Thursday, August 30, 2018

Jay Cooke's Address to the Firelands Historical Society in 1900

Jay Cooke was born in Sandusky, Ohio on August 10, 1821. After working for E.W. Clark and Company, he opened his own banking business in 1861, known as Jay Cooke and Company. His company prospered, and during the Civil War Jay Cooke and Company negotiated loans for the government and sold bonds to raise capital for the Union cause. Because of his fundraising efforts in the 1860s, he became known as the “financier of the Civil War.” 

On October 3, 1900 Jay Cooke read an address to the members of the Firelands Historical Society at the Trinity Methodist Church in Sandusky.

Cooke’s address was printed in the December 1, 1900 issue of the Firelands Pioneer. Besides discussing his successful fund raising efforts during the Civil War, he recalled many fond memories of his early days in Sandusky, such as going hunting with Judge Caldwell. He remembered that the first train from Sandusky to Bellevue was horse drawn, and that a cannon had been shot off at the ground breaking of the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad. He revealed that he had sent the first telegraph to Sandusky, written in Philadelphia and sent to his father Eleutheros. 

You can read Mr. Cooke’s entire address in the Firelands Pioneer of December 1, 1900.  

In the nineteenth century photographer A.C. Platt created this stereographic card which features the steamer named Jay Cooke in honor of the Sandusky born banker.

A silver spoon with inscribed with the name “Jay Cooke” is in the historical collections of the Follett House Museum.

A marker noting the birthplace of Jay Cooke can be seen in downtown Sandusky on the north side of East Market Street.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Letter from Horace Greeley to Andrew W. Prout, Jr.

Apparently Andrew W. Prout, Jr. had invited Horace Greeley to a meeting of the Erie County Agricultural Society in 1871. Mr. Greeley was unable to attend, and he sent a letter of regret to Mr. Prout. The letter read:

Aug. 26, 1871
Dear Sir:            I will not be able to service west of the Ohio so long as will be required by attendance at your fair, and must respectfully decline your invitation.Yours,Horace Greeley 
Mr. A.W. Prout, Jr.Treasurer, Ag. Soc.Sandusky, Ohio
Horace Greeley was a politician and the long-time editor of the New York Tribune, which he founded in 1841. He ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic candidate for President just before his death in 1872. Mr. Andrew W. Prout, Jr. , born in Bloomingville in 1837, was a prominent Erie County businessman.

He was in the banking business for over forty years, and he served as Treasurer of several organizations, including the Erie County Agricultural Society and the Erie County Farmers’ Insurance Company.

Friday, August 24, 2018

The City of Sandusky Has Beautiful Parks

In a 1907 article for the Ohio Magazine, the Honorable Charles S. Reed wrote, “It can fairly be said that there are few cities in the country that can boast of such beautiful and well kept parks as Sandusky. They are the admiration and envy of the thousands and thousands of people who visit the city annually…”   The Sandusky Library Archives Research Center has several historical images of Sandusky’s City Parks in the Parks Collection of photographs. 

Here an employee from the City of Sandusky’s Park Department admires a floral mound labelled “Flora.” This picture was taken before the Erie County Courthouse was renovated in the 1930s:

In 1950, a worker mows the grass on a mound that features the Masonic emblem:

In 1955, Chris Goelz, then supervisor with the Sandusky Parks and Greenhouse can be seen working on a mound that reads “Drive Slow - Save Lives.” In the 1950s, Mr. Goelz often traveled to parks throughout the United States and Canada to get new landscaping ideas.

In the picture below, four city workers are hard at work getting the floral lighthouse ready for the summer season at Washington Park.

This picture of the city of Sandusky’s Greenhouse employees was taken about 1980. Three of the four people are identified: Ernest Erdman is standing at the back of the group; next to him is Mary Bloker; one of the other men is Fred Bloker.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Sandusky Celebrated Ohio’s Sesquicentennial in 1953

A commemorative medal in honor of the state of Ohio’s Sesquicentennial is now in the historical collections of the Follett House Museum. Ohio State University professor of Fine Arts, Erwin F. Frey, designed the commemorative medal, which honored the state of Ohio’s 150 years of statehood.  On the front are several robed figures. Underneath the words 1803 Ohio Sesquicentennial 1953 are the words Farming, Manufacturing, Mining, and Merchandising. Along the bottom of the medal are the words: Agriculture, Education, and Industry. Underneath the robed figures are the terms: Readin’, Ritin’, “Rithmetic, a nod to the basics of education. On the back of the medal are pictured the statehouse of Ohio, the artist’s name, and several symbols representing items of importance to Ohio, including corn, grapes, pottery, an airplane, insects, and gears. Seventeen stars circling the outline of the state represent Ohio being the seventeenth state added to the United States.

