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Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

Just tell yourself, Duckie, you're really quite lucky - Theodore Suess Geisel........I can't understand why people are afraid of new ideas. I'm frightened of old ones. - John Cage.........Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy. - Edgar Bergen..........If - by e.e.cummings.......rnt...............

October 3,  2015 - A.D as a boy and a Poem width=

A.D. & Dust

SHOPTALK: Atop my home computer desk this week is a copy of a poem that I am unable to recall where or when I acquired – “Dust If You Must” it. I’ll not break it down for anyone. Thinking about it is much of its charm.

On the shoptop this week is a cool pic of a very young A.D. Baumhart Sr. It came from Brenda Mezz – Mr. Baumhart’s granddaughter.

One of the reasons I was / am taken by the pic is because I have other photos of Mr. Baumhart in his golden years and for some reason – perhaps it’s the gleam in his eyes – he looks the same (to me).

Even at a young age he appears very determined to succeed.

SOME UNIQUE THINGS: Bill Cutcher from the Brownhelm Historical Society stopped at the museum on Thursday afternoon with some very unique items.

First was a collection of photographs show the interior of a working “trap-netter”. There were also some of the exterior of several of the tugs. The tugs were from Vermilion and Port Clinton. Once upon a time Bill worked on them.

He also has a nice collection of mp3 recordings of some of Vermilion and Port Clinton fishermen; Martin and Jerry Hosko; Alva Snell; Chester Jackson; Percy Holl; and Ray Full. These recordings were made by the authors (Timothy C. Lloyd and Patrick B. Mullen) of a book - “Lake Erie Fisherman’”. I think the master recordings might now be in the possessions of the Ohio Historical Society. They’re very informative and especially unique.

Cool, cool, and cooler.

NEW PROJECT: I’ve begun work on a new project that you will, in fact, find in this edition of “VV” this week.

The first part of the project is called “Main / Division Streets”. It’s basically a photo-essay of places along that street from south to north as they were in the past and as they appear in 2015 (or 2016).

I have so many pix of so many places around town taken during the 20th century that it thought it might be interesting to see some of them in some sort of logical geographical sequence.

I don’t look at this as being a now-and-then thing because I’ve learned that a better name for that type of sequencing should be called “then-and-then-again”. In short, I’m beginning to see that absolutely nothing stays the same – everything is constantly changing / evolving.

In writing about the past I’ve come to use the word “currently” when describing sites of old businesses, etc. because things change with some frequency. Our town has, in fact, change dramatically from the one I knew as a youngster, and I don’t take that for granted.

Anyway, I hope folks enjoy this project. It’ll take a good deal of time to make our way around town.

THE YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS: I’ve not made much use of the backdoor at the museum this year. The summer has actually been rather mild so I had no pressing reason to have the door open very often. But the weather (until just now) has been rather pleasant. Ergo, I opened the door and moved a few items to make the room more presentable.

You may note the partial painting of the ceiling. When I was about 10 or 11 years old my brother Billy – who ran the Heidelberg press in the room – paid me to paint the room one summer. The walls were Chartreuse and the ceiling white. As is obvious, I never finished.

My brother always listened to the radio while he worked (as do I today). Anyway, I remember that one of the popular hits that summer was The Yellow Rose of Texas by Mitch Miller. Every time I look at the room (half-painted) I remember that summer and – The Yellow Rose of Texas.

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 $3 (for adults) is requested. Children 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.

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

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK:Take the time to visit us on Facebook. Click on the badge below and stop in. We'll keep adding pix as we go along. If you're in the area come on in. I try to be there in the a.m. most everyday. If you see a Chevy Silverado in the drive with the plate "MRCOOKR" stop by and see what's cooking.

Vermilion News Print Shop Museum

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HENRY SCHMOOL – VERMILION STREET COMMISSIONER & PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF CEMETERY TRUSTEES: Born in 1850 in Germany Mr. Schmool came to America when he was fourteen years of age. Having heard much of the country across the Atlantic he left home and came to this country alone to Erie County, Ohio. He worked in Sandusky for a time and then came to Vermilion where he worked in the lumber business and for 15 years afterwards for the (L.S.& M.S) Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad.

He married Maggie A. Baker in 1876 and the couple had two children – a girl (Martha) and a boy lived on Exchange Street. The boy died rather early in his life.

