Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ione Klenk Wiechel’s Book Plate Collection

Bookplates (aka Ex Libris) have been a popular method throughout history for book owners to create a personalized method of showing ownership of their books. The creative quality and informational value of many bookplates has inspired collectors and artists. 

Mrs. Ione Klenk Wiechel, a longtime member of the American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers, shared her hobby of collecting bookplates, calligraphy, and miniature books with the community through an exhibit at the Sandusky Area Cultural Center from November through December of 1979.

After her death Mrs. Wiechel’s bookplate collection was donated to the Sandusky Library. The collection features bookplates owned by individuals and businesses of Sandusky and Erie County. 

This bookplate once belonged to Judge Ebenezer Lane, former Common Pleas Judge and Judge of Supreme Court of Ohio:

Esther Sloane Curtis was the granddaughter of abolitionist and former Sandusky Mayor Rush Sloane:

Author and local historian, Charles E. Frohman, was a past president of the Ohio Historical Society. His bookplate reflects his many interests, including nautical history, the theater, and the history of Sandusky industry. Mr. Frohman’s bookplate was designed by Norman Lonz and Harold Zeitsheim.

Daisy A. Kugel was graduated from Sandusky High School in 1896. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in 1900, and graduated from Columbia University in 1909. From 1911 to 1927, Miss Kugel served as Director of Household Arts at University of Wisconsin-Stout.

There are several more bookplates in the holdings of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Ask for assistance at the Reference Services desk if you are interested in viewing Ione Klenk Wiechel’s bookplate collection.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Number Please

A promotional pamphlet entitled Number Please was distributed by the Sandusky Telephone Company about 1901. The phrase of course was a common expression used by operators of that time, and became recognized in popular culture; in volume 19 of the journal Telephony, for example, a brief article reported on a recent "dancing party" held  in 1910 for the employees of the Sandusky Telephone Company, where all of the musical numbers performed at the party were named for various terms related to using the telephone, including a waltz with the title Number Please

The booklet of the same name gave details about the newly remodeled offices of the company, then on the fourth floor of the Kingsbury Block in downtown Sandusky.

The Sandusky Telephone Company at that time claimed to render to its patrons “the highest efficiency in service and at the same time obtaining the greatest economy in operating and maintenance expense.” All subscribers had recently been given new telephones. Here are some examples of the telephones used by customers in the very early twentieth century:

The picture below from Number Please shows five operators handling a total of 1000 telephone lines.

The cable tower was made of steel, and was capable of withstanding immense strain. Twelve 100-pair cables led from the main telephone office to various points throughout Sandusky.

Historical data on page 21 of the pamphlet states that the Sandusky Telephone Company incorporated early in 1895, with 299 telephones in service. At that time, there were only two rooms for the exchange and office. The new telephone offices in 1901 occupied ten rooms and basement. In 1916 the Sandusky Telephone Company was re-organized into the Sandusky Home Telephone Company. In 1922  that company merged with Ohio Bell. In today’s world of wireless communication and smartphones, it is easy to forget that telephone service was so different in the early 1900s. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Today's Google Doodle and Its Connection to Sandusky

Today's Google Doodle, on the Google search page, commemorates the 156th anniversary of the birth of Norwegian explorer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen.

What does a Norwegian polar explorer have to do with Sandusky? You will find a clue on the lower left of the Doodle, below the drawing of Mr. Nansen. The image of an ancient viking ship is used to symbolize the ship that Nansen and his crew used on his explorations around Greenland and the polar region. The name of his ship was the Fram, which was the namesake for the first literary journal of Sandusky High School and later the high school yearbook. The English translation of fram is forward.


Monday, October 09, 2017

George W. Paine, Railroad Agent

George W. Paine was the freight agent for the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad, and its successor the New York Central, for almost fifty years. From the early 1880s until the family moved to California in 1922, Mr. and Mrs. George W. Paine lived in Sandusky, Ohio. Mr. Paine served as the organist for the Congregational Church, and Mrs. Paine was active in the Martha Pitkin Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. During the Civil War, he served in Company D of the 101st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. When Fremont and other cities in northern Ohio were affected by severe flooding in March of 1913, Agent Paine worked with local officials and organizations to transport food, clothing and other supplies over the New York Central railroad lines at no cost.

Local citizens and community organizations gathered supplies in a room at the Hubbard building on Water Street. A special car from the New York Central Railroad took the supplies to Fremont on March 27, 1913. Sandusky’s Company B, Sixth Regiment of the Ohio National Guard was also ordered to duty to assist in providing aid to flood victims.

