Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think.- Niels Bohr.....Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln......Taxation with representation ain't so hot either. - Gerald Barzan......Some days are gold and some days are oatmeal colored.. -.rnt...............

July 11, 2020> The Interurban


SHOPTALK: Before moving along I want to mention that for the third time in as many months I experience a problem with Microsoft applications. When the Word app. Doesn’t work I tend to panic, because it is my main way to writing everything. And thought I am pleased with the manner in which the Microsoft techs helped me the rather persistent problem with the application bothers me.

I have been using MS on several computers since Apple eliminated their word processing app called Appleworks in 1991. Until just recently, I’ve not had a problem.

My last problem took a little over an hour to fix and I hope that it’ll be the last time.

Before moving along I want to mention that for the third time in as many months I experience a problem with Microsoft applications. When the Word app. Doesn’t work I tend to panic, because it is my main way to writing everything. And thought I am pleased with the manner in which the Microsoft techs helped me the rather persistent problem with the application bothers me.

I have been using MS on several computers since Apple eliminated their word processing app called Appleworks in 1991. Until just recently, I’ve not had a problem.

My last problem took a little over an hour to fix and I hope that it’ll be the last time.

THE LAKE SHORE ELECTRIC: Believe it or not I had someone call me a few weeks ago asking me if the train car seen on an old postcard going up the hill on Liberty between Exchange and / Division streets was electric.

I gave a polite answer. But I am amazed at the lack of knowledge shown by prominent persons calling Vermilion their home. I suppose I should not be surprised.

But I am.

I suppose I should not expect everyone to know such things – and I am getting old. So…

For the benefit of those who know nothing about the old interurban it might help to understand that it was the largest interurban system in the United States for at least 40 years. A man named Fred W. Coen ran the operation. His brother, E.L. Coen was a Vermilion banker and active in many other Vermilion social and civil affairs.

In Vermilion the interurban crossed over the river on a bridge near the old water tower and ran down the middle of Liberty Street straight through the middle of town. The tidy brick building on the southeast corner of Liberty and Exchange streets was the depot.

In one of the accompanying pix several L.S.E. cars are stopped boarding and deboarding passengers at the Vermilion depot. I was across the street from George Fischer’s Lumber company.

In the other pic an interurban car is crossing a bridge over Rattlesnake Creek in the Milan area. I can almost see it moving.

I have always wished I’d been around when the electrics ran. Just to ride one once.


ROSCOE SELFIE Last week I had a pic of my g-grandfather (when he was young) in this place. This time I have a nice photo of my grandfather, Pearl Roscoe, when he was in his 30s. It is likely that he took this photograph. So selfies aren't new by any means.

HELD OVER AGAIN: The video held over (again) this week. I do have new stuff, but I've been distracted some by experimenting with Facebook postings. I should post some new items in the theatre (fancy way of spelling theater) this coming week.


A VERMILION TREASURE: The larger photograph of a yesteryear first shown to me by my sister Ginny Wilkes, put a smile on my face. Not because it’s a Vermilion photo – it’s not. It was taken in nearby Lorain Ohio around 1910. As it says on the building it is the Jno. [John] Ries Grocery store. I knew the store was in Lorain because I am well aware of just who John Ries was, and I knew that he had once owned and operated a grocery on Broadway Avenue in that town. But I had no idea as to precisely where the store was located until I saw this photo. And according to the number on the building it was apparently located near 20th and Broadway. My smile was partially due to the fact I never dreamed in a zillion years that I’d ever see a photograph of it. And (wham!) there it was. [Note: Little things mean a lot to me.]

John Ries (pronounced “rees”) born in 1869 was the oldest of the six children born to German natives Henry and Anna Caroline Lapp-Ries of Vermilion. While I can’t say for sure what his very early years were like in our village, the turn of the 20th century found him living on South Broadway in Lorain with a grocer, John Barnes, and his family working as a clerk in Barnes’s store.

