Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

The only sure thing about luck is that it will change - Bret Harte....Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.- Lily Tomlin.....A good listener is usually thinking about something else.- Kin Hubbard.....Hogs and big-mouthed politicians in the end, always earn their just deserves.-rnt..............

February 27, 2021 The Grandon height=


SHOPTALK:Ok - so for years I've pondered the fate of Lake Erie legend Captain "Big Ed" Lampe's steam-tug the Grandon. And for years I've been writing the bio - the story - of this legendary sailor, but have been holding back because I, somehow, believe (and still believe) that the fate of this vessel is somehow tied to his fate.

Well, I know what happened to "Big Ed". But I was never sure what happened to his tug - until now. Its end, like that of the man who molded her and sailed her, was relatively unspectacular. It goes like this: From the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes - Great Lakes Online Index - University Libraries/Bowling Green State University: "Abandoned in 1936 above the highway bridge at Vermilion, OH, but not dropped from enrollment until 1945. Hull later dug up and destroyed."

Hey folks, this was a fair-sized boat - 59.58' x 16.42' x 7.16'. Although the hull was wood (built a year before the Favorite) it must still have been quite a navigational hazard.

Somewhere (I don't recall where) I heard that Captain Lampe had contracted with the LSE to tear down the bridge over the Vermilion River. And while about that task the bridge fell, sunk the Grandon, and Ed let it sit. Were it not for the time (the year being listed as 1936) that records show it to have been abandoned the story would fit with the facts. But the LSE didn't really get to tearing the bridge apart until, perhaps, 1938.

So perhaps the old tug, like "Big Ed", didn’t' go out with any bang - just a whimper.

ANOTHER TOUGH ONE: I suppose I should be thankful. I have received both Covid shots and I sleep good at night. But I still feel off balance - behind in the things I do on a regular basis. As I have previously mentioned, I know that I have to make some changes to this website by March 31st due to tech reasons, and I’m not looking forward to it. While all the heavy lifting is mental it seems so onerous it is exasperating. (Maybe my brain is weakening.)

Anyway, that's the way the proverbial cookie crumbles. The site will change some in coming weeks and perhaps that's not a bad thing. I hope no one is disappointed.


FOUR VERMILION LADIES: Now here’s an interesting pic (at least to me). From left to right around the table are: Mary Copeland, Ethel Riefert, Ella Tarrant (my mother) and Bess Shaw.

I know not what this gathering was about. But I did, of course, know all those pictured. I also know that each of the women were about the same age. They may have attended school together.

They look happy. They appear as I (will always) remember them.

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've made some additions here that are not videos. I'm just trying to see if I might do the "VV" page using this host. (It's an experimental exploration of my options.)


HISTORY & AESTHETICS: One of my very favorite paintings is entitled “Nighthawks”. It is the work of an artist named Edward Hopper. Painted in 1942 it was purchased by the Art Institute of Chicago for $3,000, and is still there today. It is said to be one of the most recognizable paintings in American art. For those unfamiliar with the painting, it is, very simply stated, a portrait of 4 people inside a city diner late at night. In many ways the quiet simplicity of the subject matter subtly ignites the imagination – and the viewer is persuaded to fill in the blanks.

The snapshot (and it is a snapshot taken with a cheap camera) accompanying this week’s monograph, in some respects, reminds me of Hopper’s painting; it’s very quiet and unassuming. And it could easily stand by itself sans any, or much, commentary. But setting aesthetics aside some may find the factual / historical components of the photo to be equally interesting.

These shadows were captured during the very late 1940s or very early 1950s on the north side of Liberty Avenue between Main and Grand streets. The fellow in the photo leaning against the window of the Lake Erie Power and Light Service Company is late Vermilionite Clarence Phillips. When that company was absorbed by the Ohio Edison Company Clarence who, for many years worked as a lineman, made the transition and stayed with them until he retired. That is most certainly how and where he met his wife Elizabeth who worked in the Edison office. During the 1950s the Edison Company purchased the old George Blattner Hardware store (not pictured) tore it down, and built a new brick store that is currently (2021) occupied by Papa Joe’s Pizza and Pie store. A fella named Tony Mroski then moved his shoe store into the empty electric company storefront.

