Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be. - Paul Valery.....Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay. - Simone de Beauvoir.....History is a mighty dramos, enacted upon the theatre of times, with suns for lamps and eternity for a background. -Thomas Carlyle ......Persons with empty souls and full pockets eventually implode and are long forgotten. Amen and Amen.-.rnt...............

January 9, 2021 Regatta height=


SHOPTALK: Sitting in the cold office at the museum this week I decided to use some warm weather pix on the desktops to keep warm as I write.

The Regattas in Vermilion were (as you can readily see) well attended. I didn’t get to one until the early 1950s – so these were before my time – but I can still remember the odor of the river and feel the warmth of the sun on my head.

The color pic on my home desk is the newest. It hails from the mid-40s or very, very early 50s. It’s not really a color shot. It was colorized without much avail by some computer software. But it’s still reminiscent of the time.

I don’t recall ever seeing a bunch of sailboats in the river like they are in this pic. Nor did I ever see wooden walkways / docks along the river. It certainly looks like great fun. Seeing the guys in their bathing suits perched on a diving platform (left) leads me to believe they were also having a diving contest.

The black and white Shoptop pic is probably from the 1930s. I like the way folks are dressed. (I guess I was born too late.) Anyway, you get some idea of the crowds that lined the river for the Regatta Day activities.

There would have been diving and swimming contests, along with canoe races and good-humored fights. Those are the types of things I remember from later regattas.

The building at the right behind the crowd was (I believe) the carpentry / boat building shop of the Goetz brothers. At times some families lived / squatted there and had to be removed. But that would have been after the Goetz brothers were gone.

(Some things I have to learn about as I go.)

MIFFED: I’m waiting for the other foot to fall in regard to the boiler at the museum.

It kept shutting down and I had to keep calling the installing company to get it running every few days. This all began after I had the installer do an annual check-up on it.

After a week or so of this I was told we needed a major part replaced – the part was under warranty – but the labor, of course is not. It is costly. And as things transpired it became obvious that the best way (over the long run) to address the problem would be to have a new boiler installed. That way one begins with a new warranty. (One that would likely last my lifetime.)

After mulling it over with several others (because I don’t have that kind of money on hand) I called another company to have them give me estimates on repair and / or replacement. This company replaced a small part and, in a report back at their office, said everything seems to be okay with the system.

So, I’m confused some. Thus far the boiler has been working. I’m waiting for it to fail. At least if the other foot falls I won’t be surprised. I had already resigned myself to having to assume a loan to address the problem.

Nonetheless, I’m still miffed some about it. The boiler is 10 years old. The one it replaced was over 100 years old.

Perhaps the saying that “Only the good die young” applies to steam boilers too.

WORDS OF APPRECIATION: I really need to thank those kind and very generous persons who have contributed to our cause. While I do keep working everyday at the museum (the radio people on "Folk Alley" keeping me company) I do miss the old days - when the sign on the door read "OPEN". We are in hopes that by early spring that will happen. In the meantime visit this page, the Theatre Page and my personal Facebook page for updates - historic and otherwise. Have a Happy, and Safe New Year. And please stay well. We look forward to seeing each of you very soon.


NOT JUST ANY OLD FLAG: This flag hangs on the railing of the loft in our home. It's not exceptionally unusual. It's a 48 star banner like the one I remember reciting the "Pledge" to when I was a kid at South Street School. "One Nation Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All."

AT THE THEATRE: There are over 30 videos / audios available at the theatre. I'm adding to the collection as the months pass. During the Covid (or anytime) - it's a good place to visit. I will be adding more this week. During this virus thing I've been learning a good deal about video productions.

I continue to add videos - and they do keep on coming. Keep watching. I have just completeld a Christmas video and will launch it sometime this week. This is a nice way to spend a bit of time while waiting for the virus to get-gone.

Keep an eye out for my Xmas video.


HORSESHOES & GRENADES: Working in the bindery room at the old print shop inside the Vermilion History Museum over the last several weeks I came across this metal photoengraving / printing plate (upper photo). It was tossed into one of several large cardboard cartons along with hundreds of others that had been tucked away under some large shelving for decades.

Admittedly – it doesn’t look like much. It’s difficult to visually decipher without actually putting ink to it and printing it on a piece of paper as I did to make the lower image. And had I not seen a print made from it that appeared in an old edition of The Vermilion News weekly (01/27/1937) I likely would have failed to recognize its import just by looking at the engraving. In any case, it is a map for a plan to make what I would call “a massive improvement” to Vermilion’s Harbor.

