Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

Every man, either to his terror or consolation, has some sense of religion. - Heinrich Heine......A joke is a very serious thing. - Winston Churchill.....Both read the Bible day and night, but thou read black when I read white. - William Blake......Every day I pass quietly by a hornet's nest. I really don't know why. I doubt they really care who I am........rnt...............

August 27,  2016 - Museum and Rosedale=

Ghostly Spaces

SHOPTALK: On the shop top this week is a real nice pic of an early Vermilion area resident’s home that he had built in a hollow that still bears his name southeast of the village – probably in the 1830s. That is, of course, Joseph Swift, and he called h is beautiful home therein “Rosedale”.

As I have mentioned a number of times before the original part of Vermilion’s Ritter Public Library was modeled after Swift’s home.

This is probably one of the best photographs I’ve seen of the home when it was occupied. I don’t believe Mr. Swift was living there when this pic was taken (it was likely Nicholas Wilbur) – but it’s still a nice photograph.

Today the site of the home is overgrown with wood, weeds, and bushes. But some parts remain. Most notable (to me) are the stone pieces on either side of the gate leading into the place. They’re laying on the ground near its foundation.

The home was abandoned, but still standing intact, well into the 1920s – and I’ve pictures to prove it. At that time young people from the surrounding towns thought the place haunted. It had been vandalized; the doors and windows were ajar or broken; and the young people gathering therein were innocently arrogant and destructive.

Too bad…

On my home desk this week is a ghostly picture taken in the museum’s apartment several years ago. It has changed a good deal since then.

Anyway, with this particular photo I was (as is my inclination) with a new Photoshop plugin. It makes the pic almost transparent: As I said “Ghostly”.

SLOWLY LOSING WEIGHT Most persons are aware of the fact that Geo (my wife) and I are slowly moving our household from Oakwood Drive in Vermilion to what was our summer residence at the Olympic Outing Club down by the riverside.

I don’t know if moving slowly was really a good idea because it can be a melancholy task. The reason I say that is because we’re downsizing. And that means we’re going through perhaps 44+ years of our lives together in an attempt to thin out our possessions: Tis a task where one can very easily become lost in reflections of years past.

On the other hand there ain’t no way we need all of the stuff we accumulated during those years. I’ve decided that I need to toss (or donate) a good deal of my clothing. For instance, why on earth I thought I ever needed more than, say, 8 pair of pants and 8 shirts is beyond me. And I have a plethora of wires that once powered some device I’ve long forgotten. So why do I still have them? I guess it was an out of sight, out of mind thing. And the list goes on.

BOY WITH FISH: I just added this great photograph of an unknown boy with his catch to the museum collection this week.

This came from our home where I had plenty of space to hang it. But having moved to a smaller domicile (it’s a fairly large pic) I thought it would be a nice addition to the museum.

I don’t have any definite idea of the site of this photo, but from the writing on the wall behind the youngster I can only guess that it was somewhere around the Englebry-Hull coal and building supply buildings on Main / Division Street. Currently (2016) the building is being used for Vermilion’s chapter of the “Main Street” organization.

I wonder what he did with his catch?

NEW EMAIL ADDRESS:F.Y.I. A new email address for me at the club is:

MUSEUM SCHEDULE: Beginning now the museum will be open six days a week from 11 AM to 3 PM. We will be closed on Sundays and Holidays. We are located at 727 Grand Street in Vermilion across the street from Vermilion's historic E&R Church. The museum is open Monday thru Saturday from 11 AM to 3 PM. A small admission donation of $5 (for adults) is requested. Children under 14 accompanied with an adult will be admitted free. For Special Tours call: 440-967-4555.

We are closed on Sundays and holidays.

Private tours during those hours and during the evening can be arranged by calling the museum, or stopping in to see us.

FIVE-OH-ONE-CEE-THREE: The museum is a 501(c)(3) organization. Consequently, all donations and memberships for the museum are tax deductible. This is retroactive to November of 2011.

Memberships for the VERMILION NEWS PRINT SHOP MUSEUM are always available. Funds generated will go toward the aforementioned renovations and maintenance of the shop.

A single membership for an adult is $15 a year.
A couple membership is $25 a year.
A student membership is $5.
And a lifetime membership is $100.

