Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays

We are on hiatus during the library's shutdown. Have happy holidays -- Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. See you next year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sandusky Library Christmas Decorations in 1948

While we do not know who created the decorations, the photographs below picture holiday decorations from the Children’s Department of the Sandusky Library in December, 1948. A snow person and reindeer are found in the windows facing east onto the corner of Adams Street and Columbus Avenue.

The trio of bells decorates a window which faces north towards downtown Sandusky.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The “Tourist” Gets Trapped in an Ice Floe

On December 20, 1929, the Tourist, a 78-foot steel boat powered by oil engines, got stuck in an ice floe, shortly after leaving the dock from Sandusky. A sudden northeastern storm contributed to the hazardous situation. The boat was carrying several residents of Kelleys Island, many of whom had come to the mainland to do Christmas shopping. The steamer Messenger and the tug Gillan were unable to free the Tourist from the ice. Captain John Gilbert ordered all aboard to walk on the ice from the trapped boat to the Messenger. Many of the passengers had several packages to carry with them on the ice, in the cold and windy weather. All but three of the boat’s passengers made their way to the Messenger, and then to Sandusky.

A front page article in the December 20, 1929 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Mrs. Charles Martin had to carry her ten week old infant in her arms across the ice, while her husband wheeled the baby carriage. Mr. Martin said, “Wheeling that baby carriage across the ice was worse than being without a cigarette and having to walk a mile.” Mr. and Mrs. Martin and baby Elaine spent the night at the Hotel Rieger. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Elfers also had an infant to carry across the ice. The Register reported that the most unfortunate person on the boat was Mrs. Paul Nemethy of Kelleys Island. Mrs. Nemethy had just had six teeth pulled, and it was terrifying for her to think of spending the night on a boat in the bitter cold.

On Sunday, December 22, two airplanes took the stranded Kelleys Islanders back home. Arrangements were handled by the Parker Airport, and the pilots were Milton Hersberger and Joe Esch. The Kelleys Island landing field was blocked with snow, and a crew of island residents worked frantically to get it cleared. It took several flights to deliver the passengers and freight. The bulk of the freight was merchandise for Charles Martin’s store. Four school teachers and three others were transported from Kelleys Island back to Sandusky. The December 22, 1929 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that both Hersberger and Esch were highly complimented on their ability in handling the planes.

Visit the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library to read more about the “Tourist” being trapped in the ice in 1929 on microfilmed copies of the Sandusky Register. To learn about the vessels of the Great Lakes, see B.G.S.U.’s Historical Collections of the Great Lakes website.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sunyendeand Club

During March 1890, a group of Sandusky men met to discuss establishing a club “of social character for gentlemen.” The second meeting was held March 29, 1890, and the club was officially formed. The club’s objective was to “promote social intercourse among its members, and to provide them with the convenience of a Club House.” Thomas M. Sloane was elected chairman. The men leased club rooms in the Masonic Temple, on Wayne Street at the corner of East Washington Street.

The club’s name was chosen based on accounts that Sunyendeand was the name given to the first settlement on the site of present-day Sandusky. According to Colonel James Smith’s description of his captivity by Native Americans, he visited a Wyandot village and French trading post between 1756 and 1758. Smith indicated this area was referred to as Sunyendeand. The men’s club wished to carry on the historical name.

Membership was limited to males, 21 years of age or older, residing in Sandusky or within two miles of the city. Perspective members were elected by club members and owned one share of stock (no member owned more than one share). Non-residents of Sandusky could become members but could not be stockholders or voting members of the club. Some well-known club members included G. A. Boeckling, W. A. Bishop, T. Pitt Cooke, and members of the Sloane family.

In 1910, the club needed a larger club house, so property on the corner of Wayne and Jefferson streets was purchased, remodeled, and furnished. The new house provided dining rooms, bedrooms, writing rooms, a billiard room, and meeting areas. It was designed to meet the needs of business men. The club house was open daily from 7 a.m. to midnight and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays. Visitors could be invited into the club house, but residents of Sandusky who were not members of the club were not permitted to use the club rooms. Because it was a social club, an Entertainment Committee was responsible for various activities including lectures, music, and family events. “Smokers” were also a part of the club’s activities and involved speakers.

Although it is not clear exactly when the club disbanded, it was probably around 1930, as the last Sunyendeand document in the library's collection is dated from that time. The club had voted to dissolve in 1924, but this vote was rescinded after a group of members voted to purchase the club property and continue operation.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

“Bells of Victory” Temperance Songs

The Good Templars had a lodge in Bloomingville, Ohio in the late 1800’s. The International Organisation of Good Templars was founded in the nineteenth century as a fraternal organization which promoted temperance. The Bloomingville Lodge was Number 156.

The Sandusky Register reported on December 11, 1894 that the Good Templars of Bloomingville were to hold a “Conundrum Supper” on December 13. A prize was to be awarded to the person who gave the correct answers to three conundrums.

“Bells of Victory” was a songbook written by J. H. Tenney and E. A. Hoffman. Here is a song from the “Bells of Victory” songbook:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Judge Thomas M. Sloane

Thomas Morrison Sloane was the son of Rush R. Sloane and his wife, the former Sarah E. Morrison, born in Sandusky on July 28, 1854. He graduated from Harvard University in 1877. After he studied law with Homer and L. H. Goodwin, he entered law school at the University and Michigan, where he received his law degree in 1880. He was associated for a time with Judge E. B. King. On June 22, 1881, Thomas M. Sloane married Sarah Maria Carswell Cooke, the daughter of Pitt Cooke, and his wife, the former Mary E. Townsend. Sarah Cooke was a granddaughter of Eleutheros Cooke, the first lawyer in Sandusky, and a niece of Jay Cooke, the Civil War financier. Mrs. Thomas M. Sloane is pictured below with sons Rush Sloane and Thomas M. Sloane, Jr. about 1893.

