DANCIN' IN THE STREET
COOL STUFF: Hey friends. I found some cool stuff for VV this week. This pic of a street dance on Main (formerly Division) street was captured by my best guess in the late 1930s or early 1940s. I found the negative from which this scanned pic was made by pure accident. [Aint that always the way?]
When I was a kid the bandstands for the street dances were always in the very middle of the street - right in front of the Hull Coal Companys little weigh station (now at the back of the old School House on State Street).
I also note that Millers Hardware was, then, situated in the store where Louiss Beauty Shop currently operates. And the bar (later remodled by Dick Macklin in the early 1960s) was called Conners.
Schwensens Bakery is the only business in the pic that remained stationary into my early years. When I was a pup Millers Hardware was in the last building (built by Dr. Englebry) on the southwest side of the street. Currently that building houses an interior decorating firm.
By the bye - the dancers in the pic are square-dancing. Such dancing was never my forte. I was once asked to leave the floor during a square-dance at the Olympic Club because of my inability to doe-si-doe correctly. [I guess I have a problem following directions.]
The other cool things are the pics of the Elberta Beach swimmers, and those of workers at the Axtel Cheese Factory. I found the pix to be very entertaining and extremely fascinating. I hope youll appreciate them as much as I do.
"The portrait was taken on the lawn between the First Congregational Church (now the Millet Auction House) and the Township Hall"
SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS IN 1916 VERMILION: This rather enchanting photograph of 19 young ladies was taken by an unknown photographer on what appears to be a fine spring day in 1916. Though the trees were in full leaf the air must still have had bite to it. The girls are wearing either heavy sweaters or light overcoats. The pooch, nestled in the grass aside several bonnets and a spray of freshly cut flowers, seems comfortably amused by all the goings-on.
The portrait was taken on the lawn between the First Congregational Church (now the Millet Auction House) and the Township Hall at the very heart of Vermilion Village. Whether the occasion was that of Easter (it was celebrated late - April 23 - in 1916) or just a social gathering of some type or another is, like the identities of the youngsters, unknown.
Hair styles, clothing, and buildings in the background help establish the location and approximate the date of the photo. The brick building in the background (upper left) is the Town Hall. The building behind the group is the livery where visitors to the hall or the church could safely hitch their animals and park their wagons. (Note: It would be interesting to discover if guests were charged for use of the facility. Do you suppose either the Mayor or the Pastor validated their parking tickets?)
The fire escapes on the Town Hall were added in June of 1908. Thus, it is obvious that these shadows were captured after that date. A majority of the girls have very long hair that is either braided and / or tied back with large colored ribbons. Short hair did not become chic until the 1920s. The sailor-like tops (i.e. a white blouse with adorned with a wide ribbon / tie) worn by several of the youngsters were popular among the teens from about 1914 to 1918. And the sleeves on the sweaters and jackets are rather narrow at the lower arms, and end with cuffs. This, along with the aforementioned long hair, was a prevalent style until the 1920s.
By the position of the shadows (i.e. the sun has not yet illuminated the interior of the stable behind them) it appears that the picture was probably taken between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. when the sun was overhead. This observation, along with that of the weather seem to indicate that the photograph was taken on the weekend. Otherwise the girls would have been in school.
While it is hardly visible to most folks the young lady in the dark sweater (3rd from the right) is holding an open jack-knife. This fact, and the spray of freshly cut flowers lying in the grass aside the dog would indicate that at least some of the girls were on a flower gathering mission. The hats laying on the ground beside the posies were not those that the girls would have worn to an informal gathering. Ergo; the photo was most likely taken on a Sunday, and the girls were most likely members of a Sunday School Class. Rover, on the other hand, was probably just a wannabe.
As previously indicated the precise nature of this gathering in a yesteryear is unknown. However; indications strongly suggest that pictured in this enchanting photo is a Sunday School class of 19 unidentified young women with an equally unidentified dog just outside the First Congregational Church on Division Street in Vermilion, O. on a chilly day in April of 1916. Perhaps thats all we can know. And, perhaps. thats all we really need to know.
Ref: Special thanks to the Vermilion Area Archival Society; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 5/07/09; Written 5/3/09 @12:24 PM.
SWIM LESSONS @ ELBERTA BEACH
THE ELBERTA KIDS: Thanks to my good friend (Vermilion artisian)Frank Homitz I came by this wonderful pic of a group of youngsters at Elberta Beach from 1953. The pic, by iteself, would have been a great find - but Frank also came by the Vermilion News article with the names of all the kids in the portrait. If you came of age in good ol' Vermilion during the 1950's you'll probably recognize one or two faces.
