THE VVFD C.1940
SHOPTALK: This week I came to understand the definition of the word harried. There was a great deal of stuff to tend to besides the normal stuff – so the days went fast. But that’s okay. Better to be harried than buried.
There were some tech problems with the copier – and that was driving me nutty. I really wanted to finish up the Roscoe booklet that I mentioned last week. I really didn’t think I’d get it done. But I did. There are a few minor corrections that need be made, and some additional technical matters to take care of – but I’m slowly getting there. I also added a number of footnotes that I thought necessary. [Have ye ever heard: of General William Rosecrans; the 4th and last stanza of “The Star Spangled Banner; of the “Hundred Day Service”; or a “Bandbox Soldier” before?] Some things are in need of elucidation.
I’ve added two additional documents to the publication. They’re both important as well as very interesting. One of them is a letter written in 1950 by a distant cousin of mine to his grandfather (my great uncle). It tells of a man named William Rouscoue whose grandfather fled France as a Huguenot. William and his family eventually followed his pastor, one Rev. Thomas Hooker to America in 1635. His family was one of the first50 families ever to live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was also one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, etc.
The other document is a more detailed rendering of the first. I’ll have several copies done (I hope) by the end of the next week; tis all exceptionally interesting. So, thusly, did I find myself harried.
RENOVATIONS UPDATE: The backstairs for the new back porch on the upper floor of the museum are up. I caught the pic of them with my handy-dandy Bloggie camera. I’ve not used it too much for still pix. But in conjunction with Adobe software (CS5 & CS6) it worked surprisingly well.
The electrical work is coming along too. Most of the upstairs has been rewired, and a new panel box installed. We’re actually further ahead with the entire project than originally anticipated. Yet, we still have tons of work ahead. But as Margaret Worcester has often said of working the project, “Baby steps, baby steps.”
THE PIC THIS WEEK: On the desktop this week is a c.1940 photograph of Vermilion’s Volunteer Fire Co. I recognize only a handful of the men: ”Ding” Jeffery, Jim Friday, Burt Hollosy, and Court Simon. I recognize the faces of a few more, but am at a loss to recall their names at this time.
Note the light on the top of the truck on the right. My brother-in-law Dave Wilkes told me that the truck wouldn’t fit through the door on the firehouse because of it. Consequently, they had to cut a space for it. It was just one of those small details one doesn’t think of until the last minute.
The firehouse was eventually torn down and replaced by the current one. Nonetheless, most persons familiar with the town easily recognize the corner on which it sits. And the VVFD is still just as important today as it was when these shadows were frozen in time.
FIVE-OH-ONE-CEE-THREE: It’s now official. The museum is officially a 501(c)(3) organization. Consequently, all donations to the museum are tax deductible. This is retroactive to November of 2011. (Thank heaven. Now I can fret about something else for months on end.)
VISITING HOURS: We are located at 727 Grand Street in Vermilion across the street from Vermilion's historic E&R Church. The museum is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays from 1 to 4 PM. On Saturday the museum it is open from 11 AM to 2 PM. A small admission donation of $3 (for adults) is requested. Children under the age of 11 will be admitted for free. Phone For Special Tours: 440-967-4555
We are not open on major holidays.
POST OFFICE BOX: Please note that the MUSEUM has a post office box now. Now we won’t have to use our home address, nor the one at the shop for mail.
MEMBERSHIPS: Memberships to the VERMILION NEWS PRINT SHOP MUSEUM are now available. Funds generated will go toward the aforementioned renovations and maintenance of the shop.
If you would like to become a member the VNPSM you can send a check or money order to:
Vermilion Print Shop Museum P.O. Box 792 Vermilion, Ohio 44089
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK:Take the time to visit us on Facebook. Click on the badge below and stop in. We'll keep adding pix as we go along. If you're in the area come on in. I try to be there in the a.m. most everyday. If you see a Chevy Silverado in the drive with the plate "MRCOOKR" stop by and see what's cooking.
"He looked like a tough guy."
