Sunday, October 30, 2011

A View of Meigs Street and the East Waterfront in 1876

In about 1876 photographer A.C. Platt created a series of stereoscopic views of the region, which he called The Isles of Lake Erie. Pictured above is a view on Sandusky which features Meigs Street and the waterfront. Sandusky resident Leroy Hinkey created a key to this image.

Sycamore School can be seen at the top right of the picture. Louis Zistel’s aquarium and boat livery are numbers 2 and 3 in the picture, adjacent to the Atlantic Gardens, also owned by Mr. Zistel. Two ice houses and residences, and several Sandusky businesses can also be seen in the picture. We are fortunate that Leroy Hinkey had the foresight to allow future Sandusky residents to have of a better understanding of life in Sandusky in a time gone by.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Beecher House

Built in the 1847, the building located in downtown Sandusky at 215 West Washington Row was originally the home of Lucas S. Beecher, an early Sandusky lawyer, and his family.

Helen Hansen wrote in At Home in Early Sandusky wrote that at the time it was built, the home sat on a large lot, with a coach house, barn, and garden. Lucas S. Beecher’s home was a “safe house” during the time of the Underground Railroad. The Gilcher brothers’ horse drawn herdic line carried passengers by the Beecher house on one of their three routes. Mr. and Mrs. Lucas Beecher lived here until their deaths in 1882. Mr. and Mrs. Beecher’s heirs sold the house in 1900. The Beecher house has had several different owners throughout the years and was home to a variety of businesses. From 1932 until about 1977, the Commodore Denig Post No. 83, American Legion was located at 215 West Washington Row.

Other businesses which operated here include: the Central Union Telephone Company, Christian Science Reading Room, Irma Waldkircher’s Ladies Apparel, a physician, and a civil engineer. For many years in the 1980s and 1990s, 215 West Washington Street was a community room for a bank. The Beecher House continues to serve as home to several businesses in Sandusky. To read more about Lucas S. Beecher and the Beecher house, see Article 15 of Helen Hansen’s At Home in Early Sandusky.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Conrad Ebert, Jr., Druggist

From about 1889 until his death in 1934, Conrad Ebert, Jr. was the proprietor of a drugstore located at 901 Columbus Avenue. The store extended from Columbus Avenue to Hayes Avenue. (The early house number was 807 Columbus Avenue.) Conrad Ebert, Jr. was born in Sandusky, Ohio 1860 to Conrad and Margaret Ebert, who were both natives of Germany. Mr. Ebert’s store had the words Deutsch Apotheke on one side of the store, which means German Pharmacy in English. The words Drugs and Medicines appear on the right side of the door to the business. Advertisements for Sen-Sen, Borden’s Malted Milk, and Ox-Hart chocolates can be seen in the windows.

An interior view of the drug store shows shelves lined with bottles and tins. Some of the products Mr. Ebert sold were Prof. Fields worm powder, Hostetter's Stomach Bitters, Mentholatum, Candy Cathartic Cascarets, and Colgate’s Tooth Powder. Gum and cigars were also carried at Mr. Ebert’s store.

Conrad Ebert, Jr. died on September 22, 1934, at the age of 73. He was among the oldest druggists in Sandusky at the time of his death, and he had been highly respected in the community. He was survived by his widow, the former Miss Emma Dornbirer, and a daughter Helen. Conrad’s son Paul died as a young man in 1922. Conrad Ebert, Jr. was buried in the family lot at Oakland Cemetery.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Letter from Dr. R. R. McMeens to the Ladies’ Soldiers’ Aid Society

Written on October 22, 1861, a letter from Dr. R. R. McMeens to Mrs. A.H. Moss, President of the Ladies’ Soldiers’ Aid Society of Grace Church, was published in the November 2, 1861 issue of the Sandusky Register.

Dr. McMeens was the Surgeon of the Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. He wrote the letter from Camp Elkwater, West Virginia.

The letter begins,
“My Dear Madam: Allow me the pleasure of acknowledging the very generous and acceptable donation to the sick and suffering soldiers under my care, and to express to you, and through you to the ladies of the Soldiers’ Aid Society, the profound and grateful thanks of the sick and wounded of our Regiment now in Hospital…No balm of Gilead nor dew of Hermon could have blest or brought more comfort. You can have no adequate conception of the hardships, privations or discomforts we have endured in these inhospitable and desolate mountains, and therefore cannot comprehend the full extent of the inestimable boon you have conferred, with a personal realization of our condition.”

