Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Frank, Bakery Owners

Caroline Beck Frank was born on May 18, 1850 in Baden, Germany to Johann Georg Beck and his wife, the former Margaretha Schlessman. Caroline Beck married Conrad Frank, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Heinrich Frank,  in Mosbach, Baden, Germany on January 9, 1872. Mr. and Mrs. Frank had three children,  born between 1873 and 1876. By 1880, the Frank family had emigrated to the United States, where they settled in Sandusky, Ohio. In 1882, Conrad Frank established a bakery at 140 Tiffin Avenue, where he also resided with his family. Mr. Frank is pictured below, in a page from the English translation of Sandusky “Einst und Jetzt.”

Conrad Frank died on April 8, 1894. Following his death, Mrs. Frank ran the family business. Below is a picture of a delivery wagon and three employees from Mrs. Frank’s bakery.

By 1888, the Frank bakery had moved to the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Neil Street.

When Mrs. Caroline Frank passed away on June 6, 1926, an article which appeared in the June 8, 1926 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Mrs. Frank had been the oldest business woman in the city of Sandusky, and that she “met with unusual success” in her business. Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Frank were both laid to rest in Block 100 of Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. The family bakery was run by Julius Frank and his wife, after his mother’s death.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Interurban Car Barns on Columbus Avenue

The image above shows the old car barns in 1902, at 2610 Columbus Avenue in Perkins Township, just south of Perkins Avenue. The building was built by the Sandusky & Interurban in 1899 as a carhouse and power complex. In 1902, the car barns were in use by the Lake Shore Electric Railway. From 1960 to 1964, the Giant Tiger department store did business at this location. The company ran an advertisement in the January 5, 1961 issue of the Sandusky Register, thanking Sandusky residents for their warm welcome.

A huge fire destroyed the Giant Tiger store on the evening of March 1, 1964. 

A number of different businesses have been at 2610 Columbus Avenue through the years. Perkins Township’s Administrative Offices are now located there.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sandusky High School Orchestra in 1903

Pictured above is the Sandusky High School orchestra in 1903. The students are seated on the north steps of the old high school, which later became Adams Junior High School.  Another picture of the same group was taken with the musicians standing.

Notes on the back of the picture have identified the students:

Though the notes say that the year was 1904, the pictures were most likely taken in 1903, since the names of several of the members of the orchestra appeared in the 1903 Sandusky High School commencement program. Andrew Prout and Ralph Scherz both went on to become prominent doctors. Two of the students in the 1903 orchestra went into the field of education. Miss Bess Lawrence taught in the Sandusky City Schools for over thirty years, retiring in 1944. Edwin Williams became a professor of languages at the University of Nevada and the University of Redlands in California.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Early Veterinarians' Bills

In 1878 and 1879, Jay Bogert, who ran a livery service in Sandusky for many years, paid Dr. William B.H. Hunt for his services as a Veterinary Surgeon. Dr. Hunt attended to horses owned by Mr. Bogert on three occasions. The bill for three house calls totaled $5.75. Twice Dr. Hunt administered an antispasmodic drench to Bogert's animals. According to a reference from The Modern Horse Doctor, published in 1856, an antispasmodic drench was used for spasms of either the nervous system or muscular system. Dr. Hunt was listed in the Sandusky City Directories of 1878 and 1880 as a Veterinary Surgeon at 1220 Washington Street; later he was elected as Mayor of Sandusky, serving from 1881 to 1882, and then re-elected in 1887 and 1889.

Another veterinary bill from long ago was paid to Dr. E. R. Hinkley by a Mr. Emrich on July 1, 1904.

The veterinarian called at the Emrich residence to treat a horse. His bill was $2.50. Dr. Hinkley was born in Huron County, but he spent most of his adult life as a Veterinary Surgeon in Sandusky, Ohio. His office was located on the south side of West Market Street for many years; the office is visible at the extreme right of this image of Market Street, with the Columbus Avenue intersection in the background.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Historical Museum of the Sandusky Library

Shortly after the original Sandusky Library building opened in 1901, the library established a room on the upper level dedicated to the preservation of items of historical interest. The historical museum of the Sandusky Library was founded by the Board of Trustees in 1905. The museum featured artifacts, photographs, maps and other documents from the early days of Sandusky and Erie County. Mary McCann, longtime head librarian of the Sandusky Library, stated in the early years, the alcove room which stored the historical items must have looked like someone’s crowded attic. 

Mrs. Charles Merz, the former Sakie Prout, was chairman of the museum committee from 1920 through 1942. Through the efforts of Mrs. Merz, the space was enlarged, items were cataloged, and the museum policy was organized. The historical museum in the library was usually open to the public on one Saturday afternoon each month. Special tours were given at other times for school groups and community organizations. Ruth Thomas wrote an article about the museum in the June 8, 1919 issue of the Sandusky Register entitled, “Romance of City’s Past Within Library Museum." The author stated that “Sandusky’s story in times of war and peace is portrayed in the collections of relics” at the historical museum. She pointed out some of the highlights of the museum, including a chair made from the battleship Lawrence from the Battle of Lake Erie, a wooden grave marker from the former Civil War prison camp at Johnson’s Island, and household items and clothing from an era gone by.  In October of 1942, the museum displayed an exhibit of antique salt cellars. 