THE CHIEF: According to the U.S. Census of 1940 Frank Todi was a “Seamless Fiber Steel Worker” in Lorain, Ohio. He was 32 years old and living with his wife Elizabeth and young son Jack on Indiana Ave in that town. He had an 8th grade education. Yet, by the mid-1950s he had become, not only a respected a law enforcement officer, but the Chief of Police in Vermilion, Ohio.
I remember Chief Todi quite well. He looked like a tough guy. And he may have been a tough guy. He was rather short and stocky. I guess he was what would call a burly fellow. And for some unknown reason I seem to recall that he had strong-looking hands with sausage sized fingers. But he was (or he always seemed to be) a very kindly man.
He became Chief after long time town Marshal and Chief Ed Benson retired. By that time the VPD had moved from a phone booth sized building into the public restroom in Exchange Park. It was a giant step forward for the burgeoning department at the time.
I also remember when Chief Todi died. My mom found him in his chair at the Police Department. He had apparently suffered a heart attack and had passed, as some say, “with his boots on”. It was on the third day of April in 1958. His life had been as brief as his tenure as the head law enforcement officer in Vermilion, O. But he had come a long, long way.
DECORATION DAY – CIRCA 1909:The photograph accompanying this essay could very well have been the subject of a painting by French artist Edouard Manet (1832-1883). As mentioned in this forum several times before there are, undoubtedly, thousands of photographs (and that is no exaggeration) like this squirrelled away in someone’s closet or attic that have long been forgotten. This photograph is a fine example of one of those long forgotten photos. It was found among, perhaps, 1000 photos in a cardboard box recently donated to the Vermilion Area Archival Society by Vermilion expatriate - Airforce Major - Jack Corsino. The box contained photographs and sundry other documents pertaining to the Thompson - Nichols families of Vermilion, Ohio.
Back in the dawn of American life there were three brothers; Justus, Charles, and Henry Thompson. Charles was a clerk in the Continental Congress and signed the Articles of Confederation as a Connecticut representative. His brother Henry was a delegate to that body, and the third, Justus, was a Revolutionary War soldier.
The influence on local history began sometime in 1808 when Justus, along with his wife and four sons migrated to the area from Connecticut settling along the Edison Highway just 2 miles west of Florence / Jessup (southwest of town) at a place called “Tater’s Corners”.
Horace, one of the four sons, married a gal named Mary Nicholas whose family also came to the area during the early 19th century. They first settled along the lake shore on a portion of land that would later become Shattuck’s/Shadduck’s Grove, then Crystal Beach Park, now occupied by the Crystal Shore Apartment buildings. They would later buy another piece of land and build a home on the spot where, later, F.W. Wakefield constructed his “Harborview” mansion early in the 20th century; now the home of the Great Lakes Historical Society’s Maritime museum.
Two of Horace’s and Mary’s sons, Miles and Henry, were very active in the civic affairs of the fledgling village of Vermilion. Miles became town Marshall and curator of the town lockup, and Henry became Vermilion Township and Corporation Clerk.
Miles had five children. One of his boys, Alburn was the father of two boys, Howard and Hazen, and one girl Helen (Tischer).
Now - back to the photo. Of the six persons pictured I know but one. That is the gentleman is the one on the left wearing a straw hat. His name is Hazen Thompson (1889 - 1953). - one of Miles’ sons. These shadows were forever captured by some unknown photographer at the northern end of Victory Park ( A.K.A. “Rubberneck “Park). And the the occasion may very well have been Decoration Day (Sunday, May 30th) in in the year 1909.
In a previous column I mentioned that “Once upon a time folks commonly called...the day we know as Memorial Day - Decoration Day. It is, of course, a day of national remembrance for those who have died in the service of our nation. Though the name "Memorial Day" was first used in 1882 it did not - for some rather obtuse socio-political reasons - become more common until after WW2, and the name “Memorial Day” was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. But, again, I digress.
The photo was taken several years before the U.S. entered World War One wherein Mr. Thompson would serve our nation as a “Muleskinner” / Wagoner in France. He was, incidentally, wounded in action on the second day of November in 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Defensive. But just for a moment - in that yesteryear - he enjoyed a few gentle moments on a beautiful Decoration Day afternoon in company of some young friends in the lawn of Exchange Park overlooking the Kishman Fishery and Vermilion’s lazy Harbor. They were moments that a lucky few take with them when they go to war. Just in case...