Mr. Schmool was a democrat as well as a dedicated member of the German Reformed church (i.e. the Evangelical and Reformed church). Maggie died in 1913. He died in 1922.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT: I woke up a few days ago with a new idea – and this is it. We have pix from all over town and I thought it would be neat if I did a kind of photographic essay that would follow (somewhat) the development of some of those streets.

Some of the photos that will appear in this essay have been previously published – some not. But what they’ve not been is published in any meaningful sequence. In this case they follow a street through time from south to north.

I begin this essay at the southwest corner of what was once Division and South Streets – and it will end at Main Street Beach.

I hope people will enjoy the walk.


#1 - MARTINS / BICYCLE BILL’S: Believe it or not this was the pic that compelled me to do a historical webpage.

My old buddy, Bill Ream, was missing George Wakefield’s column in the Vermilion Photojournal dealing with local history. I had a copy of this particular photo and used it on one of first webpages because it was one of the places Bill remembered when he was a lad. (It’s still there.)

Today, of course, it’s Bicycle Bill’s Cycle Shop. The shop, by the way, seems to do a very brisk business.

Long ago – before Steve Martin had it for a grocery – it was a grocery store run by a member of Vermilion’s Pelton family.

After Steve died Vermilionite Lou McKay ran the store for many years. Lou and his wife, Toot, are some of the nicest people in town. It was a wonderful asset so long as it was in business.

#2 - A.W. Heyman: I’ve not had this pic for a very long and I don’t recognize all the little ones in it. It came to me in a roundabout way from Phyllis Heyman Rogers (front row left).

Excuse me if I guess a little about the owner of the house here, but I think it was her grandparent’s home. From what I could tell via Ancestry.com her grandparents rented part of the house and/or took in roomers. It is, by and large, a fairly good-sized house.

I have been told that Louis “Cloudy” Noel was living in this house when he went on to the next life. I knew that Cloudy lived somewhere on Division Street when he died but I thought it was in the house next door to this – No.3.

Again, I’m guessing, but I think this was probably a birthday party. The only other girl I recognize is Jeannie Mehnert (back row right).

The house is currently empty and I don’t believe had been well maintained over the years. I always kinda liked the place.

3 - CHURCH OF CHRIST I be willing to bet that the folks who live in this duplex are unaware of the fact that it was once a church.

I acquired this pic from Vermilionite Rick Copeland a few years ago. It took me awhile to figure out exactly where the church was located. Actually I figured it out via another picture of the church from a different angle that shows part of the house just north of it. Once I saw that and took another look at this photo with the house south of it (#2) I knew I had the right location.

There certainly are some alterations in the structure. But it is the same building.


#4 - OUR TOWN HALL: Gosh was a beautiful and historic building our old Township Hall is. The history of this building can be found in my “historic pix” site.

One thing very noticeable about the old pic is the absence of fire escapes. They were added in the early years of the 20th century; the same time they were added to the State Street School.

Currently Tiffany’s Flower’s and Gifts occupies most of the building. As far as restoration goes, I doubt that it will happen in my lifetime. But Tiffany and the current owner have done a nice job of maintaining the place.

#5 – THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH: Along with South Street School this building is one of my favorites. I grew up in this church (and still belong) and was baptized here when I was 10 along with my niece Jerry Leigh and her dad Howard “Jerry” Emery.

I also attended 2nd grade in the rooms beneath the sanctuary. Mrs. Hurd was my teacher and it is the place where I learned to spell the word “tomorrow”.

When I was a boy my buddies and I attended Sunday school in the kitchen of the church. Tom Williams Sr. was the teacher. He used to take us our for a pancake breakfast at the White Inn on Sunday mornings, and in the afternoon led us on hikes from this building out into the countryside.

Reverend English was the pastor. Presdee Morgan used to ring the old Revere bell on Sunday mornings in the narthex. What good times those were…

Currently, it is Elizabeth Millet’s Auction House. She seems to have a great business going there – but I wish I owned the building. It would be an addition to our museum featuring many more local historical artifacts and allow for lectures and other gatherings.

C’est la vie.

# 6 - VICTORY PARK: Ah, and then there is beautiful Victory Park. It has, over the years, changed a good deal. It’s nice. But I must confess that I liked it much better when I was young.

There used to be a brick bandstand in the middle of the park – very near the centennial stone – for bands and patriotic and political speeches.