A closer look at the map shows that the proposal called for the east pier at the mouth of the river to be extended 600 feet further / north into the lake. Then, at a point 200 feet to the west of that extension build a breakwall that would run nearly parallel to the shoreline in a southwesterly direction to a point north of Washington Street, where it would turn directly to the west ending near the foot of Decatur Street. Now, does that sound like a monumental improvement proposal – or what? Additionally, because of drought that year the river had become exceptionally shallow, it was also proposed that it be dredged to a 12-foot depth from the mouth of the stream to the river bridge that crosses Liberty Ave.

A hearing for the proposal was first heard before U.S. Army Engineers on October 10, 1935. The cost was then estimated to be around $400,000 and was turned down. [NOTE: In today’s money that would be over $7 million.] Not to be easily deterred the decision was quickly appealed and sent back to the engineers on June 1, 1936. In February of 1937 thirty prominent Vermilion residents went to Washington and appeared before the Board of Army Engineers requesting financial backing for the project.

Among those testifying was: Vermilion Mayor J.A. Berk, former Vermilion Yacht Club Commander William Thomas; Ohio Congressman Dudley A. White; Harbor Improvement Committee Chairman, A.F. Wakefield; Vermilion Lagoon Developer Lou Wells; Vermilion School Superintendent George Snyder; George Parsons; Charlie Trinter and John Horton. These, in a manner of speaking, were the town’s “Big Guns”. However:

In mid-December the following year Col. L.V. Frazier notified Vermilion officials that their proposal for the harbor improvement had been rejected by the Engineers Corps of the War Department once more. The engineers stated that “the principal grounds upon which the adverse conclusion is based are that the benefits of the improvement are incommensurate with the cost thereof and that the local cooperation offered in view of the large amount to be expended by the government, is insufficient in amount.” The Harbor Committee had four weeks to issue another appeal. They decided against it.

The proposal was, from my perspective anyway, probably the “most progressive and dynamic” proposal (that I know of) regarding Vermilion’s harbor in its history. When I first saw it, I had just returned from a Caribbean cruise where all the harbors at the islands we visited were littered with moored vessels from all over the world. I could easily envision a similar harbor scene just off the coast of little Vermilion in the summer. And we were “so close” to having it become a reality.

But as a former Cleveland baseball manager named Frank Robinson famously put it, “Close only counts in horseshoes and grenades.” I guess we got the latter.

-January 3, 2021

YESTERYEAR'S NEWS: The following clips are dictated transcriptions from past issues of The Vermilion News. I think you will find them both interesting and fun...

Vol. XVI, No. 31 – VERMILION, OHIO THURSDAY, January 9, 1913


Louis Leonhiser, Sandusky saloon keeper, is the defendant in a suit brought by the Pabst Brewing Co. in the common pleas court Friday afternoon. The plaintiff claims that rent for eight months in the sum of $625 is due.

The firm of Guerin and Ritter has brought suit in the common pleas court against Joseph Unser for the sum of $359.25, alleged to be due for legal services rendered.

Mr. Chapin Will Discuss Sewers

The Council will hold an open meeting in the assembly room of the Town Hall on Thursday evening, January 16, at 7:30, to which all citizens are invited. Engineer Chapin will be present and will answer any questions put to him upon the subject. It is especially requested that citizens make notes of the information relative to the proposed system and ask Mr. Chapin the questions.

The council wishes to take up the matter at once and is desirous of having the citizens thoroughly understand proposition. If you are OPPOSED to the improvement be sure to be on hand – if you are in favor of the system – aid to council by being on hand.

Don’t forget the date, January 16, next week Thursday evening at 7:30 sharp.


The condition of Mrs. M. Mallay is reported about the same.

Russell Northeim who is very ill with pneumonia is reported some better.

This funeral service of Miss Anna Wilford was held from the home of her sister, Mrs. Towne at 2 P.M. Sunday.

On account of a large number of pupils being ill with whooping cough and measles the scholars of the S. Amherst schools will be given another week’s vacation.

The funeral of Dr. B. A. Purcell was largely attended Sunday afternoon. Rev. E. A. Robb officiated at the house and the Masonic Lodge had charge of the cemetery.

-The funeral services of the one-week-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Meitzke was held Friday afternoon Rev. Ziegler officiated and the remains were interred in the Cleveland St. Cemetery.

The funeral services of Mr. Harry Field were held Wednesday afternoon at 1 o’clock. The K. P’s having had charge of the service. Burial was made in Cleveland St., Cemetery.

Mr. Field was very well known throughout the county and had many friends who were greatly shocked to learn of his death. He was home from Sharon, Pa. to spend Xmas with his parents and a few days later was taken ill and died on Monday morning of typhoid – malaria fever. He is survived by his parents, two brothers Alfred and Henry of Gary Pa., and one sister, Miss Addie, at home.


The young people’s literary society will meet with Mrs. Hazel Connor Friday evening January 3.

There are number of our citizens sick with LaGrippe and colds most of whom are at present convalescing.