ADMISSION - ADULTS $5.00 and young people under the age of 14 are FREE.

If you would like to become a member the VNPSM you can send a check or money order to:

Vermilion Print Shop Museum
727 Grand Street
Vermilion, Ohio 44089

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Vermilion News Print Shop Museum

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DAISY: When Beatrice Daisy Halloran-Kiplinger was born in 1904 she live with her parents on Hanover Square in Vermilion. Her father, James, was a fisherman. Her mother’s name was Mabel. Mabel’s mother was named Katherine Hahn. Although her first name was (as is obvious) Beatrice she seldom used it preferring her middle name – Daisy.

Daisy graduated from Vermilion High School in 1921, and seemed to have been a very active and popular girl. As a point of reference it may interest some to know that others in her class were: Sterling Smith, Edna L. Gegenheimer (Hull), Ruth M. Wakefield, Earl C. Bauman, Nina Driver (Snell), Ray Miller, and Irene Miller (Todd-Severance), et al.

In 1928 she traveled to Europe – and while travelling kept a nice scrapbook detailing her sojourn. She taught school in the Cleveland area before she married a fellow named (E.) Edward Donald Kiplinger in Cleveland in 1933. By 1940 the couple were living in Lakewood, Ohio where Edward worked as a sheet-metal worker for a furnace business, and they had two boys they named James and Jerry.

Daisy died in 1953 (I know not the cause) and Edward died in 1970. I don’t know what happened to their son Jerry. But I do remember their son James who lived in his grandmother’s house on State Street (near the Congregational Church) until 1999 when he passed away. That house (it was next door the Ludlow home) was razed just a few years back.

This pic of her (above) is her 1928 passport photo


HAYES: Talk about transformations – this is certainly one. Ernie Hayes came with his wife, Ella, and children to Vermilion in the midst of the Great Depression and bravely went into the oil and gasoline business.

While I will confess that I don’t know what the risks of starting a business was back then I nonetheless view it as having been a big gamble for a family man.

The old pic is an all-electronic one. One of Mr. Hayes’s grandsons sent me the little mailer contain the photo as a jpeg image several years ago. Surprisingly it reproduced quite well. I keep a copy of it on the wall at the museum along with a little red coin purse from Hayes Bridge Station. I may even have an old receipt book from the place.

After Ernie retired his son Harry took over the operation. I don’t know the year that they changed from Sun (Sunoco) Oil to Standard (Sohio) Oil. I (b.1944) only remember it as a Sohio station.

As long as I can remember the Hayes family have in one way or another been part of my life. Ella was a musician and very active in the First Congregational Church (among other things). And their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren still cast their shadows across the streets of our little city. They’re all talented and very friendly people.

This (as if you can’t tell) is one of my favorite pix.

THE FAVORITE TAKES SHAPE IN VERMILION HARBOR: Its name appears near the top of a list of “Tugs (steam)” built in Vermilion, Ohio in the book The Way It Was by Vermilion historian Betty Trinter. Built by and for “Burton” Parsons along the banks of the Vermilion River in 1894, it was forged of oak, weighed 9 gross tons, and measured 47' by 12' with draft of 4'. They called her the Favorite.

The listed owner/builder’s first name (i.e. Burton) is made somewhat ambiguous by the fact that it, or a derivation of it (i.e. Burdett), was a relatively (no pun intended) common name in the Parsons family. Toss in the fact that boat-building and fishing were also relatively common family occupations; add 193 years; and what ye have is a hazy record of exactly which Mr. Parsons was responsible for the building of this craft - albeit a very picayune detail.

Burton Parsons was born in Connecticut/New York (again the records are ambiguous) about 1805. He was a Ship Carpenter by trade, and by the first quarter of the 19th century had taken up a residence in Vermilion, Ohio. One of his sons, Nelson, was born here about 1828. Following in his father’s footsteps he, too, became a Ship Carpenter.

According to the 1880 U.S. Census Nelson and his spouse Sarah had a 19 year old daughter named Jennie, and a 24 year old son named Burdett. Burdett’s occupation is listed in that census as “fisherman”.

