Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandusky Turngemeinde Concert

On Thursday evening, October 31, 1889, the Sandusky Turngemeinde sponsored a concert at Fisher’s Hall in Sandusky. There were two portions of the concert, each with six numbers. Following the concert, a dance was held. The Sandusky Turngemeinde was created from the merging of two separate groups, the Active Turners and the Social Turners. The Turners were a social organization, usually made up of individuals of German descent, who were devoted to physical fitness. Over 350 individuals were members of the Sandusky Turngemeinde. According to the book, Sandusky Then and Now, the officers of the Sandusky Turngemeinde in 1888 were: John Molter, first speaker; Otto Baumeister, second speaker; Jacob Dietz, first turner warden; Charles Guenther, second turner warden; C.A. Kuebeler, first corresponding secretary; William Dilger, second corresponding secretary; William Allendorf, financial secretary; Charles Zimmermann, treasurer; George Dolch, janitor; and George Müller, color bearer. Trustees were R. Krudwig, J. Mertz and Charles Baumann.

An article about the Sandusky Turngemeinde Concert, which appeared in the November 1, 1889 issue of the Sandusky Register, read in part:

The concert given by the Sandusky Turngemeinde at Fisher’s Hall last evening attracted a large crowd that enjoyed the affair to the utmost. The mixed, female and male choruses were excellent and showed the thorough training of Prof. Berger. The quintette by Messrs. Moos, Haecker, Engels, Baumeister, and Berger was fine, and the same can be said of the piano solo of Miss Wiedel, the duet by Mssrs. Berger and Engels, the clarinet solo by Fred Bauman and numbers rendered by the Great Western Orchestra.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Program Announcement: Rebels on Lake Erie: A Video Documentary About the Johnson's Island Civil War Prison

Saturday, November 3, at 2:00 p.m.

Join us for a screening of this documentary about John Yates Beall and his failed plot to free Confederate prisoners on Johnson’s Island. The documentary was written, directed, and produced by Dr. Kathleen L. Endres form the University of Akron, who will be here to introduce the video and answer your questions about the production. Registration is not required.

Friday, October 26, 2012

J.A. Montgomery and the Sandusky Tool Company

Joseph Albert Montgomery was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on April 1, 1820. After working for a few years in Boston, in 1847 he moved to Columbus, Ohio. From 1847 to 1861, Mr. Montgomery was associated with the Ohio Tool Company. In 1869, he came to Sandusky, Ohio to become the superintendent of the Sandusky Tool Company. He remained with the company for thirty years. Wilbert Schwer wrote in The Sandusky Tool Company Story that Joseph A. Montgomery designed woodworking machinery that was used throughout the life of the company. In 1890 Mr. Montgomery was issued several patents for machinery used in the manufacturing of planes.

On March 3, 1899, Joseph A. Montgomery passed away a lengthy illness. An obituary which appeared in the March 4, 1899 issue of the Sandusky Star stated that Mr. Montgomery was universally respected and loved. He was survived by his wife, four sons, and a daughter. Mr. Montgomery can be seen in the picture below, taken about 1870. He is sixth from the left in the front row.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Henry Dehnel, Sandusky Jeweler and Civil War Veteran

Henry Dehnel was born in Germany in 1842, and came to the United States when he was nine years old. He enlisted as a private in Company G of the 65th Ohio Infantry during the Civil War. The Civil War Pension Index, available at Ancestry Library Edition, indicates that Henry Dehnel, a soldier in Company G of the Ohio 65th Infantry, served under an alias name, Henry Liedkie. Mr. Dehnel’s military service lasted from October 1861 to October 1864.

After the Civil War, Henry Dehnel served in the Ohio National Guard. During his time in the National Guard, Dehnel led a group of men to Massillon, Ohio to quell a group of rioters. His leadership in handling this incident was commended by Ohio military authorities. From the 1870s until 1884, Henry Dehnel was in the jewelry business in downtown Sandusky with Lewis M. Lea. In 1884 Mr. Dehnel moved the jewelry store from the 100 block of Columbus Avenue to the 200 block of Columbus Avenue. By 1886 Henry Dehnel was the sole owner of the business. His listing in the 1886 Sandusky City Directory read: Henry Dehnel, The Leading Jeweler, 211 Columbus Avenue.

