Monday, January 30, 2012

East Side of Columbus Avenue in the Early Twentieth Century

The picture above shows the east side of Columbus Avenue between Washington Row and Market Street in the first decade of the twentieth century. At the southeast corner of Columbus and Market is the Mayer Lebensburger Company, which sold men’s clothing and hats. The overcoat department was on the upper level of the store. John A. Giedeman’s shoe and boot store was next to Lebensburger's. Mr. Giedeman had a shoe store in Sandusky for several years, with a variety of locations and business partners. The bookseller S.T. Lemley took over the bookstore that was formerly owned by Mr. Huntington. S.T. Lemley sold books and stationery, and offered a picture framing service.  According to the 1908 Sandusky City Directory, Amelia Homegardner and Helen Zimmerman sold art and needlework supplies at the A. Zimmerman & Company. S.D. Arvanite was a manufacturer and jobber of confectionery and ice cream in the building just north of the Kingsbury Block. Oliver Marble, architect, had his office in the upper level a storefront on Columbus Avenue, and so did two dentists, J.E. Herman and H.S. Rogers. In the Kingsbury Block, Doctors D.D. Smith and J.K. Douglass also had busy dental offices. The Kingsbury Block was located at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Washington Row from 1894 until the early 1920s. We do not know positively what band is playing in the parade down Columbus Avenue. At the time this photograph was taken, the streetcar was a popular mode of transportation, but area residents still used the horse and buggy as well.
Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view this and several thousand more vintage photographs of Sandusky and Erie County.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Group of Youngsters in Front of the Citizens Banking Company

The Citizens Banking Company opened its new headquarters in the Feick Building on East Market Street in downtown Sandusky in 1924.  A group of boys is standing in front of the Citizens Bank. All the children are holding up an unidentified promotional paper. One young man is wearing a Boy Scout uniform. Note the vintage cars parked in front. Several bicycles are on the sidewalk as well. A large burglar alarm can be seen directly under the name of the bank. And if you look closely, you can see someone in an upstairs window. Today the Feick Building is still home to several Sandusky businesses and offices.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sandusky Bay Bridge Snowbound in 1936

An Associated Press article which appeared on the front page of the January 24, 1936 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Ohio had been hit with the most intense cold wave in half a century on January 23, 1936. Eighteen deaths related to the cold were caused by exposure, heart attacks, fire. An Ohio couple from Springfield died from carbon monoxide poisoning, as they attempted to keep warm with a gas stove that was improperly ventilated.

Snow drifts of 14 -15 feet closed the Sandusky Bay Bridge to all traffic. Here, several individuals are shoveling through the massive snow drifts:

A bulldozer is used to clear the snowbound bridge:

Ice fishing shanties can be seen in the distance in the image below:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Masquerade Party Given by the Knights of the Scissors

On January 21, 1890, the second annual masquerade party given by the Knights of the Scissors was held at Fisher’s Hall. Music was provided by the Great Western Orchestra. Admission was fifty cents for men and twenty five cents for ladies.

Dances included waltzes, polkas, the schottische, and many more. An article in the January 22, 1890 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that two hundred people were at the party, with about half of the guests in masquerade. To date we do not know if the Knights of the Scissors were a labor group, perhaps made up of tailors, or if the group was an informal club.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mary J. Zipfel Grummel MacLeod

Mary Josephine Zipfel is pictured above in a wintry scene (created by the photographer). The photograph was taken at the C.W. Platt studio in Sandusky when Mary J. Zipfel was in her early teens. Mary J. Zipfel was the daughter of Constantine and Mary (Daniel) Zipfel. Mary’s father was the owner of a well known Sandusky meat market. In the picture below, Mary J. Zipfel is wearing her bridesmaid’s dress for the wedding of her brother Charles to Anna Wagner.

According to marriage records at Erie County Probate Court, on April 24, 1889, Mary J. Zipfel married Philip Grummel, Jr. in Erie County, Ohio. Sadly, the couples’ little girl, Edna Grummel, died when she was only five months old, on June 1, 1890. Mary and baby Edna were photographed at the C.W. Platt studio shortly before Edna passed away.

