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Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

Current time in Vermilion -

March 19th - LANDING @ PUT-IN-BAY


FROM THE DESKTOP: There’s a saying that goes, “What goes around comes around.” Normally that means that if someone has done something of a negative nature it will eventually come back to haunt them. But in my case I am referring to a piece - with a pic - I did some time ago on the history of McGarvey’s restaurant. During the last few weeks I’ve received e-mail copies of that article from all over the planet.

This probably wouldn’t have happened if I’d put my name right in the middle of the article or on the composite pic that I put together for it. But I did - as I usually do - place a reference note at the bottom of the piece that allowed people to know where the information and the photos had been found for the article. That information, however, was not copied and sent along with this article.

I’m flattered that so many folks thought enough of the article to pass it along. It has always been a big part of my intent to share information (and pix) with people for their amusement and, hopefully, education. But I wish that when the information is passed that the references / sources of the information would go along with each piece.

It’s important.

And it’s important - not because I need to be recognized as the author of anything - but because the sources I use to write each article are those which reinforce / underline its legitimacy, as well as to allow anyone interested in researching more on a given subject a door and / or a path to follow for further research.

In any case, it’s nice to know that some people are reading some of these things...


Vermilion's Bill Summers


BILL I don't know exactly just how long I've known Bill Summers. But it's been awhile. If you didn't know him you might think that he was some bumpkin who - as the saying goes - just fell off a turnip truck while it was passing through town. But you'd be wrong. Because Bill's a reel smart fellow.

Bill's a very successfull business person. I believe his business is / was called the Summer's Rubber Company in Cleveland. But as long as I've know Bill he's been retired. His son runs (or did run) the company after Bill retired.

In later years folks in the area know Bill as the guy who predicts the winter weather with meteorologist Dick Goddard at Vermilion's "Caterpillar" Festival every fall.

I took this pic at the Monday (3-14-11) meeting of the Vermilion Area Archival Society where Bill did a presentation re: Morgan's Raiders 19th century foray into Ohio. (Thus, the inset pic.)

Bill's presentation is the subject of this week's podcast. The cast takes a while to load. But the quality of the production is good. And Bill's a knowledgeable person and an entertaining speaker.

Ben Sutliff, his mother, and sister Ruby


PAINTING THE TOWN: Sometimes things are painted in pictures. And sometimes in stories. But however painted they are nonetheless as powerful...

THE FORSAKEN: If this reads like the beginning of a Charles Dickens tale it is not. It is a very real chronicle. About the only thing worse than this particular scenario would have been if it began on Christmas Eve. As the subject of this article would recall in a 1976 interview, “This isn’t a happy story.

Bennie Sutliff and his sister, Ruby, were the youngest of 10 children. Their widowed mother was about to marry a man who also had two young children. He was not a wealthy man and, consequently, didn’t feel that he could support such a large family. Therefore Mrs. Sutliff decided to send Ben and his little sister to live in a Berne, Indiana orphanage run by a man named named John Sprunger and his wife Katie. The year was 1898. It was Bennie’s 5th birthday.

The Sprunger’s were, of course, the founders and operators of the Light and Hope orphanage that was once located in Swift’s Hollow near Vermilion, Ohio. For nearly 100 years urban myth has designated it as the “Gore Orphanage”. And as much fun as folks apparently have with this 20th century fable of ghosts and other things that go bump in the night there is a very serious aspect to this story that involves a terrible thing called reality. The adage that leads one to understand that truth can be stranger than fiction definitely applies here.

Bennie came from Indiana with the Sprungers in 1903 when they built their children's’ home. On Thanksgiving Day in 1908 he took leave of the institution (without notice) and came to Vermilion to live with the Peter Hahn family. And therein did the story of the ill-treatment of some one hundred girls and boys under the care of the Sprunger’s begin to unravel.

A formal investigation of activities at the home took place in the latter part of 1909 after a number of other children took refuge with families outside the orphanage. Testimony given by “inmates’ [sic] during mid-September of 1909 alleged the following:

A diet of calves lungs, hog heads, sick cattle, corn boiled in the same pot used to boil/wash underwear, lack of regular schooling, beatings, infestations of rats and mice, accusations of (what amounted to) slave labor, and lack of appropriate health care.