FRONT ROW L-R: Rell Sanderson, Dickie Adams, Peter Young, Carol Lima, Kathy Rauh, Billy Moes, Sharon Akers, Billy Nowacki, Bruce Fye, Lee Myers, Bob Johnston, Anita Byron, and Harold Burke.
SECOND ROW L-R: Carolyn DeVault, Judy Lowery, Freda Hendrick, Ada Greenhoe, Judy Burke, Ruth Strittmather, Shirley Olson, Beverly Laughlin, Vickie Christman, Leonard Salisbury, Robbie Sanderson, Harold Olson, Richard Biltz, and Dickie Banta.
THIRD ROW L-R: Mrs. Harmon (the swimming instructor), Mrs. Johnston, Carol Russell, Linda Strittmather, Danny Gray, Michael Olson, Kenny Tucker, Ronnie Tucker, Richy Hasenflue, Ricky Sanderson, Sis Sobeich, Ethel ______, Barbara Hayes, Susie Franklin, Linda Russell, Janet Christman, Marcia Nowacki, Mary Lee Russell, Julie Franklin, Maryann Wenzel, Billy Burke, Rusty Johnston, and Jerry Laughlin.
Mrs. Harmon - the swimming instructor - was the director of the "Harmony Aquatic School". And the article in The News closed by saying: "The season closed with a picnic at which time the children gave a swimming exhibition for their parents."
PAINTING THE TOWN: As previously mentioned this is a preview piece for a new webpage that I am currently developing. Using a new software program in conjunction with Adobe's Photoshop CS4 & 5 I am able to take some already wonderful pix of Vermilion, O. and make them (at least in my view) more "wonderfuller"
THE VERMILION TOWNSHIP HALL: Of all the public buildings in Vermilion, Ohio there is perhaps none of more historical worth than Vermilion's Township Hall. That value far exceeds any monetary/real value of the property. And no small part of the reason for this is the fact that after 122/123 years "It's still all there: The offices, the voting room, the Opera House; and the memories".
Those memories began in the year 1878 when the Ohio Legislature passed a bill authorizing Township Trustees to erect a town hall in the Village of Vermilion. In the Spring of 1882 a majority of villagers voted in favor of building the hall, and a site on the corner of South and Grand Streets was purchased for that purpose. However; due to the fact that "a majority of Township people favored a site nearer downtown" another property was purchased from Jacob Nieding and Vermilion Village early in 1883. It lay just west of the Public Square and north of Ohio Street.
Township Trustees at the time were: F.C. McConnelly, N. Fischer, and Jesse Ball. Columbus, Ohio architects, Terrill and Morris, drew up the initial plans, and local builder B.S. Horton was awarded the construction contract. Of six bids for that contract his was the lowest. It was $12,500. On August 1st of 1883 construction of the Vermilion Township Hall commenced.
By November 1st the Erie County Reporter stated that the building had begun to take on an "attractive appearance". On the 22nd the roof was completed. And on the 29th the land around the new building was graded for a sidewalk that would be laid along the Ohio Street part of the structure.
In early December a heating apparatus had been installed in the northwest room of the building and was operational. On December 20th it was announced that St. Mary s Church would be the first organization to rent the hall to be used for a fair.
On Tuesday evening, January 22, 1884 public dedication services of Vermilion's newly constructed Town Hall were held. An estimated 10 to 12 hundred well wishers from the village and adjoining towns attended. After speeches by local politicians, three tableaux were performed by local men and women on the Opera House stage. Later in the eve folks danced in the voting room to music provided by the Great Western Band until the wee hours (4 a.m.) of the following morning.
The crowd was said to be so large that many in attendance were unable to dance. This experience led more than a few folks to opine that the building should have been twenty or thirty feet longer - a detail which, however insignificant it may seem is, nonetheless, quite extraordinary (historically). In any case, for the next 50 years the Vermilion Town Hall served as the literal hub of village political and social life.
With a seating capacity of 352, and a Gallery capacity of 111 more than a few medicine shows, minstrel shows, lectures, plays, high school graduations, wedding receptions, and numerous other civic sponsored productions took place on the 2nd floor Opera House stage. Sundry items necessary for these productions were often hoisted by cable to the back stage door on the west side of the building.
The first floor featured a council chamber, trustees' hall, voting room, dressing room, kitchen, dining room, court room, and a jail replete with six bunks. Most of these rooms, although modified for various purposes through the years, remained in active use until 2005 when township offices were moved to a new facility.