Judge and Mrs. Thomas M. Sloane and their family lived at the lovely home located at what is now 1415 Columbus Avenue. The home was originally built for Eleutheros Cooke in 1843-1844, and stood at the northwest corner of Columbus Avenue and Washington Row. Rush Sloane acquired the house in the late 1870’s, and he had the house taken down, and rebuilt at 1415 Columbus Avenue. It was given to Thomas and Sarah Sloane as a wedding gift. Pictured below is the Sloane’s home on Columbus Avenue, which is now known as the Cooke House.

In 1905, Thomas M. Sloane was elected Judge of Erie County Probate Court, and he was re-elected to this position twice. Judge Sloane was also very active in the civic affairs of Sandusky and Erie County. He served on City Council, the Sandusky Board of Education, the Board of Trade, Businessmen’s Association, and he was secretary-treasurer of the Good Samaritan Hospital. Mr. Sloane was instrumental in the organization of the Sunyendeand Club and was a member and past president of the Men’s Literary Club. Judge Sloane was also a leading layman in the Protestant Episcopal Church of Northern Ohio, and was Adjutant General of the Sixteenth Regiment of the Ohio National Guard for several years.

Thomas Morrison Sloane died on March 23, 1920, after a lingering illness. He was only 65 years of age at the time of his death. Funeral services were held at Grace Episcopal Church, and burial at Oakland Cemetery. Articles about the death of Judge Sloane were carried in the Sandusky Register and the Sandusky Star Journal on March 23, 1920. A tribute from the Erie County Bar Association was published in the March 28 issue of the Sandusky Register. The Register article stated that Judge Sloane was a man show life “was devoted entirely to the service of others…..He won many honors and distinctions but instead of making him boastful and proud, the noble humility with which he bore them but enhanced their value in the eyes of others upon who they were conferred.”

The tribute from the Bar Association concluded with these words: “So has passed from the ranks of our profession this whole souled, genial and pure minded member of our profession. These few words fall far short of enumerating his many excellencies, but after all his best epitaph is the love and respect his numberless friends and relatives.”

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Wendt's Economy Grocery

From about 1916 through 1919, Ervin H. Wendt ran a grocery at the corner of Market and Wayne Streets. The store sold groceries and also featured a delicatessen. Trucks bearing the Wendt’s name made deliveries to Sandusky customers.

In the 1916-1917 Sandusky City Directory, Ervin Wendt’s listing reads “The Economy Grocer.”

An ad in the June 1, 1917 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal stated that Wendt’s Economy Store could save customers enough money that they could that subscribe to the Liberty Loan, since Wendt’s store could save them the dollar per week fee.

The March 19, 1917 Sandusky Star Journal reported that Mr. Wendt owed his success to “perfect sanitation, courteous treatment, cash selling, and the handling of a distinct line of specialties…” In 1917, the Wendt grocery store employed four salesmen, a telephone operator and an adequate delivery force.

The Wendt store ceased operations in 1919, and Ervin Wendt moved to Cleveland, where he managed another grocery store. He was associated with Fisher Foods for thirty five years. Ervin and his wife retired in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Solution to Mystery Photos

Here is a picture of the Campbell School as it looked around 1894:

Here is a view of the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home (now the Ohio Veterans Home) administration building, around the same time:

And here is Sandusky High School as it looked around 1894:

Which just goes to show -- don't always trust what you read in print!

P.S. -- Here is the Erie County Courthouse around 1895:

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Mystery Photos: What's Wrong With This Picture?

A publication called "Royal Blue Line": A Descriptive Souvenir of the Columbus, Sandusky, and Hocking Railway (The Sandusky Division), was produced in 1894 to promote the attractions and major businesses in the cities along this rail line. There was a substantial chapter on Sandusky, which included images of many local scenes. Here is a page from that chapter:

Do you notice anything wrong with this page? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.

Here is an unrelated bit of trivia from the same publication, from the chapter on Marion, Ohio. Do you notice anything interesting about this?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

1818 Sampler by Rachel Powel

Rachel Powel stitched this sampler in December of 1818, in Presteigne, a town in Wales, near the English border. It was passed down to her daughter and granddaughter.

After Ruby Diggins Schnell passed away, this sampler was given to the historical collections of the Sandusky Library and The Follett House Museum.
Rachel Powel (sometimes spelled Powell) was born in the United Kingdom in 1806. According to Hewson Peeke’s Standard History of Erie County, Rachel Powell married William Bedford in England. They emigrated to the United States of America, and shortly after arriving, Mr. Bedford died. Rachel married William M. Harris in 1832. They had a family of several children, and settled in the southwest section of Huron Township of Erie County. Mrs. Rachel M. Harris is buried at Scott Cemetery, her headstone listing her date of death as Oct. 31, 1881.
One of the children of William and Rachel Harris was Mary M. Harris, who was born in Huron Township in 1844 on the old homestead. Mary Harris married Joy Diggins in 1883. (Joy Diggins is the actual subject of Mr. Peeke’s biographical sketch, mentioned previously.) Ruby Beatrice Diggins was born to Joy and Mary Harris Diggins in 1885.

She married Lewis Schnell, and passed away on January 16, 1970. Thanks to the faithfulness of Ruby and her mother Mary in preserving this family heirloom, we can still appreciate a lovely piece of stitchery which was created over one hundred ninety years ago.