None of the testimony given by either Mr. or Mrs. Sprunger totally refuted the orphans’ claims. However; it is necessary to understand that during that period of time the State of Ohio had very few laws pertaining to the operation(s) of those institutions. And in addition to these things it would be unfair for anyone to assume that the Sprungers’ were just blatantly malicious and/or evil persons. All facts be known they probably assumed more responsibility (over 543 acres of land and perhaps 200 children of all ages) than they could possibly handle.

But for Bennie, his sister Ruby, (pictured with their mother and insets of both the Boys and Girls dormitories at the orphanage) and many of the other children whose misfortune it was to reside at Sprunger’s Hope and Light orphanage it was an unadulterated nightmare.

While the orphanage did continue operations until 1916, Mr. Sprunger died in 1911, and management of the home was transferred into the control of the Friends Church of Cleveland, Ohio. Mrs. Sprunger returned to Berne where she continued her work with orphans.

Bennie never returned to the home and became a lifelong citizen of Vermilion. He was a carpenter by trade and lived out his days with his wife Ida in a house he built on Haber (Maurer’s Lane) Road at the southern edge of town. And if there was anything haunting about the long lost orphanage on Gore Road it was probably confined to the recollections of those, like Bennie Sutliff, who lived it.

Ref: Rich Tarrant’s Yesteryear; 2005; Special Thanks to Betty McMillen (Ben’s niece); Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 10/13/05; Written 10/09/05 @ 10:08 AM.

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...

March 5, 1903. - Volume 6 - Number 40

Council Meeting.

The village council held regular session Monday evening with all members present. A large number of citizens were present, some with requests and others as spectators. The water-works question was the main subject for discussion though many other topics of importance were brought up.

The clerk read communications from Engineers with whom he has corresponded and his report accepted.

L.E. Chapin of Canton, Ohio, senior member of the firm of Chapin & Knowles, civil and consulting engineers was present and gave considerable information. Mr. Chapin has charge of the Elyria water-works plant and has in the past eight years planned and overlooked the construction of about twenty-five systems including plants at Norwalk and Berea.

He offered to furnish plans and estimates, and take care of all matters pertaining to the preparation of presenting the project to the voters for a specified sum. The council accepted his proposition and the plans and estimates will be ready in two weeks.

The petition presented by five property owners in the western part of town to withdraw from the corporation was refused.

Philip Becker, Dave Miller and others asked the council what could be done for them in regard to a sewer on their street. It was referred to the street committee.

W.A. Tischer was present and suggested that a stone walk across the park would be very beneficial to those residing in the southeast part of town. The matter was referred to the committee on public grounds.

A.D. Baumhart was present, representing the Howard Stove Company, and asked that the subject of that company’s furnishing light for the town be considered. He stated that the estimates and other necessary information would be presented in a short time. A committee was appointed to consider the matter.

The street commissioner was instructed to build sidewalks across the Martin Creek south of town.

After considering other matters the usual list of bills were disposed of and council adjourned until Monday evening, March 16.


Mrs. Bond is suffering from an attack of pneumonia.

The Novelty Society will meet with Mrs. L.W.Stone Friday P.M.

Among those reported on the sick list this week are Mr. Allen, Mrs. Jake Krapp, Mrs. Geo. Krapp and several members of the Shuster family.

Mrs. Matilda Goodsell is spending sometime in Cleveland.

Capt. and Mrs. E.A. Hill were the guests of Capt. and Mrs. J.W. Morgan of Lakewood Monday.

The Social which was to be given at the home of Sam Nieding tomorrow evening has been postponed indefinitely.

Mrs. Harris and daughter Jennie returned from a week stay in Cleveland last evening. Miss Jennie has been preparing for her spring millinery opening.

North Amherst people are expecting to have their electric lights in full operation by May 1st.

Miss Gertrude E. Miller of Lorain spent two days of last week at the home of her parents Mr. and Mrs. H.S. Miller.

Dave Green has been granted a pension of $10 per month. He was a scout in the south during the war.


Now For a Vote on Water Works.

Monday evening Mr. L.E. Chapin, a well known engineer, was employed to look after the water-works proposition. The firm, of which this gentleman is a member, has nothing to do with the actual work of constructing the plant, but as engineers alone.

