Thursday, April 30, 2015

John and Charles J. Krupp

Born in Bavaria, Germany in 1822, John Krupp was in the furniture and undertaking  business in Sandusky from about 1870 until he retired in 1895. Charles J. Krupp, his son, and Henry T. Goebel took over the business after John Krupp retired. Charles J. Krupp received special training in scientific embalming from Professor Auguste Renouard.  The partnership of Krupp and Goebel was dissolved in 1900, with Mr. Goebel continuing in the furniture business, and Mr. Krupp continuing in the undertaking business. By 1901 Charles J. Krupp had relocated the business to the Mahala Block on Washington Row.

An advertisement which apperared in the August 21, 1905 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal stated that Krupp was the “most complete undertaking house in Sandusky.”  Ira Krupp was assisting his father in the business at this time.

By 1911, the Mr. Krupp had moved the business  to the Masonic Temple building, where  Edward Quick was his assistant. Also in 1911, John Krupp passed away. His wife Katherine Simon Krupp had died in 1906.

Charles J. Krupp married Ida Palmerton in 1878. After the death of Oran Follett, Ida’s father purchased the former Follett residence for his daughter and her husband. After Ida Krupp passed away in 1906, Charles J. Krupp married Mary Buyer.   Below is a picture of 404 Wayne Street when Charles and Mary Krupp resided there.


On May 14, 1924, Charles J. Krupp died at his home on Wayne Street after he suffered a stroke. Charles J. Krupp had been an undertaker for fifty-four years, and was considered a leader in his profession. He had been the last person to look upon the face of President William McKinley, as Mr. Krupp had been a member of the state licensing board of embalmers at the time of McKinley’s death, and he was the person who closed the casket before it was placed in the tomb. Charles J. Krupp was survived by his widow Mary, his son, daughter, and one sister, Mrs. Paul Miller of Sandusky. Funeral services for Charles J. Krupp were held at both his residence, and at Sts. Peter and Paul’s Church. Burial was at St. Mary’s Cemetery. It was estimated that Charles J. Krupp had buried more than 10,000 during his many years in business in Sandusky. To read more about the Krupp family, see A Standard History of Erie County, by Hewson L. Peeke (Lewis Publishing Co., 1916.) 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Stadium Diner

From 1941 until the late 1980s, the Stadium Diner was in business at 1019 West Perkins Avenue in Sandusky, close to the Sandusky High School’s football field (now Strobel Field at Cedar Point Stadium.) The postcard above states that Stadium Diner was “the world’s largest diner.”  The main structure of the Stadium Diner was made from two former Lake Shore Electric interurban cars placed end to end.

Nat Sherrard was the proprietor of this popular restaurant for many years. In 1941, the Stadium Diner was open 24 hours a day, and specialized in steak, chicken and fish dinners. Many business luncheons, dinner meetings, and other special events were hosted there. Of course it was a popular spot for a meal before or after a high school football game as well. 

In 1952, the Stadium Diner was remodeled. This advertisement, which appeared in the August 21, 1952 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News, indicated that the new owner of the Stadium Diner was H.S. Gamber, with A. Lack working as the manager.

Many local businesses offered their congratulations on the opening of the newly remodeled restaurant. In 1952, a Lake Erie perch dinner could be purchased at Stadium Diner for one dollar. Members of the Berardi family purchased the Stadium Diner in 1989, and now operate the popular restaurant, Berardi’s Family Kitchen. 

A cloth napkin from the Stadium Diner, from the collections of the Sandusky Library

Friday, April 24, 2015

Small Bits of History on Sandusky’s Historic Buildings

The symbols, initials, and acronyms that can be seen on Sandusky’s older buildings provide us with clues to the historic past of our community.

The Sandusky Register building was originally built for the Star Journal, as evidenced by the initials SJ seen on the top corner of the building.

A series of Rs border the upper level of the Rieger Lofts help us remember the Rieger family.

