Thursday, March 05, 2015

Aerial View of the New Departure Plant


In 1990, Thomas Root took this aerial view of Delco Moraine, New Departure Hyatt (Division of General Motors) located at the southwest corner of Perkins and Hayes Avenue in Perkins Township, Erie County. Dozens of automobiles dot the parking lot of the plant, while a semi and other cars travel southbound along Hayes Avenue. On the left side of the picture is Foster Chevrolet. Across the street from Delco Moraine, New Departure Hyatt, you can see Mr. Hero, Berardi’s Family Kitchen, the AFL CIO Union Hall, and other businesses. At the very right of the picture you can see a portion of Strobel Field, now Strobel Field at Cedar Point Stadium.

General Motors established the New Departure plant in Perkins Township in 1946. In 1965 New Departure was merged with another GM Division, Hyatt Bearings, to form the New Departure Hyatt Bearings Division and Sandusky was selected as the divisional headquarters site.  In 1989 New Departure Hyatt merged with another GM division, Delco Moraine, to become Delco Moraine NDH.  In 1991 Delco Moraine NDH merged with Delco Products to become Delco Chassis Division.  Delco Chassis Division became Delphi Chassis Systems in 1995.  Delphi Automotive Systems spun off from parent company GM in 1999, and then changed its name to Delphi Corporation in 2002. KBI (Kyklos Bearing International) now occupies the site of the former New Departure/Delco Moraine/Delphi facility.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Program Announcement: The Lincoln Funeral Train


Saturday, March 7 / 10:30 a.m., at the Sandusky Library
Scott Trostel, presenter

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination, the first president to be killed while in office. Scott Trostel, author of 50 books and appearing on the History Channel’s documentary Stealing Lincoln’s Body, will present this program about the Lincoln funeral train and the sad journey from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, IL between April 21 and May 2, 1865. The train made State funeral stops at Cleveland and Columbus en route to Springfield. This program is co-sponsored by the Erie County Historical Society.  More information about the Lincoln funeral train can be found at http://www.the2015lincolnfuneraltrain.com/


Monday, March 02, 2015

Advertising Signs on Barns


Throughout the Midwest and South, advertising signs were often painted on barns and other buildings in the early to mid-1900s. Building owners were paid to have the advertisements on their property, and many farmers appreciated the fresh coat of paint on the barn. Citizen’s Banking Company offered loans for real estate, and an interest rate of 4 percent on the sign pictured below.



The Herb and Myers Company “Big Store” gave Union Stamps to customers at their Sandusky store in the 1920s.



The Dilgert and Bittner (sometimes spelled Dilgart) store suggested that local residents could furnish their homes completely with the products sold at their store in Sandusky.


And restaurants advertised their menus, as well.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Letter of Appreciation to Lt. Foster V. Follett

On February 27, 1865, over one hundred Confederate States officers, who were being held as prisoners of war at the Johnson’s Island military prison, signed this letter of appreciation to Lieutenant Foster V. Follett, who was serving in the 128th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

  
The letter read:

United States Military Prison
Johnson’s Island, Ohio
Block 12. Company 25.
February 27th, 1865

Lieutenant:

            We the undersigned Confederate States officers,
prisoners of war, Block 12, Company 25, Johnson’s Island, Ohio, take
pleasure in expressing our high appreciation of the efficiency, gentlemanly
bearing and kindness of your self, in all your official and social relations
towards us.
            We desire to express the hope that should the fortunes of war
place you in a similar situation you may receive the same
kindness and generosity at the hands of your captors.

The Confederate officers signed their name under the “Calling Roll.”  Signing the first page of the letter of appreciation were:

L. A. Courtade, 1st Liet., 4th La. Regt.
John O, Daliet, 2nd Lieu., 9th La. Cav.
B. W. Lanier, Miles La. Legion
John W. See, 2nd N.C. Battalion
A. Dapremont, 1st Lieut., Co. E La. Vols.
C. C. Cunningham, Capt. ___ Mo. Cav. Regt.
Chancellor A. Nelson, Capt. 49th Va. Regt.
L. Daigle, 2nd L., 4th La. Regt.