The adjacent building (east / right) was, as is obvious, an Isaly’s deli / ice cream store. They had a nice soda fountain where they were selling “Fresh Strawberry Sundaes” for a dime, and large ice cream cones for a nickel when this shot was snapped. During the 1950s Isaly’s left town and the business became known as the Dari-Bar operated by the Blakely Family. In the early 1960s the Dari-Bar was gone replaced by the Kountry Kitchen restaurant operated by a good fellow (also my friend and mentor) named Dick Johnson. Jim Lehner Sr. who worked for Bettcher Industries and owned the building, brought Johnson, a meat-cutter, in from Delaware, Ohio to run the restaurant. The Old Prague restaurant replaced the Kountry Kitchen in the latter part of the 1960s. Currently (2021) the “Prague” not only occupies that same building, but also the one where Tony’s shoe store and the old electric company were once located.

The trees to the east, just beyond the Isaly store, were in the front yard of a home that was built by Adam Trinter during the 19th century. The home had a number of different tenants through the years – some notable, some not. For a number of years Vermilion’s Dr. Buell and his family lived and kept an office in the house. In March of 1921 Dr. Buell’s car apparently stalled on the tracks near Brownhelm, Ohio and was struck by a train. The 36-year-old doctor was instantly killed. The old home was razed in the late 1950s - replaced by (what else?) a parking lot.

Finally, just visible beyond the trees is part of the White Inn Restaurant. I have written about the Inn in the past (VPJ 07/08/05) so there’s not much left to say about it; except that it was also razed and is now part of (what else?) the aforementioned parking lot. And so, ends my commentary re: this very elegant and informative snapshot of a yesteryear in Vermilion, O. Though it will hardly achieve the notoriety of Hopper’s “Nighthawks” painting it is of no less value historically or aesthetically – at least to me.

Ref: U.S. Census Date, 1920; Sandusky Start-Journal, 04/20/1921; Special Thanks to Tina Demou; VPJ, 12/12/2013; Rev. 02/21/21; © RNT 2013.

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...



Prosecutor Hart, as Attorney for the Village of Vermilion filed suit Monday in the Court of Common Pleas against the Nickel Plate Ry., Co., To compel the opening of Adams Street across the track. The railroad company recently closed a farm nearby, causing residents much trouble in getting to the stove plan allotment as well as making a roundabout way for getting into town. State Street now being the nearest available crossing.

Partial accounts were filed in the matter of the guardianship of Dean H. Quigley, a minor, and in the matter of the estate of Reber F. Quigley ceased.

A Little Thing the Cause

A piece of twine dropped into the steering gear of the Cunarder Luisitania caused an accident of which will take fully a million dollars to repair. The string caused the gear to become jammed and to avoid a collision the motors were reversed. 1250 new blades will have to be replaced and the turbines.

To the Public of Vermilion, O.

You are no doubt aware of the fact that the Fishermen have decided to once more try and enforce a living wage by what is commonly known as a strike.

After being in conference with the owners for a period of three weeks, we failed to come even to a compromise agreement.

Our first demand was for a ten-hour day instead of eleven as in the past at the same rate of wages as last year. We contend that since our statutes call for an eight-hour day week, even we, poor fishermen were entitled to a 10-hour day. We finally concluded, in order to get a settlement on the old basis to still continue working eleven hours a day. This the owners flatly refused, calling off all negotiations, leaving nothing else for us but strike.

All we ask in our little fight for a living wage and decent hours, is that you compare our present working hours with that of any other craft.

Vermilion Local NO. 13.


BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. George Hignit, a son, Feb. 21, 1913.

Frank Rose who had one of his feet crushed at the Ohio quarries will be laid up for some time.

The funeral of Mrs. Elizabeth Haas was held from the home of August Brown, on Tuesday afternoon, at 1 o’clock, Rev. S. A. Lindenmeyer officiating.

Miss Genevieve Kimmell a former resident of this place was operated upon for appendicitis at St. Anne’s Hospital, Cleveland Saturday. She is getting along nicely.


