Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Wedding of Cora H. Arndt and George F. Hagenman

 On Thursday afternoon, December 29, 1881, Rev. L.S. Osborne officiated at the marriage of Cora H. Arndt and George F. Hagenman at the bride’s home on 410 Adams Street in Sandusky, Ohio. A listing of the gifts that were presented to the bride was printed for the friends and family of the newlyweds.

 Cora H. Arndt was the only daughter of David M. Arndt, superintendent of the Sandusky Water Works, and her groom, George F. Hagenman, was a young lawyer from Reading, Pennsylvania. An article which appeared in the December 30, 1881 issue of the Sandusky Register gave a lengthy description of the wedding.  Cora wore a brocade cream dress with satin shirrings, and a magnificent set of diamond earrings, which had been a gift of her bridegroom. William Dilger, proprietor of the Hayes Avenue Conservatories, decorated the Arndt home with flowers and vines. A floral archway took the place of the traditional wedding bell. Music was provided by the Great Western Orchestra, who played an arrangement of Lohengrin’s Wedding March that had been rendered by Eugene Baetz especially for the wedding. Wedding gifts included several items of silver and crystal.

Sadly, the marriage did not last. Erie County Probate Court records indicate that on February 17, 1885, Cora married lawyer George Henry White. The couple moved to Chicago, and had two children. Cora Arndt White died on January 26, 1914, following a lengthy illness. Her obituary, which was in the January 29, 1914 issue of the Sandusky Register, stated that Cora had been one of “Sandusky’s charming young ladies.” She had been an active member of the community, especially in the parish work of Grace Church. Cora Arndt White was buried in the White family lot in a cemetery in Harvard, Illinois. George F. Hagenman died in 1907 when he was in a tragic railway accident during a Shriner’s trip to California.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

“Most Popular Caller of the Year”

On December 24, 1901, the Sandusky Register featured this illustration of Mr. Santa Claus, “the most popular caller of the year.”  The caption stated that he would reach Sandusky that evening, and he would appear among the poor as well as the rich.

He'll be there soon . . . . 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Bazar Was Santa’s Home in 1898

This advertisement from the Bazar store appeared in the December 21, 1898 issue of the Sandusky Register. In the late 1890s, the Bazar was located at 516 and 617 Market Street in downtown Sandusky. According to the ad, the Bazar was “Santa Claus’ Home” during the 1898 holiday season. For twenty-five cents, customers could purchase books, dolls, china ornaments, and handkerchiefs. For fifty cents, you could buy rings, toys, and vases. Sleds, mirror sets, and carving sets sold for a dollar. The advertisements in the historical issues of the Register give us a sense of the types of gifts our ancestors may have purchased over a hundred years ago. A large sign from the Bazar can be seen in this vintage picture of the parade honoring the returning Spanish American War soldiers from Company B of the Sixth Ohio Regiment in May of 1899.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Portrait of Frank G. Sloane

In the Toy Room of the Follett House Museum is a beautiful portrait of Frank G. Sloane, painted by Caroline L. Ormes Ransom. Frank Gilkeson Sloane was the son of former Sandusky Mayor Rush R. Sloane, and his wife, the former Sarah E. Morrison. Caroline L. Ormes Ransom was an artist who spent time in Sandusky, Ohio in the mid-nineteenth century.  Caroline was known for painting portraits. Her portrait of President James Garfield can be seen at the James A. Garfield NationalHistoric Site in Mentor, Ohio. Young visitors to the Follett House Museum are often surprised to learn that the child in the portrait is a male, because he has long curls. Visit the Follett House Museum to see many artifacts from Sandusky’s historic past.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Herman Engels

Herman Engels was born in Germany in 1827. He and his wife Louise immigrated to the United States in 1874. Herman’s uncle, Jacob Engels had come to the Sandusky area in 1848, where he became active in importing wine and in the culture of grapes. Jacob Engels founded the Engels Wine Company in 1863. After Jacob’s death in 1875, Herman Engels took over his uncle’s wine company. Herman’s children assisted their father with the business. In 1878 the firm became known as Engels and Krudwig, after R.P. Krudwig joined the company. Engels and Krudwig was located at the southwest corner of Water and Hancock Streets.

Engels and Krudwig produced several varieties of red and white wines, both sweet and dry. In the late 18th century, a bottling works was connected to the main facility by an underground tunnel.

Herman Engels died on July 6, 1899. His obituary, which appeared in the July 7, 1899 issue of the Sandusky Star read, in part: “Mr. Engels was a man who was admired and esteemed by all who knew him. He was a man of broad culture, unostentatious in manner he attracted all by his simple kindliness. He held nature above everything else, and was known for his strong love the beautiful. He admired flowers and was never happier that when at work upon the park commission, lending his aid and advice upon matters tending to beautify the city.” 

Herman Engels was buried in the family lot at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.  His sons ran the winery after their father’s death. Later, the sons-in-law of Carl Engels operated the E & K Wine Company until the business closed in 1961. Herman Engels was one of Sandusky’s most highly respected business men at the time of his death.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

John Bing, Veteran of the First World War

John G. Bing was born in Sandusky in 1889 to Philip and Rachel Bing. During World War I, he served as a pilot in the Enlisted Reserve Corps, training at Souther Field Flying School in Americus, Georgia. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant, and was honorably discharged on December 6, 1918.  After military service, he moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where he worked as western manager of the Carney Cement Company. An article which appeared in the August 20, 1922 issue of the Sandusky Register, told of Mr. Bing’s marriage to a young lady from Omaha, Nebraska.