Best of all it was all "paid for". Total cost for the entire finished project - property site, building construction, furnace, seats/chairs, landscaping, chandeliers, coal oil lamps, frescoing, grading, grate for office, one half cistern, sidewalks, and architects - had come to a whopping total of $16,805.
For a little village of 1,090 people t'was a monumental, but very worthy, project. Moreover; the Vermilion Town Hall, as previously stated, remains much the way it was almost 125 years later. It is all still there: The offices, the voting room, and the 2nd floor Opera House. House.
From an article published in the Vermilion Photojournal 4-27-06
August 14, 2010 8:01 AM
AGAIN - ANOTHER NEW THING: 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.
So stay tuned...
THE FIRST CAR.
Notwithstanding the rain Sunday morning a large number of citizens were out to see the first car run through on the Lake Shore Electric line. The car arrived in due season with a party of Norwalk gentleman. Motorman Paul and Conductor Remlinger of Milan, were in charge of the car, No. 4 of the East and West Main St. line of Norwalk.
After spending part of the day in town the party left for Norwalk. A car will be run between here in Norwalk and soon regular time will be made. Transfers will be made at the river bridge, which will soon be completed to Lorain and Cleveland.
Dolly Ennis was born in York state March 22, 1821, and died Dec. 4, 1901, at the age of 80 ys., nine mos., 13 dys. She came from New York State to Ohio, when about 10 years of age, and settled in this county and has since made it her home. She was married to Freeman Jay at the age of 18 years. To this union were born six children of which only one survives her. In the year of 1863 she was again married to George Minuse. Since his death in 1884 she has resided with her son, C. W. Jay, of this place.
The funeral services were held Saturday at her son's home, conducted by Rev. J. A. Kaley.
. CARD OF THANKS.
I wish to thank the Firemen, friends and citizens who so generously assisted me in saving caring for my unburned goods.
A. D. Baumhart.
We wish to thank the firemen and those who assisted in saving and caring for our property during the fire.
The Cent. Union Telephone Co.
The Lake Shore Electric Ry .people are hustling, putting in the macadam on the south side of the street east of the Hotel.
It is currently reported that the schedule will be put in force next week. Two cars a day will be run; transfers will be made at the bridge.
The C., E., & W. Electric have a fine depot under construction at Vermilion. Hotels and boarding houses have been enjoying a boom since the electric people have been hustling here.
The V., M. & S. Electric will be next. With two electric roads, to steam roads, a good harbor, waterworks and electric lighting in our beautiful parks. Vermillion will be one of the most attractive points in northern Ohio, Help us push.
from The Vermilion News Thursday, December 19, 1901.
DiedTuesday morning at 9 o'clock, Truman Simons, age about 88 years. He was the father S. W. Simons of this place. Funeral services will be held today at 2 o'clock. Rev. Rupert will officiate.
Mrs. Newton Andress, of Berlin Heights, was in attendance at Mr. Blackmer's funeral Wednesday.
J. L. Eliker, president of the Elyria Business College, was in town Tuesday.
Mrs. Taylor, the woman who made the trip over Niagara Falls, was on exhibition at J. L. Hudson's store, Sandusky, last week.
Thieves broke into the Geo.Fischer Co.'s office in D. & A. T. Christman's flouring mill Tuesday night. They found nothing worth taking away at either place the safes being used only as storing place for books and papers.
THE LAKESHORE ELECTRIC RAILWAY.
Dr. E. G. Rose, vice-president, of the Rose Nectarine Co., of Elyria, committed suicide by shooting at about 4 o'clock Tuesday, at his home in that city. No cause can be assigned for the shooting but it is thought that he was temporarily insane, caused by ill health. Dr. Rose, originator of Roast Nectarine moved to Elyria from Birmingham last May. The funeral will be held in Birmingham at 1 o'clock Friday afternoon.
A FOOLHARDY TRICK.
Several times of late the gatesmen at the L. S. & M. S. Ry. crossings have had their nerves wrenched severely by persons attempting to cross the tracks in front of the fast trains, despite their warnings. The gates and men are there to prevent accidents and gatesmen's warnings should not be disregarded.
NOTICE TO HUNTERS.
The Vermlion gun club will pay $10 reward for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of any person found shooting game out of season in Vermillion and Brownhelm townships.
By Order Of Committee.
BURNED TO DEATH.
