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Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

STILL TICKING: My friend, Barb (Hayes) Ruggles mentioned how nice Bob Bailey's Vermilion Hardware Store looked last Monday - so I decided to take a look for myself. It was a very nice day (as is obvious) and Barb was right.The store does look great all decked out for the season.

I went inside yesterday to get our dog his annual Christmas present license, and the inside is decorated as well. In fact it is lavishly decorated.

Bob's store is about the last (if not the very last) of the old businesses in what I call "downtown" Vermilion, Ohio. All the rest have passed into history. This is one of the last hardware stores on earth where one can still purchase a single bolt - if that's all you need. You don't need to drive 30 miles (round trip) to purchase a packet of 12 bolts - eleven of which you will never ever need.

A franchise hardware store has recently come to town. How, or if, that will effect Bob's store is unknown. But it's my uneducated guess that folks will continue to shop at Vermilion Hardware until the day Bob decides to shut the door.

Hank (Bob's dad) always had a habit of calling out to people who came in, "Hi Neighbor!" That's the kind of place it was, and how it remains.

WAKEFIELD BRASS: Hither is an unusual picture I wasn't looking for, but am privileged to present. The photograph was given me by Arlene (Crosier) Stockham to give to my sister-in-law Lois Stockman Tarrant - which I promptly did directly after scanning it. It looks to be a professional photograph. It certainly isn't an amateur shot. But the identity of the photographer is not on the picture. It could have been Paul Ludlow or Dick Koontz. I'm fairly certain it wasn't a Rudy Moc photo.

The gentleman working in the foreground is Larry Stockman (Lois' pop). And, I think, the fellow behind him is Arlene's father Ray.

These shadows were likely captured in the early 1950's (that's just a guess). Larry didn't stay with Wakefield. He got hurt sometime after this photo and spent a long time in the hospital and recovering at home before he went back to work anywhere. I believe he worked for the City of Vermilion after he got back on his feet.

If I could sum up Larry's personality in as few words as possible I would say that he was an extremely friendly/warm person. He always seemed to have something nice to say - at least to me.

Arlene's father, Ray, is someone I only knew in passing. I remember that he always rode a bicycle to work from his home on Huron Street. And, while riding he always rolled up the pant-leg on the chain side of the bike because he didn't have a chain guard.

Those recollections of him are dim because I normally always saw him on his way to work in the very early morning hours. Most times it was before the sun had risen.

The lights Larry and Ray are assembling were used in factories, schools, and offices throughout the U.S. and Canada for a very long time.

Wakefield Lighting's predecessor company, Lithonia Lighting, has just recently joined the exodus of industries leaving the region.

Rumor has it that Cleveland Quarries has now purchased the old factory. And so it goes...

THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH: Now known as Millet's Auction House it was once Vermilion's First Congregational Church. Built in 1887-88 it replaced the first village church which stood on the same site that was constructed there in 1842-43 (where the Dedication Sermon of Jotham W. Goodell was presented in 1843).

The structure, complete with a parlor, dining room, kitchen, and lecture room was built at a cost of $7,000.

The pews were purchased for $40.00 from Cleveland's Euclid Avenue Congregational Church. The bell was the same used in the old church that had been purchased from the First Presbyterian Church in Cleveland's Public Square in 1854. It was a Revere bell. It was sold in 1956-57 when the congregation built its present church on State Street and I am told that it is now in California.

This pic was taken about the same time as that of the Vermilion Hardware picture. The light was just right. The building looks much like it always has looked. Some of the brick from its predecessor were used in the building. It is more than probable that that brick was also made in Vermilion. Ergo; the church is, by proxy, one of the oldest buildings in the city.

This is a very nice photo of the building.

THE RATTLESNAKE: After seeing the photo (above) in last weeks "Views" my friend, Dennis Lamont, passed along this map (below). It illustrates the exact location of Rattlesnake Creek where the photograph was taken so long ago by my grandfather Pearl Roscoe.

Dennis added that, "The attached topo (again) shows the location of the Rattlesnake Creek trestle as well as the Sandusky Milan & Norwalk Electric Railway details from Norwalk to Milan. This pioneer line was running in 1893 and I believe the first intercity electric railway to use "interurban " equipment.

That's interesting. One reader asked me how the train was powered because no overhead power lines appear to be in the photo. From my view it appears that there are poles alongside the trestle that may have held the power lines. The overhead power lines just may be invisible in the light of the photograph.