AGAIN - ANOTHER NEW (NOW OLD) THING: Initially I said that "This will not take the place of the "Macabre" stuff all the time - but will supplement whilst I search for more macabre stories to tell." But methinks that it's carved out a niche for itself and the "Macabre stuff" with have to find another.
So stay tuned...
Vol. IX - NO.3– June 29, 1905.
Bud Brady of Marshall, Ill., while at work on the telephone line west of town, fell from a pole Wednesday and broke his left forearm. Dr. Englebry was called and reduced the fracture. He is at present at the Wagner House.
In another column will be found an advertisement offering a reward for information regarding the Mentor wreck. The Lake Shore officials are taking every precaution to prevent other wrecks. Guards will be placed at all switches and facing switches, similar to the one where the wreck occurred are being removed. One of these switches near the Grant St. crossing Vermilion has been removed this week, and here as elsewhere the track is carefully guarded.
John and Fred Houle, plaintiffs in a suit against the Nickel Plate ry. Co., have filed a reply to the answer of the defendant company in which they deny all of the averments in the latter contained.
Elrida W. Polaney has brought suit against John B. Polaney. She alleges drunkenness, cruelty and failure to provide. They were married in Sandusky in 18786 and lived together until 1895.
The Lorain Tube Mills will close for the week commencing July 3d so as to give those who wish an opportunity to visit their old homes over the 4th.
York county probably is the only section in the world that has a tin church. It is constructed entirely of block tin. The structure is only one story in height, of pretentious architecture, and is 40 by 50 feet in diameter. The building cost $1,500.
St Paul’s Union Evangelical congregation worships in the tin church. When it was decided to build, the cost of material was discussed. Stone, brick and lumber were figured on. It was found that these materials would necessitate an outlay beyond the means of the congregation. Then some member of the church versed in the cost of metals suggested block tin. The cost of this was calculated, and was found to be within reach of the congregation’s finances. The church is painted in imitation of brick. – York, Penn., correspondence of the Philadelphia Leger.
Hurrah for the Glorious Fourth!
You might manage a horse without a bridle – but the horse is more likely to manage you. You might manage your business without advertising – but it is more likely to manage you. – Fishing Gazette.
Sixty Masons and Eastern Stars attended the service Sunday morning. Right glad were we all to greet them.
Tomorrow, Friday evening, the stereopticon lecture on “A Trip to Yellowstone Park” in the church 8 o’clock. The views are superb. Mr. Atkinson the lecturer. He’s the man that spoke at High School commencement. Admission free, Collection at close. We are fortunate to hear this gifted speaker without buying a ticket.[VV. Ed. Note: A stereopticon is a slide projector or “magic lantern”, has two lenses, usually one above the other. These devices date back to the mid 19th century, and were a popular form of entertainment and education before the advent of moving pictures.]
Alva Parsons has accepted a position with the L.S.E.
Dr. and Mrs. Rheimensneider and two sons of Cleveland came out in their auto to spend Sunday with J.L. Nieding and wife.
An auto-hand car went west over the Lake Shore at 12:30 today. The party stopped here for some lsight repairs.
A reward has been offered for the body of Wm. Masters who was lost off the tug Silver Spray Saturday morning. The body can be easily identified as a large eagle is tattooed upon his breast and a horses head and horseshoe upon one arm.
Jas. E. Britton, the editor and Manager of the Elyria Daily Chronicle, called on the proprietor of the News Sunday. Mr. Britton has had charge of the paper some four months and has greatly improved it.
The fishing is again picking up. Yesterday Driscoll & Kishman received two and one-half tons. It is also reported that the Stricker brought in about 1100 lbs. the day before. From Lorain comes the report that the fish has been better there this season than for several years past.
John M. Pattison of Clearmont County is the Democratic Nominee for Governor.[VV Ed. Note: Clearmont County is just east of Cincinnati.]
The Steel Trust has purchased the Lake Erie & Pittsburg railroad now under construction between Pittsburg and Lorain. This may mean much to Lorain.
