Friday, April 30, 2021

Israel Cook, Postmaster at Four Corners

Israel Cook was appointed Postmaster at Four Corners on January 25, 1831, by William T. Barry, then the Postmaster General of the United States of America. Four Corners was the name of the community now known as North Monroeville, located close to the intersection of State Routes 99 and 113 in Huron County, Ohio.

Israel Cook was a son of Asaph and Thankful Parker Cook. He was a brother to Eleutheros Cooke, Sandusky’s first lawyer. (Some family members spelled their surname Cook, and others spelled the name Cooke.) Israel Cook was born on December 4, 1801. He moved with his family to Huron County in 1818, and he died on January 28, 1854.

The tombstone of Israel Cook is pictured below, between that of his father, Asaph Cook, and his sister, Sarah Cook Farwell, the wife of former Sandusky Mayor Moors Farwell. They are buried at the North Monroeville Cemetery.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Sandusky Boat and Equipment Show in 1940

From April 26 to April 28, 1940 the Sandusky Boat and Equipment Show, sponsored by the Sandusky Sailing Club, was held at the Sandusky Junior High School (later known as Jackson Junior High.)

The Boat and Equipment Show ran from Friday through Sunday. Model sail yacht races were held in the swimming pool, as well as demonstrations of life saving and artificial resuscitation. Movies were shown in Room One.  Meetings of the I.L.Y.A. (Inter-Lake Yachting Association) and I.L.S.C. (possibly the Interlake Sailing Class Association) were held during the weekend. The Boat and Equipment Show had over fifty exhibitors, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Lyman Boat Works, Darst Works, Sandusky Boat Works, Worthy R. Brown, Inc., and several other companies from Sandusky, Toledo, Cleveland and Detroit. Music was provided by the Sandusky High School Orchestra and Mr. Aldrich’s High School Band Quartet known as the “Singing Sailors.”  On Sunday evening at 8 p.m. a Dutch folk dancing group from Holland, Michigan performed in the closing ceremonies. The eight young ladies were led by their instructor Miss Mabel Apel, the daughter of Sandusky City Commissioner George J. Apel. 

An article in the Sandusky Star Journal on April 29, 1940, reported that total attendance for the Sandusky Boat and Equipment Show was 4,000 over the three-day event. Many local businesses advertised in the program for the Boat Show, including Maus Shoes, who sold a shoe called the Yachtshu which claimed to be slip proof on the wet deck of a boat.

As was discussed in a previous blog post, the Junior High School was the location of many community events in Sandusky from the late 1920’s through the  1940’s. This is from a car show at the Junior High from 1936:

Saturday, April 24, 2021

The Graefe Family’s Many Contributions to Sandusky

 Dr. Philip Graefe was born in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1823. He came to Sandusky in 1848, before moving briefly to Orange, New Jersey for a year or two. After returning to Sandusky, Dr.Graefe practiced medicine here until his death in 1884. Hewson Peeke wrote about him in his 1916 book, A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio: “His skill and promptness in meeting and combating the various ills to which mankind is subject, and his devotion to his patients, gained him the good will of the people, and a place of note among the more popular and successful physicians of this section of the state.” Besides being a well respected physician in Sandusky, Dr. Graefe also was associated with both the Third National Bank and Citizens Banking Company.

The oldest son of Dr. Philip Graefe and his wife, the former Dorothea Kranz,  also was a physician.

Dr. William Graefe was born in 1851 in Orange, New Jersey. He graduated from Cleveland Medical College in 1870, and then studied in some of the leading hospitals in Europe for three years. He worked as a physician and surgeon in Sandusky for more than forty years, and also served for twelve years on the Board of Education for Sandusky Schools. Dr. William Graefe died on December 27, 1923. In an editorial on the front page of the December 29, 1923 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal read in part, “In the death of Dr. William Graefe, Sandusky has lost a ‘builder.’ Not only was Dr. Graefe of high standing in his profession but he was deeply interested in civic affairs and in the city’s welfare.”

Another son of Dr. and Mrs. Philip Graefe, Dr. Charles Graefe, also worked as a physician and surgeon in Sandusky for many years. He was born in 1859, and was educated at Oberlin College, the University of Wooster, and the Western Reserve College at Cleveland. He spent three years studying at hospitals in Europe. Dr. Charles Graefe also served on the Board of Education for several years. He passed away on March 9, 1929.

A third son, Henry Graefe, was prominent as a banker in Sandusky, having been affiliated with the Citizens Banking Company since it was founded in 1884. After his death in 1919, the Sandusky Chamber of Commerce adopted resolutions which conveyed the high esteem with which the banker was held. The son of Henry Graefe the banker, Dr. Henry Graefe followed in the family tradition in the medical field, and also served as an officer of the Citizens Banking Company. Helen Hansen wrote in her book, At Home in Early Sandusky, that the ladies of the Graefe family generously gave their time to public service, working with a variety of community service organizations. Visit the Sandusky Library to read more about the Graefe family and other pioneer families of Sandusky and Erie County, Ohio.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Bailey’s Official Railway and Business Guide to Sandusky, Ohio

In 1871, two thousand free copies of Bailey’s Official Railway and Business Guide to Sandusky, Ohio were distributed by the Sandusky Journal Book and Job Printing Office, operated by A.D. and J.C. Kinney. Timetables for three railroads were included in the small publication. 