This is just great stuff!

IT'S MAGIC: This picture has forever caught my interest. I do believe this is my mother, Ella Roscoe Tarrant (on the right) and her sister, Alice Roscoe Lindsay (the little one on the left) in their parents' apartment over the Vermilion News print shop in the very early part of the 20th century. But the photograph would appeal to me whether I knew any of the people in it or not.

Note that the tree is lit with candles. And further note that this is a real (not synthetic) tree. But also look at some of the other details in the photo; the presents, portraits on the walls, the wallpaper, and the clothing of the girls in the scene.

To me it is a literal translation of Christmas magic. I am so very glad that my grandfather used his old graphlex to capture these moments for everyone.

I hope that the same magic captures your heart and minds this Christmas, and stays with you and your families throughout the coming year(s).

WHAT'S A FOOT: Vermilion's Snow Parking Ban has officially gone into effect as of December 1st. Vehicles cannot be parked on the street(s) between 2:30 and 6:00 am so that snow plows can clear the streets if it snows.

Vermilion's new Mayor and other elected officials will be sworn into office at the "Y" on December 31st.

The Vermilion Area Archival Society 2006 Historic Calendar featuring Vermilion's fishing industry is now available at several locations around Vermilion for $5.00.[Maryann's Beauty Salon; Brummer's Candy Store; Vermilion YMCA] These are new calendars that feature Vermilion's fishing industry. Anyone interested in one of the calendars can also contact me. Shipping and handling costs run about $1.35.

Also note that there are (unfortunately) some mistakes on the calendar. The name of Sue Backus under the "Business and Corporate Sponsors" heading is spelled incorrectly. And the month of March is listed incorrectly as being "2005". The days of the actual month, however, are correct for 2006.

Also, visit (or re-visit) the Hope Children's Home site linked below because there are some additions there that you might find interesting. With all the bad things happening on the "dark continent" it's really nice to know that there are some places where the light does shine brightly. Please keep in mind that the needs of Hope Children's Home are on-going. Contributions to that home may be made to Larry Hohler in New York.

Please note in addition to the above that Larry's organization is actively looking for used text books to send to children in Kenya. Yo! Yo! You school teachers and officials out there! Don't toss those books. Get them to Larry so they can be applied to good use in Africa. For more info e-mail me and I'll get you in contact with Larry or someone else involved in this project.

Also Larry sent me some pix taken in Kenya a few weeks back. I don't know if they're on their webpage yet - but they've got chickens!!now. And that's a big deal when you don't have much of anything.

A special thanks to Steve Armstrong (in Texas) for a several of these stories.

CLASS REUNION UPDATES: There is absolutely, and unconditionally nothing different in this area that hasn't appeared here for the last six weeks. If something changes you'll see it here.

Since last week I did note that some folks use this page to access the Classes of '60 to '62 webpage I'm placing the link back here. But it would be a very wise move if folks involved with that page made a note of its URL and posted it in their notes as well as those contacting their classmates.

I was unaware of it but more than just a few folks do use this site as a link to their respective class sites - so - here's the VHS Class of 1959's site back for your convenience too: Remember that site is located at: Class of '59 and it'll be updated it as Roger (Boughton) receives enough new pictures and information from classmates to make it worth reading. So send him any information that you would like to share with other classmates and he'll put it up for all to see and view.

It is my understanding that some of these links are not working, or not working well. If so it is a technical problem belonging to the respective parties operating those webpages.

The Beat Goes On: The page is generated by the 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 bookmarks. 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.

Links to other sites on the Web

Vermilion Ohio Historic Pix
History of Linwood Park
Vermilion Community Orchestra
Vermilion's Oldest Church
Vermilion Visitor's Advisory (Satire)
Gore Orphanage History
The Lester Pelton Story
The Wreck of The Niles #152
The History of Crystal Beach
Vermilion Views Archives
Vermilion's Pioneer Woman; Charlotte Sturges
Cloudy; Vermilion's Ferryman
Dedication Sermon of Jotham W. Goodell, 1843
Hope Childrens Home Kenya

"I will not bribe Principal Skinner." ~ "Chalkboard" Bart Simpson

Vol.3, Issue 40, December 24, 2005

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© 2005 Rich Tarrant