After Sandusky’s street numbering system changed in 1915, the Henry Dehnel jewelry store’s address was 225-227 Columbus Avenue.

Henry Dehnel died at his home in Sandusky on October 23, 1925. He had been a member of the Sandusky Business Men’s Association, the Odd Fellows Lodge, Ogontz Lodge, No. 666, the Knights of Pythias, and he had formerly served on city council and the board of public safety. Mr. Dehnel was survived by two sons, William and Albert, a granddaughter and grandson. Mrs. Dehnel had predeceased her husband in 1909. Funeral services for Henry Dehnel were held at the Dehnel residence on East Washington Street. Taps were played as the casket was lowered at Oakland Cemetery. Honorary pall bearers, lifelong friends of Mr. Dehnel, included: John J. Molter, G.A. Boeckling, August Kuebeler, Jr., Edward A. Smith, W.H. Ritter and Louis Osberg. Active pallbearers were Hugo Allendorf, Arthur Little, Lyndon Scheid, Russell Whitney, Thomas Edwards and George A. Beis. Several obituaries for Henry Dehnel are found in the 1925 Obituary Notebook. One article read in part, “Captain Dehnel won the respect and friendship of all with whom he came into contact. The business which he founded shortly after the close of the Civil War is one of the most successful in Sandusky, and a successful business man Captain Dehnel used his influence for the betterment of the city whenever the opportunity offered itself.”

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Sandusky Theatre

In the picture above, three individuals can be seen painting a sign and the building of the Sandusky Theatre, about 1930. The Sandusky Theatre had a long, rich history according to an article by John Himmelein in the Twin Anniversary Edition of the Sandusky Register-Star-News from November 24, 1947. The theater was built in 1877 by Andrew Biemiller. It was first known as the Biemiller Opera House, located at southwest corner of Water & Jackson Streets on property that had originally been owned by William T. Townsend.

Biemiller’s Opera House accommodated 1,500 persons, and featured cushioned seats and excellent acoustics. The cost of the original building was $48,000. The spacious stage was sixty-six feet wide and thirty-three feet deep. The first opera to play at Biemiller’s Opera House was Wagner’s “Lohengrin.” In May of 1895, the building was purchased by Carl Neilsen. Mr. Nielsen remodeled the Opera House and changed its name to the Neilsen Opera House.

John A. Himmelein acquired the building in 1902. Again, the theater was remodeled. Mr. Himmelein stated that several types of amusements were performed here, including opera, dramatic, musical, minstrel, vaudeville, and plays by stock companies. The first attraction after the remodeling project was the play “York State Folks,” which opened on September 7, 1905. Between 1905 and 1907, the building was known as the Grand Opera House. By 1908, the name was changed to the Sandusky Theatre, after the building was leased to O.S. Hathaway. The Seitz Amusement Company leased the building in 1936 to show motion pictures, bought it in 1950, and sold it four years later. The building was razed in 1955.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to see a variety of programs from performances at this former Sandusky landmark.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The London Open Light Séance

On at least two occasions a demonstration of the London Open Light Séance took place in Sandusky. On October 18, 1903, Dr. Amos Wayne appeared at the Neilson Opera House. His demonstration included spirit slate writing, a table rising, and a display of the hands of faces of spirits. (At least that is what his advertisement claimed.)
C. M. Sawyer and his “company of wonderful mediums” visited Sandusky’s Grand Opera House on the evening of October 13, 1907. Dr. Sawyer is reported to have conduced séances in England, Austria, and France.

From 1906 throughout the 1920’s, Harry Houdini and others debunked several acts involving mediums as being fraudulent.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Program Announcement: Genealogy Lock-in

Friday, October 19, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Come to the Library for an after-hours genealogy adventure! Research your genealogy on library computers (or your own, with wi-fi), using a variety of free-in-the-library databases, including Ancestry, HeritageQuest, the Cleveland Necrology File, the Cleveland News Index, and others. Use the Library’s print and archival resources on local history. Librarians and volunteers from the Erie County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society will be available to assist you. Registration is required. To register, call 419-625-3834 and press 0 for the switchboard operator (Monday-Friday, 10-5) or Option 6 to leave a message.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Griswold-Wagg Motor Company

Glenn W. Griswold, pictured above, was the president of the Griswold-Wagg Motor Company, which was incorporated in 1918. Nelson E. Wagg was the vice-president and treasurer of the company, located in the 200 block of East Market Street in Sandusky, Ohio. The Griswold-Wagg Motor Company sold Ford cars, along with accessories, supplies, and tires, and also offered repair service. Fordson power farming equipment was also sold at Griswold-Wagg.