Currently, there is a beautiful gazebo that is used precisely like the old bandstand. But it ain’t the same. There is also a rose garden and a fountain in the park. But from my old point-of-view those things simply clutter up the place making it hard to walk through the park. (But that’s from an old grump.)

Anyway I can remember being on the great swings they once had on the south side of the park and listening to the band playing marching tunes on Decoration Day. It wasn’t a fancy place. Just a nice one.

I am fortunate to own such memories.

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...

Vol. XI, No. 23. – VERMILION, OHIO, THURSDAY, November 14, 1907 – PHONE 19


Monday evening the Village Board Of Education held their regular monthly session. After caring for a few minor matters the board took up the cases of Elton Fischer and Carl Ritter who were suspended from school for a short time ago [sic] for misconduct. The growing disrespect for teachers has come to a point that demands the immediate crushing out of this tendency. This is not in Vermilion alone but through the country in general. We published elsewhere an article bearing on the subject.

The Ritter boy, it seems, while undergoing punishment at the hands of a teacher, struck her in the face with a book, blacking her eyes and otherwise disfiguring her for the time being. He claimed that it was an accident, but it was reported that he made a remark before the "accident", to the contrary.

After do deliberations the board finally decided to reinstate Elton Fischer under the promise to obey the teacher and the rules. This he promised to do. In the case of the Ritter boy as his case was more serious it was decided to give him two weeks probation, as he seems still defiant. He finally promised to obey the rules of the school etc.

The parents of both boys feel their misconduct greatly and do not uphold them in the least.

It is an unfortunate affair and had it not been for the good effect upon others who are been doing almost the same things these boys have done we would not have to mention it.

The board stands unanimously back of the teachers are determined to see that the rules of the school are obeyed. And while corporal punishment is considered of last resort it is now recognized that times it varies it is very essential and will be used.

The pupils ofttimes do not realize that in refusing to study, disobeying their teacher and the rules of the school, they are laying up trouble for themselves.

The Board of Education makes the best selection in their power when it comes to instructors as well as in other matters. That is their business. The schools are for educational purposes not merely a place of amusement, or stopping place until the boy or girl is old enough to work. In the schools character is developed. It may be good or bad. The teacher uses all his influence toward the good.

The American is considered by the foreigner to be a rude and impolite being, no matter what station in life he holds. Even the “Dago" who works on the section has not forgotten his native politeness. We all know how but haven't time. The teacher doesn't know anything compared with the 12 or 14-year-old and the old man has no place in business. [VV. Ed. Note: I don’t believe this was stated correctly. It’s rather confusing.] We notice however that in the case of the latter especially, old man's judgment wins in the deals in the business world.

In the case of the teacher, the child tells the story and the teacher is blame for the pupil's failure to learn. Take away the fear of punishment and all the rules of the school are worthless. Give the teacher the support of the parents and correcting the pupil and the battle is one, the child will study and learn.

[VV. Ed. Note: Firstly, I doubt that Elton’s father was real happy about his son’s conduct. Secondly, I think that calling some anonymous railroad hand a “Dago” in a discussion about politeness set much of a good example for anyone.]


In reply to the cross petition of Chas M. Ross, the plaintiff stockholders make denial of the claim that the mortgage and note held by Ross are just liens against his property.

They say that about 1 August, 1907, Ross and three other directors, John Thompson, Lewis Thompson and Kate Belle Smith, with the consent of a fifth director, entered into a conspiracy to gain control of the property of the company and executed that controverted note and mortgage, given them to Ross without any consideration. The plaintiffs claim that the transaction was illegal and asks to have the state note and mortgage invalidated. The whole thing, the plaintiffs aver, was nothing more or less than a scheme to secure control of the property involved without paying therefore its true value.

[VV. Ed. Note: I believe this is in reference to the Duplex Stamping company. See some more below.]

Lewis Noel was placed under arrest Friday by Sheriff Hoffman upon bond issued upon a indictment returned by the grand jury for pointing firearms. Noah was placed under $300 bond, which was signed by Mayor Williams. The arrest grew out of trouble with Disbro here last summer in which Disbro claims Noel pointed a revolver at him.

A receiver is sought for the property of the Duplex Stamping Company, of Vermillion, by J. L. Zesiger and others, stockholders, because they claim, the corporation is insolvent, has paid no dividends, and has ceased to be what it was intended when it was incorporated.