Dr. McMeens went on to describe the conditions he and the soldiers of the Third Ohio experienced. They spent the greater part of their time directly in the face of the enemy, often in drenching rain. The thickets and brambles they encountered destroyed the fibers of the soldiers’ clothing. The hospital was a tent in an open field, upon the damp, bare earth, with an insufficient supply of straw and blankets. One man lay unconscious for two weeks, suffering from typhoid fever, and his makeshift bed was often infested with snakes. Food was in extreme shortage as well. Food sent from the Ladies’ Soldiers’ Aid Society of Grace Church was appropriated between sick patients and in the hospital. He told of the contrast between the soldiers’ former home life and their current difficult situation. “Many of our sick are young men, who have enjoyed all the comforts of life and been blessed with good homes, and could command them now, if means of transportation were possible; and more grateful recipients, and more manifestations of joy, and expressions of thanks, I have never witnessed before. I wish you all could have been present, as you would have felt repaid for your labor and devotion to the sick, but honest-hearted soldiers.” Dr. McMeens considered the generosity of the Ladies’ Soldiers’ Aid Society to have been a work of love and high-born patriotism. He signed the letter, “Your humble servant, R. R. McMeens, Surgeon 3d Ohio Regiment.” In a postscript to his letter, Dr. McMeens explained that the generous food and supplies sent from the Sandusky ladies almost never made it to Camp Elkwater. Government Agents stated that they could transport nothing but official Government supplies, but Dr. Seys, “with great difficulty, and by cunning device,” secured an ambulance, and brought the supplies to Camp Elkwater.

Dr. Robert R. McMeens worked tirelessly as a Surgeon during the Civil War. He died while serving at the Battle of Perryville in Kentucky on October 30, 1862. Dr. McMeens was buried at Oakland Cemetery.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Professor and Mrs. W. A. Loades

Pictured above are Walter A. and Emily Loades. According to the January 1, 1897 issue of the Sandusky Register, Professor Walter A. Loades died on New Year’s Day at the age of 64. Professor Loades, who had lived at 917 Madison Street in Sandusky, was a talented musician and violinist. He had been trained in the Royal Academies of London and Paris, at the expense of the English court. While a young man, Walter was a member of Queen Victoria’s orchestra at Windsor Castle. Prior to moving to the United States in 1872, Professor Loades traveled with Jenny Lind. After moving to Sandusky, Professor Loades married a local young lady named Emily. Mrs. Loades passed away in 1894. The Sandusky Register stated about Professor Loades that “scores of Sandusky musicians owe their accomplishments to him.”  Professor and Mrs. W.A. Loades are buried in Block 93 at Oakland Cemetery. Though Professor Loades was quite successful in his profession, he died in poor circumstances.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Erie County Oil Products Company Truck

The Erie County Oil Products Company was incorporated in October, 1920. J.G. Wiedenhaefer was the company president, and it is most likely Mr. Widenhaefer who is pictured above next to the company truck. Other officers in the early 1920s included: Alvin D. Reinke, Vice President; Oscar A. Reinke, Secretary-Treasurer; an L.A. Leonhiser, Manager. The 1921 Sandusky City Directory stated that the Erie County Oil Products Company was a dealer in gasoline, kerosene, and lubricating oils, and was located at the northeast corner of Hancock and Scott Streets. By 1923, the company was known as the Erie County Oil Company, and operated a filling station at the northwest corner of Monroe and Tiffin Avenue. This particular service station, at 649 Tiffin Avenue, was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Though no longer a gas station, for several years it  provided gas and oil for drivers on the west end of Sandusky. The Erie County Oil Company changed owners and locations throughout its many years of existence. For a long time, the Erie County Oil Company was the distributor of Fleet Wing products, and later the company supplied home heating oils to area residents. The last year that the Erie County Oil Company appeared in the Sandusky City Directory was in 2000. At that time, it was located at 1318 Cleveland Road.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Program Announcement: Tom Root Aerial Photos of Sandusky, 1949-2000

Join Archives Librarian Ron Davidson and aerial photographer Thomas Root in the Library Program Room on Saturday, October 15, at 2:00 p.m. to view a presentation of photographs of the Sandusky area taken by Mr. Root from circa 1950 to the 21st Century. Most of the images are part of the Tom Root Aerial Photographs collection in the Sandusky Library’s Archives Research Center. You’ll see some unfamiliar perspectives of familiar locations, learn a little about aerial photography, and hear about some of Mr. Root’s experiences shooting photos from the sky. Registration is requested, but not required.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Carl H. Stubig, Local Politician and Newspaper Man

Carl H. Stubig was born on October 5, 1886 in Sandusky, Ohio, to Christian and Catherine (Lanz) Stubig, who were both natives of Germany. After working for several years in newspapers in New York and Canada, Carl returned to Sandusky and worked briefly for the Sandusky Star Journal. Carl H. Stubig published a weekly newspaper in Sandusky entitled Stubig’s Weekly between 1915 and 1918. Stubig's editorials and his approach when describing political foes caused a great deal of controversy and agitation throughout the city's political circles.