In 1920 business was so good at the Griswold-Wagg Motor Company, that sales approached the half million mark. Because the business kept growing at a rapid pace, a new building was built at 135-145 East Washington Row. The two story building was built of reinforced concrete and brick, and had a floor space of 20,000 square feet. A five ton elevator connected the service department with the first floor. The company had enough room to stock a complete line of parts for the Ford automobile and the Fordson tractor. An advertisement from the January 21, 1921 issue of the Sandusky Register stated that the service department was equipped “with the most modern machinery offered any possible auto service.” Brand new automobiles were displayed in the Griswold-Wagg showroom.

The Griswold-Wagg Motor Company went out of business by 1922. An article in the February 15, 1922 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that the debts of the company were far larger than its assets.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Program Announcement: Brown-bag Lunch Series -- The Original Groovy Man: Thomas Edison and the Invention of Recorded Sound

Wednesday, October 17, at 12:00 p.m.

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877 and changed the way that we think about sound. This presentation covers the first 50 years of recorded sound with samples of sound recordings from long ago. (People in the audience have been known to sing along!) Dr. Edward J. Pershey, Vice President for Museum Special Projects and Exhibits of the Western Reserve Historical Society will be our featured speaker. Bring your lunch and join us! Registration is not required.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hohler’s Place

In the 1890s, Daniel Hohler operated a grocery store and saloon at the northwest corner of Barker and Camp Streets in Sandusky, Ohio. After their father’s death in 1899, Frank J. and Henry L. Hohler took over the business. The nickname of Henry L. Hohler was “Blink.” He can be seen in a long apron on the right side of the picture above. An article in the January 30, 1958 issue of the Sandusky Register stated that Blink Hohler was a big-hearted man, who gave money to charity generously. “He wore a constant smile, and was never known to have said a disparaging word against any man. He was a ‘soft touch’ for those who came to him with hard luck stories.” Henry L. “Blink” Hohler died on December 25, 1912. Funeral services were held at the Hohler residence, which was connected to the family business.

After the death of his brother, Frank J. Hohler continued the grocery store and saloon. When Prohibition went into effect, Hohler’s place became a grocery store. By 1937, the Miller Drug Store was in business at 1031 Camp Street, the former location of Hohler’s Place.

Pictured below is a baseball team in front of Hohler’s Place in the very early twentieth century. “Blink” Hohler is again wearing a long white apron.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Program Announcement: "Vote for Me" - Stories of Presidents and Presidential Campaigns Visiting the Area

Saturday, October 13, at 2PM

We’ve all heard the stories about Ohio being the bellwether of the nation for presidential elections. A 1940 Life magazine article described Erie County as “perhaps most nearly representative of the nation.” For these, and other reasons, the Sandusky area has been visited by several presidents, candidates, and prominent supporters over the years. Join Archives Librarian Ron Davidson in the Library Program Room as he shares stories and records of visits by presidents, men who would become president, and those who wanted to but didn’t become president.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Caryl Crane, "Sandusky’s First Lady of Fashion"

Born in Lorain in 1908 to Russian immigrants, Isaac and Rose Shiff, Caryl Crane was the president and founder of the Caryl Crane store in Sandusky from 1946 until 1982. The store was located in the 200 block of Columbus Avenue, but moved to the Sandusky Mall in the 1970’s. The store began with a dress department, and also carried coats, suits, and lingerie. Later a bridal shop, sportswear, accessories, and perfumes were added. In an article which appeared in the April 24, 1976 issue of the Sandusky Register, Miss Crane stated her philosophy for a successful business. “Our philosophy of retailing is that a store should be colorful and attractive and merchandise should be fashion right at the correct price.” Miss Crane and her buyers shopped in markets in New York, Chicago, Dallas and California. In April of 1957 Miss Crane traveled to Europe for a six week buying trip in Italy, Switzerland, and France. This same month her parents celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in Lorain, Ohio.