Mary and Philip Grummel, Jr. became the parents of a baby boy in 1892. Mary’s husband Philip died on February 4, 1900. Later Mary Zipfel Grummel married Archibald MacLeod. Mary also survived her second husband, as Mr. MacLeod passed away in 1932. Mary J. Grummel MacLeod lived to be 91 years of age. She died in a nursing home in Clyde, Ohio, and she was buried next to Archibald MacLeod at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. Mary’s life as a young woman is well documented at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center thanks to the generosity of family members who donated several photographs that originally belonged to the Zipfel family. If you have vintage photographs of former residents or buildings from Sandusky or Erie County, consider donating them to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center so that future generations may enjoy them.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ulrich Zuercher, the Truants’ Nemesis, but Friend to All

Ulrich Zuercher was born in Switzerland in 1849, and he settled in Sandusky in June 1871. In February of 1890, Ulrich Zuercher was appointed the truant officer of Sandusky City Schools, a position he held for 33 years. Mr. Zuercher never used an automobile in his duties, and he estimated that he walked over 50,000 miles during his years as truant officer. Zuercher served as the truant officer under sixteen different school boards. His beginning salary was $40.00 a month. In an article in the August 25, 1923 issue of the Sandusky Register, Mr. Zuercher recalled calling on the home of a student named Johnny. Johnny’s parents were not fond of the compulsory education law in Ohio, and they thought it was just fine for Johnny to skip school. Johnny’s mother came after Ulrich Zuercher with a club, while Johnny’s father came after him with a hammer. Mr. Zuercher made a speedy departure. After visiting the family again, accompanied by a law enforcement official, Johnny’s parents saw to it that their son attended school regularly. Though Mr. Zuercher had to often admonish children in his line of duty, he also became well liked by Sandusky’s students. Mr. Zuercher would visit classrooms and tell stories that “evoked the mirth of children of all ages.”

Due to poor health, Ulrich Zuercher retired from his job as truant officer on September 1, 1923. The first Christmas after Mr. Zuercher retired, he was inundated with cards and letters from Sandusky school pupils wishing him well. On January 15, 1925, Ulrich Zuercher died following a lingering illness Hundreds of Sandusky residents paid their respects to the veteran truant officer. Funeral services for Ulrich Zuercher were conducted by Rev. T.J.C. Stellhorn at Zion Lutheran Church. Rev. Stellhorn fondly told of incidents in Mr. Zuercher’s line of duty, which had caused him to be so beloved by the community. Pallbearers for Ulrich Zuercher were: Sandusky School Superintendent Frank J. Prout, Principal Karl Whinnery, and faculty members Carl Ruff, C. E. Fleming, and W. A. Richardson. Val Hottenroth, the truant officer who took Mr. Zuercher’s place, also served as a pallbearer. Students and staff members of Sandusky City Schools collected enough money to purchase flowers for Mr. Zuercher as well as a grave marker. Ulrich Zuercher was buried at Oakland Cemetery.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Residence of Simeon Galloway in Perkins Township

This is the residence of Simeon Galloway in Perkins Township from the latter part of the nineteenth century. A description of early homes in Perkins Township was provided in the chapter on Perkins Township in History of Erie County, Ohio, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich. These early residences were made of logs, and usually consisted of just one room with an open fireplace. Windows were made of greased paper, the floor and door were made from a simple slab, and no nails were used. In the 1860 U.S. Census for Perkins Township of Erie County, Ohio, Simeon Galloway was listed as age 42, occupation farmer, and his birthplace was Pennsylvania. His wife Amelia, age 38, was born in Ohio. Simeon and Amelia had a son and six daughters, ranging in age from infancy to 19. Simeon Galloway died in 1890, and his wife Amelia died in 1900. Both are buried in Perkins Cemetery.

By viewing the Agricultural Schedules for Erie County, Ohio from 1860, we learn that Simeon Galloway’s farm was on ten acres of improved land. He had a milk cow, and two other cattle, and the crops on his farm included wheat, corn, oats and sweet potatoes. Mr. Galloway also produced one hundred pounds of butter between June 1, 1859 and June 1, 1860. The Sandusky Library Archives Research Center has the Agricultural Schedules for Erie County for 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. Usually several counties are contained on one roll of microfilm. While there is no surname index to the Agricultural Schedules, a little time spent browsing in the township where one’s ancestor resided can yield interesting details about that ancestor’s farm. Information is provided about acreage crops, and livestock. To learn more about the Nonpopulation Census Records compiled by the United States Government, see the website of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Artist Elizabeth Nourse and Her Mentor, Elizabeth Hudson