Edna Schneider is very ill with the measles.

Gotlip Nuhn is moving from Huron on the Peck’s farm.


The foundation of the church is nearing completion and the carpenters will soon be busy.

Miss Lillian G. Wenzel is absent from her duties as teacher on account of illness and miss Ruby M. Latteman substituting for her.

Mr. Hara a Japanese boy who is attending the Oberlin College visited the Birmingham school Monday. He told the children many interesting things about his country and its people. He also gave and illustrated their alphabet and numerals. Mr. Hara left Japan four and one and ½ months ago but can speak our language quite fluently.

Charging that Ruth Emma Moore 18, of Lorain tried to blackmail him out of $100, Justice of the peace J. F. Strenick of that place caused a warrant for her arrest to be issued.

Fishermen Ordered Out

President French of the Fishermen’s Union, in compliance to the result of the vote upon the strike question has called a strike. It is stated that only 11 voted as against it. The reasons for the strike is given in a communication from Lorain from local No. 13, from their standpoint, found elsewhere in the NEWS.

The fishing season opens March 15, and it is to be deeply regretted that no settlement could have been made. Last year a strike prevented fishing at the most profitable period of the year and the season in general was a poor one. Many of the tugs engaged in the fishing here, according to our informant, barely paid expenses. The wholesalers probably fared better but in regard to this we have no information.

A strike, no matter as to the cause, be it just or unjust – is regrettable. It is a bad thing for business especially if prolonged.

We hope that this difficulty can be satisfactorily adjusted before the season opens so that what is usually the best of the fishing can be taken advantage of.

Lewis Englebry Takes Over Store.

Lewis Englebry has again taken possession of his clothing business and is now engaged in restocking with a first-class line of up to the minute clothing and furnishings. He informs us that his stock will be the largest and best ever to Vermilion. The store is now open for business.


BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tischer, of Decatur Street, a daughter Sunday, Feb. 23, 1913.

Mrs. Alice Werner is reported quite ill at her home on Liberty St.

Miss Matilda Wagner made her first trip downtown today after being confined to the house for three months.

A fire alarm was sounded Sunday morning, but the department was not needed. A couch caught fire at Mrs. Meekers’ from being too near a stove. It was extinguished with but little damage.

J. H. Burns, Light-Keeper went to Cleveland Monday to a private sanitarium for treatment for appendicitis and stomach trouble. Today we hear he is getting along nicely and expects to be home in a few days.

John Neiding of South Street is reported on the sick list.

Mr. M. E. Edson who has been ill for the past few years, is reported worse than usual the past week.

Rev. and Mrs. W. K. Williams and baby and W. E. Childs leave Friday for a trip east. They will go to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Mr. Williams former home, where he expects to preach Sunday. Mrs. Williams expects to visit her parents in Indiana Co., while Messrs. Williams and Childs attend the inauguration at Washington and visit other points of interest.

Jack Tierney, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Tierney Sr., of Vermilion, died Wednesday afternoon Feb. 19, at his home in Huntington, Indiana. As stated in last week’s NEWS, Mr. and Mrs. Turney and daughter Belle were summoned on Tuesday morning and were with him when death came. He was 51 years of age and leaves a wife, father, mother, one brother was well known in Vermilion and the family have the sympathy of all. The body was taken to Cleveland and interment made in Calvary Cemetery.


Mr. Lapp has moved his gas drill to the farm of William Hasenpflug will begin drilling for gas nest next week.


Little Emma Bartholomew is quite ill with an attack of pneumonia.

The schools held a joint program, last Friday p.m. celebrating Washington’s Birthday.


BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Hill, Feb. 25, 13, son.

Chas. Hoag has sold one of his fine horses to W. L. Chapman near Florence.

It is reported that our village that has been dry and prosperous the past few years is to have an election about the 25th of March. The “Wets” have had a petition a long while in circulation which was finally presented to the Council.

Geo. W. Jenkins who has been in ill health for about two years died Tuesday morning suddenly and unexpectedly.

Mrs. Jenkins being the only one who was present at the time. He passed away while sitting in his chair. George Washington Jenkins was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Elisha Jenkins. He was born October 19, 1859 and died Feb. 25, 1913 at the age of 53 years, four months in six days.