In the case of S. W. Simons et al. vs. George Fischer in which the plaintiff was given a verdict last week, the defendant has filed a motion for a new trial.


There is to be considerable moving among the businessmen of the town soon if all the reports are true. W. A. Christian will move into the Wells building on Grand Street, H. S. Miller into the room next to Blattner's hardware, the Englebry shoe store into the room now occupied by H. S. Miller. A saloon will be located in the room at present occupied by the shoe store. Nieding’s meat market will move or camp out. As there is at present no vacant rooms Mr. Nieding has no choice. The K. O. T. M. will have a hall over Fey and Nuhn’s store. Mr. Lewis has moved his photograph outfit into the building next to the Wells building and will have one of the finest galleries ever in Vermilion. Dr. Hill as we stated last week, will for the present have his office at his residence. As to what Mr. Davis will do with the room, which is to be vacated by Mr. Christian, the deponent saith not. Report has everything possible mentioned as the business in which he will engage.

[VV. Ed. Note: This is an interesting article because it affords us (or at least me) some idea as to how the downtown section of Vermilion was composed and when.

The Wells building used to be on Grand Street north of the railroad tracks across from Sid Simons’s grocery that later became the home of Bailey’s Hardware.

The placement of the Lewis photography studio next to the Wells building likely places it in the spot now (2015) occupied by the “Jailhouse” bed and breakfast – which was actually the town’s first public library. Later a man named Rudy Moc would have his photog studio in that building that was later moved or razed to make room for the library.

Originally, H.S. Miller’s store / confectionary was located in the southern storefront on the lower floors of the Masonic building currently (2015) used by Lee’s Landing (once Naegele’s Meat Market).

H.S. Miller moved from the above address to a storefront on the north side of Liberty now being used as the main entrance to the Old Prague restaurant. In the 50s it was Tony’s Shoe store.

Fey and Nuhn’s store would have been in the main part of what is now Lee’s Landing on the lower floor of the Masonic building. Some persons may have known it as Duperow’s restaurant. And the K.O.T.M. must have been given some space in the upper floor of the building. Interesting stuff…]

First Brass Casting Vermilion

This week the F. W. Wakefield brass company presented the Bank of Vermilion with the letters BANK for the cement sidewalk in front of their new building. The letters are made of some of the first brass Cast in Vermilion by the company it will be a happy reminder of this industry for many years to come. We might state that the company, which was running on half time during the financial flurry is now operating on the eight hour schedule and will soon be as busy as ever it is hoped. The Brass Works is one of our most substantial concerns.

[VV. Ed. Note: I can’t help but wonder what happened to those castings. They would’ve been in the walk in front of what is now (2015) the Wine Vault on Liberty. I’m sure they’re no longer there – because the walk’s been replaced several times since then. But what would they have done with those castings? Melted them down and cast them into something else? Perhaps we’ll stumble over the answer to the question sometime in the future.

The creation and implementation of this bank may also explain the real reason that several well-know townsmen encouraged a young George Ritter to run for Mayor.]

Home On Furlough

Sam J. Edge is home on a 12-day furlough; the guest of his mother, Mrs. M. A. Edson and other relatives and friends, while his ship, U. S. S. Georgia is undergoing repairs at Philadelphia, preparatory to a cruise around the world. She will leave Hampton Roads about December 15th.

[VV. Ed. Note: I was unaware of the fact that the Edge family was related to the Edson family. Again this explains (at least to me) some things relative to Vermilion family relations.]

The Elyria Republican Company Sued

Frank A. Smith, an Elyria Councilman has sued the Republican Printing Co., for $25,000 damages for alleged liable. The suit was filed Monday.

The petition claim then on October 19 and also November 2, the Evening Telegram printed statements in regard to Mr. Smith that were utterly false and that they were printed with “malicious and wicked intent of causing it to be believed that he had accepted a bribe for his vote as a councilman. To bring him into public disgrace, infamy and scandal with and among the good citizens of the city." The Telegram has been working for the defeat of Smith.



Julie Dute has sold his milk Road to Henry Kothe.

Henry Schroeder went to St. Clair Hospital Monday where he will undergo an operation for appendicitis.

