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Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

The strokes of the pen need deliberation as much as the sword needs swiftness. - Julia Ward Howe......A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startle us. - Ralph Walter Emerson......If you want a good argument against democracy, just spend 10 minutes with the average voter. -Winston Churchill..........The Woman's Relief Corps..........rnt...............

August 29,  2015 -Crystal Poster and some widgetsl width=

Crystal Poster and Some Widgets

SHOPTALK: It took me 7 or 8 tries to get the pic for the shoptop pic this week. I used an app called “Voila” to acquire the image. This photo is not actually on the regular desktop but a facsimile of it is always on one of 7 desktops available to me all of the time. This particular desktop is called "Dashboard". The items on it are called "widgets" and I regularly use all of them. The background is my actual desktop – visible but blurred; like looking through an opaque curtain.

One thing that that’s really different this week is the interval between desktop pictures. I have been using a 10 second interval. But over the weekend Vermilion expatriate Mike Anastas visited the museum and commented about the pictures changing too quickly. Ergo; they now change every 30 seconds.

On my home desktop this week is a true copy of a poster from the museum. I wanted to see if I could digitally reproduce one of the c.1950s posters printed by my father and brother and I opted to use this one.

I had to search some to find comparable type and poster board on which to print it. It was actually a little easier than I thought it might be. While this pic is, of course, a digital representation I have the poster I printed on a large format Epson printer in the window of the museum.

I think the biggest difference between my copy and the original is that the original – using a hard type printing press – was / is less expensive to produce.

Hard type print definitely has its advantages. Digital printing with the equipment I have actually makes printing such items in bulk both difficult and expensive.

NOW & THEN: I finally received a new shipment of my “NOW & THEN” book. It’s my “best-seller”. I’ve sold around 200 copies (hee-hee). But seriously, it is a nice book. (It has a good feel to it.) Some time in the future I might do another picture book. But I’m not sure about the subject matter. There’s a good deal to choose from.

I’d also like to do a fictional history of Vermilion – a satire. I started such a story some years ago but never really finished.

PLATES: I’ve been curious about how to clean some of the old photo plates at the museum. We have so many that I’ve commenced some experimenting with a few just this week.

I’m not entirely sure whose pic is on the plate above. I may be one of the Wakefield men. But that’s got nothing to do with the reason I used it. It was just one of several I grabbed from a box of various plates. This one – as one can see – had a good deal of corrosion on it.

To clean it I used a liquid (non-corrosive) cleaner called Krud-Kutter and a little fluoride toothpaste. I used the 4-stages to show how things commenced. As is obvious, it wasn’t entirely successful, but it did work. It took about 10 minutes (digital scans and software manipulation included).

This particular plate was a little different than some of the others I’ve been working with because it was a negative plate. I had to reverse the first picture scanned to acquire a good image.

I could save some time by just placing the plates on the proof press and printing the image. That however would mean that I’d have to use ink and then clean everything with gasoline. At the moment I don’t want to introduce the flammable to the museum. But sooner or later I’ll have to go that route.

We have several thousand of these plates at the museum.

JUST ONE MORE: Below is a scanned image of the same pic after I (ink) printed it using the shop’s proof press. It actually printed much better than I thought it might given the condition of the original. The detail in the inked image is much better than the scanned one.

I’ll be working more with some of these photo engravings through the fall and winter. These plates are typically etched in magnesium and mounted on wood, although a variety of materials, mounts and plate thicknesses may be used for a variety of letterpress purposes. Many engravers offer more than the standard 16-gauge engraving, but for simply printing an image, the acid-etched, wood mounted Magnesium Photo-Engraving is what is used most often. Some are etched on copper.


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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"Bessie was born in Hennepin County near Minneapolis,
Minnesota in February 8, 1877."

A VERMILION FRIEND: I received this photograph of Elizabeth “Bessie” A. Roscoe from my only cousin, David Lindsay just this past week. Bessie was our maternal grandmother – wife of Vermilion News publisher Pearl Roscoe.

Bessie was born in Hennepin County near Minneapolis, Minnesota in February 8, 1877. She was the eldest daughter and oldest child in a family of four. (She had a younger sister and two younger brothers; Lee, Tom and Ethel.) Her father, E.T. (Ernest) Bottomley and mother Clara brought the family to Milan, Ohio (in a reverse migration) in the latter years of the 19th century where he co-owned and operated a grocery business with Bessie's uncle on Milan’s square.

While I’ve no idea as to how she received her formal schooling she took an examination and received a teacher’s certificate in Wright County, Minnesota when she was just 15 years old.