Like many other communities in Ohio, Sandusky held several events to honor Ohio’s Sesquicentennial. Memorial Day programs highlighted the history of the state. On June 6, 1953, a time capsule was buried on the lawn of the Erie County Courthouse. This time capsule was opened on June 6, 2003, and its contents are now located at the Follett House Museum. This sheet music entitled “Ohio” is just one of the items included in the time capsule. Composer Franklin T. Shoop dedicated the music to the A Capella Choir of Sandusky High School.

On July 24, 1953, a street dance was held on the parking lot of the Erie County Courthouse; over 1500 people attended. 

The annual Sandusky Bay Regatta was known in 1953 as the Sandusky Bay Sesquicentennial Regatta.

The Erie County Industrial and Business Sesquicentennial Committee planned a mid-summer show at Cedar Point which featured historical exhibits of local businesses and organizations. The industrial and cultural display was presented in the Cedar Point Coliseum from July 1 to July 15, 1953, in recognition of the progress made in Sandusky, Erie County, and Ohio in the previous 150 years. Each day provided free entertainment at the Cedar Point Coliseum. Some of the attractions were the Port Clinton majorettes, trick shooters, dancers from the Kay Lutes studio, and the Williams accordion band. 

To read more about the many events held during Ohio’s Sesquicentennial, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center, where the Sandusky Register from years past is now on microfilm.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Sandusky Has Loved Parades

With Sandusky's Bicentennial Parade soon to become part of history, it's a good time to share the stories of other parades in our history.

Pictured above is a scene from downtown Sandusky when Company B of the Sixth Ohio Regiment returned from the Spanish American War in May of 1899. Here is another view of the parade:

Parades have been held in Sandusky since the early days of the city. According to History of Erie County, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, (D. Mason and Co., 1889), Washington Square was originally appropriated as a “public ground, parade and walk.” In the 1840s, members of the local militia drilled on Washington Square, accompanied by fife and drums. On Saint Patrick’s Day in 1844, a joint parade was sponsored by the Sons of the Emerald Isle and Washington Total Abstinence Society, "in celebration of the principles of temperance."

The Sandusky Library Archives Research Center has pictures of several parades in Sandusky's history. On April 30, 1938, thousands of people celebrated the 150th anniversary of the passage of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which established the territory that included the future state of Ohio.  In the picture below, parade participants are seen proceeding north on Columbus Avenue.

At that time a Walgreen drugstore was located in the Cooke Block at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and East Market Street, and the S.S. Kresge store was on the southeast corner. 

A parade held in conjunction with the Buckeye League Band and Orchestra Festival took place in Sandusky on May 6, 1938. A band marched down Jackson Street; the Hotel Rieger is to the east and the Plaza Theater to the west.

A double feature was playing at the Plaza that day: I Was a Spy and Accidents Will Happen, starring future U.S. President Ronald Reagan. In 1938, our grandparents would probably never have guessed that Reagan would one day be the President.

Many local residents will recall when Gray Drugs was a busy store in downtown Sandusky, where the parking garage is now located. The Armed Forces Day parade was held on May 16, 1959.

Some of you may have attended this parade, which honored Jackie Mayer, Miss America of 1963.

Photographer Thomas Root took an aerial view of the Miss America Homecoming Parade held in November 1962. Providence Hospital was under construction at this time, seen on the right side of the picture above. 

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to learn more about the history of Sandusky and Erie County. You may also browse through our historical photograph collection online.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Early Days of the Boy with the Boot

In 1895 Sandusky hotel owner Voltaire Scott made improvements to the small park opposite his hotel, then located at the southwest corner of Water and Wayne Streets.  Mr. Scott paid for the park’s improvements himself, under the supervision of the city park superintendent. A statue of the Boy with the Boot was the focal point of the Scott’s Park. The statue had been cast by the J.W. Fiske ironworks in New York City. 

Other statues in the park included two dolphins that sprayed water and two females known as “Maids of the Mist.”  A drinking fountain at the park’s entrance was topped by a statue of a lady with an urn.

Scott’s Park was a favorite spot for picture taking by visitors to Sandusky as well as local residents.

The tornado of 1924 severely damaged Scott’s Park. In the 1930s, Scott Park was leveled, and the Boy with the Boot was moved to a fountain in Washington Park. After being vandalized in the early 1990s, the original Boy with the Boot was moved to Sandusky’s City Building, and a bronze replica was placed in the fountain. 

Here is a picture of the Boy with the Boot fountain in 1963:

The lady with the urn statue is now housed at the Follett House Museum, after having been repaired from the damage it incurred during the tornado:

You can read much more and Sandusky’s Boy with the Boot in Article 58 of From the Widow’s Walk, by Helen Hansen and Virginia Steinemann, as well as an article on the Sandusky Register website by Special Collections Librarian Ron Davidson.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Mabel Normand Bathing Suits Were Sold in Sandusky

In the 1910s, the Scheuer Brothers store in Sandusky sold Mabel Normand bathing suits, named for a popular silent film star. When she wore bathing suits in films such as Water Nymph and Diving Girl, some people thought the suits were racy. The Scheuer Brothers Company was located in the Graefe Building on East Market Street.