The reason that the store portrait made me smile, however, is because it was my privilege to have known John’s wife. In 1902 he married a Vermilion gal named Harriet “Hattie” Whitmore, and it would appear that he had also purchased the Barnes store, thus, in a manner of speaking, becoming his own boss. In the photo the little gal in the group photo on the steps of the store is a then young Hattie [see upper inset]. I know that because I knew and remember Hattie well. I recall her as being a big talent; an artist; a singer; and a writer. But as these photographs illustrate, she was also a very slight, small and delicate personage.

Hattie was born in Green Springs Ohio in 1877 on the last day of August. Sometime around 1897 the Whitmore family moved to Vermilion where her older brother Robert had started a weekly newspaper, he called The Vermillion News. By 1898 Robert handed the business over to his father, George, and left town. It’s not commonly known but if one looks up the name of the newspaper’s publisher from about 1898 to 1902 it is one H.A. Haven. It was Hattie’s grandmother and namesake Hattie A. Haven.

Hattie’s interest in newspaper publishing is uncertain. Her interests – like her father’s – seemed to lie in other directions. Along with her sister, Alice Whitmore Osborne, she owned and operated a millinery store in the Wells building on Grand Street for a number of years. In any case, by 1910 she and her husband John had the grocery store in Lorain.

In 1914 the couple celebrated the birth of a daughter they named Mary Jayne. After Hattie’s father, George, died in 1928 it appears that John, Hattie and their young daughter Jayne returned to Vermilion to care for her aged mother, Rebecca, at the family home on the west side of Grand Street a few doors south of Ohio Street. The couple had sold their store in Lorain and John now owned and operated a new business that supplied restaurants in the area with fish and sundry other items. In a barn behind the house John also kept a workshop and raised pigeons. In the meantime, Hattie stayed busy with their daughter Jayne (Bard) and foster daughter Luella Stone (Starsell).

Before and after her husband’s death in 1948 Hattie remained exceptionally active. She was an energetic member of the E & R Church for 60 years; as a choir member as well as a member of the Ladies Missionary Society. She was a member of the Vermilion Garden Club, the Aurel Club, and the Business and Professional Women’s Club and the Golden Agers. She sang with a group comprised of several of her friends and did “chalk-talks” before religious and civic audiences throughout the region. Many Vermilion couples were gifted with one of her beautiful framed chalk paintings as a wedding present. [Note: There are five of them at our local history museum.]

Hattie passed quietly into the next life in July of 1975 at the tender age of 97 years. Admittedly, she wasn’t really famous beyond her circle of friends and relatives. And she certainly didn’t make millions of dollars with her singing voice, chalk-talks or wonderful paintings. But she always had a way of making many local folks - folks like myself - smile. She was a Vermilion treasure and always will be.

-Sunday July 5, 2020

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 6 - VERMILION, OHIO THURSDAY, July 11, 1912

Business Change

Albert Hart, who for some time past has had charge of the Red Cross Pharmacy purchased the store and equipment of H. M. White and will conduct the same. Mr. Hart is not only a pharmacist but thoroughly understands the other branches of the business and we join his many friends welcoming him into the business circles of his home town.

Turns Turtle on Hill

While on their way to Cedar Point from Elyria, an auto in which was Jas. McCarvel, his daughter Catherine, brother Alex and mother, met with an accident at the foot of the hill, near L. C. Kishman’s place, east of town.

It seems that someone had left a piece of stovepipe in the road and in attempting to avoid it the car skidded and turned turtle, the occupants being pinned beneath. Help came and the car lifted, and the occupants taken to Mr. Kishman’s.

It was found that James McCarvel had a dislocated shoulder and the mother bruised to some extent. The car was not injured to a great extent. The party returned to Elyria. It was a fortunate escape.

Teacher Resigns

The Vermilion Village Board of Education met in regular session Monday evening with all members present excepting Mrs. Pelton. The matter of employing a janitor’s was laid over until next meeting. The most important matter being the hiring of teachers.

The matter of hiring an assistant principal as well as several teachers was also deferred.

The resignation of Miss Georgia Burrows was read and accepted Miss Burrows gave as reason that she expected to attend school. This makes three who have not accepted the positions offered them in the schools, Ms. Burrows, Miss White and Miss Steffen.