A large Band of gypsies consisting of about 30 wagons and probably a hundred men, women and children passed through town Saturday, west bound. As soon as the outfit struck town the fun commenced. Fortunetellers, beggars, etc., scattered over town. Fortunately their stay was not prolonged as they found that their room was considered better than their company. Several depredations are reported. The party went into camp at Slate Cut but did not stay long.[VV Ed. Note: Boy, how I wish that someone had taken some pictures. I realize that the gypsies weren’t welcome – always suspected of stealing etc. well before anything was stolen – but a photograph of a group this size would have been priceless.]
Next Tuesday will be the Glorious Fourth – the day long looked for and perchance long remembered by many American small boys, especially if they have to go through life with a smaller equipment of fingers and toes, eyes and ears or limbs than nature intended, as a result of the celebration. By all means have a good time, but always bear in mind that gun powder and fire are very quarrelsome when they meet. There are as many lives sacrificed each Fourth as in many battles of our wars and this year may prove no exception. Hurrah! for the Fourth of July.
Don’t forget Saturday evening band concerts.
Dancing Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings at Shadduck’s Park.
While Vermilion is not booming there are very few vacant houses and several are being built.
Mrs. W. Tischer, accompanied by Floy and Lyle, spent the first of this week in Cleveland.
Mr. and Mrs. Seemann moved into their new home recently purchased from J.I. McKee, today.
Eyes tested Free at Office of Dr. Hill, who has just received a large assortment of Optical goods among which is a full line of Eyeglasses, including the famous, “Ely-Shur-on” which can be adjusted to fit any nose. All work guaranteed for One Year.
Mrs. Alva Bradley is spending a few days in Cleveland.
Died – At her home in Berlin Sunday, Mrs. Nettie Sprankle. Mrs. Sprankle was formerly Nettie Meingus.
J.I. Howell and son Georg were in Sandusky Tuesday to attend the funeral of Daniel McCune who was killed by a Big four flyer. Mr. McCune was the stepson of Mr. Howell.
Try Grape and Orange Cider at Krapp’s Confectionery.
It is reported that D.L. Nielsen has sold his house to John Pachett.
Lee Tischer was unfortunate enough to run a nail into his foot one day this week. Consequently he is off duty.
Henry Hammer of Pittsfield who was crippled for life about three years ago in a wreck on the C. & S. W. Electric Ry. was awarded a verdict of $8000 by the common pleas court Wednesday.
Through an oversight last week, the death of Geo Senhenn, which occurred Tuesday, June 20th, at his home south of town, was omitted. Mr. Senhenn has been a sufferer for several months from tuberculosis. He leaves a wife and several children. One brother, N. Senhenn, resides in town.
Preparations are bing made for a glorious celebration of the Fourth of July at Shadduck’s Park. Manager Roth has secure a first class slack wire perfomer [sic] as well as other attractions. A ball game will be played between the well-known Valkyrians of /Cleveland and Vermilions. This promises to be a fine game.
The Ohio State Teachers’ Association is in session at Put-in-Bay this week.
Orville Mathews of Lorain was drowned at Century Park Sunday while bathing.
Wireless telegraphy will be given a thorough test on the boats of the D. & C. Line.
Secretary of State, John Hay, has had a relapse and is seriously ill at Lake Sunapee, N.H. [VV Ed. Note: Hay was Private secretary to Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Secretary of State under Presidents McKinley & Roosevelt. He did not recover from his illness and died in Newbury, N.H. on July 1, 1905. He is buried at Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.]
The body of Chas Rieber of Elkhart, Ind., was found floating in the Bay of cedar Point Tuesday.
C.J. Stewart, a retired businessman of Lorain, dropped dead Tuesday evening in front of the Franklin Hotel on Broadway.
Lorain is threatened with an epidemic of diphtheria. One death, that of the little daughter o Dr. and Mrs. Frederick, occurred Monday.
The Union News company has issued orders to call in all detective stories and blood thirsty novels from the trains and stations of the Pennsylvania system.
Little Raymond Gilder, aged 5, was kidnapped by his mother from the Children’s Home in Norwalk Saturday, and taken to Montana. Mr. and Mrs. Wilder separated some time ago. The father works at home.