Burdett “Dett” would later marry a lass named Franc Horton Parsons (VPJ 2-20-07). In February of 1897 misfortune visited the young family when he contracted pneumonia and died leaving his wife and six children under the age of 12 behind.

In the accompanying photograph, taken three years before Dett’s untimely demise at the age of about 41 years, a star-like ink mark was placed by one of the men to apparently make some note of that person’s import in the context of the picture. That mark has, in this photo, been replaced by an arrow. It points to the second fellow from the right standing in front of the newly constructed boat hull.

Some folks have speculated that this may be Burdett Parsons. However; a closer look, using a computer to enhance the photo, strongly suggests that this particular man is much older than the 38 years Burdett would have been in 1894. So if, in fact, the intent was to identify someone of importance in this particular photo it more than likely would have been the real, actual, builder of the vessel. And logically that would have been Dett’s father Nelson. It is unlikely that it would have been the elder Burton Parsons - who would have been nearly 90 years of age by this time.

But as previously indicated the precise name of just who was responsible for the building and owning of the steam-tug Favorite is a relatively trivial matter. That this photograph allows us a very rare glimpse of an industry that long ago helped shape the identity of the place we know as Vermilion, Ohio is something to be appreciated by itself; whether it be in that yesteryear, today, or tomorrow.

Ref: U.S. Census:1850,1880,1930. Special Thanks to Chris Gillchrist, Executive Director, Great Lakes Historical Society; Alice P. Wakefield; and Molly Milner; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 04/12/2007.

YESTERYEAR'S NEWS: The following clips were vocally transcribed from past issues of The Vermilion News. I think you will find them both interesting and fun...

Vol. XII, No.12. - VERMILION, OHIO, THURSDAY, August 27, 1908

1883 – August 28 – 1908

25th Anniversary Invitation

Mr. Mrs. George E Merrill will celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary in an informal way at the Congregational parsonage on Friday, August 28th, from five to eleven p.m. All acquaintances are cordially invited to attend. Presents are not expected. But Mr. and Mrs. Merrill will be greatly pleased to greet anyone wishing to call at any time during those hours. This general invitation is the only one to be extended.


The second annual reunion of the Baumhardt family was held at Linwood Park Thursday, August 20. One hundred and sixty were in attendance, descendents of Mr. and Mrs. Elias Baumhardt who lived on the lake shore. Only one of the five children, Mrs. Catherine Brooks, survive. A fine dinner was served. The old officers were reelected: Elias Baumhardt, Amherst, president; A. Parsons, Vermilion, vice president; C. C. Baumhart, Oberlin, secretary; A.D. Baumhart, Vermilion treasurer.

Members of the family from Amherst, Cleveland, Oberlin, Brownhelm, Lorain in Vermilion.


The steamer, Lakeside, by placards in town yesterday is advertised to run from Lorain to Put-in-Bay next Sunday to give people a chance to hear the Republican candidate. It may be that Mr. Taft is to make in address at some religious gathering. It may be barely possible that some committee has been opposed to have him make a political speech on Sunday. It is believable that the steamer management on incorrect information has put out the advertisement. The Vermilion Ministerial Association tried hard yesterday afternoon to find out by phone and otherwise the facts. The unbelievable thing is that Mr. Taft would be so unwise as to deeply offended, as he would, so large a class of people by making so publicly a political address on Sunday. The V.M.A. directed the secretary to send a copy of the advertisement to Mr. Taft and to write a note for the NEWS. The Association, of course, could only protest against such a meeting, if one is arranged for. –Secretary, V.M.A.


Labor Day, September 7.

The annual regatta of the Lakewood Yacht Club will be held at Vermilion on the above date.

On Saturday, September 5th, the powerboats and classes B-C-D and E will race to Vermilion from Rocky River.

On September 26th, the sailing boats – all classes – will race to the same port.

Weather conditions permitting, there will be a large fleet of yachts in our port on Labor Day, and racing of power boats sailboats will take place.

It is expected that this regatta will be one of the biggest in the history of the club.

The Vermilion committee of businessmen is working to provide prizes and entertainment for the yachtsman on Labor Day. It was decided that the Hotel Maudelton will be the headquarters for the regatta, and that the L.Y.C. burgee [i.e. identification flag] will fly from the hotel staff.