Friends and family met at the New York Central station in August, 1922 to see the Paine family off to their new home in California. George W. Paine died in California on March 3, 1926. He was long remembered for his many years of service and leadership during his long career with the railroad in Sandusky.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Good Samaritan Aid Society of Ebenezer Baptist Church

This picture of the Good Samaritan Aid Society, Number 117625, of the Ebenezer Baptist Church likely was taken in the 1930s or 1940s. The organization was made up of both men and women, all who worked together to aid those in need within the congregation and community. The group was organized in the 1920s. In the close up view below, you can see the banner for the organization.

In 1934, the people of Ebenezer Baptist organized another service club, known as the Busy Bee Missionary Circle. This group, made up mostly of senior women, worked to raise money for college scholarships and church repairs, and had prayer services for the sick. 

An article in the Sandusky Register of February 15, 1998, reported that Ebenezer Baptist Church was the third African-American church in Sandusky. The Second Baptist Church had been founded in 1849, and the St. Stephen A.M.E. Church was started in 1856. In the article, Rev. Rufus G.W. Sanders stated that “Churches are the center of the black community and black culture. It’s been the bridge between the Afro-American culture and the American culture.”  

Ebenezer Baptist Church celebrated its 90th anniversary with a banquet at the Crystal Room in July of 2010. The church originally was on South Depot Street, but moved to 1215 Pierce Street in the 1970s. The Erie-Huron County C.A.C. and HeadStart Preschool is now located at the site of the former Ebenezer Baptist Church. 

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to learn more about the churches of Sandusky and Erie County, Ohio in the Church Collections. 

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Miss Harriet C. West

Harriet C. West was born in Sandusky, Ohio in 1861 to Abel Kingsbury West and his wife, the former Caroline E. Wood. Abel K. West was an early dry goods  merchant in Sandusky and operator of the West House hotel with his brother William T. West in the 1850s. After the death of her parents, Harriet  (also known as Hattie) resided with the family of her sister, Mary West Anderson. 

In the  1890s, Harriet C. West served as the secretary of the Library Building Fund Association. At the time of the Sandusky Library’s grand opening in July of 1901, Miss West was the treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the Library Association, and was on the local reception committee when the Ohio Library Association held its seventh annual meeting at the Sandusky Library from October 1 to October 4, 1901.

On April 13, 1916, Miss Harriet C. West passed away at her sister's home on Wayne Street.  She had been ill with pneumonia. Funeral services were held at the Anderson residence on April 15, 1916, with the Rev. C. Argylle Keller officiating. Miss West had been a member of the First Presbyterian Church and the Martha Pitkin Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. An obituary which appeared in the April 13, 1916 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal stated about Miss West, “For years she had been an active member of the library board and a great worker for that institution.” Harriet C. West was buried in the West family lot in the North Ridge section of Oakland Cemetery.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Eunice Downing’s School Friendship Book

Eunice Downing was the daughter of Roy and Bertha (Haller) Downing. Her father Roy M. Downing was the U.S. Deputy Collector of Customs in Sandusky for 48 years. Eunice kept a friendship book during her high school years. She was a 1929 graduate of Sandusky High School.

The School Friendship Book was designed and illustrated by Clara Powers Wilson and was published by the Reilly & Lee Company of Chicago in 1910. (The 1916 edition of this title sold for $1.00.) The book provided pages for autographs and photographs. 

Juanita Gilbert wrote this verse for Eunice on June 1, 1925:

When your (sic) in love it’s hearts
When your (sic) engaged it’s diamonds
When your (sic) married it’s clubs
And when your (sic) dead it’s spades.

Dorothy Lorcher wrote:

Nothing more
Nothing less
Just a friend
From S.H.S.

A certificate of proficiency from the Remington Typewriter Company appears on page 44.  Eunice could type at a net speed of 29 words per minute for fifteen consecutive minutes. Also included in the friendship book were programs from art shows, concerts, and tally cards from many bridge games. Napkins, decorations, favors, and invitations found in the book have retained their original bright colors. Eunice’s book includes birthday cards, Christmas cards, Valentines, and graduation cards from the late 1920’s.

Newspaper clippings from Sandusky High School sporting events, honor roll announcements, and Sandusky social and church events allow us to learn what was important to Eunice in her teenage years. Eunice was the winner of a limerick contest sponsored by the Sandusky Star Journal, and she kept her letter of congratulations from the Star Journal.

The “Kodak Snap Shots” section of the friendship book features several photographs of Eunice and her family and friends. In the picture below are: Ila Chaffin, Dolores Neir and Eunice Downing.

Below are snapshots from a family trip to Niagara Falls in 1925.