The plan is, not to construct a more expensive plant than we can afford, but to have a system THAT CAN BE SUPPORTED without an exorbitant tax. The question is to be put before the people in such form that it will be known what the expense will be including that of operating. It has been stated that of this expense the railroads will bear a considerable portion as it has been estimated that their taxable valuation in the corporation is about $112,000.

The question is one of vital importance to many of us. Our supply of water is not, at present, what it should be and the insurance rates on business property are high.

We should also consider that like policed protection, fire protection is a necessity. We have a fine fire department but that is not all that is needed, and at any time some of us may loose [sic] heavily for want of water.

Mr. Chapin stated that he will provide water which will meet with the approval of the State Health Board. This is worth considering.


The Stove Works.

The deal has at last been consummated whereby the Howard Stove & Mfg. Co. will erect their eastern factory at Vermilion. Monday the lots were drawn by the purchasers and it is thought that in about two weeks weather permitting, ground will be broken. The company has bright prospects before it is as the stoves have proved a success far beyond expectations. Those wishing to see one of the latest patterns of stoves will find one at the town hall where a gentleman is prepared to demonstrate its qualities.



A marriage license was issued Thursday to Dr. Abraham Hermann of Chicago and Miss Mary W. Beeckel of Vermilion.


A Wedding.

A happy home wedding took place Monday evening at 6:30 at the residence of Mr. Werner Leidheiser, in the marriage of his daughter, Miss Augusta to Mr. Philip Darley. Only the immediate relatives were present to witness the ceremony which was performed by Rev. Wm. G. Klein of Vermilion.

The bride wore a very pretty gown of white swiss and chiffon. The groom was attired in conventional black. After the ceremony the party proceeded to the dining room where a bountiful supper was served.

They were the recipients of many useful and pretty presents.

One amusing feature of the evening was the delightful music which was furnished by four young ladies of Vermilion. They were rewarded for their efforts by an invitation to supper which they gladly accepted.

Mr. and Mrs. Darley went to Oberlin Tuesday where they will spend a week, after which they will be at home to their friends at her former home.

They have the best wishes of their many friends.


There is now a bill before congress applying the same law to gas and naphtha launches as has heretofore applied to steam craft. It requires the boats to have a crew of captain, mate and engineer. This does not apply to pleasure boats but those carrying passengers and doing light freight or excursion business. Those having boats of this kind are up in arms and will endeavor to have this feature of the bill eliminated. There are several such boats owned here.


A newspaper whose columns overflow with advertisements of business men has more influence in attracting attention to build up a town than any other agency that can be employed.


The Concert.

The concert given for the benefit of the congregational church was a success, although the storm prevented many from attending. Every number on the program was heartily applauded and many encored. The net proceeds was $14.50.


John E. Kane.

The funeral of J.E. Kane was held from his late residence on Grand Street Saturday afternoon, Feb. 28 at 12:00, Rev. Kaley officiating. The remains were laid to rest in Maple Grove Cemetery. Mr. Kane had been numbered among our citizens for about seven years and was respected by those who had made his acquaintance. His sudden death as spoken of in our last week’s issue came like a thunder bolt from a clear sky.


The popular Minstrel King will present on of his Coon entertainment's on the above date.

His is supported by the well known and talented Vermilion Dramatic Club. This is one of the strongest organization [sic] in Northern Ohio. The entertainment Will be divided into three parts. Each part separate in performance and strong in itself.

Besides having a company of excellent characters we take pleasure in announcing to the public that we will present new and pleasing specialities.

Miss Hazel Heidloff of Cleveland will be a special attraction in her new dances. Each dance is given in appropriate costume. We also have a wonderful Magician who will thoroughly keep the people in mystery as long as he is before them.

There will be several songs rendered by the company. Don't’ fail to see the coon orchestra and the black face quartette

Watch for further notice in Vermilion News


Alice, Grace, and Clara


PRETTY LADIES ON A ROCK (C.1910): This is a photograph that could stand alone; no further interpretation required. It is simply a nice picture of three pretty ladies sitting on a rock (c.1910). At least that is what I was content to believe for most of the six or seven years since I first saw it in my grandfather’s photo collection.

Pearl Roscoe took a lot of pictures. And although he was a newspaper editor/publisher many were never published. Consequently the girls were not, to my knowledge, identified anywhere. That’s not an unusual happenstance among photographers - professional or amateur. But, historically speaking, it certainly is annoying.

