Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Family Portrait of the Ramsdell and Linn Families

In about 1910, a photograph of the Ramsdell and Linn families was taken by Sandusky photographer Edward H. Schlessman in Bloomingville, Ohio. The elderly man in the center of the picture is Horace Valentine Ramsdell. Horace V. Ramsdell was born in Bloomingville in 1842, one of twelve children born to Horace and Sarah Ramsdell. During the Civil War, Horace V. Ramsdell enlisted in Company G of the 101st Ohio Volunteer Infantry when he was only nineteen years old. He was severely injured at the Battle of Stones River. He was shot twice on December 31, 1861. When the ambulance picked him up, the army surgeons thought he would never survive his wounds. After two months of nursing care, Horace did recover from his war injuries, though it took him a full year to completely recover. 

After the war, Horace V. Ramsdell took charge of the family farm in Oxford Township. For a brief time he worked in the fishing business, and went mining in the Black Hills district in the 1870s, but soon he returned home. Horace V. Ramsdell and his wife, the former Alma Louise Bardwell, were the parents of four children, one who died young. A biographical sketch about him is found in Hewson L. Peeke’s A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio. Mr. Peeke wrote: “A life that was significant of sturdy character, upright manhood, long-continued industry, patriotic service during the period which insured the integrity of the Union, and lasting esteem from family, friends and neighbors, was lived by the late Horace Valentine Ramsdell in Oxford Township.” On January 17, 1914, Horace V. Ramsdell died from heart failure. He was buried in the Bloomingville Cemetery. Mr. Ramsdell was survived by his wife, two daughters, one son, a brother and sister, and seven grandchildren.

Several family photographs from the Ramsdell and Linn families were bequeathed to the Sandusky Library by descendants of Horatio V. Ramsdell.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Testimonial Dinner in Honor of Jesse P. White in 1939

A testimonial dinner in honor of Jesse P. White was held at Jackson Junior High School in Sandusky on December 28, 1939. The photograph pictured above was taken by Mound Photographers of Sandusky. Mr. White retired from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1939, after having served for 25 years as the area’s district manager. Nearly 200 individuals attended the dinner, including guests from the home office of Metropolitan Life Insurance.  Walter Shepherd served as toastmaster of the dinner. He paid high tribute to Jesse P. White, and presented him with a diamond medal of honor. Company officials considered Mr. White to be one the outstanding managers in the company. After his retirement, Jesse P. White devoted his interests to civic activities. During World War II, Mr. White served as co-chairman of five wartime savings bond drives. He passed away on March 29, 1950. He was survived by his wife of fifty years, the former Chloe Herron, two sons, and two daughters. Funeral services for Mr. White were held at the Lutz Funeral Home with the Rev. C.L. Alspach officiating, and burial was at Oakland Cemetery.

During the 1920s through the 1940s, Jackson Junior High School served as a community center in Sandusky. Though the tables were decorated nicely, plants were placed around the gymnasium, the lines used for playing basketball are clearly visible on the floor.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Dinner for Company G, Twelfth Ammunition Train, during the Great War

During World War I, Company G of the Twelfth Ammunition Train had a lovely Christmas dinner at Camp McClellan in Alabama. Most likely, this event took place during the holiday season of 1918.

Listed in the Roster of Company G, Twelfth Ammunition Train are two young men from Erie County. Elson W. Kent was a Sergeant, and Jay R. Platte was Private, First Class.


Visit the Sandusky Library to view the Erie County Honor Roll, which provides photographs, military assignments, and the many activities with took place on the home front in Sandusky and Erie County during World War One.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sandusky Themed Christmas Cards Created by Eileen Detlefsen

In time for the holiday season of 1966, Eileen Detlefsen created several original Christmas cards using the linoleum block print technique. “Old Sandusky” was the theme of these cards. Notes inside the card which depicted the Follett House on the cover stated that the residence of pioneer Sandusky resident Oran Follett was once the scene of many social festivities in early Sandusky.