Full details and list of prizes will be published in the next issue of the NEWS. – Commodore, F. W. Wakefield.


Monday a lawyer representing the company appeared before the judge and asked that the injunction be dissolved. After hearing some of the evidence in the case he took the matter under advisement, and expects to look over the ground. In the meantime an attempt may be made to settle.

As a result of the controversy between Village Council and a Lake Shore Ry. Co., in regard to the raising of the track of the said company several inches, (stated in the company's proposition as 5 and 6 according to location), Judge Reed has granted an injunction restraining the company from raising the tracks.


Asking that the suit against him brought by Perry Disbro, be dismissed on the ground of failure to prosecute, N. A. Foster has filed a motion in common pleas court. Disbro is suing for $10.08 for work and labor and Foster put in a counter claim and in justice court the judgment was $5 for the plaintiff. Disbro was not satisfied and appealed to the higher court.



BORN - to Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Wentz of South Amherst, August 20th son.

The sum of $2127.54 was received for the use of the township for the care of the poor, and the roads and for the general and townhall funds, for the school $4439.95 was received of which $582.35 came from the state and the balance from the local taxation, was received by township Treasurer Delafield from the August distribution of taxes.

Harry Williams sold his bookstore to William Erhman who took possession of it Monday. Mr. Erhman is well known having been employed by E.H. Ernst in his barbershop for several years. The best wishes of his many friends who wish him success are with him. His sisters will assist him in the store.

BORN – to Mr. Mrs. William Hutton Saturday night a baby boy.

BORN – to Mr. Mrs. John Thompson of South Amherst, Aug. 19th, a son.

The Band Boys of South Amherst gave an ice cream social Saturday evening and realized quite a sum of money. During the evening the boys entertained by giving them some fine band selections.

Mrs. Mary Jane Bemis held Sunday afternoon at 1:30, Rev. Black officiating. The remains were interred at the Cleveland Street Cemetery. Mrs. Bemis was born in North Amherst 68 years ago has spent her entire life here. A husband three sons and one daughter, Mrs. J. Holzhauer, of Elyria are left to mourn.

The little grandson of Mrs. Mary Schultz was visiting her, living in Indiana, while running about ran into a swinging clothesline and was thrown to the ground fracturing his collarbone. Dr. Wiseman was called to attend to him.

Mrs. H. W. Schmitkons and son and daughter and son-in-law were quite badly bruised by being thrown from their surrey while returning home from Linwood Park this week. The horses ran away. The accident occurred near point.


MARRIED – At Tiffin,O., about two weeks ago, Mr. Lewis Blattner of this place and Miss Eva Gray of Bellevue.

Has anyone thought about that Vermilion Day picnic yet?

Mr. and Mrs. P. Roscoe and daughter were at Cedar Pt., visitors Sunday afternoon. [Perhaps my mom’s first visit to that park.]

Tom Bellamy met with a painful accident last week in which he fractured some of his ribs, but his good old English grit is bringing him around in good shape. – Berlin Budget.

MARRIED – Sunday, August 23, ‘08 at 7 p.m. at the home of Mr. Mrs. M. Wilber, Dr. Fred Peasley and Miss Carri Allen both of Norwalk. The officiating clergyman was from Linwood Park.

The Stricker and crew arrived home from Fairport Sunday.

The Swastika club of Huron is spending this the week at Linwood Park. This Helen Klasen is a member of the club. [This was well before A. Hitler came along and perverted the symbol. The swastika s an ancient religious symbol that generally takes the form of an equilateral cross, with its four legs bent at 90 degrees. It is considered to be a sacred and auspicious symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism and dates back to before the 2nd century BC.]

Frank H., aged 16 years 8 months, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Steinbrenner of Cleveland was drowned while bathing, Wednesday, August 19. Funeral was held Saturday. Mrs. Steinbrenner was formerly Mrs. Miss Sophia Minch of this place.

Two fire alarms were sent it in Tuesday afternoon. The first fire was caused by a gasoline can exploding at a residence on State Street. Fire extinguished with slight damage to shed and which can was located. The second was in the vicinity of Cloudy's boathouse. The department had to make a run through Linwood Park to reach the spot. Both fires were however extinguished without the aid of the department. The runs to both fires were facilitated by Rev. Lohmann who hitched up to the hose cart with his big auto.

