Monday, September 19, 2022

The Graham Block


The image above is from an 1894 publication, Art Work of Huron and Erie Counties. According to volume 11 of the Firelands Pioneer, John A. Graham had the Graham Block built in the late 1870s. He was also known for having established the first drug store in Sandusky, on the corner of Columbus Avenue and Water Street, where Daly’s Pub is now located. 

Stores on the street level in the picture above are George Knopf and Sons, a men’s store; the Quinn and Whitworth grocery store; and Henry Dehnel’s jewelry store. To the south of the Graham Block was the Sloane House hotel (slightly visible on the left), and the old Post Office was to the north (at the corner of Columbus and Market). An advertisement for diamonds at the Dehnel store appears on the side of the building. The Graham Block was in the 200 block of Columbus Avenue

In the image below, from 1949, you can see the Graham Block as a sign was being placed on the new Lasalle’s store. Byer Brothers and the Caryl Crane store are on the lower level of the Graham Building. Further down the block are J.C. Penney, Montgomery Ward, and Gray’s Drug Store.

Today the property where the Graham Block once stood is occupied by the Erie County Building and parking garage. This block in downtown Sandusky continues to play a vital role in the lives of the residents of Sandusky and Erie County, Ohio.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Charles L. Wagner, Pioneer in the Natural Ice Industry

Charles L. Wagner was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1852, to German-born parents, Mr. and Mrs. Julius Wagner. As a young man, he was a clerk in several different stores in Sandusky, Ohio, and later was associated with the company Wagner, Powers and Brodbeck. In 1885, he founded the Wagner Brothers Wholesale and Retail Ice Company, later known as the Wagner Lake Ice Company, serving as president and general manager. In 1907, the Wagner Lake Ice Company became a part of the Interstate Ice Company.

In 1913 the City Ice & Fuel Company acquired the Interstate Ice Company. C.L. Wagner was the wholesale manager of this business at the time of his death in 1921.

Charles L. Wagner had interests in several businesses during his long career in Sandusky.  At one time he was the manager of the Sloane Hotel. He was listed as one of the incorporators of the Sandusky Portland Cement Company, along with Arthur St. John Newberry, Spencer B. Newberry and F.D. White. This company was later known as the Medusa Cement Company. Wagner Avenue, which leads north from Barrett Road in Bay Bridge, Ohio, next to Clemons Boats, was named for him.

When Mr. Wagner died in 1921, his obituary appeared on the front page of the August 6, 1921 issue of the Sandusky Register.

C.L. Wagner was buried in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery in the family plot.

Friday, September 09, 2022

When City Hall Was on Market and Decatur Streets

From 1888 to 1913, a stone structure near the intersection of Market and Decatur Streets was home to a public marketplace. Sandusky’s City Hall occupied the upper floors of the market building. The 1905 Sanborn Map indicates that the city building was long and narrow.

In February of 1888, there was still much debate as to whether City Hall should occupy the upper level of the marketplace. In fact, in 1885 a ballot measure to build a new city hall and jail was rejected by 2489 votes to 920. However, in 1887, the city approved the construction of a marketplace on the West Market land. For some reason, a second floor office space was included in the design; eventually the city council approved the use of the second floor space as a city hall. Despite some opposition, the city won a lawsuit attempting to stop the use of the building for city government, and the second floor became city hall in June 1888.

During the litigation of the case, a reporter from the Sandusky Register interviewed leading citizens to get their opinion on this action: 

Randall Schuck was in favor of City Hall being on the upper level of the market building, but H.C. Huntington said the location was “a very inconvenient place for city offices.” Adam Stoll said that the Council was an intelligent body of men who would take satisfactory action. Ultimately City Hall did occupy the second floor of the marketplace for several years.

This historical post card shows a slightly different view of the former City Hall:

Sadly, during the same week in March of 1913 in which floods ravaged the state of Ohio (most seriously in Dayton), the City Hall building was destroyed by fire. A front page article in the Sandusky Register of March 26, 1913 reported on the flooding in Ohio and the fire that destroyed City Hall.

By 1915, City Hall was on the south side of Market Street between Columbus Avenue and Jackson Street, in a building originally intended as a joint Police and Fire Department headquarters. 

The City Building on W. Market St., shortly before its demolition in 1957

You can read more about former City Hall buildings in Sandusky at the website of the Erie County Historical Society.

Friday, September 02, 2022

Mrs. Caroline Curtis Moss Wilcox

Caroline Curtis was born in Massachusetts in 1871 to Myron B. Curtis and the former Georgette Ainsworth. After her father died in 1880, Caroline moved to Sandusky, Ohio, and married Augustus L. Moss, of a family of bankers, in 1891. According to Hewson Peeke’s book, A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio (Lewis Publishing, 1916), Mr. Moss “had the advantages of being reared in a home of culture and wealth." A.L. and Caroline Moss had one child, Wolcott Griswold Moss; sadly, Wolcott died in an auto accident in 1915 at the age of 22. Mr. A.L. Moss died in 1917, and some believe that the loss of his only son contributed to his early death.