Inside the Christmas card which featured the Sandusky harbor, Mrs. Detlefsen pointed out that in 1848 Sandusky was larger than Cleveland. In those days many sailing ships visited the Sandusky harbor.

For many years the West House, pictured above in another of “Eileen’s Originals,” was known as one of the best hotels between New York and Chicago. The popular hotel, in operation in Sandusky from the 1850s until the 1910s, was host to many notable visitors through the years.

On the inside of each Christmas card is provided an account of Christmas in Sandusky from 1824, as was described by historian Hewson L. Peeke. (Some of the account might be more legendary than historical.)

 Visit the Sandusky Archives Research Center to view these unique Christmas cards created by Eileen Detlefsen, as well as an article about the cards from the December 12, 1966 issue of the RFD News.  Eileen, along with her husband Harold Detlefsen, were the founders of the RFD News in 1958.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas in Sandusky in 1950

A series of pictures featuring holiday decorations in Sandusky’s Washington Park in 1950 is found in the historical collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. The Industrial Nut Corporation sponsored this Santa Claus decoration.      

A large group of singing carolers is seen here in front of faux stained glass windows.

Hinde and Dauch sponsored this candy cane display.

Rudolph and a sleigh full of gifts were sponsored by the Lyman Boat Company.

You can see the Ohio Edison office in the Odd Fellows building behind this large candle display in Washington Park.

The New Departure Division of General Motors sponsored this display of singers.

 Looking through microfilmed issues of the Sandusky Register Star News from 1950, we learn that at the Sears store in downtown Sandusky, shoppers could purchase a recording of their child’s conversation with the store’s Santa Claus. An ad from Cooper Chevrolet on Cleveland Avenue stated that the new 1951 Chevrolet was “America’s largest and finest low-priced car.” The Jaycees encouraged everyone to put a light in every window for the holiday season. Bing’s Furniture sold a wide variety of small and large appliances for the holiday season. The Frankel’s store offered a lay-away service, offering to “keep secrets safe” until the week of Christmas, and the J.C. Penney store in downtown Sandusky was selling men’s bomber jackets for $8.90. Herman’s Furniture advertised Lane hope chests for “a gift that starts the home.”  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Living Santa Claus at the Bazar

An advertisement from the December 14, 1900 issue of the Sandusky Register invites area residents to “Come and Visit with the Living Santa Claus” at the Bazar. Santa assisted shoppers make their selections at this popular dry goods store located at 615 and 617 Market Street at the turn of the twentieth century. Prices for dolls ranged from five cents to ten dollars. Circular railways sold for $1.25 to $5.00. Other items for sale for Christmas at the Bazar included books, Bibles, games, blocks, magic lanterns, desks, blackboards, and magic lanterns.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Vintage Views of Bakeries in Sandusky

Before Amandus Smith, Sr. co-founded the H and S Modern Baking Company with Edward Hartzel in 1918, he operated a bakery at Tiffin and Pearl Streets in Sandusky.  Pictured below is a photograph of the H and S Modern Bakery on Hancock Street which was taken in 1920. Eventually the H and S Modern Baking Company had facilities at 625 Hancock Street, 221 East Monroe Street, and 244 Columbus Avenue. The company also had facilities at other locations in Sandusky through the years. The H and S Modern Baking Company continued in business in Sandusky into the early 1950s.

Conrad Frank founded a bakery business in Sandusky about 1882. After his death, Mrs. Conrad Frank continued to operate the bakery for thirty-four years, until shortly before she passed away in 1926.

Check out the loaf of bread from the Armbruster Bakery, which was in business in Sandusky in the 1920s.

John Armbruster and Sons Bakery was located at 1614 West Jefferson Street for most of the 1920s in Sandusky.