Surveying for the new steel bridge over Black River at South Lorain is in progress for the Avon Beach and Southern Road, an auxiliary of the L.S.E.
Joseph Haas of Sheffield was seriously injured in a runaway one day last week. While driving his horse became frightened by an auto and started to run throwing him out and injuring his shoulder. It was not known who caused the accident.
A. Roy Knabenshue of Toledo, made a successful trial trip in his airship, Toledo No. 1, Tuesday. The ship is equipped with a 20-hp. gasoline engine weighing 90 pounds. The aeronaut steered his ship at will fro 45 minutes. He will make another flight Sunday. [VV Ed. Note: Augustus Roy Knabenshue was born July 15, 1875 in Lancaster, Ohio, the son of Salome Matlack and Samuel S. Knabenshue. The elder Knabenshue was an educator and political writer for the Toledo Blade for many years, and also served as U.S. consul in Belfast from 1905 to 1909 and as consul general in Tianjin, China from 1909 to 1914. In 1904, at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Knabenshue piloted Thomas Scott Baldwin’s California Arrow dirigible to a height of 2,000 feet and returned successfully to the takeoff point. In 1905 He was the first to make a dirigible flight over New York City. He was a “barnstormer” and worked as general manager of the Wright Exhibition Team. He later worked for the National Park Service and a Los Angeles aircraft company. After suffering a serious of debilitating strokes he died on March 6, 1960 in California.]
Four automobile tourists were arrested at Lima on charge of obstructing travel, reckless driving and disorderly conduct while passing through Wapakoneta. Several runaways and smashups are blamed on them, and it is claimed they even drove at full speed through a herd of cattle. – Star.
The three saloonkeepers of Sycamore have entered into an agreement to close their saloons today (the 29th) for a period of two weeks. It is expected that if the Sycamore council grants a local option election it will be held within the next 30 days and this action is taken, it is said, to give the people an idea how local option affects the business interest of the village.
Considerable agitation is going on in post office circles over the construction of the postal laws pertaining to postal cards, especially covering the portion, which would apply to the sending of obscene matter through the mails.
For some little time past postcards containing a suggestive picture of an immoral nature have been going into the post office for distribution.
In many cases the postal authorities have held up some of the cards. It is almost impossible to locate the sender of a card, but in case one is caught it is highly probable that the punishment will be severe. – Sandusky Register.
Mrs. M.E. Redington was the victim of a peculiar accident last week. She was going into the home of her son on the North Ridge R and as she entered the screen door slammed against her arm causing a slight abrasion. Nothing was thought about it at the time but the arm began to swell and is now three times its natural size. Other parts of her body are affected and it is feared erysipelas has set in. She is 80 years of age.
Later – Mrs. Redington died Monday from the effects of the bruise. [VV Ed. Note: Erysipelas also known as holy fire", and "St. Anthony's fire" is an acute streptococcus bacterial infection of the upper dermis. While it isn’t generally fatal it, as is obvious, can be. Famed British philosopher John Stuart Mill died as the result of such an infection in 1873.]
Mr. and Mrs. Roberts of Toledo were called to Huron Monday on account of the serious illness of Mrs. R’s father, James Dale.
Mrs. Wideman is seriously ill.
Mrs. C. Miller is ill with typhoid fever.
Mrs. L. Kishman is on the sick list.
John, the 9-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Clouse, met with quite a serious accident last Thursday while chopping with an ax. The ax glanced cutting two of his toes nearly off.
C.H. Kirby timekeeper of the U.S. Telephone Co. was a caller in this place Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. Geo Risdon took dinner on the shore with Oscar Day and family last Friday.
A meat wagon from Amherst made its first appearance in this place last Tuesday and will continue to do so as long as the good people will patronize.
Miss Anna Hill spent part of last week with Vermilion friends and fitting up her cottage at Linwood Park.
Mr. and Mrs. Leadrach have been entertaining friends from Ragersville, O.
Miss Pauline Leadrach is enjoying her new piano. It’s a ”Winter” and a dandy.