The County Superintendent noted on the back of her certificate: “Considering your age your examination is highly creditable to you. But before I give you the certificate you must get the request of all (illegible word) of the school board where you wish to teach. I wish to file that in my office. You are very young to commence teaching but should you undertake it you have my best wishes for your success. – Yours truly, F.W. Lindsley – Co. Supt.

In January of 1896 she received a certificate to teach school in Erie County, Ohio and taught for several years for the Berlin-Milan schools – in a one-room schoolhouse – before her marriage to Pearl Roscoe in 1901.

Pearl, a native of Milan, was working as a printing foreman for the old Lorain-Times Herald when they were married. That same year they purchased a newspaper / print shop in Vermilion, Ohio called The Vermilion News from a fellow named George Whitmore. During the first few months of their marriage editor Roscoe and wife Bessie (his associate editor) commuted between Lorain and Vermilion on bicycles.

In 1904 Pearl’s father, Caselton – a carpenter and millwright – built the couple a new place on (513) Grand Street where they located their business. It was a neat 2-story structure. The bottom floor contained the print shop, and the upper floor served as living quarters.

On May 24, 1906 the Roscoes welcomed a daughter they named Ella into their family. Six years later they welcomed another little one to their fold they named Alice. And life moved along.

Eventually Bessie opened a little gift store on Liberty Avenue in a building next to the Liberty Theatre that was shared by Western Union. Both the newspaper / printing business and the little gift shop did well over the years that followed. She was active in numerous civic, social and religious affairs of the community, and served the Vermilion Library as a Trustee for 25 years.

In the latter months of 1945 Bessie began to feel ill and she died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lorain, Ohio on the 7th day of January in 1946 a victim of cancer. Public funeral services for her were held at the Congregational Church on Thursday January 10th at 2pm and she was laid to rest at Maple Grove Cemetery that afternoon.

The town had lost another friend.

VHS CLASS OF ’60 SEEKS “LOST” MEMBERS: The 1960 class of Vermilion High School is planning their 55th year reunion and there are several classmates whose addresses are unknown. The reunion is planned for Sunday, September 13, 2015, beginning at 2 P.M at the Vermilion Boat Club. There will also be other meet and greet opportunities in the two days before. We want to make every effort to contact all class members and we need the help of the public to make this possible. Please look at the following list of “lost” class members and, if you know their whereabouts, please contact SANDRA YEAMANS NEIDING AT 967-4190.

Missing are: Penny Clague, Judy Eagan, James Hill, Robert Holtcamp, Billy Kay, Judy Lowery, Ray Luna, Wayne Rohrbaugh and Marjorie Sipos.


"Sail On" VHS class of 1960. Your 55th reunion is fast approaching! We will meet on Sunday, September 13th, at the Vermilion Boat Club on Liberty Avenue for dinner, remembrances, door prizes, and fun in general. If you have not already signed up, please contact Carol Loucks Kress at 967-9472. The cost is $40 per person and reservations need to be in soon. There will be other pre-reunion activities to be announced shortly and lots of fun to be had by all. – Correspondent Sandy Neiding

"The Honorable H.R. “Squire” Williams (inset photo) who served as the town’s mayor for over 20 years."

A HISTORIC DOCUMENT: First, an amendment to the previous (VPJ 07/16/15) column – “Time stays – we go”: In it a man identified only as “Mr. Williams” was mentioned. The Mr. Williams referred to in that piece was The Honorable H.R. “Squire” Williams (inset photo) who served as the town’s mayor for over 20 years. The omission of that specific information was not intentional. But as it turns out it was, perhaps, providential because it provides a nice way to segue into this week’s column.

During his first term of office Mayor Williams and the town council, which then consisted of H.L. Minium, Nicholas Fischer, S.J. Nieding, C. Young, Orson Meeker and Wm. Englebry, issued a “Souvenir and Industrial Prospectus for Vermillion, Ohio.” The prospectus was prepared by a man named Samuel Griffin of Indianapolis, Indiana and printed by the Press of The Vermilion News. One of the details a casual reader might note about the document is that the town’s name is spelled with 2 els from cover to cover. Only in the printer credit – The Vermilion News – is it spelled correctly. (The reason the printer did not correct the spelling is unknown.)

Although it is a relatively small and very fragile (6.25 x 9) document, it contains a hefty amount of historical information about our town as well as many of the businesses and people who lived here when it was published in 1901. The town is touted as being recognized as “one of the most important trading points in this part of the country”. To underline that fact it goes on to say, “At this time we have extensive fishing interests, lumber yards, a prosperous bank with $50,000 capital stock and over $200,000 deposits, three hotels, two dry goods stores, two hardware stores, five or six grocery stores, four millinery stores, two livery barns, two drug stores, two meat markets, two coal dealers, one flouring mill, one furniture store, one printing office, one tailor shop, six saloons, two blacksmith shops, one manufacturing plant and the finest opening for the location of other industries of any town in this part of the country.”

