Thursday, May 30, 2019

Group Photograph at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home

Ernst Niebergall took this group picture at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in the late 1910s, possibly at a “Decoration Day” celebration.   Close up views of the photograph show details of the individuals in attendance. The tone was somber.

Some of the older people were seated during the event.

There were men and women of all ages in attendance.

The cemetery at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home is visible in the background. Several American flags were flown at the cemetery behind the large gathering of people.

Now known as the Ohio Veterans Home, this facility was established in 1888 to care for Ohio soldiers and sailors who served in United States wars. The earliest residents of the home were Civil War veterans. Over 50,000 veterans have been served by the Ohio Veterans Home. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day Celebrations in Sandusky in 1923

There were three Memorial Day celebrations in Sandusky in the year 1923. The first one took place at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home at 8:30 on Wednesday, May 30. At 10 a.m. a service was held on the deck of the steamer Chippewa. A third event began with members of patriotic organizations marching from the G.A.R. Hall to Oakland Cemetery. Commandant Perry Null of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home led the parade. Other parade participants included the Camp Fire Girls, a drum and bugle corps, members of the American Legion, and a group of Civil War Veterans, who rode in automobiles.

The Sandusky High School Band also took part in the parade.  The band played the song “Our Heroes” as the parade grew closer to Oakland Cemetery, where  members of the G.A.R. and the Women’s Relief Corps had gathered.                                  

Commodore R.G. Denig spoke about a renewal of honor for the nation’s flag. Rev. Charles Huffer gave the benediction. Adjutant of the G.A.R. W.P. Thompson, read General John Logan’s Memorial Day proclamation. Mrs. Nina Goodwin Braby read the Gettysburg Address, just prior to the address given by Elyria Mayor A.E. Jones. Mayor Jones in his address, called for greater devotion to the laws of the country, a more universal observance of Memorial Day, and greater appreciation for those who made sacrifices in military service. A firing squad salute was given by members of the American Legion and the Ohio National Guard, and taps were played by bugler Harold Mertz to conclude the services. Below, a group is seen gathering to talk at the cemetery on Memorial Day. A large crowd is visible in the background.
You can read more about how Sandusky celebrated Memorial Day in 1923 in the Sandusky Register of May 31, 1923, now on microfilm at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.          

Friday, May 24, 2019

Homecoming Parade for Veterans of the Spanish American War

On May 26, 1899 a special train brought the soldiers of Company B, Sixth Ohio Infantry, from Cincinnati to the Big Four Station in Sandusky, Ohio. According to the Sandusky Register of May 25, 1899, the men who served in the Spanish-American War left on April 26, 1898 as “soldiers of the state” and they returned on May 26 as citizens. The front page article in the Register stated that “Welcome Company B” was the heartfelt expression of every patriotic citizen of Sandusky. Flags and red, white and blue bunting decorated homes and businesses all over Sandusky. 

A parade was held to honor the homecoming of Company B on May 26. Crowds of people gathered  at the train depot to meet the soldiers, who soon were lined up by Captain Charles E. Stroud. The Register account of the homecoming indicated that the scene was a spectacle “never to be forgotten.”  Hats were flying in the air, and cheers and yells added to the ringing of church bells. The parade proceeded from Columbus Avenue to Monroe Park. Several men on horses and horse drawn vehicles took part in the parade.

A group of marchers in formation held swords aloft.

In the 200 block of Columbus Avenue, spectators watched the parade from the second and third floors of downtown businesses.

The Great Western Band, the Sandusky Brass Band, the Soldiers’ Home Band, and a drum corps made up of employees of the Standard Wheel Company all participated in the parade, along with several lodges, veterans’ organizations, and a platoon of policemen. Mayor Christian Zimmerman welcomed the crowds at Monroe Park, where Major E.B. King spoke on behalf of the citizens’ committee. Professor Luse of the Sandusky City Schools arranged for a vocal chorus of 1,000 voices to sing patriotic songs. 

It is estimated that 15,000 people gathered at the park. A reception and banquet was held at the West House for the returning soldiers on Monday, May 29.  Details about the homecoming of Company B, Ohio Sixth Infantry, can be read in the May 26-May 30, 1899 issues of the Sandusky Register, now on microfilm at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Miss Taylor’s Reflections on Sandusky High School in 1905

In the Sandusky Register Star News of May 28, 1955, retired teacher Bessie Taylor gave an account of her remembrances of Sandusky High School from 1905. At that time all pupils had a seat in the large assembly room in the second floor. There was a grand piano in the assembly room, and there  were enough seats for 200 pupils. An electric push button on the front wall was rung at the close of each study period by the teacher in charge. There were also four classrooms on the second floor of the high school. On the third floor were four more classrooms, a laboratory, and a biology museum. On the first floor was a large office for the principal.