The summer visitor was treated to a site Tuesday seldom seen. Old Lake Erie on a real tear. The lake is unusually high this year and the way the seas hammered the piers and beaches was something terrible.



Mary Wakefield Buxton

In 1963, I turned 21 and was officially considered an adult and could vote for the first time. I was thrilled to vote for Barry Goldwater in my first presidential election who was defeated, and, with few exceptions, I have pretty well voted for the losing candidate ever since. Democracy is a constant challenge for me as I generally have different views from the majority. Just one of the many crosses a “rugged individualist” must bear.

Yet, this was a good year. I was finally seeing light after desperately working out of the dark hole my own reckless behavior had so mercilessly thrown me into two years earlier. I was now mature enough to realize that if my parents had not forced me to face the consequences of my behavior by going to work instead of merely sending me back to college, I may never have succeeded in taking control of my life.

After two years of work with the airlines, my life had greatly improved. I was now confident I could take care of myself. My position as international sales agent in Cleveland where I worked solely with area corporations booking executive overseas travel offered a big perk… free first class airline tickets anywhere I wanted to go in the world so that I could learn the ace services we provided our customers and supposedly, better sell more overseas itineraries.

On weekends I would go home to Vermilion where Mother would continue peppering me about possible candidates for marriage. “You don’t want to work all your life, do you, dear?” she would ask with a worried look over her cup of tea, as if a career for a woman was some dreadful disease that one must go to all efforts to dodge. Mother was not unusual in her view that women should value marriage and having a family over work and it seems ironic to me now that she raised three daughters who had individual careers along with marriage and families. How amusing it is that we tend to raise children who are opposites of ourselves, perhaps because children are so inclined to rebel against the values of their parents?

One big problem for me was Mother never much cared for the men I dated. “In choosing an appropriate husband, Mays, take a good hard look at his father.” Her advice was offered with a bit of a shrewd look, almost as if she were choosing a suitable dog or horse with a fine eye cast to the sire.

Of course, I could never argue the point with Mother (and she well knew it) because she had had chosen my sterling father. She obviously knew how to select a good man for a husband and father. I, however, seemed unable to do so. But, I was now convinced Mother was right and this choosing the right partner in life was the most important decision I faced in life.

Mother was certainly not content to let her dear Mays bumble along with her jumbled social life that went nowhere. She was determined to find the right man for me. One day she read in the Denison alumni magazine that the splendid Virginia gentleman that had visited our home years ago when I was sixteen as a college boyfriend of sister, Alice, was now in Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island training to be an officer in the U.S. Navy. Mother never forgot a man that she considered a “good catch.” “You should write him a letter, Mays,” she said. “I am sure he would enjoy hearing from you.”

I well remembered this man from Virginia. I was only 16 when I had first met him, but I had instantly been charmed with him from the moment I set eyes on him. He was a perfect gentleman, like my father, with exquisite manners and speech. I loved how he spoke in his soft Tidewater accent.

He was also a history major and I loved history. Meeting him that first time had inspired in me quite a fiery argument over the Civil War. He had supported the Confederacy and I had supported the Union. Neither of us had won the ensuing passionate debate which had lasted the entire weekend, thanks to Alice’s rolled- eyed tolerance. I was quite used to winning all debates with boys but it seemed with the Virginian I had met my match.

I was so taken with him that I had even gone to college in Virginia because of him and I had gone on to teach at a Girl Scout camp in Suffolk, Virginia the first college summer so that I would be able to date him in nearby Newport News. But I had lost contact with him in the last few years. I decided it wouldn’t hurt to write him a few lines, if only to please Mother. I addressed my letter to him % Officer’s Candidate School. The letter miraculously reached him some 3 months later. By then he had graduated from OCS and was now an ensign serving on the USS Antares stationed in the Mediterranean Sea.

He wrote that his ship was going to be in Naples, Italy in the next month which excited me because I was flying to Rome at that very same time on one of my free tickets. I was sure we could meet so I wrote him the details of my trip suggesting we meet at the Commodore Hotel in Rome on a certain date.

