Friday, July 29, 2016

Theodore Roosevelt Ferried Passengers to Cedar Point in 1945

Owned by the U.S. Navy from 1918-1919, the steamer Theodore Roosevelt was part of the Cleveland-Cedar Point Steamship Company in the mid 1940s. You can see passengers on three different levels in this closer view.

This vessel was particularly busy during the Cedar Point season of 1945. From June through Labor Day, the Theodore Roosevelt took passengers from Cleveland to Cedar Point. The July 9, 1945 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News reported that these excursionists were arriving at Cedar Point aboard the steamer: Denison, Brooklyn, Faith and Ellbrook chapters of the Eastern Star, Myrtle May Auxiliary of Euclid Temple, Bikur Cholin Relief Society, Women’s Alliance First Unitarian Church, and employees of the Monmouth Products Company. At the end of July, 1945, veterans from the Crile General Hospital boarded the Theodore Roosevelt for an outing at Cedar Point.  See the Great Lakes Vessels Online Index for more details about this and other Great Lakes vessels.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Annual Convention of the National Association of Dyers and Cleaners at Cedar Point

During the summers of 1914 and 1915, members of the National Association of Dyers and Cleaners met at Cedar Point for several days for their annual convention. Members had committee meetings and banquets, and enjoyed free time at Cedar Point and the Lake Erie Islands.  In 1914 one of the exhibitors at the convention was from the “Re-Movo” company of Chicago, Illinois. Several different colors of Steiner’s slipper dye were available for viewing in the exhibition area. Former president of the Association, William Forger, went for an airship ride with aviator Tony Jannus during the convention of 1914.

An article in the Cleaning and Dyeing World journal told prospective attendees that each of the hundreds of rooms available at the  Hotel Breakers had windows that could be open to let in the fresh lake air, and were equipped with electric lights and running water in each room.

In 1915 one of the topics of discussion at the convention was the shortage of dye products, caused as a result of the war in Europe. About three hundred people attended the 1914 convention, and four to five hundred people attended the convention in 1915. Special entertainment was provided for the Association members during each night of the convention. The Ladies’ Auxiliary to the National Association of Dyers and Cleaners held their own meetings during the convention.  

There have businesses in Sandusky related to the care of garments for many decades. In the 1855 Sandusky City Directory, F.R. Comstock placed an ad as a dyer and clothing renovator.

Both the Pfanner and Beilstein Dry Cleaning businesses had begun as steam laundries in Sandusky in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Pictured below are some employees from the Sandusky Dyeing and Cleaning Works in Sandusky from the 1890s.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Advertising Fan from the Tavern Restaurant and Service Station

A young lady wearing a bathing suit is pictured on this fan that was once a promotional item given away by the Tavern Restaurant and Service Station. (Hand fans were a popular promotional item in the days before air conditioning was common.) On the reverse side, more information is given about the business, which was located at 2350 Cleveland Road West, on Sandusky’s east side.

The Tavern Service Station sold Shell products and provided oil changes. The Tavern Restaurant gave special attention to parties with "no cover charge." An article in the July 22, 1931 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that the “super service” station and restaurant was to officially open on July 23, 1931. The article stated that it was “perhaps the finest filling station and restaurant on the highway between Cleveland and Detroit.” The site was chosen because of its location on a state route between Cleveland and Toledo, and automobile transportation was expected to be on the increase at that time. 

In 1931, Theresa Fuchs was in charge of the kitchen, under the direction of Frank Burich. J.J. Kaman was the proprietor of the service station.

The public was invited to inspect the “ultra modern station - - dedicated to the service of the traveling public.”

By 1945, the business became known as the Red Gables and was managed by Del Noyes. Today, Jack’s Deli and the Red Gables Mesquite Grill are in business at the location of the former Tavern Service Station and Restaurant. If you look carefully you can still see the spot where the gas pumps once stood.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Members of Florida Lions Clubs Visit Sandusky

In July of 1937, members of the Lions Club from several Florida cities passed through Sandusky on their way to the annual convention of the Lions Club International, held July 20-23 in Chicago. On the trip to Chicago, the Florida Lions’ motorcade passed through Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. The return trip took them through Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia.

While in Sandusky, the Floridians drove in a caravan downtown along Washington Street.