Freshmen were called “first year students.”  They were required to take geography, physiology, mathematics, and a language. The language choices were: German, Latin, or a special study of fundamental English. Second year students were required to take Biology, taught by Professor E.L. Moseley. His scientific museum featured stuffed birds, animals and snakes - and sometimes live animals.

On more than one occasion, a live snake or turtle escaped and wandered about the school, most likely with some assistance from a prankster. 

A highlight of spring and fall were the series of biology excursions. Led by Professor Moseley, the excursions took place on Saturdays when the weather permitted. The students roamed around fields in Milan, the Huron River, Berlin Heights, and Castalia, viewing the natural plants and animals of these areas. The final biology outing led to Kelleys Island and Put in Bay. Professor Moseley insisted that the students had the realization that they were there to learn.

The principal, George Dietrich, taught geography and physiology to the first year students, and he taught English literature to the seniors. Miss Taylor stated in her article about the principal, “Just how one man could do all the studies that fell to him is rather difficult to recall.”  Miss Taylor recalled that the orchestra in 1905 was considered an extra-curricular activity. Members met after school and were led by E.B. Ackley. Football and baseball games in 1905 were played at the old fairgrounds on Columbus Avenue, close to Perkins Avenue. Basketball games were played at a building on Lawrence Street, just north of Market Street.

If you would like to read the entire article by  Miss Bessie Taylor, you can find it on microfilm at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Friday, May 17, 2019

A Trip to Put-in-Bay

The library's historical collections contain photographs of young ladies from Sandusky visiting South Bass Island in 1919 and 1920. Pictured below are Ruth Beach, Helen Rheinegger and Verna Bornhauser, who were all in their late teens at the time. 

The young ladies also visited Hotel Victory during their visit in 1919. They posed for a snapshot on the ladder of the (apparently empty) hotel swimming pool. Sadly, the Hotel Victory was destroyed by fire on August 14, 1919.

On May 22, 1920, Verna Bornhauser and Dorothy Sturm posed on the barrel of a cannon in the park at Put-in-Bay.

This picture was taken on the road to a visit to the state fish hatcheries:

Residents of Sandusky were fortunate to have easy access to steamboat transportation to the Lake Erie Islands. The Frank Kirby was just one of the steamers that ferried passengers to Put-in-Bay in 1919 and 1920.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mock GOP Convention at Jackson Junior High School

Notes in the historical files of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center indicate that Mock GOP Conventions were held at Jackson Junior High School in 1936 or 1940. The photo above depicts one of those events. Patriotic bunting decorated the gymnasium at Jackson Junior High, and several signs representing states of the U.S. were scattered throughout the room. There were two bands providing musical entertainment for the event. 

An article in the May 20, 1936 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that on May 19, the convention selected Alfred M. Landon as candidate for President, and Frank Knox for Vice President “amid scenes of wild excitement.” Besides the Sandusky High School Civics students of Mr. Earle Seidner, about five hundred individuals attended the 1936 Convention. In the actual 1936 Presidential Election, Alf  Landon was defeated by Franklin Roosevelt. 

In 1940 over four hundred people attended another Mock GOP Convention held at Jackson Junior High School. Sidney Frohman presented a nominating speech for Thomas E. Dewey, but at the end of the evening, Arthur H. Vandenburg was elected as the candidate for President. The May 14, 1940 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that for over three hours, the students loudly alternated between cheering and booing. Throughout the evening, Byron Aldrich conducted the Sandusky High School Band, and J.L. Hoffman directed the Erie County Band. Crabill Clauer was the chairman of the Mock Convention. In the actual 1940 Presidential Election, President Roosevelt was re-elected, defeating Wendell Wilkie. Articles about the 1936 and 1940 Mock GOP Conventions were featured in both Sandusky Register and Star Journal, both available for viewing on microfilm at the Sandusky Library 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Cedar Point's Opening Day (1968)

This picture, from the Thomas F. Root collection of aerial photographs shows a view of the Midway at Cedar Point on May 25, 1968. For opening day, four thousand high school band members marched through the Midway. The New Christy Minstrels performed, and there was a fireworks display after dark. You can see the Mill Race and Turnpike Cars on the left side of the picture, and the Coliseum and Kiddie Land on the right side of the picture.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

“Dr. Albert” Visited Sandusky Many Times

A physician known as “Dr. Albert” visited Sandusky over one hundred times. On May 6, 1890, the advertisement above appeared in the Sandusky Register. Dr. Albert was scheduled  to see patients at the Sloane House hotel from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7.