No more.

Several weeks ago I chose to use this picture to practice using some digital photograph enhancement software on my Mac G5. Other than my wanting the picture to be in black and white, and that it should have at least one person in it, the choice was purely arbitrary. My purpose was to begin to develop some skill in the colorization of gray scale photographs.

I so impressed myself with my initial work (which is not, incidentally, hard for me to do) that I decided to show it on one of my webpages so that others might admire my finesse as a digital photo finisher. And while I must admit with some chagrin that that was not to be something else - something a great deal more pleasing - happened.

It came from persons in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and Illinois. The consensus from all these folks was this:

The pretty ladies on the rock are (L-R): Alice A. Parsons Baldridge, Grace B. Parsons Ming, and Clara Wakefield Hofrichter.

Alice and Grace Parsons were sisters. Their father was Burdette Parsons. Their older brother’s name was Cliff. Clara, of course, would be a daughter of Vermilion entrepreneur F.W. Wakefield. Alice was the late Vermilion historian George Wakefield’s mother-in-law.

Now all of that is great to know but there is one other little thing. It has to do with the rock upon which the girls are seated. It’s not just any old rock. Tis a rock that legions of youngsters who grew up in Vermilion, Ohio are quite familiar. This rock is so famous among present and former members of the community who have spent time in the waters just off the Main Street Beach that it has a name. It is “Table Rock”.

As my old friend, Stu White, recalled from his home in PA:

“(I’m)Not sure why we called it table rock since it was a little tricky to stand on.

Since it was usually underwater, we devised some sort of triangulation method of finding it. One of the objects was the double ended brick cooking grill on shore (obviously). I think we aligned a certain electric pole on the west pier with a big picture window in a house on the east side of the river...”

How I ever missed the fact that the rock - the “Table Rock” - on which they were seated was the very reason I taught myself to swim over a half century ago truly escapes me. But that it is. I suppose it’s because it's been (mostly) underwater during my lifetime. But partially due to my persistent interest in learning how to use the technology of the times in which we now live I have inadvertently rediscovered a bit more history of a rock and the pretty ladies who sat on it for a photograph so long ago.

Ref: U.S. Census; 1900; Vermilion Area Archival Society archives; Special Thanks to Stu White, Molly Wakefield Milner, Mary Wakefield Buxton, and Fred Wakefield; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 6/22/06; Written 6/18/06 @ 2:39 PM.


The term FRISBEE did not always refer to the familiar plastic disks we visualize flying through the air. Over 100 years ago, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, William Russell Frisbie owned the Frisbie Pie Company and delivered his pies locally. All of his pies were baked in the same type of 10" round tin with a raised edge, wide brim, six small holes in the bottom, and "Frisbie Pies" on the bottom. Playing catch with the tins soon became a popular local sport. However, the tins were slightly dangerous when a toss was missed. It became the Yale custom to yell "Frisbie" when throwing a pie tin. In the 40's when plastic emerged, the pie-tin game was recognized as a manufacturable and marketable product. Note: FRISBEE ® is a registered trademark of Wham-O Mfg. Co.

"The township was named after the principle river
emptying into the lake through its territory..."

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 of Vermilion in the Clarksfield area. Methinks you'll find this history quite fascinating.



...over a small prairie he was bitten by a rattlesnake. Some time afterwards, a friend inquired of him" about the matter. He drew a long sigh and replied: "Poor fellow! he only just touched me, when I, in an ungodly passion. put the heel of my scythe in him and went home." Again, while assisting in the construction of a road through the woods, a hornet, whose nest had been destroyed in the operation, found lodgement underneath Johnny's shirt. Notwithstanding the fact that he was repeatedly stung by the enraged insect, he removed it with the greatest gentleness. His companions laughingly asked him why he did not kill it, receiving in reply, " It would not be right to kill the poor thing, for it did not intend to hurt me."

Among his other eccentricities was that of a remarkable stoicism, an indifference to physical pain. To demonstrate this, he would often stick pins into his flesh: and he cured wounds by cauterizing them, and then treating them as burns. This fortitude, or nervous insensibility, whichever it was, led the Indians to look upon him as a being peculiarly gifted, a "great medicine man," and they treated him with great kindness. "Johnny Appleseed" made his home with Caleb Palmer through the war, visited the settlement very often afterward, and was as well known here as in any part of Ohio.