John O'Donnell, of Cleveland, an employee on the Lake Shore Electric Ry., met with a horrible death Friday night. At about nine o'clock in the evening he and a companion was picked up, badly intoxicated, and placed in jail. Next morning when Marshall Stevens went to the jail he found it filled with smoke and O'Donnell nearly burned to a crisp. The other man was badly used up though not burned. In some way or other O'Donnell managed to set fire to his bunk it was too drunk to get out of the way of the flames. The other man was overcome by the smoke or too dazed to give any clear account of the occurrence. O'Donnell died in intense agony. His body was sent to Cleveland where it is said he had family. A short time before his arrest it is claimed he was picked up from the Lake Shore track.
DÉJÀ VU AND RULE #62: Rummaging through the micro-files of the Vermilion Photojournal at the Ritter Public Library some time ago - flipping through events that took place in our town from about 1962 through 1966 and - Déjà vu - I began to relive my past.
It was a rather unsettling yet, eventually, a positive, experience.
I stumbled upon the accompanying photo of myself when I had hair and wrote a rather strange column for the Vermilion High School newspaper, The Compass, nearly 50 years ago called "Sing Along With Rich". The name of the column was adapted from a hit television show of the era called Sing Along With Mitch.
In that column I would take the titles of current hit songs and relate them to a particular student (e.g. I would take the 2008 hit number called Low and say it was by someone like, say, Bernie Madoff). It was, obviously, a sophomoric enterprise. But so too was the pre-photoshop portrait that appeared with the column. I had carefully darkened each lens of my glasses in the photo using a black marker to make them appear to be sunglasses.
The years 1965--67 were years I spent in the U.S.Army - much of which was in the Republic of Vietnam. Ergo, some of the news through which I was browsing happened while I was gone. And I was taken aback.
There were many faces and names there I easily recognized. But I'd forgotten about them because they had, more or less, disappeared by the time I returned. I really didn't realise so many things had happened during (what, at least to me, seemed to be) my rather brief absence.
More than a few of my classmates (VHS 1963) had married. And more than a few others, like myself, had also found themselves touring the tropical paradise of Southeast Asia. There also seem to have been a plethora of automobile mishaps during that time. I don't believe that that many happen today. There must have been at least one or two newsworthy accidents every week.
I also espied a remarkably unremarkable news photo of local authorities carrying what appeared to be pinball machine out of the Favorite News Stand (where J.A.Berk and Associates is currently located). It was apparently deemed to be an illegal gaming device. In a later edition of the weekly I read that J.A. Berk and Associates had purchased the building and was in the process of remodelling it for the firm.
Other items which caught my eye were: An architectural rendering of a new face for the Elberta Inn; and a report announcing that the Baumhart Drugstore on Division Street was going out of business; later there was a huge sale/auction held on the inside of the store that attracted large crowds.
I certainly found my foraging through those yesteryears to be a rather disquieting experience. Because looking back - especially at my high school days - its hard to consider myself to have been anything other than a very competent knucklehead. There is, however, a human ordinance Ive heard about that thankfully places all of these things into proper perspective. Some may already know of it. Its called Rule #62. And it is simply this: As you go through life, Dont take yourself too damn seriously.
Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 1/15/09; Written 1/11/09 @9:30 AM.
SOMETHING OLD - SOMETHING NEW: The idea for this piece began as an idea for a coffee-table book of historical photographs of Vermilion, Ohio and, hopefully, it will (someday) be realized.
Originally the concept - as previously stated - was just a picture book. But after mentioning such a project in an issue of my weekly web page - Vermilion Views - a reader by the name of Scott Dommin suggested that it might be interesting if it featured photographs of how people, places, and / or things in the City of Vermilion, Ohio appear today along with photos showing how they appeared in the past. Ergo; the title "Now & Then".
"What a great idea." I told both myself and Scott.
[NOTE: This is going to take take some time.]
August 14, 2010 7:13 AM.
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 south and west of Vermilion in the Berlin / Berlin Heights area. Methinks you'll find this history quite fascinating.
BERLIN - PART 11.
by Hudson Tuttle
Berlin has not been devoted to dairying, and little attention was given to the factory system established in townships on the eastern portion of the Reserve. Under the influence of Melvin Stone, the Berlin creamery was established in 1877, with a patronage of two hundred and fifty cows. It had the advantage of an abundant spring of water which flowed from the earth at a temperature of . This factory brought the art of butter making up to a higher standard than possible to be obtained even by experts, with the conveniences which a farm house supplies, and of course a higher price is obtained for the article, ranging from seven to fifteen cents per pound. This increase in price more than covers the entire cost of manufacture and sale. The patronage of the creamery for 1878 was three hundred and forty cows, an increase of ninety, and notwithstanding low prices, the business was entirely satisfactory.