After graduating from Sandusky High, Eunice Downing was a teller at the Western Security Bank. She married Myron G. Kryeski, and they were married for 35 years. Eunice died on May 17, 1987. Eunice and Myron Kryeski donated many items to the historical collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. The Roy Downing Maritime Collection, in memory of Eunice’s father, contains many photographs of Great Lakes ships from 1902 through 1950, the years that Mr. Downing was with the Sandusky Customs Office. By looking through Eunice’s School Friendship Book, one can get a vivid view of the life of a young lady from a former generation in Sandusky. The friendship books of both Eunice and her sister Evelyn Downing can be seen at the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dr. William Gaylord

William Gaylord was born on July 31, 1838, and grew up on a farm in Morrow County, Ohio. He began studying medicine with Dr. J.D. Buck of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1878, and later attended the Pulte Medical College in Cincinnati. While studying medicine during the day, he worked as a locomotive engineer during the evening, at the throttle of an express engine that ran from Cincinnati to Richmond. 

After graduating from Pulte Medical College in 1883, he soon was appointed as lecturer on histology and microscopy, eventually becoming the Chair of Dermatology and Microscopy at his alma mater. Dr. Gaylord moved to Sandusky in 1885, and was appointed visiting physician to the Good Samaritan Hospital in 1890.

In 1891 Dr. William Gaylord married Miss Loie A. Childs, a Sandusky school teacher and graduate of Oberlin College. Dr. Gaylord had a successful medical practice in Sandusky. He treated people from all walks of life, and provided medical services even to those who were unable to pay him. 

On January 4, 1900, Dr. William Gaylord died of apoplexy (what we would call a stroke today). He had been at the bedside of his ill wife, and was weary from overwork just prior to the time of his death. A tribute was paid to the late Dr. Gaylord at the Proceedings of the 36th Annual Session of the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of Ohio.

Dr. Gaylord was laid to rest at Oakland Cemetery. His wife Loie died of pneumonia on November 13, 1916, leaving behind a son and daughter.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Lutheran School

After holding classes in the old Lutheran church in Washington Park since 1891, Zion Lutheran Church dedicated a new parochial school at the southeast corner of Decatur and Madison Streets on September 24, 1899.  A diagram of the Lutheran Parochial School is visible on the 1905 Sanborn Fire Insurance map.

The builder of the school was George Feick, a member of the Zion Lutheran Church’s congregation.

George Feick was also the architect and builder of Zion Lutheran Church’s new building which was under construction at the time that the school opened. The first service in the new Zion Lutheran Church building was on November 19, 1899.

The Reverend G. Mochel of Fremont gave a sermon on “Christian Education” at the dedication of the Lutheran School. An article in the September 25, 1899 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that the school, constructed from Sandusky limestone, was “one of the finest and most complete” buildings in the city. The lot for the school had been purchased for $1000, and the schoolhouse was built for $6000. Rev. Theodore J.C. Stellhorn concluded the dedication service with prayer, and all were invited in to view the new Lutheran school.

The teachers at the Lutheran Parochial School, from 1891 to 1923, included: Emil Meyer, F. Wiechert, C.F. Knauer, G. Al Allwardt, Carl Schaub, Walter Wietzke, Frank Ruprecht, Otto Woelke, Katherine Dornbirer, Minnie Dornbirer, Lena Lehman, Ella Brehmer, Laura Bing, Elise Gerlach, Bertha Jahraus, Fannie Kahler, Clara Arheit, Katherine Feddersen and Louise Neubiser. The last year that there were students at the Lutheran School was 1923. In 1927, the Board of Education of Sandusky Schools purchased the former Lutheran School, and it became a part of the Junior High School, known for many years as Jackson Junior High School. You can see the former Lutheran School on Madison Street in this view from Google Maps. The former Lutheran school was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The Ohio Historic Places Dictionary states that the Lutheran school was significant because of its role in the education of Protestants of German descent.

Friday, September 22, 2017

When Brown’s Boats Was at the Foot of Columbus Avenue

Worthy R. Brown was born in Port Clinton, Ohio on March 17, 1884. He was the first person to operate charter boats for reel fishing on Lake Erie. He founded Channel Grove Marina in East Harbor, and for many years operated "Sandy Beach," now known as East Harbor State Park. In 1904, Mr. Brown started Worthy Brown & Sons, Inc., which was later known as Brown's Marina. In 1928, he purchased the boats and the route of the Maley Transportation Company. By 1929 Mr. Brown leased space in the G.A. Boeckling building for office use. He changed the company name to Brown’s Boats, Inc. about that time.

The G.A. Boeckling building and dock, originally used for ferries to Cedar Point
 By 1931, Worthy Brown had purchased all the buildings between the Lay Brothers fishery and the east pier, and used the area as a boat docking facility. If you look closely, you can read the words Brown’s Boats, Inc. in the building in the center of the picture below.

For several years, Brown Boats was the local representative for Lyman Boats Works of Sandusky.  A Lyman boat catalog was included in the 1953 WLEC Time Capsule, which was opened in 2003, and is now housed at the Follett House Museum.