On February 10, 1958, Lieut. Foster V. Follett’s granddaughter, Helen Follett Brooks,
sent a letter to "the Historical Society in Sandusky," accompanying a photocopy of the Confederate prisoners’ letter to her grandfather.  (Copies of both letters are now housed in the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library.) She explained that someone in her family had told her that Lieutenant Follett was so distressed over the poor conditions affecting the Southern officers, that he would eat nothing that the prisoners did not have. He wrote to his wife and asked her to solicit food from friends and residents of Sandusky to help relieve the poor conditions at the prison. The family has always maintained that Lieutenant Follett’s early death was due to illness suffered from his poor diet during his years in the Civil War. Foster V. Follett died on October 12, 1882, and he is buried in Oakland Cemetery. Foster V. Follett’s acts of kindness during a time of war indicate his deeply rooted core values.

Foster V. Follett was the son of Foster M. Follett, who also had served in the Civil War. Foster M. Follett was known for his heroic efforts to aid the sick during the Cholera Epidemic of 1849. The son of Foster V. and Portia Follett, whose name also was Foster Morse Follett, became a well known comic artist.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Interior Views of the Perry and Bretz Clothing Store

From 1918 until its closing in 1963, the Perry and Bretz Store sold men’s clothing and accessories at 136 East Market Street in downtown Sandusky.


The 1919 Sandusky city directory lists Jay J. Perry and Robert B. Bretz as the proprietors of Perry and Bretz. By 1927 the store was run by Robert B. Bretz, Donald D. Perry, and Eugene J. Perry.



When Bretz died in 1947, his obituary stated that he had been one of Sandusky’s oldest business men, having been in the clothing business in Sandusky for sixty-five years. The Perrys continued to operate the store until 1963. An article in the July 8, 1963 issue of the Sandusky Register featured a going out of business sale for the Perry and Bretz store.


The Follett House Museum has two hangers in its collections, one from the former Robert B. Bretz store at 117 Columbus Avenue, and one from the former Kronthal and Bretz store.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Overmyer-Zechman-Ball Automobile Company

Have you ever seen an old sign on a building that doesn't relate to what is in the building today, and wondered about the origin of the sign? There is a building like that on Washington Street with a story to tell. 


The Overmyer-Zechman-Ball Company opened its doors in Sandusky in January of 1926. The January 30, 1926 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that the Overmyer-Zechman-Ball Company, along with Hilt and Auxter, were considered “ultra modern” garages. The large brick garage buildings were located in the 700 block of West Washington Street, between Lawrence and Fulton. The Overmyer-Zechman-Ball Company sold and serviced Dodge Brothers cars and Graham Brothers trucks. Hilt and Auxter were the agents for Buick and Maron motor cars. Both garages had large showrooms that faced Washington Street. The buildings were designed and constructed under the direction of Sandusky architects Millott and Parker, and the general contractor was Steinle and Wolf, from Fremont. M.J. Callan and son did the excavating and cement work, and Klein Structural Irons Works of Bellevue furnished the steel structural iron. Many other local businesses had a part in the new building.


In 1931, Overmyer-Zechman-Ball Company displayed automobiles at the Sandusky Auto Dealers eleventh annual automobile show, held at 1014 Hancock Street on February 6 to 8.


According to Sandusky city directories, by 1932, the Overmyer-Zechman-Ball Company had become the Overmyer Ball Company, and Smith Motor Sales was in the building formerly occupied by Hilt and Auxter. In the first half of the twentieth century, the automotive industry changed rapidly. In the early 1950s, Overmyer-McCullough, Inc. was selling Dodge and Plymouth vehicles at 709 W. Washington Street, and by 1960, there was no longer a business in operation in Sandusky that included the Overmyer name. A variety of different companies have been in business at 709 W. Washington Street through the years. 


Visit the Sandusky Library to learn about historic businesses in Sandusky by browsing through several decades of Sandusky city directories.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Double Stone House on West Market Street


According to the book, At Home in Early Sandusky, by Helen Hansen, this double stone house, which no longer stands, was built at what is now the 400 block of West Market Street by Leonard B. Johnson (of Johnson's Island) in 1846. William A. Simpson bought the property in 1848. In 1866, Rev. J. George Lehrer owned the west half of the house, and Julius Robrahn owned the right side. Until 1960, this property had several different residents. In the 1920 U.S. Census, sisters Mary and Amelia Maul lived in one half of the house, where they both worked as dressmakers. 

