Lay Brothers Fisheries was founded in 1870 by John Sr. and Jacob Lay, both sons of Jacob Lay, Sr., who died in the 1849 cholera epidemic. Pictured above is the Lay Brothers building in 1910, along the waterfront at the foot of Wayne Street. The company grew rapidly, with another brother, Henry Lay, joining the business in 1881. When Jacob Lay retired in 1902, three sons of John Lay, Sr. came into the family business. Below is a vintage photo of employees (including the horse) of Lay Brothers Fisheries in 1890.
This picture of Lay Brothers employees was taken in 1905. Notes accompanying the picture indicate that John Lay, Sr. is the man with the beard standing in the doorway.
A woman was working along with several male employees in this office picture from the early 1900s.
The boat crew can be seen pulling up nets in the picture below from the 1920s or 1930s.
In the 1930s, Lay Brothers Fisheries had about thirty fishing boats. By the 1950s, business declined due to the decline of the fish population and competition from Canada. Lay Brothers Fisheries closed in 1961. Historical records from the Lay Brothers Fisheries are now in the manuscript collection of the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes. The book Lake Erie Fishermen: Work, Tradition, and Identity (University of Illinois Press, 1990) by Timothy C. Lloyd and Patrick B. Mullen, is available for checkout from the Sandusky Library