When John Rieger opened the Hotel Rieger at the southeast corner of Jackson and Market Streets in Sandusky in 1912, it was Sandusky’s first “fireproof” hotel.

The letters I.O.O.F. and globe that are seen on the corners of the Odd Fellows Temple on Washington Row remind us that the building was first built for the fraternal organization known as the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Sandusky’s Odd Fellows building was dedicated on March 18, 1890. Several attorneys and businesses are now located in the I.O.O. F. building on Washington Row in downtown Sandusky. Through the years, several other businesses have been in operation at the street level of the Odd Fellows Temple on Washington Row.

The building now home to Calvary Temple was constructed in the 1920s for the Commercial Banking and Trust Company.

The group of layered letters above the door on the west side of Calvary Temple feature the beginning letters of the words Commercial Banking and Trust Company.  The bank did not survive the Great Depression.

On the north side of Adams Junior High School, which opened in 1869 as Sandusky High School, is a trefoil and an equilateral triangle, which is a traditional Christian symbol that represents the Trinity.

Take note of the interesting architectural details found on the historic buildings in Sandusky and Erie County. Lots of history can be learned by observing closely the fine details in the buildings you may walk by every day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

“You Never Can Tell” Performance in 1922

On April 20, 1922, the play “You Never Can Tell” was presented by the Sandusky Federation of Women’s Clubs at the Sandusky Theater on Jackson and Water Streets.

Charlotte Atwater DeVine directed the play, which was put on for the benefit of a free dental clinic for school age children in Sandusky. George Bernard Shaw wrote the play, which was about a dentist falling in love. A subplot in the play was about three children who accidentally meet their father for the first time. Below is the list of characters, and the local actors who portrayed them.

Mrs. Lilly Johnson wrote a review of the local production in the April 21, 1922 issue of the Sandusky Register. Mrs. Johnson stated that a large and distinctive audience saw the play, which featured many professional touches. Two actors who played their roles very well were George Lehrer as the semi-villainous father, and Charles Selkirk, who portrayed the suave attorney. The article concluded:

In this group of people Sandusky possesses dramatic talent of a high order and it is to be hoped that lovers of the drama have an opportunity of seeing them at frequent intervals. A total of $300 was raised for the future dental clinic.

Along the edges of the play’s program were advertisements for local businesses, which were written in rhyme. These two ads are from W.A. Bishop, photographer, and Denzer’s office supply store.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Indoor Circuses Held at Jackson Junior High

From 1940 through 1958, the Sandusky Industrial Union Council sponsored an annual indoor circus, which was held at Jackson Junior High School. The event was sponsored by . The November 1940 performance by the Patterson Brothers included trained horses, trapeze artists, clowns, and comical dogs and monkeys. A feature of the 1940 indoor circus was a trained pony that kicked footballs into the stands. In the 1941 Indoor Circus, Buck Owens appeared with his horse Goldie.

Buck Owens was a native Sanduskian. He was born Max Geis, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Geis, who lived on Clinton Street in the 1940s. 

Below is an advertisement for the indoor circus held on March 17, 1949, which appeared in the March 12 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News. School age children could attend the event for forty cents.

The indoor circus of 1953 featured the Lehmback family from Fort Wayne, who performed balancing, juggling and acrobatics. Captain Walcott also brought trained dogs and ponies to entertain the crowds. In 1958, aerialist named “Miss Consuelo” performed. Area residents recalled her last appearance in Sandusky when she was featured during the halftime show of the Harlem Globetrotters game. 

While the indoor circus was not as large as a traditional circus, the Junior High provided a convenient location for most area residents.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

William H. Reinhart, President of the Sweet Valley Wine Company

William Homer Reinhart was born in 1865 in Huron County, Ohio to Mr. and Mrs. Carl Reinhart, who were both natives of Germany.  When William was quite young, both his parents died. He learned the cooper trade while quite young, and then he went to Kelleys Island to work for the Sweet Valley Wine Company. Reinhart first worked as a salesman for the company, and by the early 1900s he became its president, holding that position until his death in 1940.