In 1921, Caroline Curtis Moss married Clinton B. Wilcox, a Sandusky businessman and veteran of the Ohio National Guard, who had become a widower in 1909. A newspaper article in the September 13, 1933 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Wilcox had just returned to their home on Wayne Street, after spending the summer at their home on the Cedar Point Chausee.

Caroline became a widow again, when Clinton B. Wilcox died in 1933.

Caroline Curtis Moss Wilcox suffered a great deal of loss in her life, but she kept busy with community organizations. She was an early member of the Board of Trustees of the Sandusky Library Association, as well as the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Nineteenth Century Club. 

Caroline Wilcox died on March 15, 1944. She was buried in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

You may recall from previous posts that in 1899, Caroline’s mother in law, Mrs. J.O. Moss, was successful in securing funds from Andrew Carnegie to go towards the building of a public library in Sandusky, Ohio.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Maus Shoes

After working as a salesman for W.O. Stubig’s shoe store, John N. Maus opened his own business on Market Street in Sandusky. The advertisement above, from the Sandusky Star Journal of July 6, 1916,  stated that the store's temporary quarters were above the Manhattan store. The German surname Maus translates to “mouse” in English, so a mouse was often seen in ads for Maus Shoes. By January, 1917, John Maus moved his shoe store to the upper level of the Schade Theatre building.

In May of 1920, the movie, A Regular Girl was playing at the Schade Theatre on West Market Street in Sandusky.

You can see signs for the Maus shoe store on the second floor of the building. The shoe store was next to the office of Dr. McCormick, the eye doctor.

In this 1935 advertisement, John Maus declared that he sold shoes that fit well, so that ladies could have proper shoes “for cooking and doing housework.”  By this time the theater on West Market had become the Ohio Theatre.

A notice in the November 18, 1968 issue of the Sandusky Register informed customers that Maus Shoes had moved from Market Street to 145 Columbus Avenue. This “back to school” ad appeared in the August 26, 1969 issue of the Register.

After the death of John N. Maus in 1977, his son Glenn Maus took over the business. After over sixty years of doing business in Sandusky, Maus Shoes had a large going out of business sale in May of 1984. Your parents or grandparents probably purchased shoes at this popular local shoe store!

A shoe horn from Maus Shoes is now in the collections of the Follett House Museum.

Friday, August 26, 2022

August 26 is National Dog Day

Captain Payne, dog of Judge Jay Payne

Dogs have been a trusted human companion for centuries, and this fact is certainly reflected in the collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. We have dozens of photographs of dogs with friends and family. Here are a few, in commemoration of National Dog Day.

  We don't know the identity of this woman or her dog, but we can perceive the loyalty between them.

Emma Marie Yeager is with her dog in Huron Township, around 1907.

This good dog is at Green and Pascoe Grocers on Huron Street

A dog and his boys, Errol, Otto, and Elmer Matern.

The Photographer Ernst Niebergall with his dog and cat.

It seems that a photographer liked to include his dog with the baseball teams he photographed. Here are a few examples.

A very good dog!

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Bogarts Corners

Pictured above is an undated photograph of a tavern located at Bogarts Corners, probably from the late 1800s or early 1900s.

The United States Geological Survey places Bogart, formerly known as Bogarts Corners, at the intersection of Milan Road and Bogart Road in Perkins Township. Hewson Peeke wrote in A Standard History of Erie County (Lewis Publishing, 1916) that “The hamlet of Bogart is located…at the junction of the roads leading to Sandusky, Huron, Milan, Bloomingville, and Castalia.”

Image courtesy USGS

In the very early years of Perkins Township, several roads crossed Bogart Road, which caused Bogarts Corners to become a center of business. John Beatty, who purchased much of the land in what is now Perkins Township, sold lots to several buyers from Connecticut. He led an oxen train of fifteen families from Glastonbury, Connecticut to Perkins Township in 1815. Mr. Beatty built a stone house near Bogarts Corners, and he ran a tavern and a small store at this location. His home served as a stop on the stagecoach line from Mansfield to Sandusky.

The Beatty house in 1980

John Beatty was the first Postmaster of Perkins Township, and he was known as a friend to fugitive slaves escaping to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Mr. Johnson ran a blacksmith shop, and Rev. William Gurley ran a silversmith business. A cooper shop was operated by Mr. Kellogg, and John Broadhead was a carpenter. Later, James Daniel Parker had a general store at Bogart and served as Postmaster. (The elder James Daniel Parker was the father of Dr. J.D. Parker, and grandfather of Dr. Watson Parker and Dr. Lester Parker.) In 1902, the Post Office was moved to the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home, while many area residents received their mail by rural delivery. The majority of the residents in and around Bogarts Corners were engaged in farming.

On January 26, 1888, the Sandusky Register ran a column featuring Bogart in its neighboring communities page. A writer known as “Plato” wrote this column:

In 1893, Bogart was a stop on the Sandusky, Milan and Norwalk Electric Railway, and later on the Lake Shore Electric Railway.

from Wikipedia

A Methodist Society was organized in Perkins Township, not far from Bogarts Corners, and in the 1800s, circuit riders preached at the church services. Later the Perkins Methodist Church merged with Trinity Methodist Church in Sandusky. 