Mrs. Chas. Hoag, wife of Berlin’s rural mail delivery man died at her home on South Street, on Tuesday afternoon, after an illness of several weeks. Mrs. Hoag was a quiet, unassuming woman, most highly honored and respected by all who knew her. She leaves a husband and little son, Clarence aged 8 years, besides many other relatives and friends.

Loses Large Sum Then Recovers It

Because George Sahl 27 of Shinrock, delivered to Lake Shore Electric officials here a tin box the Sunday before Christmas, Hon. S. E. Crawford of Norwalk, is about $400 better off. Saul found the box on an electric car bound from Fremont to Norwalk. He was selling confectionery on the car at the time for George Otto, of Shinrock.

Ignorant of the contents of the box, he brought it here to F. W. Cohen, Gen. Manager of the line Mr. Crawford, thinking that he might have lost it on the car, visited the offices of the company a few days ago and recovered his property. –Star Journal.

The above concerns George Sahl of Grand St., Vermilion, instead of Shinrock as stated. The statement that he was ignorant of the contents of the box is incorrect.

Several cases of pneumonia are reported from Milan. Miss Eliza Hughes, 84, Mr. Chas. Sayles, 56, both well known throughout the county died the latter part of the week. Several others are very ill.


Mrs. M. S. Stevenson of State Street has been quite ill the past few weeks.

James Cuddeback and Elmer Trinter are among those attending the auto show at Cleveland this week.

S. W. Simons H. H. Patton are among those in attendance at the auto show in Cleveland today.

If you are interested the purchase of a house and lot or farm read C. A. Trinter’s real estate bulletin on page 6 of this issue.

Mrs. John Rhinemiller whose husband a farmer, was killed by a Lake Shore near the village about a year ago, died suddenly at her home in Huron Wednesday morning. She is survived by four sons and one daughter.

Mr. A. E. Beeckel and sister, Mrs. Geo. Fisher, attended the funeral of Mr. Harry Fields, a relative at Amherst, yesterday. [NOTE: I used this piece because not many persons know that these people were related.] Miss Emily Copeland spent New Year’s day with her son W. E. Copeland and family and the remainder of the week with Mr. Thomas Dunmore of Cleveland. Mgr. Schmidt of Crystal Theater has been having considerable trouble with one of his eyes. Monday, he entered Lakeland Hospital at Cleveland is undergoing treatment. Mrs. F. V. Pelton went to Cleveland Tuesday where she will receive treatment for her eyes. Mrs. Pelton has suffered for several months’ past with rheumatism of the guys. Mr. John A. Englebry is still confined to his bed very ill with catarrh of the stomach.

The Boy Scouts have received their uniforms and are very much pleased with them. They are similar in a great many respects to the regulation U. S. Army uniforms. [NOTE: This is a piece of Vermilion trivia that may be of value to local trivia buffs.]

Catarrh Death of an Old Resident

Mrs. Catherine Wittig, age 84 died Tuesday at noon at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Emma Leidheiser. While Mrs. Wittig had been ailing for many months her death came rather suddenly. Funeral services will be held Sunday at 10 a.m. from the house and at 10:30 at the Reformed church.

Installing New Engine

The F. W. Wakefield Brass Co. received a new 70 – 80 h. p. oil engine this week and will soon have it installed. The engine will run on either crude or fuel oil. This new motor is more than double the power of their present gasoline engine. It is the type rapidly coming into use on account of the increased price of gasoline.


School opened Monday after a two week vacation.

Don’t forget the Masquerade Dance at Gibson’s Hall Friday, January 10.

George Harrison who was working in Elyria was absent from his work a few days last week on account of illness.

We are glad to hear that Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Titherington and household are able to be among us again after a severe attack of the “Grip”.

Miss Lillian Derby substituted Monday in the intermediate grades at school, on account of the illness of the teacher, Mrs. Ruby W. Vanderpool.

The Birmingham people were excited Sunday evening, when the gas regulator box caught fire. The fire broke out about 11 o’clock and some of the men worked on the gas pipes till 6 o’clock on Monday morning so that most of the people were able to get their breakfast with the gas.


The dinner served by the ladies netted them about $40. This will be used in the further improvement of the church.

Miss Ruth Gilmore, Prin. of B. H. S. returned Saturday from visiting her mother Mrs. R. Gilmore of Worcester.


Mr. H. Baker was been quite sick for the past two weeks is much improved.

The funeral service of Mrs. Chas. Hoag was held from the Cong’l church Friday afternoon, conducted by her pastor, Rev. Stratton of Berlinville assisted by Rev. Eddy of the Cong’l church.

Miss Alice Reighley, teacher of 4th and 5th grades in the public schools was absent Monday on account of sickness. Christopher Broad, senior in the high school, supplied very acceptably.