Always aware of the latest trends in fashion as well as in popular culture, in 1962, Caryl Crane gave away a free “Ben Casey” charm bracelet and 8x10 photo of the actor with every swimsuit that was purchased.

Caryl Crane conducted countless style shows, at Cedar Point, schools, area clubs, and at the YMCA. Often the proceeds were given to charity. Miss Crane was a member of the Harlequins Theater for more than 45 years, and she directed several Harlequins plays. She was involved in the production of the Miss Ohio pageant for six years. The program of the Miss Ohio Pageant of 1966, which was held at the Cedar Point ballroom, credited Caryl Crane, stating that the “entire production was conceived, written, and staged by Caryl Crane.” She founded the Caryl Crane Children’s Theatre at Firelands College.

On August 19, 1999, Caryl Crane passed away after a brief illness, at the age of 91. Her obituary in the August 21, 1999 Sandusky Register reports that she was a graduate of the University of Michigan and The Ohio State University, with degrees in education and music. She sang at Radio City Music Hall, and was on staff at NBC. Miss Crane was buried in Salem Cemetery in Lorain, Ohio.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Sandusky High School Orchestra in 1904

The group of students with Mr. Cornelius Schnaitter made up an early orchestra at Sandusky High School in 1904. Pictured are: Front row, Verna Murphy and Edna Becker; middle row, George Lehrer, Bess Lawrence, Theresa Winkler, Mr. Schnaitter; top row, Maude Claus, Ralph Scherz, and Margeruite Andrews. Edna Becker went on to teach at Sandusky City Schools for twenty five years. George Lehrer became involved in theatrical productions, and was known nationally for his Lincoln impersonation. Ralph Scherz got his medical degree and practiced medicine in Cleveland for over fifty years.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view this and hundreds of other vintage photographs from Erie County and Sandusky.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

B & O House Saloon

In the late 1890s the B & O House was a saloon that was located near the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s freight office and roundhouse on Sandusky’s waterfront on East Water Street. Mrs. Harold Strong donated this photograph to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Mrs. Strong’s grandfather, Joseph Steiger, was the proprietor of the B & O House in 1897. He and his wife Elizabeth can be seen holding their infant daughter Eva in the picture below. Eva Catherine Steiger Hall was the mother of Mrs. Strong.

Some of the bar’s customers are enjoying a beverage in front of the saloon.

In early December of 1898, the B & O House was quarantined briefly when little Eva and another young lady came down with smallpox. By December 28, 1898, an article in the Sandusky Star reported that the last patient had recovered from smallpox and the quarantine was lifted. The April 9, 1977 issue of the Sandusky Register featured a column in which Karl Kurtz shared details of an interview he had with Mrs. Harold Strong. She stated that after leaving the B & O House, her grandparents had another saloon at the southeast corner of Milan Road and East Perkins Avenue, known as Steiger’s Sample Room. The motto of that business was: “First Stop Out & Last Stop Inn.” Prohibition eventually forced the Steigers to turn the business from a saloon into a grocery store. Mr. and Mrs. Strong went on to operate that grocery store for a time.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view this photograph, and see hundreds of other vintage pictures from Erie County and Sandusky’s past.

Monday, October 01, 2012

October is Archives Month

Today begins Archives Month, when repositories of historical materials promote the importance of archives in American society. The theme for Ohio Archives Month is The Peoples of Ohio. Many archives throughout Ohio will be offering special events and presentations on that theme using materials from their collections. Although we do not have specific events for Archives Month here at the Sandusky Library this year, we will be particiating in a special event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Archives in Cleveland: The Peoples of Ohio: Musicians and Music from Polonaise to Polka and Punk, at 7PM on Tuesday, October 2 (tomorrow, as I write this). Our contribution is sheet music of several songs written for Sandusky places and events (some songs written by local composers): Cedar Point, That's The Place (1922); The Put-in-Bay Song (1911); and Ohio (composed by a Sanduskian, 1938). We may also talk about our plans for a video program about "Music at the Old Cedar Point."

Admission to this event is free, but registration is required. Follow the link above for more information.