Worthy Brown died suddenly on March 31, 1959, and William Brown took over management of the company. A listing in the 1962 Sandusky City Directory states that at that time William R. Brown was the president and manager of Brown’s Boats, Inc. The company was then the distributor in the Lake Erie Islands District for Chris-Craft boats, Johnson Motors, Thompson and Henry outboard motors, marine supplies, and marine sales and service. Brown’s Boats, Inc. ceased operations in 1973. For several years in the 1970s and 1980s, Erie Bay Graphics was located on the site of the former Brown’s Boats. The legal firm of Murray and Murray Co. L.P.A. and Dock of the Bay Marina are now located on the property. For an interesting and detailed history of Brown’s Boats, Inc. see the December 19, 1993 issue of the Sandusky Register, now available on microfilm. The article is on the second front page, in a feature known as “By the Bay.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ledger Book from Lee Chambers Brickyard

A ledger book from the business of Lee Chambers is housed in the Business Collections of the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library. The book dates from March 1865 through May 1889. Lee Chambers was a mason and contractor from the 1850s until his death in 1891. The ledger lists accounts of both household and business transactions. Between 1855 and 1871, according to listings in the Sandusky City Directories, Mr. Chambers was a mason, carpenter, and bricklayer; by 1886 he was listed as a brick manufacturer. Mr. Chambers’ residence, as well as his brickyard, was on the west side of Milan Road, south of the corporation line, not far from Oakland Cemetery. 

This page of the ledger lists some of Mr. Chambers’ incoming and outgoing expenses in September of 1882.

The listings on pages 176 and 177 are related to his involvement in the construction of a tunnel for the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in 1887.

Besides hundreds of business-related entries in the Chambers ledger, there are also details about household expenses and recipes. Below is a handwritten recipe for a remedy for cholera.

Lee Chambers died on February 17, 1891. His obituary stated that he had been “one of our old and respected citizens.” A heartfelt tribute appeared in the Sandusky Register of February 21, 1891: In 1873, at the time that Jay Cooke suffered severe financial losses, the Third National Bank of Sandusky lost significant funds. People in Sandusky were in a state of excitement, and were worried about losing money they had deposited in their local bank. Depositors began clamoring for their money. In the midst of this turmoil, Lee Chambers walked into the bank and said to Laurence Cable, the bank president that he wanted to deposit $500. Lee’s confidence in the bank meant a great deal to the officers of the Third National Bank, and helped to calm down the excitement and fears of the bank customers. The article concluded, “Lee Chambers was a man of remarkably strong characteristics and when he died the life of an honest man went out.”

Saturday, September 16, 2017

When the Lake Shore Coach Lines Ran from Sandusky to Cleveland

From 1938 until well into the 1940s, the Lake Shore Coach Lines transported passengers by bus from Sandusky to Cleveland, as well as from Sandusky to Toledo. The Lake Shore Coach Lines was created after the Lake Shore Electric Railway lines ceased operations. Several of these buses were manufactured by the Yellow Coach Manufacturing Company. The buses that served Sandusky were Model 742s.  Pictured below is bus number 157.

Here is a side view of bus number 153.

Time tables which appeared in the December 2, 1942 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News indicated that buses traveled daily from Sandusky to Cleveland at 7:30 and 10:05 a.m., and 12:05, 2:05, 3:35, 6:05, 8:35 and 9:55 p.m. daily. Another 6:20 a.m. route ran from Sandusky to Cleveland every day except Sundays and holidays. The Lake Shore Coach Lines also ran several trips to and from Toledo every day. Having such frequent bus stops in Sandusky would have enabled local residents to work or shop in Cleveland or Toledo quite easily. Many Christmas shoppers enjoyed the convenience of taking the bus to the big city, without having to drive their own vehicle. 

A procession of buses at the Northwest Territory Celebration parade, April 30, 1938

In September of 1943, the Sandusky routes of the Lake Shore Coach Lines were taken over by the Sandusky Rapid Transit. The Lake Shore Coach Company was eventually sold to Greyhound. Today most people drive their own vehicles to and from Toledo and Cleveland, but it is fun to see these images from a time gone by in our community.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Elementary School Children in Sandusky, 1883

Walter Ritter donated this picture of an elementary school class taken on the steps of the old Sandusky High School (later Adams Junior High School) in 1883.  Martha Anthony (later Mrs. I.C. Brewer), number 16 in the picture, was the original owner of the photograph. 

Listed as number 40 is Allen Stroud, the son of Dr. C. Eugene Stroud. Allen Stroud became a mail carrier in Sandusky, and he also owned the Stroud Gardens that were adjacent to his home on Milan Road.

Edward W. Altstaetter, number 46 on the picture, once served as Sandusky’s Mayor. When he passed away in 1970 at the age of 91, he was the oldest insurance agent in the city of Sandusky. Young Mr. Altstaetter is the second boy from the left in the image below.

To view hundreds of historic images related to Sandusky and Erie County, see the Past Perfect Local History Archives online.