Take a stroll with me back in time to the Old Vermilion News...

This is a "cyber-tour" of the old Vermilion News office and print shop. A majority of the still photographs were taken by my friend Frank Homitz during a tour I conducted with other members of our community in March of 2000. But the tour below accomplished in April of 2020 affords a 360° views of most of the upper floor of the museum. This part of the tour is not perfected yet, but in the next week should be made much better.

I hope you enjoy the tour.

Please excuse the dust.

This is the "big" press with which the Roscoe and Tarrant families printed the newspaper for over 60 years. One had to form the pages on stone slab tables,lock them down in the form(s), carry them to the press, and print them. It was tough work. When the big press was running it rocked the building.

This is the way the news was writ. And if those keys could speak...

This typewriter can also be seen in the black & white photograph of Elizabeth "Bessie" Roscoe found on the History of The Vermilion News page.

Tools of the trade still hanging on the wall of the printshop. Keys to lock text and pictures into frames to be printed on the old jobber presses, wrenches, screwdrivers, and belts to use on those presses. Left there when we walked out of the shop in 1964. Makes a very artistic presentation.

Cardboard posters advertising events at the Crystal Beach Ballroom, Street Dances, and sundry other events about the community were printed with this press. It was very versitile. When the "big" press that regularly printed the newspaper was out of repair the paper could be printed with this press. It just took a bit longer.

These are "platefiles" stored under the stone work slabs in the middle of the printshop. They contained files of advertisements that were used in the paper on a regular basis. It saved a lot of hard work to have them. Some contained etched photographs as well as linotype work.

As a child I spent much time in this room. We called it "the backroom". It was where we stored our paper stocks, where we prepared paper for our small job work,and where we cut wood blocks to insert into the print-forms. What you see is the big paper-cutter with which we cut large pieces of paper. I used to watch in awe as my big brother, Bill, would put a great deal of paper into the device, raise the lever, and make a cut that was very clean and precise.

36 years of dust at the news desk. The drawers of the desk, and the various cabinets around it are still filled with Vermilion history.

A veritable wonder. The type-drawers filled with a century of hard type remain untouched. I fully expected to find disaster when I went into the shop to make a closer inspection in March of the year 2000. But it's all there.

Another hard typefile cabinet left exactly the way it was when The News closed it's doors in 1964. And this shot gives one a good look at the walls of the shop. It's all tongue & groove paneling. Absolutely beautiful.

The linotypes took the place of the typesetter's hands for news articles. An interesting machine. It worked (somewhat) like a typewriter and cast type into small lead slugs (2"x 1"x 1/4") that were set and locked into the frames for printing. There are two linotypes in the building. The first was installed in 1916,and the public was invited to visit The News and view this new piece of high-tech equipment.

I lost the pic of my wife -Georgianne - watering the flowers in front of The News while we were doing our initial cleaning prior to the day we opened the shop to the public so you'll have to let the one above suffice. [That pic did exist. But I lost it whilst transferring files from one domain to another.]

What a task! Betsey Wakefield, Margaret Wakefield, Anne Maiden, my childhood friend Tom Boone, Lou Bertoni, my niece, Barb Akers, the Millet's who own the church / auction house behind The News, and Georgianne all pitched in to make it work for that day. But there's a great deal of work ahead.

News Flash
In the early part of June when I opened the shop, took the styrofoam insulation off the windows, and began an initial cleaning process I made an amazing discovery. Going through some papers I found in the office safe I found an envelope containing my Great-Grandfather's discharge from the Union Army in 1866. With it I found a folded pencil drawing ( 9 3/4" x 5 3/8") of the "Blockcading of Charleston Harbor" during the civil war by the "Ironclad vessels". The folk-art portrait views the harbor from Morris Island, and shows the Ohio 67th encampment on the island.

I immediately removed all the documents I found from the building to be properly preserved and stored until the building could be better secured. I will post this portrait on this site in the near future.

(Editor's Note) This page is produced and written by Richard Neale Tarrant. If he misses something let him know. I understand that he is fallible. Please stay close. We'll be adding new photographs as the weeks pass.)

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