In 1960 the double stone house was razed, for use as a parking lot. This link to Google Maps shows what the space looked like in the fall of 2013. See At Home in Early Sandusky to learn more about houses in Sandusky, some still standing. This book is available at the Sandusky Library in the Reference Services area of the Sandusky Library, or you may buy it for $1.00 at the check-out desk at the library. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Pierced Paper Valentines

These two Valentines were donated to the Follett House Museum from Mabel Wilcox Orwig. The full story behind the giver and receiver of these valentines is unknown. Each piece of paper was folded four times and cut into scallops. Then holes were punched and pins were pricked through the paper to create a decorative design. 

       

The Valentine made with pink paper had this inscription:
Long for thy coming I’ve wailed and sighed
Breathless the air love and calm is the night
Golden with stars oh the heavens are bright
Long for thy coming I’ve waited and sighed
Joanah my love



The Valentine made with white paper had this inscription:

You are worthy of my esteem
May you always be happy
Call on me in trouble
 Re[me]mber the giver


These lovely handmade cards were donated in the 1960s, but most likely were created many years before that time, in the nineteenth century. Pin pierced designs have been popular for several centuries.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Clifford Marshall King, Engineer


Clifford Marshall King was born in Sandusky on December 17, 1879 to Judge and Mrs. Edmund B. King. After attending Oberlin College for a time, Clifford M. King graduated from Western Reserve University in 1901. He earned his civil engineering degree from Cornell University in 1904. After college, he worked for the United States Reclamation Service in the west. From 1908 to 1911, he was the engineer for the city of Sandusky, and later became the Erie County Engineer. Mr. King was the engineer in charge of the construction of the Cedar Point Chaussee.



In 1917, Mr. King was commissioned a captain in the U.S. Engineers. During World War I he was an instructor in an officers’ training camp. He served overseas with the 528th Battalion of Engineers. After returning home from military service, Mr. King worked for the city of Cleveland in its engineering department. 

On January 2, 1922, Clifford M. King died at Charity Hospital in Cleveland, after a brief illness. He was only 42 years old. Mr. King was survived by his parents and his wife, the former Edith Davis. Funeral services were held at the Masonic Temple in Sandusky, and burial was in Oakland Cemetery.  Mr. King accomplished much in his brief life, and he was sadly missed by his family and friends and associates.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Sandusky Tool Company


The Sandusky Tool Company, pictured above in the book Sandusky of To-Day, was established in 1869 to succeed Allen, Dorsey and Tenner.  George Barney, Sr. was the company’s first president, and Stephen W. Dorsey was its first superintendent. The company was well known for its fine quality hand tools, including planes, hoes, axes and other small tools. A group picture of the company’s employees was taken about 1870. Note that some of the workers were quite young.


Here is a page from the 1886 Sanborn Map that shows the location of the Sandusky Tool Company on Meigs Street, adjacent to Sandusky Bay:


J.A.Montgomery, who was associated with the Sandusky Tool Company for many years, was considered a mechanical genius. He designed woodworking machinery that was in use at the tool company for as long as it was in existence. The innovation continued after his death in 1899. W.G. Schwer patented this plane the Sandusky Tool Company in 1928.

Mozart Gallup was director, treasurer, and assistant secretary of the Sandusky Tool Company in 1880, and on September 14, 1886, he became the president and general manager. Mr. Gallup held the office of president of the company until his death in 1923.


This picture of the Sandusky Tool Company was most likely taken in the 1920s.


In 1924, the Sandusky Tool Company was hit by a tornado, and within five years, the company closed.
                    

To read more about the of the Sandusky Tool Company see the publication The Sandusky Tool Company Story by Wilbert G. Schwer, housed with the local history and genealogical books in the Reference Services Area of the Sandusky Library. Five images of tools made by the Sandusky Tool Company can be seen online at the Ohio Memory Collection.  To view actual tools made by the Sandusky Tool Company, visit The Follett House Museum, where tools are displayed in a room on the attic level.