After some discussion this Statia Costigan of Berlin was selected for grade 7 and 8.

The matter of fitting up to school building for the opening of school, including painting the fire escapes etc., wash provided for by being referred to the committee on grounds and buildings.

The purchasing of the necessary supplies for the schools was left with the committee on supplies and the superintendent.

The clerk was instructed to send bills to the township board for pupils who lived in a recently attached portion of the district. It seems that the village has been schooling these pupils and the township board receiving the taxes for the same. This condition will now be remedied.

Bills were ordered paid in the meeting adjourned.


The Huron County Courthouse at Norwalk was destroyed by fire Tuesday night and several nearby buildings were saved only by the hardest work on the part of the firemen.

The fire started in the attic and the firemen thought they had it under control when the flames burst from the high clock tower and burned fiercely. The firemen were helpless being unable to reach the blaze and turned their attention to the surrounding property. When the cupola fell onto the roof of the building and soon the entire building was burning.

County records are thought to be safe as each office was provided fireproof vaults. The building, a two-story structure was built some 40 years ago a few years ago some $20,000 was spent in modernizing the first-floor interior.

The origin of the fire rests between two causes, spontaneous combustion and crossed wires.

Among the records are many related to the early history of Erie County when it was part of Huron county. It is to be hoped that these records are among those saved.

Norwalk is to have a new automobile fire engine which was to arrive Wednesday. With this machine is thought that the fire could’ve been checked.


Less than one-third of the area of Korea is suitable for farming.

Horse races have been held annually without interruption since 1730.

Oil of lavender, sprinkled about bookshelves, will prevent their contents milldewing.

Fingerprints for identification were used by the Chinese as long ago as the seventh century.

Ships on the Atlantic ocean are supplied with weather information from the station on top of the Eiffel Tower.

An English mine horse which was recently brought to the surface had not seen daylight for 21 years.

An Ohio man has invented a simple variation of the motion picture machine to project advertisements on sidewalks and other public places.

The post office at Lakeside was burglarized early Thursday morning at $550 in stamps, $1111 in money and $85 in postal funds taken.


Funeral service of the three-year-old daughter Mr. and Mrs. William Mountain is held Saturday afternoon, Rev. Snyder officiating.

A sawmill belonging to Schumach & Parker was completely destroyed by fire, with not a cent of insurance. The mill will be rebuilt.

The funeral of Conrad Siebert was held on Sunday at 1:30. p.m. from the home and 2 p.m. from St. Peter’s Evangelical church. Rev. Lindenmeyer conducted funeral services, and the remains were interred in the Cleveland St., cemetery. The K. of P.’s of which he was a member attended the service in a body.

While at work at the Ohio quarry Monday, Frank Whyte in some manner Manor caught his leg in the cogs of a planar machine and the muscles were badly torn and lacerated.

The remains of John Whitmore the young man who was killed by lightning while working at the farm of Reuben Miller of Brownhelm were shipped to Berea for interment.

The ten-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Court of South Amherst was attacked by a strange man in a room at her home Monday. The little girl and her mother were at a neighbor’s house, and on seeing a storm coming up the little girl sent home to close the windows. Going upstairs she saw a pair of shoes sticking out from under the bed clothes and found a strange man there. As she reached the bed he jumped for her and she ran down the stairs screaming but he caught her and carried her out through the backyard through the field to the creek, which is spanned by a small bridge at this place. The little girl managed to get away from him and ran back to her mother, fainting in her mother’s arms. After she was revived, she told the story of her flight. Her father who was at work at the quarry was called and swore out a warrant and Marshall Miller set out to capture the man but has been unable to find the brute.


Andrew Schisler has a very large crop of cherries.

Mr. David Reeves is assisting Mr. Malon Curtiss with his harvesting.

Lightning did considerable damage striking the house of Malon Curtiss securing wires on.


Mrs. Pearl Roscoe daughters were the guests of the former’s sister, Mrs. W. B. Housman at Birmingham several days the past week.