In 1914 Carl Stubig lost the Republican nomination for mayor to Charles F. Mischler. Stubig's defeat and his support against a campaign to change the city's charter put him as a leading figure in Sandusky politics. Following the adoption of a new city charter, Stubig was one of twenty-seven candidates running to fill the five positions on the first City Commission, established by the new city charter. Despite the number of candidates and the ferocious nature of the campaign, Stubig won a seat and took office as a City Commissioner on January 1, 1916.

His service on the commission was often controversial. At one point during his term, the local Congregational minister assailed Stubig from the pulpit, referring to him as a demagogue and a reactionary. And on March 20, 1916, Stubig took it upon himself to have a “test run” of the city’s fire department. He pulled the fire alarm at city hall during a blinding snow storm. City streets were dangerously slippery, and Henry Rudolph, a veteran Sandusky fireman, fell from the No. 3 hook and ladder truck while answering the false alarm. Mr. Rudolph survived the accident for several months, but he died on February 23, 1917 as a result of the injuries he sustained.

An article in the December 22, 1917 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that Carl H. Stubig was tired of the town of Sandusky. Stubig moved to Akron, where he was the courthouse reporter for the Akron Times. Then he worked at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company as a member of the publicity department. Later, Carl H. Stubig was secretary to C.L. Knight of the Akron Beacon Journal. On May 2, 1930, Carl H. Stubig died suddenly of heart disease at his home in Akron, Ohio, at the age of 48. An obituary found in the 1930 Obituary Notebook stated that Mr. Stubig was to be buried at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. However, the Oakland Cemetery interment card for Carl H. Stubig has a note indicating that in July on 1930, the remains of Carl H. Stubig had been transferred to Marion, Ohio.

Carl H. Stubig was a dynamic individual, and he was passionate in his beliefs and goals. Though his life was brief, he made an impact on many people in several different communities. The picture of Carl H. Stubig below was taken in Albany, New York on April 14, 1912, when Mr. Stubig was with the Knickerbocker Press.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Ben Wilson, Football Coach at Sandusky High School

Before Sandusky High School’s “Sensational Sixties,” the 1958 and 1959 Sandusky High School football teams were coached by Ben Wilson. Jack Wilson and Bob Seaman were assistant coaches in the fall of 1958. Team members were known as Wilsonmen according to the FRAM.

In 1942, Ben Wilson was the starting center for Dover High School’s undefeated football team. After graduating from Heidelberg College in 1947, Ben Wilson coached at Wellston, Mount Vernon, and Warren Harding high schools. From 1965 to 1968, he was the offensive coordinator at the University of Virginia. In 1968 Ben Wilson was hired to be the head football coach for Wichita State University. Bob Seaman, who was an assistant coach at Sandusky High, also served as Ben Wilson’s assistant coach at Wichita State.

A tragic plane crash in Colorado took the lives of Ben Wilson, his wife, several Wichita State football players and other individuals on October 2, 1970. Twenty nine people lost their lives in the accident, and two later died as a result of their injuries. A ceremony of remembrance is held each year on October 2, to honor those who perished in the plane crash of 1970. The Ben and Helen Wilson Memorial Scholarship was established at Wichita State University in their honor. A documentary created by Public Television station KPTS, entitled “Black & Gold: Remembering the WSU Plane Crash,” features interviews with survivors of the plane crash, and family members of those who lost their lives.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Program Announcement: Brown Bag Lunch Series - Maritime Sandusky in the 1860s

With its friendly harbor, waterfront rail access, and bustling downtown, Sandusky was a transportation hub in the 19th Century. Join us when Neil Allen, Executive Director of the Sandusky Maritime Museum, delves into maritime travel of the 1860s and how it influenced commerce of the era.

Registration is requested, but not required. To register, call 419-625-3834 and press 0 to speak with a switchboard operator (10-5, Monday-Friday) or press Option 6 to leave a message.