The Lake Erie Division of the Baltimore and Oho Railroad carried passengers, as well as freight and mail:

The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad had a northern and a southern line in operation in Sandusky in 1871.

The Cincinnati, Sandusky and Cleveland Railroad also had lines going both north and south.

The local advertisements are indicative of the significant businesses in Sandusky in the 1870s, which included the ice industry, fishing, lumber and lime industries, and a variety of professional services and retail stores. On page 1 of Bailey’s Guide, Dr. J. Castello claimed he could cure patients with tape-worms in three hours. His office was located at 102 Market Street in downtown Sandusky. Several hotels and restaurants had advertisements in the Guide, hoping to attract the many passengers who traveled to Sandusky by rail.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Bay View Wine Company

According to records on file with the Ohio Secretary of State, the Bay View Wine Company was incorporated on February 23, 1905. The plant was on the 300 block of Putnam Street, and the office was at 807 Water Street. The officers of the company in 1908 were Allen H. Porter, president; James A. Sawyer, vice president; and Jacob Bookerman, treasurer. By 1915, Mr. Sawyer was the president of the company, which produced native wines, champagnes, and brandies, and dealt in a variety of liquors and whiskies. One of the wines compounded at the Bay View Wine Company was the Golden Eagle Brand, promoted on the top of this receipt from 1909.

An advertisement from the September 13, 1905 issue of the Star Journal stated that the Bay View Wine Company was the resident agent for Green River, “the whisky without a headache.” At this time the company also sold unfermented grape juice for fifty cents a quart. In 1911, the company sold Olden English Ale for $1.75 a case.

By January of 1919, the Bay View Wine Company had dissolved. During Prohibition, Sweet Valley Products produced non-alcoholic beverages at the Putnam Street plant. The site is now occupied by Amvets Post No.17.  Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to learn more about the historic wineries in Sandusky and the Lake Erie Islands region.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Small Appliances Made in Sandusky

From about 1929 through 1934, the Made Rite Manufacturing Company was in business in Sandusky at the southwest corner of Shelby and Water Streets. The pie sealer, pictured above, prevented the pie filling from spilling out of the crust and making a gooey mess in the oven. 

The Made Rite electric toaster from the 1930s looks a lot different than the toasters we use now:

Other products made by the company included waffle irons, mixers, and a unique incubator in which the chicks could regulate the temperature by themselves. An article in the April 13, 1934 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal featured an advertisement from the M.R. Herb Company where parents were urged to bring their children in to the store to see the live baby chicks housed in Made Rite chick-o-matic incubators. 

From 1932 to 1934, the officers of the Made Rite Manufacturing were George C. Hill, president; Norbert J. Kuebeler, vice- president; and Arthur Cronenberger, secretary. Ultimately, the company was acquired by the Weinig Products Company, and eventually all operations in Sandusky ceased. The Follett House Museum is home to several locally made products. Visit the museum to see clothing, household items, furniture, photographs, and many other historical items from Sandusky and Erie County.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Sunnyside Acres

Image courtesy Erie County Auditor Historical Maps

The Sunnyside Acres Subdivision is located in Sandusky, Ohio in an area south of Cleveland Road. Streets in the subdivision include Wamajo Drive, Knupke Street, Dixon Drive, and Judy Lane. Many of the homes in Sunnyside Acres were built by the Wamajo Development Corporation from Milan, Ohio. According to an article in the September 1, 1959 issue of the Sandusky Register, building officials with the City of Sandusky issued three building permits to the Wamajo Development Corporation. The homes were expected to be built for an estimated cost of $8000 each (about $70,000 today). By December of 1959, permits had been issued for the construction of twenty-five homes. Many more would be built as time went by. 

A park located within the boundaries of the Sunnyside Acres Subdivision was listed as “City Playfield” on this map from the Erie County Auditor’s historical map collection: 

When football great Orlando Pace gave his speech at the time of his induction into the NFL Football Hall of Fame, he stated that his dream started “when I was seven years old, playing in Sunnyside Park in Sandusky, Ohio.” That park is now Orlando Pace Park, on Wamajo Drive in Sandusky, named for Sandusky High School’s football legend. Below is a picture of the Junior Varsity Football team at Sandusky High School, when Orlando Pace wore number 75.

Friday, April 09, 2021

Ivette Martin Miller, An Active Senior

In honor of National Library Week, we recognize a former library worker.