The advertisement above for the Scheuer Brothers appeared in the December 1912 issue of the Fram. In 1919, William S. Frankel acquired the interests of A. J. Scheuer, and the store became known as the Scheuer-Frankel Company. Around 1929, William S. Frankel, Sr. became the sole owner of the business, and it was known as the William S. Frankel Company. After William S. Frankel, Sr. passed away in 1949, his son William S. Frankel took over the business. Frankel’s was a popular department store for area residents until the mid-1960s.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Judge Jay H. Payne, First Municipal Judge of Ann Arbor

Jay Howard Payne was born in 1897, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jay A. Payne. He was the president of the Sandusky High School graduating class of 1915. Jay attended the University of Michigan along with several other young men from Sandusky. He is the individual on the far right of the first row, in this picture that once belonged to Norbert A. Lange:

After graduating from the University of Michigan’s School of Business Administration in 1921, he continued his studies there and earned a law degree in 1926. He practiced law for several years in Ann Arbor. After having been elected as the first municipal judge of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Judge Payne eventually became Probate Judge of Washtenaw County, Michigan. In 1951, he was elected to serve as one of the Vice Presidents of the National Council of Juvenile Court Judges of America. 

Below is a picture of Judge Jay H. Payne, with his young nephew. He appears to be dressed in Knights of Columbus regalia.

In 1955, Judge Payne attended the Centennial Reunion of Sandusky High School graduates, a reunion which was open to all graduates of SHS. 

Sadly, Judge Jay H. Payne died on April 17, 1956. He was survived by his wife and two sisters. Members of the Sandusky High School class of 1915 met at the Hotel Rieger at the end of May in 1956 at a dinner meeting that had been planned by Judge Payne before his untimely death. The meeting was dedicated to the judge's memory. His sisters and their husbands also attended the dinner.

This cutlery box was made by Jay H. Payne when he was attending school in the Sandusky City School system. The wooden box is now in the historical collections of the Follett House Museum.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Edward R. Moos, Wine Dealer

The former home and business of Edward R. Moos is featured on the wine label pictured above. Edward R. Moos was a pioneer wine merchant in Sandusky, having taken over the business from his father, Adam Moos, in 1876. A listing in the 1882 Sandusky City Directory states that Edward R. Moos was a grower of and wholesale dealer in pure native wines. The 1905 Sanborn Map shows the Moos residence at what was then 508 Hayes Avenue, which is also where Mr. Moos had his wine cellar and press room. After 1915, the address became 1408 Hayes Avenue.

According to the History of Erie County, Ohio, ed. by Lewis Cass Aldrich, (D. Mason and Co., 1889), the Edward R. Moos Winery produced thirty thousand gallons of red and white dry wines each year. The limestone wine cellar was twenty-six by sixty-four feet. Mr. Moos was a traveling salesman for his wine, covering a territory that spanned from Detroit to New York. 

Here is a label from a Concord Wine:

The original home of Edward R. Moos featured a tower on the northernmost part of the house and leaded glass windows decorated with ornamental grapes in the living room, which faced Hayes Avenue. This image of the house was published in the book Art Work of Huron and Erie Counties, (W.H. Parish, 1894).

Edward R. Moos retired from the wine business in 1918. He passed away on April 30, 1944 at the age of 88. He was survived by three daughters, eight grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. His wife, the former Antoinette Schnaitter, preceded him in death in 1936. The building that once was the home and business of Edward R. Moos still stands, and is now an apartment building.

Friday, August 03, 2018

The O-P Craft Company

The O-P Craft Company was organized in November, 1929, with these officers: Earle F. Opie, president and general manager; Leland Spore, vice-president; Charles E. Frohman, secretary; and Albert L. Opie, treasurer. In the early years, the company was located in the 600 block of Hancock Street, and made school supplies. The company logo contained the letters O and P, and looked like a person holding up a hand.

In the 1932 Sandusky City Directory, Earle F. Opie was also listed as the educational manager of the American Crayon Company. By 1935 the O-P Craft Company had moved to 161 E. Water Street. In 1946, the company announced plans to move to a new building in the 400 block of Warren Street. 

Catalog No. 57 of the O-P Craft Company featured products that designed for consumers to decorate themselves, such as boxes, frames, buttons, relish trays, bookends and other decorative items. The basswood hinged lid boxes were a popular item. Pictured below are some hinged boxes from a 1976 O-P Craft catalog.

In this undated advertisement from The N.O.W. Scene, Strickfaden Nursery had a craft shop that carried decoupage craft items with the raw materials supplied by O-P Craft Company.

Bill Opie, the son of Albert L. Opie, eventually took over the business. He expanded the company into plastics. In the early 1980s, O-P Craft Co. became known as Laffer Industries. Laffer Industries later became FormPac. In 1996, FormPac was acquired by Tuscarora, Inc. In 2003, Tuscarora closed its Sandusky plant.