These are not the only bakeries that have existed in Sandusky through the years, but unfortunately we do not have photographs of every historic business in the area.  Visit the Sandusky Library to find listings of bakeries and many other businesses in the Sandusky City Directories, which date back to 1855.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Mrs. Martin Eldis

According to History of  Erie County, Ohio, ed. by Lewis Cass Aldrich, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Eldis settled in Sandusky, Ohio in 1828. Martin Eldis was born in Elsass (Alsace?) in 1798, and came to America in 1817. He married Louise Guckenberger in Cincinnati in 1827. In the Spring of 1828, Martin Eldis opened a provisions store and bakery on Water Street in downtown Sandusky. On November 28, 1852 Martin Eldis died, leaving Mrs. Louise Eldis a widow with several children. Mrs. Eldis stated in History of  Erie County, Ohio, that when they first settled in Sandusky, she and her husband were not welcomed. She said, in part, “On our arrival sixty years ago, we were advised to better move on. If it had not have been for the steamboat trade, we never could have made a living in the first year or two. By and by though, the inborn element became more friendly to us, and learned to respect our ways. For nearly four years we were the only German family in this hamlet, and in all probability in the county."

Mrs. Louise Eldis died on December 19, 1888, at the age of 82. Her obituary, which appeared in the December 21, 1888 issue of the Sandusky Register, reported that she was probably the oldest resident in Sandusky at the time of her death. Mrs. Eldis was survived by three grown daughters and two sons. She was preceded in death by a son, George W. Eldis, as well as three little girls who died at a very young age. The Register article said about Mrs. Eldis, “The deceased through a long life filled its measure of usefulness and duty, a true wife, a devoted mother, a consistent Christian woman, a lifelong member of Grace church, giving of her means and labor with unwavering fidelity and always with cheerfulness for the poor and the spread of the gospel, and making her home a center of sunshine to her friends and a joy to her loved ones. Her death, peaceful and serene, like the setting of the sun at the close of a clear and calm day, was a fitting ending of this earthly life forth that entrance into the beyond.” Mrs. Eldis was buried in the family lot at Oakland Cemetery. Martin and Louise Eldis and all their children were interred in Lot 8 of Block 9 at Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Huron Parks Basketball Team, 1912-1913

While the players in this picture of the Huron Parks basketball team of 1912-1913 have not been identified, we know the last names of the team members from an old newspaper clipping. According to the November 16, 1912 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal, the last names of the players were: Oesterle, Pietschman, Schnell, Hallet, Simon and Kurtz.

Local photographer N.J. Abele created these picture postcards in 1912. On Thanksgiving evening in 1912, the Huron Parks were defeated by the members of the St. John’s Athletic Club basketball team at St. Mary’s Hall.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Opera House Cafe in 1900

According to the November 29, 1900 issue of the Sandusky Daily Star, on Thanksgiving Day in 1900, George A. Boeckling invited one hundred youngsters to have dinner at the Opera House Cafe. Mr. Boeckling asked Truant Officer Ulrich Zuercher to pass out the dinner invitations to needy children in Sandusky.

 The Opera House Cafe was located on Water Street, next to the Nielsen Opera House, seen at the far right in the picture above. G.A. Boeckling and Ulrich Zuercher met the crowd of hungry youngsters at the cafe at 11:00 on November 29, 1900. Waiters and waitresses served the children a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. The Star article reported that the children had their appetites with them and they gave “an exhibition of knife and fork play that has never been rivaled in the cafe.” Mr. Boeckling was making plans to have Santa Claus make an appearance at the lobby of the Nielsen Opera House on Christmas Eve, at which time he planned to pass out one thousand complimentary tickets. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Adam J. Stoll, Inventor

Adam J. Stoll was born in Bucyrus, Ohio in 1844.  He moved to Sandusky in 1868. That same year, he married Sophia Burgdorf, the adopted daughter of Ferdinand Geiersdorf. He was part owner of the Cedar Point resort in its very early years. When Mr. Stoll first moved to Sandusky, he worked in the commercial fishery business with his father in law. Later he partnered with Lewis Adolph in the fish business. For a time he worked independently in the fish business, until he sold the business to Booth Fisheries.  In 1883, Adam J. Stoll was issued Patent Number 285,521 for an apparatus which mixed ice and salt for freezing fish.