The annual Lions Club convention in 1925 was held at Cedar Point. The Sandusky Register described Helen Keller’s speech to the Lions Club members in a front-page article in the July 1, 1925 edition. Miss Keller spoke at the convention to solicit aid for the American Foundation for the Blind.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Weyers Station and Matthias Weyer

The small unincorporated community known as Weyers or Weyers Station was located at the junction of Skadden and Bardshar Roads in Section One of Margaretta Township, Erie County, Ohio. It was named for an early resident of the area, Matthias Weyer. An article found in the historical files of the Sandusky Library Sandusky Research Center states that Matthias Weyer, a native of Germany, settled in Margaretta Township in 1852. His son, also named Matthias Weyer was named Postmaster of Weyers in 1895. By 1902, the Post Office at Weyers closed, and the mail that had been delivered there was sent to Parkertown, where Portland Road crosses the railroad. Below is a page from the U.S. Appointment of U.S. Postmasters, 1832-1971, a database from Ancestry Library Edition.

The old Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad, and railroads that superseded it, passed through the community of Weyers, most likely picking up and dropping the U.S. mail as it traveled through. It is said that there was an old quarry south of the railroad crossing, which was used to furnish gravel for the road bed of the first railroad. There was once a grain elevator at Weyers, and a store and lunch counter were in business there for a time. 

Matthias Weyer, the son, died in 1902. His will is on file at Erie Probate Court, as well as at Ancestry Library Edition. Below is a portion of his will.

Matthias Weyer, the former Postmaster, was buried in Sandusky’s St. Mary’s Cemetery.  Many of his descendants still reside in Erie County, Ohio today.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Noah’s Ark at Cedar Point

The Noah’s Ark attraction at Cedar Point was operated by the Concourse Amusement Company from 1925 until the mid-1950s. Noah’s Ark was a funhouse, with a Biblical theme. The model of the ark rested upon Mt. Ararat. In the picture below, you can see Noah’s Ark behind the Flying Skooter ride.

As Cedar Point guests walked up the ramp towards Noah’s Ark, they could see the heads of animals peeking out through the windows. Noah was fishing outside the ark. A sign along the way read “Do not feed animals.”

Authors David W. and Diane DeMali Francis wrote in their book Cedar Point: The Queen of American Watering Places, that on quiet days, men from the Concourse Amusement Company could be found in Roy Parker’s office where they gathered for card games. Millions of local residents and tourists still visit Cedar Point every summer, where roller coasters, live entertainment, and a beautiful beach await them.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Laying the Cornerstone for the Administration Building of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home

The cornerstone for the administration building of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home was set in place on July 11, 1888. Still in operation, this facility is now known as the Ohio Veterans Home. The officers of the McMeens Post, No. 19, Grand Army of the Republic, sent out invitations to fellow G.A.R. members for the special event.

 At 11:00 a.m. on July 11, 1888, members of several Ohio G.A.R.  posts met at the foot of Columbus Avenue, to be reviewed by Department Commander Joseph W. O’Neall. After the procession, all those in attendance took the train to the grounds of the future Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home, in Perkins Township, just south of the city limits of Sandusky. The cornerstone laying ceremony began at 2 p.m. with music by the Great Western Band and the Aeolian Quartette. After a prayer, Commander O’Neall laid the cornerstone. Addresses were given by General W.H. Gibson, Ohio Governor J.G. Foraker, and other Ohio military leaders. Several musical selections concluded the cornerstone laying ceremony. 

A grand camp fire was held under the auspices of the McMeens Post of the G.A.R. at Cedar Point on the evening of July 11. The steamers Hayes and Ferris were chartered to take guests to Cedar Point, with a round trip fare of twenty cents. Former soldiers, families, friends, and interested citizens were invited to the camp fire. Among the featured speakers were: Governor Foraker, General Manning F. Force, Colonel John W. Chapin, General W.H. Gibson, C.J. Colgan, C.B. Dennis and General John C. Lee. General John Beatty spoke on “The Citizen Soldier, The Soldier Citizen.”

The event concluded with the playing of Auld Lang Syne by the Great Western Band. 

In 1908, William Howard Taft spoke in front of the Administration Building at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home while campaigning for President.

 Here is a picture of the staff at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in 1915:


Today the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home is known as the Ohio Veterans Home, and the former administration building is now home to a museum which features historical photographs and artifacts from Ohio veterans which date back to the Civil War. 

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Mr. and Mrs. Gustav Jarecki, Jr.

Gustav Jarecki, Jr. was born in Erie, Pennsylvania in February 1867 to Gustav and Dorothy Jarecki. The elder Gustav Jarecki organized the Jarecki Chemical Co. in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1881. Gustav, Jr. began working for his father, who sent him to Ohio to establish a plant in Sandusky. 