Sister Mary Delphine brought St. Mary’s High School history students to the museum in 1962:

In January of 1971,  the estate of Dr. Norbert Lange donated photographs and documents to the museum. Dr. Lange had a lifelong interest in the economic, scientific, and cultural affairs of the community, so the gift from his estate greatly enriched the museum’s collections. 

During the Sandusky Area Sesquicentennial celebration in June, 1968, the historical museum of the Sandusky Library was open for several days. Below are two young ladies in historical dresses.

In the picture below, taken at the museum on June 23, 1968, you can see a  bell which hung from the towers of the first and second Erie County Courthouses, from about 1840 to 1936. Another antique dress is worn by a museum volunteer at the left.

The collections of the former historical museum of the Sandusky Library found a new home at the Follett House Museum in July, 1976. Each of the Museum’s four floors feature exhibits that document the story of Sandusky.  You can take a virtual tour of the Follett House Museum online at the website of the Sandusky Library.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Carl C. Jensen, Hansen's Fish Market

Carl C. Jensen and his son, Carl J. Jensen, are pictured above at Hansen’s Fish Market at the foot of Columbus Avenue in Sandusky, Ohio, about 1935.  Carl C. Jensen worked at Hansen’s Fish Market for thirty years. According to an article in the March 8, 1940 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal, Carl estimated that he had cleaned over three million fish between 1930 and 1940.  He cleaned, on the average, a thousand fish each day, which added up to about 450 pounds. Hansen’s Fish Market can be seen on the far right of the picture below. Chris Hansen, also a native of Denmark, was the owner of the fish market for several years.

In a closer view, you can read the name of the market on the outside of the building.

Carl C. Jensen, his wife Margaret, and three young children, cane to America aboard the ship United States, arriving in New York City on October 26, 1926. The Jensens first moved to Missouri, where they lived near relatives; in 1930 the family moved to Sandusky, Ohio. A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Jensen while they lived in Missouri, and Carl J. Jensen, the youngest child in the family, was born in 1932 in Sandusky, Ohio. Many facts about individuals can be gleaned by doing research at online resources such as Ancestry Library Edition and FamilySearch. The passenger list of the entire Jensen family was listed at the Immigration Records available at Ancestry. At FamilySearch, you can find Carl C. Jensen's World War II registration card, which indicated that he worked at Hansen’s Fish Market.

An article in the June 14, 1948 issue of the Sandusky Register featured an interesting story of the sister and niece of Carl C. Jensen visiting their American relatives in Sandusky, Ohio. If you would like to learn more about the history of your own ancestors, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Even if your family was not from Erie County, Ohio, a wealth of genealogical resources are available both in print and online. There are four computers in the Archives Research Center which are reserved exclusively for genealogical and local history research.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Oxford Township Grange Hall in Bloomingville

Now a private residence, the Oxford Township Grange Hall was the center of community life for many years from the early 1900s until the 1980s. The building is located at the intersection of Taylor Road and Mason Road in Oxford Township of Erie County, Ohio.   Farming was the main occupation of residents of Oxford Township in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  In the picture above, from the 1910s, several individuals can be seen with their horses and buggies. 

Bloomingville is an unincorporated village in northern Oxford Township of Erie County. Hewson Peeke wrote in A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio, that the earliest settlers in Bloomingville arrived in 1810. Bloomingville was one of the largest towns in northern Ohio at that time, with a church, mill, school, inn, and post office established in that first decade. The Bank of Sandusky Bay was built in the village in 1816-1817, but it was not granted a charter.  The old brick bank building is pictured below.

Eleutheros Cooke and his family lived in the former bank building in 1819, and his son Pitt Cooke was born here. Andrew W. Prout lived here in the 1830s. (The building no longer stands.)  The Bloomingville Cemetery is located adjacent to the former Grange building, with burials dating back to the early 1800s.

You can read more about the history of Oxford Township in several histories of Erie County, Ohio, at the Sandusky Library. 

The historic marker at Bloomingville Cemetery gives a brief summary of the community's history

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Historic Building at 1408 Central Avenue

Now home to a legal office, real estate management company, and space for inside storage, the brick building at 1408 Central Avenue has been a commercial building in Sandusky for several decades. In the 1896 Erie County Atlas, this location was listed as a bonded warehouse. An article in the January 20, 1899 issue of the Sandusky Star reported that the officers of the Sandusky Warehouse Company had purchased the bonded warehouse on Central Avenue, which had previously been owned by Hugo Engels, a local wine dealer.  From 1916 to 1919, Sandusky city directories list the property at 1408 Central Avenue as a Special Bonded Warehouse for the Internal Revenue Service. In this image from the Sanborn Map, you can see that the property at 1408 Central wraps around to the 800 block of Polk Street.