However, like a Thomas Hardy novel where all plans go awry and cause major changes in the fate of its star-struck characters, I was waylaid in Paris and was a day late arriving to Rome. By then he had given up on my arrival and returned to his ship. He left a letter for me at the front desk in the hotel, however, suggesting I catch the “Rapido” to Naples, go to the fleet landing and ask to call out to his ship which was anchored along with the entire Sixth Fleet in Naples Bay.

The train station was just a few blocks away from my hotel but, unfortunately, I caught the wrong train. It was going to Naples but it was the “local” and it stopped dozens of time. It seemed forever as we stopped at every tiny village along the coast before the train finally arrived in Naples.

I headed for the fleet landing pushing through the throngs of little Italian boys that surrounded me like a swarm of gnats aggressively grabbing at suit begging for money. (It was a very difficult time for a single woman to travel in Europe because it was still suffering economically from the war.) When I arrived at the fleet landing, I was saved by the U.S. military guards who shooed the street urchins away.

It strikes me today as amazing when I remember the more innocent, pre- terrorist times, the world we once lived in, not only for me but for the military. “My name is Mary Wakefield from Vermilion Ohio,” I announced to the fleet landing guards, “and I’m here, please, to see Ensign Joseph T. Buxton III aboard the USS Antares.” I laugh everytime I think of me saying such a thing half way across the world. But, it was 1963 and security was not tight in those years when America was the strongest nation in the world and no one would have dared to challenge us.

The young sailor called out to the USS Antares and after a short pause, a voice crackling over the ship to shore commanded, “Send her out!” The sailor put me in the bow of a motor whaler and we headed through the rough, blue, afternoon waters of Naples Bay for the ship anchored quite a way off shore. We pulled up along the ship and I scrambled up the ladder in my tight suede suit and spiked, pointed- toed high heels to find “Chip” dressed in his Naval white officer’s uniform waiting for me with open arms.

“Now we can finish that debate on the Civil War,” he said, laughing as he greeted his lady guest from Vermilion, Ohio. Soon, I was eating scrambled eggs in the officers’ wardroom and watching a John Wayne movie with Chip. I couldn’t take my eyes off the handsome ensign from Virginia and as it turned out, we could not live without each other. To Mother’s great joy, we were married 8 months later.

On my wedding day, however, August 30, 1963, I had a sudden attack of terror. I awoke only to discover my legs were mysteriously paralyzed. “Mother, I can’t move my legs!” I cried out from my bed. No answer.

I called for Mother again and she finally appeared at my bedroom door with a terrible look on her face.

“There’s something wrong with my legs, Mother!” I cried. “I’m paralyzed! There’s no way I can marry anyone today!”

If looks could have killed, I would have been dead on the spot. “You are going to get married today, young lady, if I have to drag you down the First Congregational Church aisle myself!” Even today the memory of her heartless words is shocking.

Looking back, I suppose I was a rather difficult daughter to raise. But, in my defense, what daughter worth her salt isn’t rather difficult to raise? My own daughter almost certainly put me in my grave.

So there was nothing to do but painfully dress and limp off to see Dr. Halley who happened to be in his office by himself that Saturday morning (although I suspect he came in after I called him so that he could kindly assure me all was going to be alright on my wedding day). “It’s just a case of pre-wedding nerves, Mary” he said kindly as he asked me to walk across the room for him to observe. “I am quite sure you are not paralyzed,” he added with a reassuring smile.

Thus, I became a wife that day 54 years ago prepared to sit back and let my husband take care of me for the rest of my life. At long last, the end of all hard times! I felt elated, as if I had finally paid the price of my earlier mistake and had been let out of jail!

It sounded like fun to be a “Navy wife!” I would go to Japan while he served on his new ship the USS Mars, a supply ship that would deliver whatever the Army needed in the South China Sea, and all would be splendid! I had heard about a war lighting up in a place called Vietnam, wherever that was, but how could some silly war half across the world ever bother us?

Of course, youth is innocent and I was no different from any other 21 year old just starting out in the world with the love of one’s life and with the highest of hopes. The truth was Hard Times had not passed, indeed, life is filled with such times and part of growing up is realizing life is not a stroll through an enchanted forest and does not come without constant struggle.

