performed.



Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mothers and Grandmothers



In honor of Mother’s Day, here are some images taken from the historical photograph collection of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Mrs. Mary F. Eschenberg is holding her baby grandson Robert Merrill in this picture from 1890.


Mrs. Anna Hauser Lange, mother of professor Dr. Norbert A. Lange,  is tidying up the yard around her home in this postcard.

Mrs. Mary Ellen Johnston and her children are pictured below in a picture taken about 1898. Mary Ellen’s daughter, Mary Elizabeth Johnston, became a librarian and bequeathed several thousand dollars to Oberlin College after her death.

Mrs. Helen Wagner Frohman, the mother of local historian and business man Charles E. Frohman, seems to have an expression on her face that shows the wisdom of her years.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mothers and Babies on National Hospital Day



Seated on the steps of the former Providence Hospital in Sandusky are several babies and young children with their mothers on National Hospital Day on May 12, 1930. Ernst Niebergall was the photographer. Both Good Samaritan and Providence Hospital held on Open House on this date, and offered guided tours of the hospitals to visitors who wished to see the various departments of each facility.



Monday, May 07, 2018

John B. Tichenor, Portrait and Animal Painter


This advertisement appeared in a late nineteenth century Postal Guide, which was distributed to local residents, compliments of the employees of the Sandusky Post Office. Although John B. Tichenor was a native of Sandusky County, Ohio, for a brief time he had an art studio in the Lea Block, on Market Street in Sandusky, around 1895 or 1896.


The hours of the art studio in Room 3 of the “new” Lea Block were 9 a.m. to Noon and 1 to 4 p.m. 

Walter B. Rideout wrote in his book Sherwood Anderson: A Writer in America (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006) that Karl Anderson, the brother of author Sherwood Anderson, received painting lessons from Mr. Tichenor, when they both resided in Clyde, Ohio. In an article in the Sandusky Register of September 11, 1970, staff writer Ron Hall wrote an article about Sherwood Anderson, and other former residents of Clyde, Ohio. Hall interviewed local historian Thaddeus Hurd, who stated that at one time there was a group of artists in the community of Clyde, Ohio, and John B. Tichenor was probably the best-known of all the artists.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Farrell-Cheek Foundry Baseball Teams



This picture of a Farrell-Cheek baseball team is undated, and unfortunately, we do not know the name of any of the men in the photo. An article in the Sandusky Star Journal of July 8, 1916, reported that there was a series of ball games between the African American and white baseball teams, both made up of Farrell-Cheek employees. The games were often played at Huron Park. A star player on Farrell-Cheek's African American team was center fielder John Moses. 

In the 1920s, a team from Farrell-Cheek participated in the Factory Leagues. Below is a listing of the games played, as well as batting averages for the Farrell Cheek team up to June, 1920.


A cartoon of the cover of this Farrell-Cheek newsletter noted that their team won the baseball championships in the Factory League in 1919 and 1920.


In the 1940s, Granville “Red” Haley was the manager of Farrell-Cheek’s African American ball team.  He had previously played on an integrated baseball team in Bismarck, North Dakota, where one of his teammates was Satchel Paige. 

While we do not have detailed records of the local baseball teams in Sandusky, it is clear that the sport was enjoyed by many of the hard working men who put in long hours of work at local factories during their shifts. Many of the factory men could be seen heading to the ball park on their nights off and weekends.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Sandusky City Street Sprinklers


Pictured above is an old water sprinkling apparatus, seen outside of the old Sandusky Water Works before that structure was demolished. Water from the barrel was sprinkled along unpaved streets to help keep the dust down. It appears that a rider could sit on the seat alongside the barrel, and the cart would have been drawn by a horse. The street sprinkling process also kept the city air a little healthier, as it diluted the amount of manure and urine left on the streets from horses used to draw buggies and carriages before automobiles became the more common mode of transportation. 

Gottlieb Epple was one of the men employed as a street sprinkler in Sandusky.


Below is the listing for the Epple and Son business in the 1908 Sandusky City Directory:


An article in the May 1, 1901 issue of the Sandusky Register announced that the beginning of May would also be the beginning of water sprinkling for the season.


Eventually street sprinkling became obsolete as most of the city’s streets became paved.