About 1838, he left the State and pushed further into the west, still laboring in his self-imposed mission, impelled perhaps wholly by his philanthropic monomania, but probably by a gnawing misery of the heart as well, for it was commonly believed that some bitter disappointment in a love affair, had, in his young manhood, changed the tenor of Jonathan Chapman's life. If so, a great good was accomplished through the thwarting of one human being's happiness, for the strange, heroic, generous, humane character, whom the pioneers of Ohio and Indiana knew as "Johnny Appleseed,"by his self-sacrificing toil did a vast service to the settlers whom he preceded in the wilderness, and to their succeeding generations. It has been well said of him. that "as a hero of endurance, that was voluntarily assumed, and of toil, the benefits of which could only be reaped by posterity, the name of Jonathan Chapman deserves a perpetuity beyond that of a generation of lesser lights passed in the glare and romance of the tomahawk and scalping knife period."

But little is known of the early life of this pioneer nurseryman, but there is every reason to believe that it was one strangely in variance with his after years. That he was a man of fine education is beyond doubt, for it is testified to by those who knew him in New Haven and elsewhere. At a very early day he delivered a Fourth of July address at Bronson, which, it is said by those who heard it, was masterly in matter and manner, a splendid piece of eloquence and a model of thought, such as only a mind of fine order could give birth to.

In 1847, after nearly a half century of devotion to his chosen mission, and at the age of seventy-two years, Jonathan Chapman died in the cabin of a settler near Fort Wayne, Indiana. The physician who was present said that he had never seen a man in so placid a state at the approach of death, and so ready to enter upon another life.


New Haven was settled by a superior class of men. Many of them had enjoyed unusual educational advantages, and a number were much better endowed with material goods than the pioneers in a new country generally are. As the village was formed at an early day, there were many who came in without experiencing the pleasures or pains of pioneer life. This class did not, as a rule, take up land. They were not, in the proper sense of the term, early settlers. They located in the village and followed trades, and their number was so great that many are not even mentioned, while others are barely referred to.

Beginning with the pioneers, there was Caleb Palmer, of whose first years in New Haven, an account has already been given. He was born in Horse Neck, Connecticut, in 1775, went from there to New York, and then to Trumbull county, Ohio, and removed from there to New Haven, as has been heretofore stated, in 1811. His first wife was Harriet Smith. He had by her, four children: Maria, (born before he settled here, and now dead.) Meigs, (now sixty-eight years of age, a resident of New Haven, lot thirty-nine, section two.) Ruth, (Mrs. Jessie Youngs of Tompkins county, Michigan), and Electa S., (now Mrs. C. C. Harding, of New Haven.) She married, first, Jacob Guyselman. Meigs Palmer married Betsey Curtiss. Caleb Palmer's first wife died in 1818, and he married, several years later, Mrs. Sheldon, the mother of the famous Methodist preacher Harry 0. Sheldon.

Who came next after Palmer. Woodstoock and Nemcomb, cannot be definitely stated, and, in fact, it is impossible to state precisely the year in which the first settlers arrived, for memory errs, and there is naught to depend upon in this matter but the recollections of the oldest residents of the township. The settlement increased quite fast during the years 1814 and 1815. During these two years, Josiah Curtiss, Reuben Skinner. Jas. Maclntyre, David Powers, Samuel B. Carpenter, John Barney, Samuel Knapp, Martin M. Kellogg, the Inschos, Henry Barney, Royal N. Powers, Chism May, Calvin Hutchinson, George Beymer, Wm. Clark, Jacob Speeker, Rouse Bly, Joseph Dana, John Alberson. George Shirel, Matthew Bevard, William York, Prince Haskell. Stephen Stilwell, and many others cast their fortunes with the settlement.

James MacIntyre and his son by the same name, with their wives, came from New York State. The old gentleman, whose family included several girls, took up lot ninety, section one. At the same time...

Excerpts from: The Fire Lands, Comprising Huron and Erie Counties, Ohio; W.W. Williams - 1879 -
Press of Leader Printing Company, Cleveland, Ohio

The Grandon

For years she carried passengers
between ports in Catawba and Sandusky and the Lake Erie Islands."