He was united in marriage to Winnifred Louise Merriman at Lorain on July 26, 1882. To this union six children were born, one son and five daughters, the son having died in infancy. He is survived by his wife and five daughters, Ada, Winnifred, Mary, Mrs. Lucy Gunn of this place and Mrs. Edna Whitt of Vermilion. Also, three grandchildren, besides other relatives. Mr. Jenkins is very well known in this community having spent his entire life in the town of Berlin. The funeral service was held Friday at 2 P.M. at the residence conducted by Rev. A. G. Rupert assisted by Rev. A. L. Eddy.

[NOTE: I believe Mr. Jenkins was / is the great-grandfather of Vermilionites, Kathy Fisher and Rich and Don Whitt.]

TOWN NEWS: [Sorry. These little notes are from a Sandusky paper. I find them very informative. I'll bet the Lewis Wells estate was one of great interest.

E.L. Coen, by the by, was the local banker. His brother was on the cusp of developing the Lake Shore Electric railway.




…term of that year; but at the like solicitation, the Hon. Thomas Corwin volunteered assistance in the defense."

Upon the third and final trial of the case, the details of which are deemed unimportant here, Mr. Parish was mulcted in damages to the extent of $2,000, besides costs, amounting to several hundred dollars more. But the judgment for damages was reduced to $1,000, and the costs were likewise reduced to $250. By the generous assistance of personal friends; and friends of the cause to which Mr. Parish was so earnestly devoted, the whole amount of judgment and costs, amounting to $1,250 was paid.

This was the first case of this character brought against a citizen of Sandusky, upon a cause of action arising in Erie county, and becomes important from its very nature, and will prove doubly interesting to the thousands of friends that hold the victim of the prosecution in such kindly remembrance. The names of the slaves, the value of whom was sued for, were Jane Garrison and Harrison Garrison.

The case has but one fellow, that is, an action brought against a resident of Sandusky, and this was the case of Lewis F. Weimer against Rush R. Sloane, then a young and active practicing attorney of the city. But this differs in some respects from that just quoted, and was brought under a more recent act of Congress, procured to become a law through the great power of southern chivalry, and by which the value of a slave was fixed at $1,000, regardless of physical condition, age, or actual value. The names of the slaves that were aided in their escape were George Bracken, Emily Bracken, Ellen Bracken, Robert Pritt, Matilda Pritt, Eliza Pritt, and Thomas Pritt The action of Weimer against Sloane was brought to recover the value of three of these and, for the events at the time that led to the suit we have recourse to the testimony of Major Foster M. Follett, one of the witnesses for the defendant, although the evidence offered by the plaintiff was somewhat different.

"Mr. Follett sworn: 'Was mayor of Sandusky city October 20, 1852; heard a noise in the street; the crowd came into the office; was writing at the time; knew there were slaves there; negroes were seated in the room; paid no attention but kept on writing, with back to negroes; after some time, Rice (Oliver Rice the marshal at the time) came in and laid the papers on my desk; did not look at the papers. Mr. Bill asked what I was going to do. I replied that I had no jurisdiction; think he did not speak to Patton (the slave catcher), or Patton to him; after some time, Rice came to my desk and I handed the papers to him, but Rice asked if I had examined them, and I said I had not, after which I went "towards the door.

"The defendant (Sloane) then came in, turned around and said, "By what authority are these persons held in custody? Are there any papers to show why they are held here?" Think Patton said Rice had the papers. Defendant then said, "Colored citizens, I see no authority for detaining your colored…

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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REMEMBER THESE (?): This one still works - but I don't use it. But remember party-lines and the old WO-numbers? The original phone number at the Vermilion News was 19.


Two men in San Francisco were standing on a corner next to an old stray dog. All of a sudden, the dog started licking his balls.

One man looked down and said, "Boy, I sure wish I could do that."

The other San Francisco man leaned around and said, "Go ahead, he looks like he's friendly..."

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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)

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

Vol. 18. Issue 51 - February 27, 2021

Archive Issue #937

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