1963 was just the beginning of what became a full outbreak of Hard Times… the Vietnam War which interrupted tens and thousands of young Americans who were involved in the horrendous war, many who never returned from that jungle war zone. My husband’s military service came to an end in 1965, just before Lyndon Johnson’s freeze of military service departures, so fortunately enabling him to start law school. More Hard Times. I worked hard in those years supporting my family and earning money to foot the bills.

After Chip graduated from law school, I went back to college earning an undergraduate degree and eventually a graduate degree. Just as Father said I should do, I earned those degrees by my own determination and work.

Change was happening everywhere in the world. It turned out there was big change for my family and also the town of Vermilion. In 1966 the Wakefield Corporation was sold to ITT. On the day of the sale, with tears in his eyes, Father took a screw driver to work the next morning and removed his Father’s old brass plaque “The F.W. Wakefield Brass Co.” and took it home. Three years later he retired, at age 59, telling his wife and three daughters that he could not bear to wear an ITT pin in his lapel which was the latest nonsensical edict from the New York City headquarters.

After passing from one corporate owner to another, the plant finally closed. When I return to Vermilion and see the old factory today, look up to the second floor windows of the original old red brick office building where my grandfather headed his business starting in 1906 followed by the leadership of my uncle Al Wakefield and Uncle Ted Wakefield and, eventually, even my father moved his engineering department into that same space, and see it empty and boarded up as it now is, tears come to my eyes. It is like passing a ghost ship from yesteryear.

Our past is always a part of the present and also the future. That is why it is so important to remember our past. Today, I have that original factory plaque attached to my stone fireplace in Tidewater, Virginia, under a large, gold-framed and magnificent portrait of my grandfather. On the mantel is the brass fixture he patented to convert gas lamps to Tom Edison’s new light bulb that so changed the family history. They are treasured relics of my roots in Vermilion, Ohio, and a town that was so loving and kind to me as I was growing up.

As a writer who dwells in the occasionally painful zone of self- truth, I can’t look back on any part of my life after I left my home town and not see even more Hard Times that I had to deal with. Every age had its great challenges. I learned change was constant. Yet, a stroke of good or bad fortune never lasted very long, and there was always a new chapter replacing the old in that great book of life.

The trick is to enjoy all the experiences of life, to accept problems for what they are, challenges, do ones best to meet them, and live with those that cannot be solved. My personal philosophy is to use love and forgiveness as a basis for relationships and to add a lot of laughter to each day… no matter what.

That splendid Father of mine would always tell me, after hearing my latest batch of “challenges”… oh, how I can still hear his words ring out from the past…words that came down from England, words that passed on from one generation to the next…words as strong as genes, words that gave me strength and courage to meet life’s many challenges… no matter where I was in this world…words that never failed me…. they were, simply, “Carry on, Mays!”

Note: Mary likes to share her writings that deal with her childhood and teen age years growing up in Vermilion, Ohio with Rich’s many readers. She is the author of 12 books about life and love in Virginia. Her earlier books, all comedies, are now out of print but occasionally can be found for sale on or Barnes and Noble by going to their website and typing in her name. Her latest novel is “The Private War of William Styron” which deals with her life in Virginia. She can be reached at



…of Trumbull by taking all thereof that lay west of the fifth range of the Reserve townships.

Huron county came into life under and by virtue of an act of the General Assembly passed February 7, 1809, and entitled, "An act to set off a part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, into a separate county." By the act it was provided "That the part of the Connecticut Reserve called the Firelands, beginning at the southwest corner of said reserve, then north to the north boundary line of the United States; then easterly along said line to where the east line of the twentieth range would intersect said boundary line; thence south along the line of the twentieth range to the south line of the said reserve, which east line of the twentieth range is the east line of the Firelands, so called; then west along the south line of said reserve to the place of beginning, be and is hereby erected into a county by the name of Huron, to be organized whenever the Legislature shall think proper, but to remain attached to the counties of Portage and Geauga, as already by law provided, except as hereinafter provided."

As is very well known Erie county, prior to its separate organization, formed an integral part of Huron county; but at the time of the formation of Erie, by the terms of the act creating it, it was taken from the two counties, Huron and Sandusky. It was created wholly of what has been termed the Firelands. Prior to that separate organization the history of Erie county was the history of Huron county. Its townships were all formed some years earlier than the erection of either, and settlement was commenced while it was a part of the Western Reserve and before either of the counties was contemplated.