BIG ED AND THE GRANDON: They still tell stories about him - Captain “Big Ed” Lampe. I suspect that like many men who are brave enough, and tough enough, to pour both their heart and their soul into their work - be it on land, sea, or through the air some of those stories have, through the years, become slightly exaggerated. But be all that as it is - “Big Ed” Lampe is an honest to goodness Lake Erie folk hero.

It has always been my intention to tell the whole story of Captain Lampe with no embellishments. For why would a fellow who was a giant of a man; a man who very literally grew up sailing the moody waters of Lake Erie; a man who made and lost several fortunes during his lifetime as a sailor, inventor, and businessman need to have his life portrayed as anything other than what it was? And so the stories of his strength, his wit, and his courage abound. Several have been told in this particular forum (PJ 7-3-03, 6-10-04, 10-7-04, 2-3-05), and they are wonderful. But what, then, became of this Lake Erie legend?

In many respects the life and fate of Captain Lampe parallels the life and fate of his faithful steam-tug the Grandon. Like “Big Ed” the steam-tug originated in western Lake Erie. It was a composite steamer built in 1893 at Toledo, Ohio by Craig Ship Building Co. for H.D. Fifield of Toledo. It was a fair-sized boat - 59.58’ x 16.42’ x 7.16’. For years she carried passengers between ports in Catawba and Sandusky and the Lake Erie Islands.

When Captain Lampe acquired the vessel he refitted it and used it mainly as a fish-tug working out of the port of Vermilion. And he worked her like he worked himself - hard - as the photos of the vessel accompanying this essay attest.

Things were going quite well for both the captain and his tug until the early spring of 1937. While entering the harbor at about 9 pm on a dimly lit May evening he suddenly encountered a party of 6 people on a sailboat stalled in the middle of the channel. The motor on their boat was not working, and they were attempting to scull with the rudder to make it to their dock. While he blasted a distress signal and ran the craft onto the pier it was too late. The boats collided and the smaller boat sank. Three folks on the sailboat lost their lives.

Rather predictably, accusations of negligence against “Big Ed” as well as lawsuits followed this mishap. And for a time a lien was placed on the Grandon. At this point both the fates of “Big Ed” and his vessel begin to get a bit foggy. While available records indicate that Captain Lampe did work the tug for at least another year following the accident the true details of that which followed are unknown.

According to the the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes - Great Lakes Online Index - University Libraries/Bowling Green State University the Grandon was "Abandoned in 1936 above the highway bridge at Vermilion, OH, but not dropped from enrolment until 1945”.

Given the account of the aforementioned mishap these records are obviously in error. However; the error may only be slight. And ironically, or not, this is one of the places where the legend of “Big Ed” steps in to fill in the blanks.

In 1938 when the Lake Shore Electric Railway was dismantling their system it is said the “Big Ed” got the contract to dismantle the electric bridge over the Vermilion River. Due to the way those bridges were connected it didn’t take much to bring one down. It was said that Captain Lampe was using the Grandon to dismantle the bridge, pulled a pin, and the bridge collapsed sinking the vessel.

The account of the bridge collapse is very much a part of the history of the Lake Shore Electric. And given the fact that records do show that the Grandon was abandoned “above the highway bridge at Vermilion” this tale certainly rings true.

Some time later the hull was dug up and destroyed. And that was the end of the Grandon. Its end like the end of the man who sailed her was relatively unspectacular. Just a few years after the demise of his trusty vessel he took ill. On September 23, 1947 after ailing for several years he quietly passed away at the Marine Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.

And that was the unobtrusive conclusion of the legend of “Big Ed” Lampe. Or perhaps it was really just the beginning.

Ref: Historical Collections of the Great Lakes - Great Lakes Online Index - University Libraries/Bowling Green State University; The Vermilion News, 9-25-47, 5-13-47; Vermilion Area Archival Society Archives; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 5/17/07; Written 5/13/07 @ 4:13 PM.