The meetings held here for the past two weeks by Rev. J.A. Sprunger and his people were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
Much praise is due Mr. Springer and the Home workers for their work here, and we are hoping that they will come often.[VV Ed. Note: J.A. Sprunger and his wife operated the Hope and Light Orphanage near Swift’s Hollow – later known as the “Gore Orphanage”.]
The Misses Louisa and Frances Coulton, Florence Fuller and Ada Penny picnicked at “Camp Craney Crow” on the beach one day last week.
Mr. Akers and James Corbin have completed their painting and carpenter work at the “Wayside” and “Willow Banks” and will go to Ashmont to do some work on a house there.
The telephone men put up at Wm. Johnson’s and Will Banks Friday night for over Sunday.
Judge Kelly of Sandusky was in town Friday afternoon.
"For years it was thought that Pelton was born in a home along Risden Road."
LESTER PELTON’S PUZZLING BIRTHPLACE: Last Saturday I re-ceived a postcard from the Camptonville (California) Historical Society invit-ing me to attend their “Next History Gathering” on June 21st in Campton-ville. These “Camptonvillians” appear to take their history seriously. The card reads that “Oral Histories and Photo Sharing will Begin at 10:00 a.m.” I guess they like early starts. Good for them.
I don’t know much about the history of Camptonville - and it is 3000 miles away. So I won’t, of course, be attending this function. And I don’t re-ally know anyone in their historical society. My association with them was established, electronically, over the years because Camptonville CA. was once the home of a man born in Vermilion Township in 1829. His name is Lester Allan Pelton.
Mr. Pelton’s name and accomplishments are old news to long time readers of this newspaper. He has been the subject of several essays writ-ten (by this author) over the years. But to briefly reiterate: He is considered to be the father of modern day hydroelectric power.
His invention, the “L.A. Pelton Water Wheel” - patented on August 27, 1889 (No. 409,805) was conceived, and developed, while the young inven-tor lived and worked in Camptonville. Camptonvillians being very interested in their historic heritage were, and continue to be, very interested in know-ing what folks who live in Mr. Pelton’s birthplace know about his early years. So it was, purely by chance. that I became a prospective link to those years. Unfortunately there is not a great deal of information about them - at least not currently - available.
Local historians know that Lester was the only son of Allen and Fan-ny (Cuddeback) Pelton; that he attended the Cuddeback School, a one room schoolhouse, on the southwest corner of Risden and West Shore Roads about a mile west of the village; and that in the spring of 1850, when Lester was about 20 years old he, and and perhaps 10 local boys including William and David Johnson, and Charles Parker headed for gold country in California.
One item that was not widely known until now (you are, in fact, read-ing it here) is the exact birthplace of the inventor. For years it was thought that Pelton was born in a home along Risden Road approximately one mile south of West Lake Road (see inset photo). However; while it is an accept-ed fact that the gifted inventor spent his boyhood there - it was not his birthplace.
Thanks to intensive research accomplished by Vermilionites Tom and Jean Beach facts show that the Risdon Road property was built after his birth. We now know that the house in which the future architect of hydroe-lectric power first opened his eyes to the world was built and owned by Lester’s Uncle Josiah Pelton. That home, (pictured c.1896-97) is located about 2 miles northwest of Lester’s aforementioned boyhood home on the shores of beautiful Lake Erie. It is currently the Beach Family residence.
This tidbit of information will, no doubt, be of great interest to the Camptonville people when they get together in June as they proudly cele-brate their heritage. After all, Camptonville was the home of “the father of hydroelectric power”; Lester A. Pelton. That Vermilion is the birthplace, boyhood home, and final resting place, of this world renown personage - but occupies a rather insignificant place in the minds and lives of local citi-zens - is most certainly one of local history’s most puzzling mysteries.
THE FIRE-LANDS: I found the following information re: the early inhabitants of our area to be extremely informative. Methinks you will also.
I am getting better at transcribing these passages so there are fewer mistakes. But I like to read as I go - and sometimes I fill in the blanks. So tread carefully this trail through yesteryear.
The following series will take thee to the townships south of Vermilion. Methinks you'll find this history quite fascinating.
…residence in Bellevue, and celebrated with them their golden wedding. The occasion was one of the pleasantest, to all participants, that ever took place within that quiet village.