The former home of the Adam J. Stoll family, at 531 Wayne Street, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mrs. Sophia Stoll died in January, 1921. Adam J. Stoll passed away on July 17, 1930. He was survived by two daughters. His funeral services were held at the Stoll residence, and burial was at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. To read more about Adam J. Stoll and other former residents of Sandusky and Erie County, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Kuebeler and Stang Breweries

The production of beer was a major industry in nineteenth century Sandusky, with the Kuebeler and Stang families among the most successful brewers. In 1880 the Stang Brewery was founded from an earlier brewery that had first been operated by Phillip Dauch and Andrew Fischer. The Stang Brewing Company was located at the corner of Madison and King Streets. (Shown here in 1940, long after the plant was closed.)

Frank Stang started the Stang Brewing Company. His younger brother John Stang took over as president in 1890. Pictures of John Stang and Jacob Kuebeler appear in the 1895 publication, Men of Sandusky.

Jacob and August Kuebeler founded the Kuebeler Brewing Company in 1867. About 1885 the Kuebeler brothers both built virtually identical large brick homes on Tiffin Avenue. Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Kuebeler lived at 1318 Tiffin Avenue. (This home no longer stands.) The August Kuebeler residence was built at 1319 Tiffin Avenue, and is still standing today.

The Kuebeler Brewing Company was on Tiffin Avenue.

 The Kuebeler & Stang Breweries merged in 1896.  Two years later the Kuebeler-Stang Breweries merged with Cleveland breweries to form the Cleveland and Sandusky Brewing Company. Many breweries closed during Prohibition, but the Stang plant continued doing business as Crystal Rock Products Company, selling soft drinks. The picture below shows a float sponsored by the Kuebeler Stang Brewing Company in the late 1800s.

To read more about the Kuebeler and Stang Brewing Companies and other brewing companies, see the book, Brewing Beer in the Buckeye State, by Dr. Robert A. Musson, available for loan through the ClevNet system.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ferdinand V. Seibert, Painter and Interior Decorator

Above is a tintype portrait of Ferdinand V. Seibert as a young man. Mr. Seibert was born in Sandusky, Ohio on February 20, 1861, to Valentine and Margaret (Ulrich) Seibert. This cabinet card of Ferdinand V. Seibert was created by photographer W.A. Bishop in the 1880s.

Ferdinand was well known as a sign painter and interior decorator. In the 1890s and early 1900s, Ferdinand V. Seibert was in business with a Mr. Hasselbach. Hasselbach & Seibert were awarded the contract for painting rooms at Sycamore School in 1894. When Hasselbach & Seibert did the decorating work for attorneys King & Guerin in 1901, the January 11, 1901 issue of the Sandusky Star reported that the work done by them was “as fine as any ever done in Sandusky.” Later, Ferdinand V. Seibert worked alone. In 1912 he created fifty-six life size oil paintings of bathing beauties for a local resort. Mr. Seibert did art work on the face of Frank Steinle’s Wonder Clock,” now on display at Cedar Point’s Town Hall Museum. Ferdinand V. Seibert died on November 17, 1930, after a lengthy illness. His obituary, which appeared in the Sandusky Register of November 18, 1930, stated that he had been an expert sign painter, and a lifelong resident of the city. Mr. Seibert was survived by three sons. He was buried next to his wife, the former Mary Schumacher, at Oakland Cemetery.  The bracelet pictured below was crafted by Ferdinand V. Seibert from walnut shells. It can be seen at the Follett House Museum.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Vintage Views of the Sloane House Hotel

According to volume one of From the Widow's Walk, by Helen Hansen & Virginia Steinemann, the Sloane House hotel opened November 17, 1881 and was razed in the early 1950s to make way for the Lasalle’s store. The four story brick building was located at the northwest corner of Columbus Avenue and Washington Row, now the location of Erie County offices.  It was named for its owner, Rush Sloane, a well-known lawyer and abolitionist who served as Sandusky’s Mayor in the 1880s. When it opened, the Sloane House furnished accommodations for one hundred fifty guests.