A copy of this painting of water lilies, by Elizabeth Nourse, is in the Artists of Sandusky file at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. In 1882 Miss Nourse became acquainted with Mrs. John H. Hudson of Sandusky, Ohio. That fall, Mrs. Hudson served as a chaperone to Elizabeth Nourse while she attended the National Academy of Design in New York City. Elizabeth’s twin sister, Adelaide Nourse, became the wife of Benn Pitman in Sandusky, Ohio on August 10, 1882, so perhaps that is how Elizabeth Nourse happened to be in Sandusky at that time. Mrs. Hudson, who served as a mentor to several artists in Sandusky, is pictured in the photograph below.

In 1887, Elizabeth Nourse, with her sister Louise, sailed to France. They lived the rest of their lives abroad, except for a few brief visits back to the United States. In 1895 she became the first American woman to be made an Associée of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Several works by Elizabeth Nourse can be seen at the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. An online exhibit of images created by Elizabeth Nourse can be seen at the Mercantile Library in Cincinnati. Elizabeth Nourse died on October 8, 1938 in Paris.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

J. Rickers Mattresses and Upholstering

According to the 1880 U.S. Census, John Rickers was born about 1854 in Schleswig, Germany. By 1878, he and his family were residing in Sandusky, Ohio, where Mr. Rickers ran an upholstery business. He also manufactured and sold mattresses. In the picture above, the side of the building advertised corn husks for sale. Corn husks were traditionally used in furniture cushions and mattresses, so perhaps Mr. Rickers sold the excess husks if he purchased too many from area farmers.

In 1880, the Rickers family consisted of John Rickers, age 26, his wife Lizzie, age 22, and two infant sons, Albert and Oscar. Mrs. Rickers, the former Elizabeth Maul, gave birth to a daughter Verna in 1880. The Rickers upholstering business was at various locations, including 141 Columbus Avenue, 730 Water Street, and at the southeast corner of Reese and Franklin Streets. Mr. John Rickers died on February 1, 1895. His funeral took place at the family residence on Franklin Street on March 3, 1895. Friends and relatives came from Norwalk, Oak Harbor, Chicago, and Philadelphia, to pay their respects. Rev. C.A. Vincent, pastor of the First Congregational Church officiated at the funeral, and several vocal selections were sung by a quartet. Members of the local Odd Fellows Lodge closed the graveside services, held at Oakland Cemetery. Mr. John Rickers was survived by his wife and three children. For a few years, Mrs. Lizzie Rickers ran the upholstering business, but eventually it was taken over by John Rickers’ son Oscar. The final location of the upholstery business operated by Oscar Rickers was 604 West Market Street. Oscar Rickers died in 1943.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Holiday Dinner for Lake Shore Electric Railway Employees

The trainmen of the Lake Shore Electric Railway had a holiday dinner in a car barn in Fremont, Ohio on January 2, 1917. The only person identified is Joe Brownworth, the first person on the left. Elmer A. Whitney was the photographer. The Lake Shore Electric Railway was an interurban railway that ran between Cleveland and Toledo. It operated between 1901 and 1938, and was often called the streetcar.

For many years the Sandusky ticket office for the Lake Shore Electric Railway was in the Stone block at the southeast corner of Market Street and Columbus Avenue.

The Sandusky Library carries several books about the Lake Shore Electric Railway, including two authored by Harry Christiansen, and one by Herbert H. Harwood, Jr. and Robert S. Korach.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year’s Greetings from the Carriers of the Sandusky Register, 1858

On January 1, 1858, the carriers of the Sandusky Register distributed this New Year’s greeting to local subscribers of the newspaper.

The lengthy poem tells the story of a young newspaper carrier who falls asleep in the press room and dreams of a giant who dwelled in a heavenly realm. The giant symbolized Progress, a hero who spread truth and goodness to all. The giant’s hands were upheld by the Press and Pen..

In 1858 the proprietor of the Sandusky Register was H.D. Cooke and Company. Henry David Cooke was the younger brother of Jay Cooke, the well known Civil War financier. He went on to served as the Governor of the District of Columbia from February 28, 1871 to September 13, 1873. In 1858 the Register was published daily, tri-weekly and weekly.