Mr. Wood is now in his seventy-seventh year, but possesses as much vitality as the average man of fifty. He has hardly ever known a sick day, and the prospect that a dozen years or more may yet be added to his days is not discouraging. Physically, so sound and well-preserved, he is no less so mentally. He attends to all the details of his extensive business, and, though his memory is becoming treacherous, his judgment is as unerring, his discernment as acute, his reasoning faculties as sound, as they ever have been.
Mr. Wood is a man of clearly defined traits of character and mental characteristics. In manner, often abrupt and blunt, he nevertheless possesses a kindliness of heart that is rarely found beneath so rough an exterior. No man in need, whom he believes to be deserving, has ever appealed to him in vain. Schooled in the methods of money-lending, and having become naturally cautious and careful as to his securities, he has loaned money to hundreds of people, who had no security to offer him, and toward whom he has stood wholly in the light of their benefactor. The number of persons who will accord to him the praise of being thus their friend in need, assisting them to get started in life, is by no means small. He has, in this way, lost thousands of dollars, sometimes without benefiting those he designed to help, but oftener bestowing a benefit that has aided those struggling with adversity to regain their feet, and at last to reach a sure and safe foundation. Perhaps it is only just to say that no other man in this community, had he double the amount of means, would take half the risks thus incurred by Mr. Wood.
On his seventieth birthday he gave to each of his eight children the neat little sum of ten thousand dollars.
Mr. Wood was for a number of years a justice of the peace, a position he tilled with much credit, no decision of his having ever been reversed by a superior court. He generally votes with the republican party, but has little confidence in men who gain power, believing that as a general rule politicians are chiefly concerned in feathering well their own nests, and that the best of them make the well being of the people, whose interests they should faithfully serve, a secondary object. Had he his way he would revolutionize the methods of conducting affairs, and so simplify governmental and punitory matters as to greatly curtail expenses and lessen crime.
He is not a member of any church, but Mrs. Wood has been for many years a faithful and consistent member of the Protestant Episcopal church. The two daughters that died were, and the three daughters that still live are, communicants of the same church.
Dr. Harkness has been for many years intimately connected with Bellevue, and, possessing business tact of a superior order, he accumulated here a fine property, becoming, in fact, one of the wealthiest men in town. He is the youngest of a family of nine children, his father dying while he was still an infant. His sister Elizabeth, who also lived for many years in Bellevue, took charge of the family, and did all a mother could have done in bringing him up. She was best known as "Aunt Elizabeth Harkness," and lived many years on Centre street, near the old Methodist church, where she managed alone her little domestic affairs, the friend of all, and loved by all who knew her. She never married, and was thus enabled to give time and care in the assistance of others, amid the sorrows and trials of domestic life. She was a lady of superior intelligence, educated and refined. She lived to be some eighty-five years of age and died at the residence of her brother in the year 1864.
The doctor was born in the town of Salem, Washington county. New York, April 1, 1801, and consequently he is now in the seventy-ninth year of his age. After graduating at Union College he was educated for the medical profession in the State of New York, and came west in 1823, as so many other young men have done who, having fitted themselves for the business of life, launched out into the world to build up their fortunes and achieve that destiny which Providence had in store for them.
On arrival in this county he went into business with Dr. Stevens, and located on the ridge in Lyme township. The following spring the doctor removed to the western part of the township, where he followed the practice of his profession nearly ten years or until 1833. This comprised about all the time he was exclusively devoted to the medical practice.
In 1832, the doctor moved to this part of the township, and, in connection with Judge Chapman and Mr. Amsden, purchased the land, and laid out the town of Bellevue. He considers it still his home, although for the last few years, since the breaking up of his family by the death of his wife, he has resided temporarily with his children in Cleveland.
Shortly after coming to Bellevue, he relinquished the practice of medicine, and entered into partnership with Judge Chapman, who was extensively engaged in general merchandizing. Under the name of Chapman & Harkness they carried on business until the fall of 1852, when he formed a co-partnership with D. M. Harkness and H. M. Flagler under the name of Harkness & Co. Since 1870, the doctor has not been actively engaged in business. About the year 1854, he built the line residence on West street, near the railroad, now owned by Mr. Gray, and occupied it till within a few years. He cast his first presidential vote in York township in 1824. There were only thirteen voters polled at that election, and were all for John Quincy Adams.