The ironwork of the new Railroad street’s railway bridge has been completed and sidewalks are being laid.

Steve Briz was struck by a lump of coal while working at the quarry Friday and had three ribs broken.

John Frank, age 75 Clough’s Quarry died at his home there Saturday night. He leaves a wife and five children.

The Amherst fire department was called to the home of William able near Brownhelm Saturday evening. A haystack near the barn was burned.

William Kuss was struck by a handcar Saturday morning and quite seriously injured. He was just about to board the quarry train.

Rudolf Bartommi, formerly of Amherst, was killed by an electric car Friday night while returning to his home East of Lorain.

Mrs. Nicholls, widow of the late James Nichols, founder and general manager of the Cleveland Stone Company, passed away during the night at her home in Amherst. Mrs. Nicholls retired Sunday evening in apparently good health. Monday morning she was found dead in bed. Her appearance indicated that her death had been most peaceful, her features being composed the clothing arranged as though she were sleeping. She had passed quietly and painlessly away in her sleep. She was 74 years of age and has been a resident of Brownhelm and Amherst for many years. Five sons of survive.

It is rumored that the Cleveland Stone Company will follow the example of other companies and pay by check this month.

Jacob Ebersold, who moved to Lorain recently had his leg broken and was otherwise injured at the shipyard Sunday. It was his first Sunday at the yard.

A communication from Columbus recently recommended the installing of a sewer system in Amherst. As this seems impossible at the present some arrangement must be made for the disposal of sewage for the new school building.


Born – to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sprowl, Sunday, Nov. 10, a daughter.

The moving picture show has been discontinued for lack of patronage.

Barney Callan is very ill the result of a growth in his throat. It has been troubling him for a year past.

William Winkler will build a new house at once in the place of the one that was burned last week.

Hog and chicken thieves have been reported west of town. Mr. Stahley near Bogart's has lost a number of chickens and Billy Goodsite has had six pigs stolen from his pen.

A number of housewives have been duped here recently by a fake book agent. He claimed to be an agent for the Singer Sewing Machine Co., also. He was canvassing for a magazine and asked 25 cents for subscriptions and for 50 cents a plush album was given a premium. He secured a number of subscriptions and the money. The albums were to be delivered at once and the first number of the magazine was to be received Oct. 24, but as of yet neither album nor magazine has appeared.


Floyd Elson who has been very ill at Sullivan, O. the result of typhoid fever is conduct convalescing at his home at the home of his father here.

A chicken pie supper an apron sale will be given by the benevolent society at the church basement Saturday evening.

John Edwin Harpley who met with the accident, which cost him his life at Lorain Thursday was born in Ingham county, Mich., September 19, 1869, moved to Ohio in 1880. He was married to Louise Hahn, June 22, 1893. Two sons were born of this marriage. Frederick and Leo. The youngest son, Leo, died in May 1900, and his wife in August of the same year. He was married to Ella Phelps November 26, 1901. He is survived by a wife, one son, a mother and one brother. He was 38 years, one month, and 19 days old. Funeral was held from the late home Sunday. Rev. Knapp officiating.

Mrs. Michael Shueller Bay Bridge shot herself Thursday. A few hours later she gave birth to a child. She now wants to live but the chances are slim.


Mr. Simon Steffen has sold his farm to Mr. Daniel Greenoe.

Mr. Fred Smith is adding a fine new porch to his residence.

Mr. E. C. Wasem was kicked by a horse on Monday, and consequently has a bruised arm.

The piano used at the a M E church last Thursday evening was taken to the home of Charles Bristol.

The piano tuner employed by the Norwalk piano company, was in this vicinity last week tuning pianos.

Mr. Bert Todd has purchased a new gasoline engine, to be used for bone crushing and is also making extensive repairs and his poultry houses.

Mr. Charles Allen came from Rocky River Monday with two teams and purchased two loads of corn of Mr. D. B. Bartholomew. He returned with the corn to Rocky River on Tuesday.

The work and Ed Miller's new house is progressing rapidly.

Mr. Wm. Miller is building him a new corn crib.

The season of quail and rabbit opens November 15, continuing until December 5. The supply of quail in this section is scarce. Hundreds of this year's hatch were killed as a result of unfavorable weather in the spring. There is an abundance of rabbits.

Huntsmen are warned against shooting pheasants. The season will open for them a year hence.