Some of the persons featured in the booklet are: G.E. Whitmore (Successor to George Krapp and Sons meat market); W.A. Tischer, Architect, Contractor and Builder; J.L. Sherod, Meat Market owner; J.A. Klaar, Harness Maker; David H. Stevens, Town Marshal; the Whitmore Sisters, “Artistic Milliners”; A.D. Baumhart, Pharmacist; John Gegenheimer, Contractor; J.I. Howell, Blacksmith; J.C. Seemann, School Superintendent; Helen Kelsey Fox, Poet; Henry Schmool, Street Superintendent and President of the Cemetery Trustees; Col. H.S. Miller, Civil War veteran and Saloon Keeper; Resolvent Case, Town Carpenter. And there are more.

The photograph(s) accompanying this essay is one of many contained in the prospectus. For persons unfamiliar with the street scene it is currently (2015) the northwest corner of Liberty and Main streets just across the street from (west of) Exchange Park. Today the corner building is the home of the Main Street Grill, and the shop next to it is currently known as the Olive Scene. In 1901 the corner store was the Davis Bros. Dry Goods Store, and next to it was the first home of the Erie County Bank. This photo was taken from the second floor of the Pelton-McGraw general store building that once sat on the opposite side of Liberty where the city offices are currently situated. Note the hitching posts along the street. The era of the automobile had yet to come to the town, and the interurban / electrics were just then being established across northern Ohio.

Although it is true that the Prospectus “contains a hefty amount of historical information about our town” there are a few things curiously missing from it. One of the most glaring omissions is specific mention of the Fischer Lumber Yard. That business, in particular, was a very important part of local commerce at that time. Moreover, its proprietor, Nicholas Fischer, was also a prominent citizen as well as a member of the town council.

Another peculiarity is the fact that mention of the steam railroads that had historically serviced the town were buried beneath high praises of an electric railroad that, at least at that point in time, was just being built. But then again; a local person did not author the booklet.

Yet, setting those little things aside the booklet probably is of more value today than it was when it was written and published in that yesteryear. It is truly a historic document.

Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 07/13/2015.

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. 18. – VERMILION, OHIO, THURSDAY, October 10, 1907


A petition for the dissolution of the Duplex Stamping company, a Vermilion corporation, has been filed with the clerk of courts of common pleas by J. L. Zesiger, H. B. Kishman, Conrad Bachman, A. W. Leadrach, Henry Grisel, E. L. Coen, all stockholders who claimed that no dividends have been paid since the incorporation with the capital stock of $25,000, 250 shares of $100 each in 1905. They further say, that the dissolution will be to the best interest of all parties concerned.

Fruit jar openers, screen door catches, and all other similar articles were manufactured by the company. The plaintiff stockholders want an accounting of assets and liabilities.

Martin Holman has sued Myrtle and Susie Nichols who, he says, are withholding one half interest in 50 tons of hay, his share of which is worth the avers, $375. The hay is stored in the Nichols barn in Ogontz. Holman also asked damages in the sum of $50 because he avers, he has not been permitted to his portion of the hay.

Henry Green of Berlin Heights was taken to the home for epileptics at Gallipolis Tuesday.


F. D. Witt The Original Talking Machine Man Will Open A Fine Store Saturday

If you are in Lorraine Saturday, don't miss a visit to the F. D. Witt’s new talking machine store at 511 Broadway. You are cordially invited. Ladies and children will receive souvenirs. The room in which this new store is located is 100 x 30 feet and handsomely fitted for business. In it are about 100 talking machines of various sizes and descriptions as well as thousands of records of all kinds. If you are interested or even if you are not, it will pay you to attend this opening. Remember the new store is open to the public next Saturday.


Monday evening was the regular meeting night of the Village council. All members were present accepting Geo. P. Wahl. Mayor Williams in the chair.

Although there was considerable time spent in the discussion of various matters around town, sidewalks, sewers, etc., very little business of importance was transacted.

Attention was called to the removal of dirt from the street by George Fischer for grading purposes and the clerk was ordered to prepare a written notice to desist.

The matter of building the sidewalk to the Brass Works was brought up in the ordinance providing for the same read and passed.

An ordinance was also passed appropriating land in the C. C. Baumhart allotment for street purposes. This is the cover an omission made at the TIME that the allotment was platted.