Excerpts from: The Fire Lands, Comprising Huron and Erie Counties, Ohio; W.W. Williams - 1879 -
Press of Leader Printing Company, Cleveland, Ohio
THE VILLAGE OF CASKS: Though I’ve access to numerous pix of the Cask Villa Tourist Park this is one of the coolest I’ve come across to date.
This photo artifact is exceptional because it provides us with a panoramic picture of the resort. It is also an unusual view because it shows the cask cottages on the lower level of the park near the banks of Darby Creek. I had been under the impression that the cottages were all on the bank well above the water.
This pic – probably from the mid to late 1930s – was among sundry negatives I’ve found and recorded at the Print Shop Museum during the last few weeks. I never cease to be amazed.
WOMAN: Do you drink beer? MAN: Yes
WOMAN: How many beers a day? MAN: Usually about 3.
WOMAN: How much do you pay per beer? MAN: $5.00 which includes a tip.
WOMAN: And how long have you been drinking? MAN: About 20 years, I suppose.
WOMAN: So a beer costs $5 and you have 3 beers a day which puts your spending each month at $450. In one year, it would be approximately $5400.correct? MAN: Correct.
WOMAN: If in 1 year you spend $5400, not accounting for inflation, the past 20 years puts your spending at $108,000, correct? MAN: Correct.
WOMAN: Do you know that if you didn't drink so much beer, that money could have been put in a step-up interest savings account and after accounting for compound interest for the past 20 years, you could have now bought a Ferrari? MAN: Do you drink beer?
WOMAN: No. MAN: Where's your Ferrari?
NADA AGAIN AND AGAIN...: I may begin doing the podcasts again; but I'm thinking of just doing audio readings. The videos on-line are just becoming too redundant unless they really show something special. The short videos that appear on the VNPSM Facebook page are more purposeful. You might want to check them out.
I've not forgotten about this part of "Views". I've just been busy. But I will get back to it.
Persons interested in the history of the Lake Shore Electric Railway (which was the subject of a recent past podcast series) - "the greatest electaric railway system on the planet" may want to go to Amazon.com and purchase a book called "Images of Rail - Lake Shore Electric Railway". It was put together by Thomas J. Patton with the help of my friends Dennis Lamont and Albert Doane. It'd make a nice gift.
Another great book with Vermilion Roots is, "Grandmas’ Favorites: A Compilation of Recipes from Margaret Sanders Buell" by Amy O’Neal, Elizabeth Thompson and Meg Walter (May 2, 2012). This book very literally will provide one with the flavor of old Vermilion. And ye can also find it at Amazon.com. Take a look.
LOCAL ANNOUNCEMENTS: After giving it much thought this link has been "put-down". During the last year most of the folks who used to use this page as a bulletin board have acquired their own and, consequently, no longer need this forum from "Views". I have, however, kept links (in the links section) to Larry Hohler's "Hope Homes" in Kenya - and to Bette Lou Higgins' Eden Valley Enterprises sites. They are historically and socially relevant projects. I suggest that you visit these sites on a regular basis to see "what's shakin'".
THE BEAT GOES ON: This page is generated by a dreaded Macintosh Computer and is written and designed by (me) Rich Tarrant. It will change weekly ~ usually on Saturday. Bookmark the URL (Universal Resource Locater) and come back at your own leisure. Send the page to your friends (and enemies if you wish). If you have something to share with those who visit this page, pass it on. And if you see something that
is in need of correction do the same. My sister, Nancy, is a great help in that respect. It only takes me a week to get things right. And follow the links. You might find something you like. If you experience a problem with them let me know. Also, if you want to see past editions of this eZine check the new archives links below.
If you're looking for my old links section (pictured) I've replaced it with a pull-down menu (visible in the small box next to the word "Go"). If you're looking for links to more Vermilion history check that menu.
How the old links menu looked
or you can use PayPal: (NOTE: IT WORKS NOW)
Vol.11, Issue 14 - June 15, 2013
© 2012 Rich Tarrant