 The Sloane House was a popular gathering place for business meetings, wedding receptions, and family gatherings. Several businesses were in operation at the street level. A drugstore was the anchor store at the Sloane House for several years. Below, you can see a portion of the H.K. Henkelman and J.H. Bechberger drugstore in a picture from a wintry day in 1909.

 An article in the October 25, 1915 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that a play entitled “Emma McChesney and Company” used an exact replica of the lobby of the Sloane House as part of its scenery.  A traveler told Sloane House Manager Charles T. Gauvey that when he saw the play, he was tempted to go on stage to go through the swinging door into the bar room, because it looked so much like the Sloane House lobby.

This postcard from the Alexander Manufacturing Company shows a view of side of the Sloane House that faced Washington Park.

 By the time this postcard was created by E.B. Ackley, visitors to the Sloane House could reach the hotel by automobile instead of horse-drawn vehicles.

 Several items from the Sloane House hotel can be viewed at the Follett House Museum, including this china water pitcher.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veterans Day November 11 -- Errol "Zip" Zistel, Military Aviator

Errol Henry Zistel was born in Sandusky, Ohio on July 16, 1895, to Ottomar and Amelia Zistel. He earned the nickname “Zip” from his days of “zipping” in an iceboat on Sandusky Bay when he was a teenager. He once went from Sandusky to Kelleys Island in eight and a half minutes in his iceboat, at a speed of ninety miles per hour. 

Errol Zistel began his military career as fighter pilot in Britain’s Royal Flying Corps and later transferred to General Pershing’s American Air Service during World War I.  During the war, he was seriously injured, but after his recovery he remained active in the Reserves. In 1927 he was one of the organizers of Ohio’s first Air National Guard Unit, the 112th Observation Squadron. During World War II, he commanded the fourth Air Support Command at Hamilton Field, California, achieving the rank of Major General. General Zistel actively flew aircraft until his retirement from active service in 1957. 

Errol H. Zistel died on January 25, 1968, and was buried with full military honors at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. Members of the Air Force served as Honor Guards. General Zistel had been a member of the Early Birds, the American Fighter Aces Association, the Order of Daedalus, the Quiet Birdmen, and the Air Force Association. He was a past president of the Cleveland Aviation Club. A lengthy obituary for Errol “Zip” Zistel appeared in the February 3, 1968 issue of the Sandusky Register.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Dr. Norbert A. Lange’s Life is Well Documented in Pictures

Dr. Norbert Adolph Lange, was a chemistry professor who is known for writing the classic text Handbook of Chemistry. In 1959 Dr. Norbert A. Lange and his wife, Marion Cleaveland Lange, translated Dr. Von Schulenburg’s book Sandusky Einst und Jetzt into English. The title in English is SanduskyThen and Now. The Langes were also the generous benefactors of the Lange Trust, which provides for “The promotion of cultural and educational enterprises in the City of Sandusky, Ohio, and the adjacent area within Erie County, Ohio.”  

Through the generosity of the Langes, the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center became the recipients of several Lange family photos and documents. As a result, we can see what Dr. Norbert A. Lange looked like at several different stages of his life. Here is a very early picture of Norbert Adolph Lange.

A few years later, we see Norbert Lange, the older child at the right, with his cousin Elmer Wirth, and their parents. Elmer Wirth's and Norbert Lange’s mothers were sisters. Their maiden name was Hauser.

By 1906, Norbert had a summer job at the Cedar Point Bathhouse. He is number 12 in the picture below.

He graduated from Sandusky High School in 1910. (He is number 40, in the back row.)

In 1918, Norbert A. Lange earned his PhD from the University of Michigan.

In most of the Lange photographs, people have been identified and dates provided. In your own family photographs, remember to identify the people, so that future generations can be informed about their family heritage.