The article stated that the couple had a “church choir romance.” John G. Bing married Miss Martha J. Barsch on August 10, 1922 at the First Congregational Church of Omaha, Nebraska. Later the couple moved to Cuyahoga County, Ohio, where they raised their two daughters. Mr. Bing died on October 25, 1967 at the age of 78, and was buried in Omaha, Nebraska, his wife’s home town. Mrs. Martha Barsch Bing lived to age of 102. She died on June 28, 2004, and was buried next to her husband.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Barber Shops in Sandusky

According to the July 1888 issue of the Firelands Pioneer, the first barber shop in Sandusky was operated by Grant Ritchie, an African American who was also active in the Underground Railroad in the Sandusky area, a network of individuals who aided fugitive slaves find their way to freedom in Canada. In the 1850s, most of the barber shops in Sandusky were in the downtown area of the city. Though the picture below is not in color, the J. and F. Bock Barber Shop, located at 812 Water Street in 1886, featured the familiar red, white, and blue pole in front of the shop. The red and white pole (with blue usually added in American poles) has long been a symbol of the barber’s trade.

The 1902 Sandusky City Directory listing for barber shops included the names of thirty three barbers. Harry Parker’s barber shop was in the Sloane House hotel at that time. In the first part of the twentieth century, several hotels in Sandusky had their own barber shops for the convenience of their guests. Barbershops were found in the West House, Commercial Hotel, Murschel House, Hotel Rieger, the Wayne Hotel and the Hotel Breakers at Cedar Point. Below is a photograph of Jerry McMahon’s barber shop in the Hotel Rieger about 1935. Jerry McMahon is on the right. The other barbers in the picture are: Bill Foley, Chet Martin, and Bill Wells. Charles Alexander, in the back of the shop, worked as a shoeshine porter.

John Martin Luipold worked as a barber in Sandusky for over sixty years. In this picture of his barber shop on Hayes Avenue in 1915, you can see a wooden rack holding the shaving  mugs of several of his regular customers.

Today, Sandusky still has several traditional barber shops, though some hair styling businesses cater to both male and female customers. The Acme Barber Shop on Columbus Avenue (below, in 1922) has operated under various owners since 1901.

To read more about the history of barbers in Sandusky, see Article 40 in volume two of From the Widow's Walk, by Helen Hansen and Virginia Steinemann.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

WLEC Radio Began Broadcasting in 1947

Now a part of BAS Broadcasting Ohio, WLEC Radio began broadcasting on December 7, 1947. At that time WLEC was operated by the Lake Erie Broadcasting Company, an affiliate of the Mutual Broadcasting System. The premiere broadcast on WLEC featured a program which commemorated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

This picture was taken on the first anniversary of WLEC Radio in 1948. From left to right are: Bill Frankel, Al Heiser, John Kohler, Marie Pascoe, Father Hartman, Ed Gangware, Karl Whinnery and Jay Wagner.

 Marie Pascoe is seen on the left side in the picture below. In the 1950s, she narrated radio programs on WLEC Radio using the name Nancy Lake.

Jay Wagner and Dan Appel are on either side of the Landes twins during a WLEC broadcast.

 In 1958 WLEC Radio took its mobile studio the dedication of the City Building.

Below is a picture of WLEC Radio staff from the 1970s.

Do you have any special memories of listening to WLEC Radio?

Thursday, December 04, 2014

St. John’s Chapel of Grace Episcopal Church

Pictured above is a Sunday School group at St. John’s Chapel, an outreach site of Grace Episcopal Church. The photograph was taken between 1900 and 1910. All the children are dressed in their Sunday best, and the pastor and several other adults are standing behind the Sunday School students. The 1905 Sanborn Map actually shows two buildings associated with the St. John’s Chapel. One was located on Clinton Street, and designated as the St. John’s Sunday School, while the St. John’s Chapel itself was located on West Monroe Street.

Grace Episcopal Church’s original church building was begun in 1835. This post card shows the church before the towers were altered.


At the back of a history of Grace Church by Gordon Wendt, is a list of several outreach programs undertaken by Grace Episcopal Church. Under the leadership of Rev. S.A. Bronson, St. Ann’s Chapel was built in the area known as Camptown, on the east side of Sandusky. St. Mary’s Chapel was built in the 1850s on the west side of Sandusky and later became the Sunday School building for St. John’s Chapel. St. John’s Chapel was built in 1876 on West Monroe Street, and was in operation through the 1920s. St. Luke’s Chapel was built in 1881 on Hayes Avenue, between Tyler and Polk Street. It was sold in 1915 to the First Christian Church, and was home to that church for many years. Mr. Wendt wrote that Calvary Episcopal Church started out as a chapel, built in 1870-71 at First Street and Erie Street. In 1899-1900, Calvary’s building at Meigs and First Street was constructed.  Old Calvary Church now serves as a wedding venue. Visit the Sandusky Library to read more about the history of Grace Episcopal Church, and many other local churches. The Sandusky Library Archives Research Center holds many reels of microfilmed church records.