Communications were read from the N. Y. C. & St. L. Ry. stating that the piling will be removed from the river at their bridge before there would be any danger from flood.

It was decided to carry the detachment case in the matter of Chas Martin and others, to the Supreme Court.

Several new lights were asked for in several parts of town and the matter left to the committee.

Council then adjourned after providing for the payment of bills.


DIED – Roy Anthony, the three-month-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony P. Becker, Wednesday night, Oct. 9th.

Funeral services will be held at the house tomorrow begin (Friday) at one p.m.



A new bridge is being put in on the L. S. & M. S. at this place.

Ms. Kate Sipple is recovering from her recent operation.

Lee Gibson had his knuckles badly cut and bruised by the bursting of a bottle.

Mrs. Mary Heusener was severely burned by an explosion of gas Thursday afternoon.

BORN - To Mr. and Mrs. Reed, a son Saturday, October 6.

Ralph Skeels fell and was hurt Friday while at work in Elyria.

BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Tim Daly of Brownhelm Friday, October 1, a pair of twin daughters.


Miss Bertha Smith of Ogontz is picking grapes for Chas Lee.

John Crum has purchased a new hard coal stove.

Little Johnny Kishman is quite ill at this writing. He has asthma and bronchitis.

G. Nolte had a horse killed by lightning during the electric storm Thursday.

DIED – Saturday, October 5, 1907 all Ada Waldron, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Waldron of Smokey Road.

The barn on the farm recently purchased by John Lee was struck by lightning and burned to the ground Thursday. A considerable amount of hay, a heap of potatoes also some farm tools were burned.

The horse of Mrs. Henry Kishman's became frightened at a threshing machine Wednesday and threw the buggy containing Mrs. Kishman and her little son Johnny into the ditch. The horse ran home leaving the demolished buggy behind. Neither of them were seriously hurt.


Margaret Hermes is ill.

Owen Phipps died at the home of his son here last week Wednesday, aged 64.

The barn of Phil Upperman near here was struck by lightning Thursday and three men who were working there were stunned.

Mr. Businessman

Do you know that you have goods, many of them on your shelves as good the best, as cheap as the cheapest, which a little ad in the NEWS would soon sell for you? Why not let people know this. Have it spread before them every Thursday evening and Friday morning and see what returns it will bring. Other stores are taking advantage of this and are already preparing for the holiday trade. Why do you sit back and depend on window displays which only comparatively a few see. The NEWS will spread your goods before almost every family with a radius of 5 miles and do it for a small price each week. Change every week.

The Cleveland News Monday is authority for the statement that the long strike of the telegraphers will end Thursday, in Cleveland at least. It is said the men are willing to return without concessions but owing to the decision of the companies to keep most of the men who took the places of the strikers only about one third will probably be reinstated.

At a meeting of the directors of the Citizen Banking Company, of Berlin Heights, on Friday evening the vacancies on the board caused by the death of Messrs. George A. Baillie and Richard J. Jarrett were filled by the election of Geo H. Holden, residing near Wakeman and L. E. Hahn residing near Ruggles Beach.

The remark often heard on our streets, “Why don't they put prices on the goods in the windows. I always hate to go and ask when I can't buy today." This is a good suggestion. Some few do mark the price but the majority do not.

A radish 24 inches in circumference 20 inches long and weighing exactly 10 pounds is on exhibition in a Pt. Clinton grocery.

The Brown Clutch Co., of Elyria has purchased the Dunbar Plant at Sandusky and besides the manufacture of the Brown Clutch, will conduct a general machine and foundry business.


The Sandusky register is responsible for the following:

There is something doing at Vermilion, manager Heidloff and the Vermilion baseball team may get "sacked"; in other words lose their jobs. The Vermilionites backing the aggregation took exceptions to the manner in which their youngsters entered Sandusky last Sunday and there is been nothing but trouble ever since. The Vermilionites thought, they say, their club was to play at the league Park against the “regulars”.

Mary J. Holmes, the great novelist died this week.

The famous Thaw trial will again be taken up in December.

It is believed by prison physicians that Mrs. Cassie L. Chadwick wrecker of the Oberlin bank is on her deathbed.

[VV. Ed. Note: The infamous Ms Chadwick died in prison on October 10th (the very day this was published in the NEWS) 1907. She was one of America’s most gifted grifters.]

Remember that after January 1, ‘08 the subscription price of the NEWS will be a $1.50, per year, single copy 5c. Better subscribe now.

Mrs. M. Wilbur and Mrs. E. F. Pelton visited Lorain Saturday.