Former Perkins Township Trustee, Glenn Parker, lived in a home in what was known as Bogarts Corners from the 1940s through the 1960s. Glenn was a descendant of pioneer settlers of Perkins Township.

Now many hotels, restaurants, and other businesses are located near the intersection of Bogart Road and Milan Road. You can read much more about the early years of Bogarts Corners and Perkins Township in chapter 10 of Hewson Peeke’s Standard History of Erie County (Lewis Publishing, 1916).

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Mr. and Mrs. James Ellis Marshall

James Ellis Marshall was born in 1808 in Bradford, England. He came to the United States in 1855, having interests in the textile and iron industries in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. In about 1860 he settled in Sandusky, Ohio, where he became one of the incorporators of the Sandusky Tool Company, founded in 1869..

Mr. Marshall and his wife, the former Clara Robinson, were the parents of four children: Joseph Marshall, who moved west; Mary Elizabeth Marshall, the wife of Lewis Moss; Hannah Sophia Marshall, who married Rush Sloane, and sadly died in 1872; and Benjamin Marshall, whose death was believed to have been hastened by his experience in the 1900 flood in Galveston, Texas. Clara Robinson Marshall served on the Board of the Sandusky Library Association from 1870 to 1873.

Clara Robinson Marshall

Known as Deacon Marshall, James E. Marshall was very active in the Congregational Church in Sandusky. The Marshall family lived in this lovely Wayne Street home, built in the 1870s, now on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the Ohio Historic Places Dictionary (State History Publications, 2008), the Marshall home was the first residence in Sandusky to be connected to the city’s new water and sewer lines. 

James E. Marshall died at the age of 98 on March 20, 1907. He and his wife were both interred at Troy, New York in the family vault at Oakwood Cemetery. Though Mr. and Mrs. Marshall were not born in Sandusky, and were not buried here, they definitely contributed greatly to the community in which they lived for over forty years.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Whiskey Run Sewer


Hewson Peeke wrote in A Standard History of Erie County (Lewis Publishing, 1916) that Vincent Kerber finished construction of the Whisky Run sewer in 1875. This sewer line ran along Mills Street from the railroad track to the Sandusky Bay. The walls were fifteen feet high. .  (You can see the approximate location of the Whiskey Run sewer at the rose colored pigmentation along Mills Street on the map above.)

After Sandusky experienced cholera epidemics in 1849, 1852, and 1854, the English physician John Snow discovered in 1854 that the cause of the spread of cholera was due to the contaminated water supply in wells. In 1876, after much debate, Sandusky constructed a large water works plant that began filtering and pumping water to most homes and businesses in the city. 


While conducting maintenance on the Whiskey Run sewer in June of 1876, workers Patrick McNamee and John Randolph were seriously injured in an explosion. Patrick McNamee died from his injuries on June 14, 1876. He was buried at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, not far from the site of the dreadful accident.

When there was a leak in the old Whiskey Run sewer, an article by Charlie Lewis in the September 16, 1972 issue of the Sandusky Register gave some historical speculation about the sewer. It is said to have been a hiding place of whiskey runners during Prohibition -- but even if the story is true, it would not explain the name, which had been in use since at least 1862. The location of nearby breweries and wineries, whose waste products emptied into the Whiskey Run sewer, may have been a possible reason for its name, but even that is pure speculation. It is not unusual for the source of a place name to be forgotten.

A monument at the St. Mary’s Cemetery, which honors the memory of the daughters of Vincent Kerber, overlooks Mills Street, under which the Whiskey Run sewer once flowed.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Getting to Know Professor J.D. Luse

Image Credit:

Jesse Dial Luse is the younger man at the far right in the picture above. This family photograph shows the nine children of Jesse and Sylphina Luse. Often known by his initials J.D., Jesse D. Luse was born in Cuyahoga County in 1847.

In the very late 1800s and early 1900s, J.D. Luse was the Supervisor of Music for Sandusky Schools. During the homecoming parade for Spanish American War soldiers in 1898, “Professor Luse” arranged for a chorus of one thousand individuals to sing patriotic songs.

J.D. Luse was the author of several music books. One of his series was known as the Wreath Music Course. The books were used widely throughout Ohio and beyond. In the book The Royal Wreath of Song, there were several graded lessons in music for use with students in every grade.

Also in the book were: hymns, glees, part songs, patriotic songs and songs for choruses and duets.

Professor Luse advertised often in educational journals. The advertisement below appeared in volume of the Educator Journal in 1906.

Throughout his career, J.D. Luse taught in many different school districts, including Tiffin, Sandusky, Zanesville and Mentor, Ohio. He was a popular speaker at educational institutes for teachers as well. By 1904, he and his family moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he remained active in music publishing. Professor Luse died there in 1920.

You can view the full text of the 1890 version of The Royal Wreath of Song at the Internet Archive. By paging through this book, you can see some of the songs that your ancestors may have sung in school in years gone by. The Sandusky Library Archives Research Center has two of Professor Luse’s music books in its collection. Today you can find copies of his books at college and theological libraries throughout the United States.