No–Odor destroys the odor of perspiration, 19c at Hart’s drugstore.

Mr. N. Mahler who has been sick for several weeks is able to be around again.

Mr. Harry Wakefield is reported as getting along splendid, and though unable to sit up as yet is able to receive callers.

Mrs. Det Parsons met her husband at Erie the first of the week and is enjoying the trip up the lakes.

Carl Englebry and Chas. Barber, Jr., were among the small boys to receive some severe burns while celebrating glorious fourth.

Mrs. H. P. Rice was called to Berlin Heights, Tuesday by the serious illness of her father. She returned yesterday leaving him slightly improved,

Both Linwood Park and Crystal Beach entertained a large crowd on the fourth. 600 Bellevueites were among those who picnicked at Linwood. The usual sports and amusements were enjoyed. Only a few minor accidents were reported.

“The Lakeside” formerly known as the Lakeside Inn is now open and ready for business. Guests may arrange for board by the day week or month. L. Zimmerman is the new manager.

Ice cream orders left at Hart’s drugstore will receive prompt attention.

A arty of Vermilionites enjoyed the Fourth at Lakeside. They made the trip on the tug Ames.

The Elyria businessman will picnic at Crystal Beach, July 17th.


E. J. Darby has purchased an automobile.

Jesse Latteman while riding on his bicycle last Sunday was thrown off but he suffered serious injury.

[NOTE: Wow! This is news? When I was a youngster I did more than skin a knee while riding my bike and no one said a word (except “OWWW!)]

Daniel Slacker pleaded not guilty in justice court of shooting his neighbor’s chickens and was bound over to court of common pleas.

Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Housman entertained Mr. and Mrs. Pearl Roscoe and two daughters, Mrs. A. J. Trinter and son, Mrs. H. H. Patton and son and Mrs. Jesse Delker of Vermilion Sunday. The party enjoyed a picnic dinner at “Air Castle.”

Mr. G. H. Holden, an up-to-date farmer south of town, is erecting a spacious residence, which when completed, will have all modern conveniences and will be one of the finest homes in the township. The carpenter work is under the direction of C. H. Latteman.


The fruit growers in this section are busy with berries. Most of which are being shipped to Buffalo they command a high price, the first ship sold for 30c a quart, and now getting 24 and 26 cts. a quart.


Several from here attended Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Sandusky last week.

The work of piping the town for gas is being rushed with all possible speed. It is hoped that it will be completed within the next two weeks.

Dr. Carl Tuttle and family and friends are enjoying frequent lake rides to Doctor’s new naptha [sic] launch. The Dr. and his friends are proud of this new boat, as he built every inch of it.

[NOTE: A naphtha launch, sometimes called a "vapor launch", was a small motor launch, powered by a naphtha engine. They were a particularly American design, brought into being by a local law that made it impractical to use a steam launch for private use. I believe this is the type of vessel Vermilionite Tom Ball built and used for the Vermilion Boat Club activities.]

The School Board are endeavoring to secure the use of some suitable building for the Primary grade of the public schools, until they should be able to add to the present school building or erect a new one. It is to be hoped that every citizen will cooperate this arrangement.


Henry Driver, son of James and Elizabeth Driver, was born at Joppa, July 2, 1853. When he was but a small child his parents moved to the present farm, north of Berlin, where he has made his home ever since. When united in marriage to Miss alto Green, March 30, 1875, they continued to reside at the same place in Berlin until death has called both wife and husband Mr. Driver has been in failing health since April. In May he was taken to Providence Hospital in Sandusky, but with all care he continued to fail until Sunday evening when death relieved him of his sickness. The body was brought to Berlin by undertaker Judson cared for until Wednesday morning when took it to the home where in the afternoon the funeral services were held, conducted by Rev. A. G. Rupert.

Mr. Driver was a good citizen and a kind neighbor. He was well-known, having spent his entire life in the vicinity of Berlin

Ms. Hazel and Mildred Connor sank three appropriate selections. Burial was made in Rev. Cy Cemetery.


Ray Washburn met with a painful accident last week, he was kicked by a cold and fractured several ribs.