Mr. Reinhart also served as the president of the local Chamber of Commerce, where he spearheaded a fund raising drive to help reorganize the organization after the Chamber had faced a severe financial crisis. Additionally, he was the first president of the Perry’s Victory Memorial Association. And when the United Commercial Travelers held their convention at Cedar Point in June of 1906, Reinhart addressed the group as chairman of the general executive committee of the Sandusky Council, No. 278, United Commercial Travelers. Mr. Reinhart’s picture appeared in the June, 1907 issue of the Ohio Magazine, which featured an article by John T. Mack, entitled “Industrial Sandusky” while he was the president of the local Chamber of Commerce.

On October 1931, he was named the Conservation Commissioner of the state of Ohio. While in this position, he took many steps to improve game wildlife in Ohio, and he spoke to sportsman’s groups all over the state. Mr. Reinhart was one of the founders of the Ohio State Elks Association, and he served as its president twice. During this time, in the late 1930s, Mr. Reinhart also served as a city commissioner. 

William H. Reinhart died on December 31, 1940 at the Cleveland Clinic, after a lengthy illness. Funeral services were held at the Sandusky Elks Lodge, with the Rev. C.L. Alspach officiating. He was buried at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. He was survived by a wife, one sister, one brother, a daugher, a stepson, and three grandchildren. The Sandusky city building was closed during Mr. Reinhart’s funeral, and the flag at the Post Office flew at half staff, in memory of the former city leader. George J. Doerzbach, fellow city commissioner, said about Reinhart, “No Sanduskian had the interest of this city more at heart than did Mr. Reinhart. I have worked with him for many years on civic and social affairs and always found him ready to give of his time an energy in helping to boost his home community and give a helping hand to his host of friends."

Sunday, April 12, 2015

In Celebration of National Library Week

The Library Association of Sandusky was incorporated in Ohio on November 4, 1895, and has provided free library service to residents of Erie County ever since.  For more history of Sandusky Library, visit the library’s website. In honor of National Library Week, here are some pictures of readers and library patrons from the collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Three young ladies are seen reading in the back of a truck in front of the library in 1926.

In the early 1950s, the Follett House was home to Home Economics classes from Sandusky High School.  These young readers were a part of the early education unit of the Home Economics class.

Long time Head Librarian Mary McCann sometimes worked on the Bookmobile.

We do not know the exact date of this picture, but notes on the back indicate that these women and girls were all members of Mrs. Emrich’s Reading Club.

Besides tradional books in hard copy, Sandusky Library now offers books for your Smart Phone, Kindle, or tablet, and eBooks for your mp3 player.  Click on the eMedia link on the Sandusky Library’s home page to get started.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The Schade Theatre and Ohio Theatre

The Schade Theatre in Sandusky opened in the 200 block of West Market Street in 1915 as the Alhambra Theatre. An article in the December 19, 1915 issue of the Star Journal reported that the “motion picture palace” cost a total of $100,000. George J. Schade (below) was the owner of the theatre.

H.C. Millot was the architect, and the building contractor was Feick and Company. According to the Star Journal, “It can be stated truthfully that not a city of Sandusky’s size in the country, and few of the larger ones can boast of so beautiful a movie play-house.” Seating capacity on the main floor was 700, with a balcony that seated 50 more individuals. Special attention was paid to the lighting and acoustics. By the fall of 1916, the theater was known as the Schade Theatre. Until the late 1920s, the films were all silent. Mr. Schade advertised heavily in the Star Journal. He wrote a column known as “Schad–E Tips” which promoted the films that were being shown in the theater. In the summer of 1916, a theater organ known as the Hope-Jones Unit Orchestra provided musical entertainment for the theater.

The theater organ could simulate the sounds of orchestra music with just one musician. By the fall of 1930, and continuing through the 1960s, the Schade Theatre became known as Warner’s Ohio Theatre, under the proprietorship of Warner Brothers.