The next legislative action affecting Huron county was the passage of an act January 16, 1810, providing, "That the county of Huron (as designated by an act of the Legislature, passed the 7th day of February, 1809), and also the lands lying north of township number four, and west of the fourteenth range/of townships, and east of said Huron county, shall be attached to, and be a part of the county of Cuyahoga, until the same shall be organized into a separate county, or be otherwise disposed of by law."

The full and complete civil organization of Huron county was accomplished by an act of the Legislature, passed January 31, 1815, whereby it was provided "that the county of Huron be, and the same is hereby erected into a separate county; provided, that all suits and actions, whether of civil or criminal nature, which shall be pending, and all crimes which shall have been committed shall be prosecuted to final judgment and execution in the county of Cuyahoga, as though the county of Huron had not been organized."

The second section of the same act provides, "That on the first Monday in April next, the legal voters residing in the county of Huron shall assemble in their respective townships, at the usual place of holding elections in said townships, and elect their several county officers, who shall hold their office until the next annual election.”

HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY OHIO With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich Syracuse, N.Y. - D. Mason & Co., Publishes 1889.

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SOMETHING NEW BUT OLD: The dress (pictured) was an artifact donated to the museum by my sis (Ginny Wilkes). The dummy is just a dummy.

My thought about the dress is that it’s probably from the 1920s. It really has to be seen in person to be appreciated. What you can’t really see on both the dress and the wrap are the tiny sequins and their patterns. This is not an ostentatious garment at all. In fact it is so subdued that it could have been easily worn to a funeral gathering. (But I’d bet it was not.)

It’s just a dressy dress that one might have worn to a party or a night on the town. There are some small defects / a tear on the artifact – but it’s actually in very nice condition for the age of the material.

When you have a chance I urge everyone to stop in and take a look at it.


A man is sitting in the coach section of a flight from New York to Chicago biting his finger nails and sweating profusely.

Noticing his disturbed expression, a flight attendant walks over and says, "Sir, can I get you something from the bar to calm you down?"

The man gives a nod of approval while shaking terribly. She comes back with a drink and he downs it quickly. Ten minutes later, the flight attendant sees the same man shaking and biting his nails. She brings him another drink which he swallows immediately.

A half hour later she returns to see that the man is shaking uncontrollably, and apparently crying. "My goodness," the flight attendant says, "I've never seen someone so afraid to fly."

"I'm not afraid of flying," says the man sobbing loudly, "I'm trying to give up drinking."

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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'".

Pay particular note to the "Hope Homes" page during the next few months / years. They are constantly improving the lives of their youngsters and those around them. This is an exciting project accomplished by exciting people.

Although this Vermilion High School Class of 1959 reunion is over classmates may want to stay connected with each other through organizerROGER BOUGHTON. Ye can connect by mailing him @ 2205 SW 10th Ave. Austin, MN. 55912 or you can just emailRoger.

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 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, "Grandma's 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 Take a look.

MARY WAKEFIELD BUXTON'S LATEST BOOK "The Private War of William Styron" is available in paper back for $15.00 with tax and can be purchased locally at Buxton and Buxton Law Office in Urbanna, ordered from any book store, or Brandylane Publishing Company. A signed, hard back edition may be purchased from Mrs. Buxton directly for $30.00 by writing her at Box 488, Urbanna, VA 23175 and including $6.00 for tax, postage and packaging.

A Mike Gruhn cartoon.

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

Links to additional Vermilion Ohio pages:

For Persons who would like to donate to the cause (to keep these "Views" on-line you can send whatever you would like to me at the following address. And THANKS to everybody who has already donated to the cause. I doth certainly appreciate it):
Rich Tarrant
1041 Oakwood Drive
Vermilion, Ohio
Telephone: 440-967-0988 - Cell: 440-522-8397

or you can use PayPal: (NOTE: IT WORKS NOW)

"A fool and his money are soon elected."
- Will Rogers

Vol.14, Issue 25 - August 27, 2016

Archive Issue #702

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