A MIRACLE:As the old joke goes, "reports of his death were greatly exaggerated." It was, at least from his friends and parent's point-of-view, a genuine miracle.




…wife, Elizabeth, was born in Weingarten, Baden, in 1808. They emigrated in 1834 and lived in Sandusky up to the time of their deaths. Of the six children of this marriage, three are living: Theodor, born June 30, 1838; Frederick of Port Clinton, born January 16, 1841, and Heinrich, born March 12, 1842. Elizabeth, Motri's first wife, died in April 26, 1843, in childbed. On November 15th, of the same year, he married the second time, taking Theresa Leonhard as wife. Five of the children of the second marriage are living: Elizabeth Molitor, born August 25, 1844; Joseph, born October 26, 1845; Alexander, born October 20, 1846; Carl Ludwig, born September 23, 1848; John Frank, born November 16, 1850. Motri was a tailor by trade and had his first workshop where Robertson's store is located at present on Water street, moving from there to a place now occupied by the Ruprecht family. He subsequently built the National House on Market and Wayne streets, where he kept a hostlery [sic] in connection with his tailor shop. In 1854 he engaged in the nursery business in Bigfield. He was a great hunter and known far and wide as an excellent marksman. He died May 4, 1867. His widow lives on Hancock street. He was, without question, the fashionable tailor in his time. His old ledger, dated January 1, 1840, is before me. In its index I find the following names of the aristocracy of our day, the Mooses, Folletts, Sloanes and many others. Most interesting though for our purpose, are the names of the old German settlers that opened an account with him nearly fifty years ago. In giving their names I am in hopes that those appearing in the foregoing pages may quasi supplement my carefully prepared list.

From this interesting book I copy the following German names: John Bauer, John Bach, 1843; Fred Booss, Jacob Benz, Clausius,1841 ; Valentin Degen, 1843; Martin Eltis, Fred Epp, 1842 ; And. Earney, 1843 ; Anton Fink, 1842 ; Peter Gilcher, Guckenheimer, 1843 ; John Hornung, Wilhelm Heisser, 1845 ; Alph. Lucas, 1842; Hopfinger, Hocken, Iceman, Henry Laubscher, John Meyer, 1843; I. Paul, 1840; Valentine Peter, 1842; Fr. Reinheimer, and John Schnecker.

For the edification of our merchant tailors, I will say that according to Motri's figures, thirteen cents was charged for cutting a pair of pants, and that a good share of his earnings were liquidated by accepting almost anything from a load of wood, stone, or sand, down to farm produce and labor in exchange. Fr. Reinheimer's account is balanced by thirty-nine days of work, $53.43; P. Gilcher's account thirty-seven days of work, $51.00; Henry Laubscher's account for two days' work, $3. By this we see that skilled labor was well paid for, and that even forty years ago a boss carpenter received as much as twelve shillings wages per day.



Federal organization and the liquidation of the war debts became the principal work for our law makers after the declaration of independence.

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.

Visual Verification Image
* Required


NEW ACQUISTION: Ain't this mirror a beaut? It was donated to the museum several weeks ago by Ginny and Dave Wilkes. They've begun the process of downsizing (as we all must do) and have been kind and generous enough to donate a good number of interesting items / antiques to the museum.


One afternoon, a woman was in her back yard hanging the laundry when an old, tired-looking dog wandered into the yard. The woman could tell from the dog’s collar and well-fed belly that he had a home. But when she walked into the house, the dog followed her, sauntered down the hall and fell asleep in a corner. An hour later, he went to the door, and the woman let him out.

The next day the dog was back. He resumed his position in the hallway and slept for an hour. This continued for several weeks.

Curious, the woman pinned a note to his collar: "Every afternoon, your dog comes to my house for a nap."

The next day he arrived with a different note pinned to his collar: "We have ten children. He's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come over too?"

Subscribe to the Views mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format

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.

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)

"Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them." - Joseph Heller

Vol. 18. Issue 19 - July 11, 2020

Archive Issue #904

Vermilion Views Search Engine


© 2017 Rich Tarrant