Mrs. Ivette Martin Miller, usually known as Betty, was a former employee of the Sandusky Library. For a time she was in charge of the circulating library at Viewpoint, where she was also a resident. An article in “The Elderlies” column by Karl Kurtz, in the August 14, 1976 issue of the Sandusky Register provides more information about Betty’s background and her determination. Betty started working in Sandusky in 1913, around 17 years old, at her uncle Fred Martin’s ice cream parlor in the old West House building. Kurtz wrote that he and his friends would try to confuse Betty when they ordered sodas or ice cream sundaes, but she always got their orders correct. When Fred Martin moved his ice cream parlor, along with a restaurant, to the Cooke Building, Betty became the manager of the bakery department. 

Later she worked for the B& O and New York Central Railroads, in the ticket office. In 1922, Betty married Edwin Miller, who passed away in 1952. By 1970 Betty had moved to the Viewpoint Apartments, where she was a neighbor to Karl Kurtz. Around 1974, Betty fell and broke her right shoulder. In spite of several operations, and complications, her arm remained in a sling for quite some time. Karl said that Betty should be given a medal for “cheerfulness in time of anxiety, suffering, unselfishness, and endurance in face of much tribulation and trial, while retaining steadfast faith in a higher power.” Throughout her health problems, Betty always tried to cheer up others, and kept a positive attitude. If you would like to read this article in its entirety, along with dozens of other human interest stories, you can see a three-volume compilation of Karl Kurtz’s “The Elderlies” columns at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. 

Below is a picture of Betty when she was a volunteer with the Women’s Auxiliary at Sandusky’s former Providence Hospital. Betty is in the front, on the left side. In this picture the ladies were modeling hats, some of which were made from pieces of hospital equipment.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Historic Photos from the Sandusky Library

In commemoration of National Library Week, we are sharing some historical photos from the Sandusky Library.

Cora Rehfus looks up from her duties in the adult department of the Sandusky Library in the 1940s. Note the portrait of Andrew Carnegie above the book shelves. Through the efforts of Sanduskian Mrs. Jay O. Moss, in 1899 Andrew Carnegie, wealthy philanthropist, offered to give $50,000 for a public library in our city. 

In the picture below, Miss Mary McCann, longtime Head Librarian at Sandusky Library, checks out books in the Bookmobile, which operated in the 1950s and 1960s throughout Erie County. 

Long before Netflix and Hoopla, Mrs. Louise Kuemmel inspected and cleaned 16mm films from the Sandusky Library’s circulating collection of films. The film department of the library was in the basement, where the Sandusky Library Archives Research Collection is currently located. 

In August of 1980, Sandusky Library staff was delighted to have completed its inventory project.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Stories of Sandusky, by Hewson L. Peeke

According to the Sandusky Register of August 4, 1922, Hewson L. Peeke wrote ten stories about the early days of the city of Sandusky, calling them Stories of Sandusky. They could be best described as fictionalized versions of early events. Sandusky City Schools Superintendent Frank J. Prout had the stories mimeographed in the form of a pamphlet for use in the public schools. Dr. Prout stated, “They will teach the children to respect the historical incidents connected with the city’s existence.” In 1934 an expanded version of Stories of Sandusky was printed by the Stephens Company in Sandusky, Ohio, with forty-five stories in this edition. 

In many cases, Mr. Peeke gave fictitious names to the characters. The story “How John North Came to Sandusky and What He Did There” was actually about early Sandusky businessman William T. West. It turns out that William T. West intended to go to Cincinnati. In Buffalo, his baggage accidentally was put into a boat bound for Sandusky, so he followed the boat to Sandusky to retrieve his baggage. Then Mr. West missed his train bound for Cincinnati, and he ended up staying in Sandusky. He worked as a carpenter, ran a store, and eventually he and his brother constructed the West House hotel in Sandusky. The story indicates that Mr. West felt he was a “creature of circumstance.” 

The character of John North in Stories of Sandusky was William T. West

 In “The Story of Damask Rose,” Peeke relates that Damask Rose was the beloved daughter of attorney and abolitionist F.D. Parish. Supposedly, young Damask Rose Parish was carrying food to a runaway slave child and was seen by a U.S. official. The little girl and her mother were turned over to the slaveholder, and sent back south. Damask Rose Parish died at age 10, and she always blamed herself for the unfortunate events that transpired. 

A lawsuit was brought against F.D. Parish, and he lost the case. Though F.D. Parish did indeed have a young daughter named Damask Rose, the U.S. Census and Oakland Cemetery records indicate that she died in 1855, not in 1845, as Peeke wrote in Stories of Sandusky. Her tombstone can still be seen in Block 28 at Oakland Cemetery in the Parish family lot. 

In the story about “Old Mockabee” Peeke recalls how the town drunkard redeemed himself by digging graves for the victims of cholera in Sandusky in 1849. You can read many more stories about Sandusky and the Firelands in Stories of Sandusky. Inquire at the Reference Services desk if you would like to see this interesting book by Hewson L. Peeke.