Call 19 when you have an item.

DIED – at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Geo Howell Wednesday, November 13 ‘07. Mrs. Frank Handy. Several children survived.

[VV. Ed. Note: F.Y.I. This refers to Vermilionite Larry E. Howell’s great-grandmother. George was Larry’s grandfather.]

Capt. Full spent several days this week at home.

Capt. Gegenheimer visited his family Saturday.

Thomas Bottomley spent Sunday afternoon and evening at Milan.

Mrs. Otto Knott who has been quite ill, is recovering.

Almon Patchett has purchased the Danzey place on Liberty Street.

Mrs. George Rathbun left Friday to spend a few days with her husband at Ashtabula.

WANTED – 100 couples to attend the Vermilion V. Fire Co’s dancing parties every Saturday evening.

FERRETS FOR SALE – a number of trained ferrets. Inquire of Henry off, R. F. D. No. 2 – Vermilion, O.

First snow of the season Monday morning.

Little William Moody fell into the hatchway of faith in the store yesterday and received several bruises.

The patrons of the Vermilion Volunteer Fire Co., will be pleased to know that the fire company, has secured the services of Ms. Corine Katt as piano player for the Saturday night dancing parties to be held from Saturday, Nov. 16 to the end of the season. Everyone who comes can rest assured that they will enjoy an evening of dancing, as the fire company does not tolerate fiend dancers or allow anyone in the state of intoxication on the floor.


"Currently (2015) the large building in the photo is the home of the Vermilion Boat Club."

THEN & NOW: The snapshot accompanying this essay was reproduced from one of those “mini-pix” (a 1.75 x 2.75 inch print) some anonymous artist captured with a Kodak Brownie camera back in the mid-1950s. The arrows and notations on the photo were added for the benefit of persons who, for one reason or another, may not immediately recognize the locale of the snap. But for many Vermilionites the scene is quite familiar.

In 1951 the Leidheiser and Booth Fishery was operated from two buildings along the river behind this building. It was bounded on the west by the Fischer family property and the Moes boatyard on the east. The fishery was completely destroyed by a spectacular daytime fire that the Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle Telegram described as being "one of the worst fires in the history of this quiet summer resort and fishing village." While that description was, in fact, historically inaccurate looking back I believe it did, however subtly, signal a change in the town.

Currently (2015) the large building in the photo is the home of the Vermilion Boat Club. When this picture was taken it housed the Lake Erie Fishery. It was owned and operated by a local gentleman named Harold Neiding. In the early 1960s Mr. Neiding’s business acumen led him to transform the fishery business into the very popular Lake Erie Drive-in restaurant (VPJ 04/25/13). That drive-in was located in a new building built next to (east of) a new recreation facility called the Lake Erie Lanes Bowling Alley. Both were built on the south side of Liberty Avenue along the (relatively) newly constructed 4-lane highway east of what had once been the “town proper”.

To the left of the fishery building is a long storage shed once used by the Fischer Lumber Yard that was in operation along the river in that location for over half a century or more. Though the major part of the yard went up in smoke in 1938 the company continued doing some business in a mill near the corner of Sandusky and Liberty streets for some years afterward. But it, too, quietly succumbed to changing times. The shed, the last vestige of what was once one of the town’s major sources of income was, finally and unceremoniously, razed in the 1960s.

In the background (right) is the Moes Marine building and boatyard. While over the decades nearly every business along the banks of the Vermilion River has either changed ownership, direction or disappeared altogether the Moes yard has miraculously survived and continues to prosper.

Pictured is a time when Vermilion was on the brink of change. Some might even recall it as being pastoral. A place where worn paths through the weeds sufficed as sidewalks for barefoot children on their way to the beach and sunburned fishermen on their way home from a day on the lake. Yet, lest we paint too rosy a picture of that yesteryear we would do well to note the chuckhole in the street at the bottom of the snap. Poised on the brink of change from rural to urban environment we might have been, but some things are deliberately, and perhaps best, overlooked.

Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 09/17/2015.

"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 townships south of Vermilion. Methinks you'll find this history quite fascinating.



1872; Oran, born December 9, 1874. and died in infancy; George A., born August 16, 1876.

Lovina E. Wires married George W. Hallock, November 13, 1876, at North Bass. They have one child, Edna P., born August 2, 1877. They now live on the north side of the island.