Phoebe and Holden Judson


A PIONEER’S STORY: In stumbling through historical records of Vermilion’s last 197 years I can’t help but stand in awe of the men and women who braved the wilderness, tamed it to some degree, and in doing so helped shape our community and our nation. In Vermilion it was Almon Ruggles, William Haddy, Captain William Austin, Charlotte Tuttle Sturges Austin, Captain Barlow Sturges, Benjamin Brooks, Solomon Parsons, Deacon John Beardsley, Enoch Smith, Horatio Perry, George and John Sherarts, and James and Peter Cuddeback.

Most of, if not all, these folks migrated to the region from places in New York State and Connecticut on the heels of the American Revolution. As their basic needs for food and shelter were met their thoughts naturally turned to loftier matters. Among them was a school for their children and a church in which to give the Lord thanks for their good fortune(s).

The first church in our area was established nearly 20 years before the Village of Vermilion was formally incorporated. On February 20, 1818 six men and women gathered in the cabin of Eli Barnum on the ridge in Florence Township and organized a church under the authority of the Grand River Presbytery which governed all Congregational and Presbyterian congregations in the Western Reserve portion of Ohio.

One decade later (1828) the congregation had grown so large that a permanent log church was built in a place that was (then) considered to be the approximate population center of the township. The site was located on the west side of what we now call Poorman Road in Vermilion Township about a mile and a half south of Lake Road. It was the very first meeting house in the township.

As the commerce and population base of the township shifted the church proper was literally moved to a place near “Furnace Corners” along Darrow and Vermilion-Savannah Road (now Route 60). But, due to continuing population shifts in the growing community, regular services were held at sundry country schools throughout the township - including a school that once stood at the mouth of the Vermilion River. And in 1837 church trustees were given permission to dispose of the little used meeting house at Furnace Corners.

In 1838 church officials purchased Lot 130 in the public square of the newly incorporated Village of Vermilion, Ohio next to Vermilion’s District No. 1 brick school house (now the site of the Vermilion Township Hall). Here they erected a 60 by 45 foot brick church with white trim and a 27 foot high steeple. And it was here on December 20, 1843 that the Reverend Mr. J.W. Goodell, who had been invited to come from Canada to minister to the needs of local parishioners, presided over the dedication ceremonies for the newly constructed church building (pictured).

Although that particular church building and the brick school house next door have long since become but memories recounted in local history books, both the school system (now the Vermilion Public Schools), and the church (now the United Church of Christ Congregational) remain.

As I mentioned at the start of this article I am awe-struck by those who shaped both Vermilion’s and our nation’s future during those, and the ensuing, years. What I find to be particularly interesting are some of the persons who received their early academic and religious training in those institutions, and how that training came to affect the development of a community 3000 miles away.

Her name was Phoebe...(continued)

Ref: The History of Vermilion’s Congregational Church; Betty Trinter; 1993; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 6/29/05; Written 6/26/05 @ 5:25 PM.


Everything hurts and what doesn't hurt, doesn't work.

The gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your bifocals.

You feel like the morning after and you haven't been anywhere.

Your little black book contains only names ending in M.D.

Your children begin to look middle-aged.

You finally reach the top of the ladder and find it leaning against the wrong wall.

Your mind makes contracts your body can't meet.

A dripping faucet causes an uncontrollable urge.

You look forward to a dull evening.

Your favorite part of the newspaper is "20 Years Ago Today".

You turn out the lights for economic rather than romantic reasons.

You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going.

Your knees buckle and your belt won't.

You regret all those mistakes you made resisting temptation.

You're 17 around the neck, 42 around the waist and 96 around the golf course.

Your back goes out more than you do.

A fortune teller offers to read your face.

Your pacemaker makes the garage door go up when you see a pretty face.

The little old gray-haired lady you help across the street is your wife.

You sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there.

You have too much room in the house and not enough in the medicine cabinet.

You get your exercise acting as a pallbearer for your friends who exercised.

You know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions.

PODCAST #222:This week the Vermilion Views Podcast #222 features Vermilionite Bill Summers talking on the subject of Morgan's Raiders. This is the first of a series. It was recorded at a meeting of the Vermilion Area Archival Society at the Ritter Public Library on March 14th.

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 and MOV) podcasts (when used) are done in the "Quicktime MP4 / MOV" formats. If you don't have a "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'".

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

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

Alice W. is back - and guess where she is now (?): Ali's Blog.

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: 440-670-2822

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

"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook."-William James

Vol.9, Issue 1, March 19, 2011

Archive Issue #418

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