The Berlin fruit box manufactory was established in 1863, and has been a leading interest. It was first run in connection with the sorghum business, began the year previous, and which was continued until 1866. In the year 1864 ten thousand gallons of sorghum syrup were made. The manufacture of apple barrels was also a part of the business. In 1866, six thousand were made. In 1868, the box business had so largely increased that all other interests were closed out. Additions and improvements in buildings and materials have .been constantly made and the product increased until now eighty thousand feet of timber are annually required, and employment given to twentyfive persons. Samuel Patterson has been connected as leading partner and business agent with the firm from the beginning, and its success is due mainly to his enterprise and inventive genius.
The pioneers at an early day were determined to have orchards, and began to plant trees before the ground was cleared of the forest. Canada was the nearest place where apple trees could be obtained, and, in 1813, John Hoak and Mr. Fleming, of Huron, crossed the lake and returned with a boat load of trees. Some of these are still growing in the orchard of Henry Hoak and the old Burdue farm. Three pear trees on the farm of Mr. Hoak from this shipment are of monstrous growth and still vigorous, being quite unlike the weakly stock we now endeavor to keep alive by constant doctoring. One of them is seventy feet in highth, and measures eighteen inches above the ground, eight feet seven inches in circumference; another, somewhat less tall, measures over seven feet. They rarely fail to bear, and yield from thirty to fifty bushels of pears each. Some of the old apple trees are still vigorous, and one of these measures over nine feet in circumference. From this small beginning, Berlin has become famous for the perfection of its various fruits, and the skill of its horticulturists. The proximity of the lake prevents damaging frosts, and the soil is well adapted for the apple, peach and grape.
Berlin Heights, at one time, became widely known on account of a socialistic or Free Love society organized there. Only a single citizen of the township became identified with this movement, this agitation being drawn from widely remote States. They added to their restlessness and impatience with existing customs and usages, more than ordinary intelligence.
It was some time after the first gathering that a community was established. The first, called Point Hope Community, was commenced in 1800, had about twenty members, and lasted less than a year. The second, called the Industrial Fraternity, commenced, in 1860, with twenty members, lived about six months. The third, the Berlin Community, or Christian Republic, commenced in 1865, had twelve adult members and lasted less than a year. The second, called the Industrial Fraternity, commenced, in 1860, with twenty members, lived about six months. The third, the Berlin Community, or Christian Republic, commenced in 1865, had twelve adult members and six children and lived about one year.
Excerpts from: The Fire Lands, Comprising Huron and Erie Counties, Ohio; W.W. Williams - 1879 -
Press of Leader Printing Company, Cleveland, Ohio
THE AXTEL CHEESE FACTORY: This is yet another one of those pix I inadvertantly found whilst searching for something altogether unrelated to it.
It's a wonderful photo of the workers at the cheese factor in Axtel, Ohio. For those unfamiliar with Axtel it's a "blink-and-you'll-miss-it-as-you-drive-thru community along State Route #60 just a few miles south of good ol' Vermilion.
At one time the factory made cheeses that were enjoyed by cheese lovers in places as far away as Chicago and New York. I have no idea (currently) of just how long this industry lasted.
I get a kick out of the ladies with the chair on the roof - as well as the fellow with the stove-pipe hat. This is one of the best pix of the old place that I've ever seen.
Tis a "beaut".
WHERED YOU SAY YOURE FROM ???
Loveladies, New Jersey
Hooker Hole, Louisiana
Horneytown, North Carolina
French Lick, Indiana
Sweet Lips, Tennessee
Fanny, West Virginia
Busti, New York
Bird in Hand, Pennsylvania
Big Beaver, Pennsylvania
Buttzville, New Jersey
Dicktown, New Jersey
Erect, North Carolina
New Erection, Virginia
Loving, New Mexico
PODCAST #193:This week Vermilion Views Podcast #193 affords "Viewers" another itsy-bitsytaste of "Remembering Old Vermilion" with a few words from retired educator Roger Watkins. There is also another "Flash-Mob" scene from York, PA. (This one is not as polished as some I've featured in the past. But it's really entertaining because all the dancers are so enthusiastic.)Ah - for one of these in good ol' Vermilion town...
This may become a series.
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.
Also, please note that all the video (MP4) podcasts (when used) are done in the "Quicktime MP4" format. If you don't have "Quicktime" it's easy to find and free to download.
NOTE NOTE:Past podcasts are not available in the on-line archive. They just take up too much disk space. But if one really, really, really wants to acquire a copy of a past cast it can be had by contacting me and I will place it on a disc and send it to ye for a minimal fee.
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: 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 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.8, Issue 22, August 14, 2010
© 2010 Rich Tarrant