In 1885, I.F. Mack gave a testimonial about Dr. Albert. Mr. Mack stated that in his year and a half of continuous advertising, Dr. Albert had aggregated hundreds of dollars in advertising bills, and he was prompt and reliable, and was “a gentleman in all our relations with him.” I.F. Mack said he had never heard anything but words of commendation about Dr. Albert, from his large practice of patients in the Sandusky area.  Some of the conditions treated by Dr. Albert were: nervous diseases, chronic complaints, epilepsy, and chronic diseases of the skin and blood. Dr. Albert’s advertisement indicated that “A consultation will cost you nothing.”  Some patients were required to visit the doctor’s institute in Cleveland for in-house treatment.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Buckeye League Band and Orchestra Festival Held in Sandusky in 1938

Bands from Sandusky High School, Fremont Ross, Tiffin Columbian, and Findlay High School all participated in a parade in Sandusky on May 6, 1938, to kick off the Buckeye League Band and Orchestra Festival. Pictured above is the Sandusky High School band marching north down Decatur Street

The school name of Fremont is spelled out on the tubas in the Fremont Ross band, seen below.

The majorette and members of the Tiffin Columbian drum corps wore conservative uniforms, typical of fashions in the 1930s.

Though this picture is not very sharp, you can see the retail shops on the street level of the Hotel Rieger, as the parade goes by.

The Sandusky Community Music Festival included a series of events between May 6 and May 12. Participants in the music festival included the Buckeye League Orchestra, the Buckeye League Bands, the Sandusky Male Chorus, the Sandusky Choral Society, Grace Church Choir, and the Senior High Choir and Choruses. The May 7, 1938 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that an estimated crowd of nine hundred listened to the Buckeye League Bands at the concert given at Jackson Junior High School on May 6.  Tickets for the entire musical series were sold for one dollar each.

Friday, May 03, 2019

The Capsizing of the Sandsucker Kelley Island

On Saturday morning, May 2, 1925, a crew of sixteen men left from Sandusky in the sandsucker Kelley Island, owned by the Kelley Island Lime & Transport Company. Early in the afternoon the vessel met with rough waters just off Point Pelee.  The adverse weather conditions, combined with shifting cargo, caused the vessel to capsize. Several men were trapped below decks. 

A total of nine men perished in the lake disaster. The dead were: Captain William G. Slackford, Oley Kriss, William Mayer, Rolland Will, Alvey Martin, William A. Slackford, all of Sandusky. Frederick Holder and Paul Everett, both of Oak Harbor, and Thomas Moran, of Castalia also drowned in the accident.

Deckhand Curtis Brown was hailed a hero because of his successful efforts in rescuing three crew members. The Sandusky Register reported that several other crew members also heroically tried to save the ship from the water that was rushing into the ship. Alvey Martin and Frederick Holder failed in their efforts. Captain Slackford remained in the deckhouse as the ship sank. The Canadian fishing boat, the Flossie B., came to the aid of the crew of the capsized sandsucker. Members of the crew who survived the disaster were: Curtis Brown, Andrew Krause, William Loveridge, and Scott Pethbridge, all of Sandusky; Clarence Bloomstrom and Nicholas Rennard, both of Toledo; and Morton Everett of Oak Harbor. The surviving crew members of the ill fated voyage are pictured below:

The picture below shows three men from the Lakeside viewing the overturned hull of the Kelley Island.

The Slackford family suffered a double loss, as Captain William G. Slackford and his son William A. Slackford both died in the lake tragedy. Captain Slackford was a well respected shipmaster; his biography is online. A shipmaster’s pennant which once belonged to Captain Slackford is in the collections of the Follett House Museum.

To read more about the capsizing of the Kelley Island, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Sandusky newspapers, now on microfilm, carried numerous articles about the tragedy.