Willis E. Peck was born in Florence, Erie County, O., January 24, 1855 in the house in which he died. When about 14 years old he fell from a swing striking his head and shoulders which caused the curvature of the spine. The spinal disease soon affected his mind. For many years he was his mother’s best help about many household duties. He was always ready to do his share of the work and that of his brothers also, if they left it undone. He had been a great sufferer and for the past twenty years was not able to leave his room or bed. He gradually grew weaker and weaker until the end which came without pain, January 2, 1913. In disposition his was affectionate, kind and gentle, and never was cross and complaining as is often the case of many afflicted with that disease. He leaves three brothers, Chas. Peck of Rochester, N. Y., J. R. Peck of Toledo, O., And George Peck of Berlin, who with his family, cared for his invalid brother for so many years. For no greater care could one take upon himself and all the praise is due to those who so nobly take upon themselves the burden which such helplessness would naturally engender. The funeral service was’ 13, conducted by Rev. A. G. Rupert of Berlin Heights.

THE CHIEF: I'm just now trying to catch-up on those who served Vermilion in key positions such as did Mr. Fischer. I used to see him quite frequently around town when I was a young person, but I did not know of his service to our community under much later. (Duh - on my part.)




…not, therefore, particularly friendly to the Sandusky people or interests. The road is easily reached by way of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Road at Huron.


This is the youngest of its class of corporations now in full operation in Erie county. The company was chartered about 1879, and the road went into operation some two or three years later. The line runs from Sandusky to Fremont; thence via Findlay, Lima and Nuncie, to Bloomington, Ill. From the latter point the road will soon be fully completed to Peoria, 111.

As an encouragement to build the Lake Erie and Western road, the City of Sandusky in 1881, issued its bonds to the extent of sixty thousand dollars, the avails of which were given to constructing the road


No part of the corporation erection of this company is now in operation except official organization. The company was chartered in 1883 and was formed (for the purpose of tapping the vast coal and iron regions of the southern counties of the State and elsewhere, and for the purpose of bringing those products to Sandusky for consumption and manufacture. The line of the proposed road is one hundred and thirty-nine miles in length.

It is a well-known fact that there exists in Coshocton county a bed of the finest quality of cannel coal, and this road will bring this city of Sandusky in direct communication with that region and afford a desirable outlet for its most valuable product.

The capital stock of the company is five millions of dollars, but instead of asking for subscriptions to the stock the company have issued bonds and have arranged to build and stock their road with the proceeds of the bond sales. In fact, W. D. Crane, of New York city has agreed to take the bonds and build and equip the road, and construct extensive docks at Sandusky as well.

The present officers of the company are Hon, John Mackey, president; P. H. Clark, secretary, and David Brubaker, treasurer.


This road, which is more commonly known as the "Nickel Plate," has its line across Erie county, entering from the east, in the north part of Vermillion township, and departing near the southwest part of Groton township. The road is of no practical benefit to the county, having but an occasional passenger train and doing but little other than a through freight business as a part of the "Vanderbilt system."

HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY OHIO - With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. - Edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich - Syracuse, N.Y. - D. Mason & Co., Publishes - 1889.

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HEAVY POCKETS: In the 1880s my g-grandfather went to California either to find – or help – his older son from another marriage. While there he wrote a series of letters home to his wife Helen back in Milan Ohio. What you see here is a copy of one page of one letter.

My initial interest in it has to do with his comments about money – especially the coins.

Take a look.


An insurance salesman was getting nowhere in his efforts to sell a policy to a farmer. "Look at it this way." He said finally "How would your wife carry on if you should die?"

"Well..." drawled the weather-beaten man, "I don't Reckon that'd be any concern of mine -- long as she behaves herself while I'm alive."

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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 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, "Grandma's 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 Take a look.

DAVE’S NEW BOOK: Views readers might remember Dave Schwensen’s humor column, “Something To Laugh About” that ran in the Vermilion Photojournal, Sandusky Register and others. Dave has chosen 144 of the columns that he still thinks “are funny” and compiled them into his new book of the same name. It’s available through and other online sellers in paperback and eBook. If you’re interested in a signed copy click on Dave’s email @ DAVE.

To purchase the book on Amazon click here: SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT

MARY WAKEFIELD BUXTON'S LATEST BOOK “Tripping: A Writer’s Journeys.” Signed copies of her new book can be purchased for $15.00 at the Southside Sentinel office or by mail by writing Rappahannock Press, Box 546, Urbanna, VA and adding $6.00 to cover mailing costs and tax.

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
P.O. Box 437
Vermilion, Ohio
Telephone: 440-967-0988 - Cell: 440-522-8397

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

" To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or color is like living in Alaska and being against snow." -Wm. Faulkner

Vol. 18. Issue 44 - January 9, 2021

Archive Issue #929

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