An advertisement which appeared in the May 4, 1919 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that the Arbogust Garage was Sandusky’s “newest, largest, completely equipped garage.” It was located at the former site of the bonded warehouse at Central Avenue and Polk Street.

From the 1920s through the 1940s, 1408 Central Avenue was home to a variety of automobile related businesses. From 1950 to 1969, Sears and Roebuck had a warehouse at 1408 Central Avenue. In a local newspaper ad in 1950, Sandusky customers were urged to “follow the crowd” to the big Sears warehouse sale at 1408 Central Avenue and Polk Street. A map from the downtown Sears store to the warehouse was included in the advertisement in the June 14, 1950 issue of the Sandusky Register.

During the 1970s, property was vacant for some years, and a pharmaceutical company which sold vitamin products was in business there for a few years. From the very late 1970s until about 2000, the Warehouse Gift and Gun Shop were in business at 1410 Central Avenue, while 1408 Central served as a warehouse for the shops.  Many of the commercial buildings in Sandusky have been home to a variety of businesses through the years. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to see Sanborn Maps, county histories, and historical Sandusky city directories to learn more about our community’s past.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Views of Market Street Looking East from Jackson

This postcard of Market Street, looking east from Jackson Street, was created in the 1920s. E.B. Ackley’s billiard parlor is on the north side of West Market Street, adjacent to Jackson. You can see the marquee of the Schade Theatre, which later became the Ohio Theatre. In the distance, the Cooke building is visible at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Market Street. The Hotel Rieger building (which recently opened as an apartment building, the Rieger Lofts) is on the south side of West Market Street, just opposite the Star Journal building, which now is home to the Sandusky Register. Going east down Market Street, the Third National Bank is next to the Hotel Rieger. A sign advertising an auto supply store is visible, just west of the old city building, with its two towers. In the distance you can see the Feick building, a tall structure on the south side of East Market Street. A variety of offices and small businesses are found all along Market Street, on the street level as well as on upper floors. The Hotel Rieger featured some businesses which were below street level. Below is a view of Market Street in a picture that was taken between 1890 and 1910.

The Manhattan clothing store is located where Mr. Ackley later had his billiards parlor. Dr. Nicholson had his dental office above the Manhattan store. The Hotel Rieger and Star Journal buildings had not yet been constructed, but the Cooke building and former city hall can still be seen. Street cars and horse drawn vehicles were the mode of transportation at this time, instead of the autmobiles seen in the postcard above. You can see several other images of Market Street at the Sandusky History blog by clicking on this link.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Erie County Farmers’ Institute in 1912

Farmers’ Institutes were modeled after the popular Teachers’ Institutes in the mid-1800s for the purpose of disseminating information to farmers about the latest developments in farm management. Dr. Norton S. Townshend former secretary of the Ohio Board of Agriculture, promoted Farmers’ Institutes in Ohio. In an address at the annual meeting of the State Board of Agriculture in 1874, Dr. Townshend said, "What we want is to abandon the old idea that farming has no higher aim than getting a living, and instead of it to adopt the better one that the chief end of farming is the culture and improvement of the farmer and his family; and while it does this, it should, as a secondary result, give support and pay expenses. Farming needs a new departure, or to take a new start, and with a higher aim and purpose, so that it may secure to the farmer the same improvement in intellectual and social position that men expect to secure through the professions of law or medicine. These professions educate men by their daily work, and so will farming when taken hold of in earnest and in the right way."  The Farmers’ Institutes were held in most Ohio counties during the winter months, for two or three days. Lectures were presented by state agricultural leaders, followed by open discussions among the local farmers. On January 1 and 2, 1912, the Erie County Farmer’s Institute was held at the Perkins Methodist Church.

 Ross D.L. Ransom was the president of the Institute, with Charles F. Steen as vice president, Harry E. Storrs as treasurer, and L.J. Parker serving as secretary.

 Several lectures were given, covering topics such as soil needs, the consumers’ dollar, use and value of lime, corn growing, and pruning of nursery stock. Interspersed among the lectures and discussions were musical numbers by area residents. The Ladies’ Aid Society of the Perkins Methodist Church provided dinner in the church basement for twenty five cents. Clifford King donated four programs from Erie County Farmers’ Institutes, from 1911 to 1914. 

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center if you would like to view this historical items, which are housed in archival box E-6, folder 5. A chapter about Ohio’s Farmers’ Institutes is found in the Farmer's Centennial History of Ohio, online at the InternetArchive. Agriculture continues to be an important component of Ohio’s economy, with one in seven Ohioans employed in agriculture or an agricultural related business.