Mr. and Mrs. Wires are now living on nearly the center of the island, in a beautiful home situated amid luxuriant vineyards; and surrounded by their children and many friends, they are content and happy with their part and lot in life.


The subject of this sketch was the son of David Nichols and Mary Johnson, and was born at Charmount, Franklin county, Massachusetts, December 9, 1806. Here he lived, battling with the stern realities of New England farm life, until he was twenty-eight years of age. He was married to Achsah Scott, January 16, 1831. She was the daughter of James Scott and Achsah Dickenson, and was born at Lebanon, New Hampshire, March 29, 1806. They commenced the married life at Charmount, where they lived three years, from which place, in May, 1834, they moved to Northfield, Ohio, where they remained ten years, and then moved to North Bass, one of the Bass islands, in Lake Erie. They arrived here in a sailboat, May 22, 1844. The family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Nichols, with one child, and Mrs. Nichols" mother. They were the first family who settled upon the island, and were the only family for five years. Here they commenced actual pioneer life, with all its hardships and privations, located as they were on an island isolated from the outside world. In the following September, Mrs. Nichols' mother went back to Northfield, and for five months Mrs. Nichols saw no woman's face save her own. Thus, almost solitary and alone, did they live for five years, until another family made its appearance on the island.

They had remained but a short time on the island when Dr. C. D. Townsend, who now lives upon the island, then a young man, made his appearance, as agent for A. Champion, of Rochester, New York, who then owned the island. Of this agent, Mr. Nichols leased the whole island, consisting of about eight hundred acres, for a term of ten years, the consideration being that he (Nichols) should pay the taxes.

A few years later, Mr. Nichols bought of Horace Kelley, who had purchased the island, one hundred and fourteen acres of land, at a little less than five dollars per acre. Upon this, he built a residence, where they now live. They have had born to them two children: David I., born July 4, 1834, at Northfield, Ohio. He married, April 22, 1855, Catharine Becker. To them was born, September, 1857, Achsah Violanta. She married William Dell Smith, November 6, 1872. They had Angle C, born April 4, 1874; Roswell N, born February 7, 1876; Rollin D., born December 10, 1877. David I. Nichols enlisted as a sharpshooter in the war of the rebellion, in 1863, and died at Nashville. Tennessee, in August 1864.

Sarah J., the only daughter of Roswell and Achsah Nichols, was married to Proctor Graham, April 2, 1844, by whom she had one son, Menzo W., born April 20, 1845; second, she married G. W. Cushma, in 1850; to them was born Benjamin F., January 7, 1851; Achsah, born January 14, 1854; Laura C, February 7, 1858; James A., September 21, 1860: Erastus D., October 9, 1862.

Mr. and Mrs. Nichols are living quietly in the enjoyment of their pleasant island home, surrounded by many neighbors and friends, as the rich reward of their early toil and labor.

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

Visual Verification Image
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ANOTHER JEWEL: Looking around his week at the museum for an artifact to use in “Views” I opened one(of many) drawers in a cabinet in the bindery room and found this little jewel. It’s a copperplate image on a block of wood 1.75 x 1.75 inches. It’s fairly heavy for such a little thing.

I took the pic on the light-table with a Nikon Coolpix camera that transfers the photographs wirelessly to my computer where I’m able to work with it in Photoshop. [This, by the way, is the same process I use for developing glass and film negatives.]

After cropping the pic and cleaning it up some with Photoshop I inverted the image on the left to illustrate how it would appear when printed. I changed the mode to black & white to better show how it would look when it was actually used. (I believe I’ve seen this print somewhere before.)

This plate is one of perhaps a thousand or stored at the museum. We really haven’t got around to looking through them as of yet because we’re still too busy with other things.

But gee – how interesting.


A missionary heard about a native who had five wives. He paid a visit to the native's hut, and sure enough there were five wives. The two men sat outside the hut and talked. The missionary said "You are violating a law of God. Man can only have one wife, so you must go and tell four of those women that they can no longer live here or consider you their husband."

The native thought a few moments, and then said, "I'll wait here. You tell 'em."

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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 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.

Another great book with Vermilion Roots is, "Grandmas’ 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 Amazon.com. 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, Amazon.com 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.

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)

"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read.
- Mark Twain"

Vol.13, Issue 30 - October 3 2015

Archive Issue #655

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