 The Jarecki Chemical Co., seen above in an 1893 Sanborn Map, was located at the foot of First Street, adjacent to Sandusky Bay. This location made it convenient for obtaining fish, and also for shipping the final product by water. One of the best selling products at the Sandusky factory was a fertilizer made from fish by-products. This picture postcard shows the dock of the Jarecki Chemical Company covered in fish in the early twentieth century.

 The plant operated from 1887 until 1920 when it was sold to the Armour Fertilizer Co. (Armour ceased operations in Sandusky in the 1960s.) In the early 1900s, Gustav Jarecki, Jr. moved to Cincinnati where he established another branch of the company.

Gustav Jarecki, Jr. and Cora L. Woodward married in June, 1891. 

Mr. and Mrs. Jarecki had only one child, a daughter named Gretchen Dorothea Jarecki. Gretchen studied at the Briar Cliff Manor in New York; she is pictured below when she was a preschooler.

While Mr. and Mrs. Gustav Jarecki, Sr. are buried in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery, the family of Gustav Jarecki, Jr. is buried in Cincinnati’s Spring Grove Cemetery.

A database of interments at Spring Grove Cemetery list the following burials in Section 125; Lot 133:

Gustav Jarecki, buried January 1, 1946
Cora Jarecki, buried January 1, 1946
Gretchen J. Welch, buried October 9, 1985

Gretchen’s husband, William W. Welch was buried on January 1, 1957, and a former husband, Warren D. Owen, was buried on January 1, 1942. Gretchen Jarecki Welch lived until the age of 95; she died in Pompano Beach, Florida on October 5, 1985.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Independence Day Celebrations in the 1820s

Dr. George Anderson, pictured above, read the Declaration of Independence at the July 4th celebration held in Sandusky in 1822. The event began with a national salute, and a procession of ladies and gentlemen led by William Hull. Volunteer members of the local militia, led by Ensign Callenway, also took part in the procession. When the group got to a grove, a short distance from Sandusky, Eleutheros Cooke delivered an oration.

Cyrus W. Marsh prepared a dinner at which Lyman and Moors Farwell presided.  Twenty four toasts were given, including this one: “Sandusky Bay – Though slandered and aspersed, truth will prevail. Flow on, thou fair water!”

The Fourth of July 1822 was celebrated in Venice, Ohio, at the home of James Webber. Charles L. Boalt read the Declaration of Independence and an oration was given by Frederick Falley. Dr. Anderson presided at the dinner, assisted by Abram B. Youngs. You can read a brief account of these patriotic celebrations in the January 1886 issue of the Firelands Pioneer, available in the Reference Services area of the Sandusky Library.
 A tinted wood engraving of an early view of Sandusky from Sandusky Bay, originally created by the author Henry Howe.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

The Wilke Building in Downtown Sandusky

According to an article from the Sandusky Register of January 30, 1986, the Wilke building at 129 Columbus Avenue was originally part of the West House hotel.

The article said that retail stores were on the street level, while hotel rooms occupied the upper floors. 

In the early 1900s Carl H. Wilke purchased the building, and added a brick facade. (You can still see the surname Wilke at the top of the building.) The building has had a number of tenants through the years. In the mid-1910s, Carl F. and John M. Holzaepfel sold sporting goods and photography supplies at their store at 129 Columbus Avenue.  An article in the April 2, 1920 issue of the Star Journal reported that the Lake Shore Electric would soon occupy the Wilke building. The headline stated that the new home for the Lake Shore Electric would be the “finest on system,” as the stations in Cleveland and Toledo were not nearly as grand as Sandusky’s new station.

After the Lake Shore Electric interurban ceased operations in the late 1930s, 129 Columbus Avenue became the bus station for the Lake Shore Coach Lines and, for a time, the Greyhound Bus Lines. During World War II, a U.S.O. Service Center opened in the rear portion of the Lake Shore Coach station. Having started in 1941, the primary mission of the United Service Organization was giving social support to America’s troops. In contrast to the regimentation of military life, the U.S.O. strived to create a warm homelike atmosphere.

Many different businesses have been in operation in the Wilke building. In October of 1954, the Byer Brothers opened a new store at 129 Columbus Avenue. The new location was triple the floor space of its precious location which had  also been located on Columbus Avenue.

Eventually Marv Byer became the sold proprietor of the business, which became known as Marv Byer Clothiers; he and his wife purchased the property in 1967. In 1986 he was honored for his work in restoring the downtown building. By 2000, the By Design store was located at the site. The  Fabulous Female Boutique currently occupies 129 Columbus Avenue.