The marquee of the Ohio Theatre is visible in this picture of Market Street from the 1930s.

In March of 1940, the movie Young Tom Edison, starring Mickey Rooney, played for ten days at the Ohio Theatre. This was of particular interest to area residents, since Thomas Edison was born in nearby Milan, Ohio. Love Story played in Sandusky exclusively at the Ohio Theatre in Feburary of 1971.  By the late 1970s, the Ohio Theatre was operating as an adult theatre. The Ohio Theatre closed  in 1979, and eventually the building was razed.

For more information about local theaters, see the Sandusky Register column “Market Street Was Movie House Mecca” by Ron Davidson, or visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Several archival boxes are devoted to the history of arts and entertainment in Sandusky.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Early Days of the Kiwanis Club of Sandusky

Pictured above are the members of the Kiwanis Club of Sandusky in 1936. At that time, Elliott Bender was the president of the organization. In 1936 the Kiwanis Club of Sandusky took part in Sandusky’s Safe Motor Vehicle Campaign, in conjunction with the Sandusky Register and the Star Journal. Sandusky residents were asked to sign this pledge:

Once the pledge card was filled out, automobile drivers could stop at one of several Sandusky businesses to pick up a sticker for their car that read:


After the March 17, 1936 meeting, members of the Kiwanis Club of Sandusky went to the William Mound studio to get a group photograph taken. By 1951, the membership of the club had increased.

There were 65 members of the Kiwanis Club of Sandusky in October, 1951. Roger Doerzbach was president at that time. In 1951, the club sponsored a film series put out by the National Audubon Society, and hosted a Christmas dinner for the Erie County Children’s Home. When the Kiwanis Club of Sandusky met with the Lorain Kiwanis Club in October, 1951, there was 100% attendance at that meeting. 

The Kiwanis Club of Sandusky, Ohio is a service club that was chartered on November 8, 1919. The group donated a collection of historic items to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center which includes photographs, minutes, monthly reports, and membership rosters. Visit the Archives Research Center to view the archives of the Kiwanis Club of Sandusky.

Friday, April 03, 2015

When the Cooke House was on Washington Row

A local resident, Leroy Hinkey donated several historical photographs to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Because of his generosity, we can get an idea of what Sandusky looked like in days gone by. This stereographic image, created by Sandusky photographer A.C. Platt, was made in the 1870s as part of the Isles of Lake Erie series. In an enlarged view, you can see several buildings that were important to the daily lives of Sandusky residents for many years. The Cooke Block, at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Market Street, was constructed in the 1850s. It was built by Wildman Mills, who sold it to Charles E. and George A. Cooke in 1866, and still stands today. Many local residents will recall when Holzaepfel’s was in business in the Cooke building.

The West House hotel was owned by brothers W.T. and A.K. West. It opened in 1858, in time for the Ohio State Fair, which was held in Sandusky that year. It was five stories high, and was located at the northwest corner of Columbus Avenue and Water Street. Now the State Theatre occupies the site. The old Post Office and Customs House was at the southwest corner of Columbus Avenue and West Market Street from 1857 until 1927. This location is now a parking garage. Gray Drugs was in this spot for many years.  The home of Eleutheros Cooke was built in 1843-1844, at the southwest corner of Washington Row and Columbus Avenue. (Note: Eleutheros Cooke and Geoge and Charles Cooke were not related, to the best of our knowledge.) After Eleutheros Cooke died, Sandusky attorney  Rush Sloane purchased the home. In 1878, he had the house dismantled, brick by brick, and was reassembled at what is now 1415 Columbus Avenue. Mr. Sloane gave the home to his newlywed son Thomas and his wife Sarah, who was a granddaughter of Eleutheros Cooke. Below is a picture of the Cooke home about 1890.

The original site of the Cooke house later became the location of the Sloane House hotel in 1881, followed by the Lasalle’s store in 1949; it is now occupied by Erie County governmental offices.