DIED – Monday night at her home east of here. Mrs. Adam Hagerman, funeral Friday at 10 AM.

FOUND – good reading matter in the Vermilion news. Inquire of our subscribers.

Capt. Hahn spent Sunday this family.

John Miller age 76 died at his home near stop 69 Thursday night. He leaves a wife and children.

The Vermilion baseball team with Miss Weiss as pitcher will play the Mohon and Roths at Cleveland Saturday.

FOUND – False teeth. Owner can have the same by calling at this office and paying for advertising.

FOR SALE – Sideboard, counters, tables and chairs, showcases, glassware dishes in gasoline stove, icebox and other articles too numerous to mention. Enquire on premises. H. S. Miller's Restaurant.


Miss Weiss, the girl picture, who chews gum and throws like a man has been confronted with the most bothersome query it can be directed against the woman. Miss Weiss must tell her age.

Mrs. Fanny Everett, humane agent, has interested herself in Miss Weiss and announces that she will not be permitted to play ball with Vermilion against Herman Schleman's team unless she is over 18 years of age. Therefore, Miss Weiss will have to come out and shouting in a voice loud enough for at least the humane agent to hear, how long she has been on earth.

Miss Weiss has been pitching for Vermilion for some time, and with the consent of her parents, her father accompanying her on trips. Just how Mrs. Everett is going to ascertain Mrs. Weiss's age if she doesn't want to tell is not apparent. Maybe Miss Weiss will tell it her it's none of her business – that's usually the way women do when one asks questions too personal.

And the question still remains: how old is Ann an Alta? -Cleveland Plain Dealer.

It develops that the reason why this all to Weiss, the "Girl Wonder" pitched only one inning of last Sunday's game with the ex-Yanks and Geason's Park was that she was afraid of the Erie County Humane Society. It took considerable persuasion to induce the girl go into the box for even one inning according to all reports, but she finally took her stand near the middle of the diamond, and tossed enough balls toward the home plate to let the assembled crowd know that she knew something about the game.

The report that the Humane Society would keep Miss Weiss off the diamond at Geason Park provided that it could be proven that she was under 18, was published far and wide.

Miss Weiss, although Humane Agent Everett and was unable to learn just how old she really is, is evidently still a child in the eyes of the law. – Sandusky register.

[VV. Ed. Note: Miss Weiss was 17 years old at this time. She was born February 9, 1890. From my point-of-view this makes her even more remarkable a player than some believed then or now.]


"The accompanying photograph of the Vermilion High School football team of 1 919 (for instance)
is from the Vermilion School “Hi-Times” annual book of 1920"

REMEMBER ME ALWAYS: I know not the paths this book of memories traveled before it came back to Vermilion, but I’m so glad that it did. The keeper of these memories was a lady named Loie Belle Ward Morris. She was born in Pittsfield Township, Ohio on 25 May 1900 and passed into the hands of God in Elyria, Ohio on 23 August 1991.

I wish I knew more about Loie. But for now the scrapbook she put together back in 1920 as she prepared to graduate from Vermilion’s State Street School will have to suffice. Her brother, Wilbur, gave her the beautiful red velvet covered book on May 20, 1920. It was probably a graduation gift. Given all the items inside it appears to have been something she really wanted; and much more – something she cherished.

Inside are several mementos from what she called the 1920 “Junior / Senior Reception” (today we’d call it a Prom) as well as some as dried wild flowers she’d gathered while canoeing with friends along the Vermilion River; a ticket from the 1920 Senior Class play in Oberlin, Ohio; and another from the 1920 dance season at Crystal Beach Park. There are also some tresses of auburn hair from a person who was apparently her favorite teacher (Isabel Hutt) who, by the way, was also the school Principal; a neatly drawn sketch of her graduation dress as well as snippets of material and ribbon from the dress; and a pressed rose corsage and ribbon she wore for commencement.

All these items are wonderful, as well as informative. But one of the nicest things about the book are the photographs. While they are not of and by themselves rare or unusual (i.e. they were cut out of the 1920 annual and pasted in the book) Loie did all of us a great big favor; she gave names to the faces in them.

The accompanying photograph of the Vermilion High School football team of 1 919 (for instance) is from the Vermilion School “Hi-Times” annual book of 1920. It’s a good photograph taken by Vermilion photographer Rudy Moc. While the player’s names appear in the annual they are not listed in any order that would correspond with the picture. This glitch is not unusual. Given the reality that Vermilion was a very small town of perhaps only 1200 to 1400 souls back then – everyone knew all the faces without asking. A caption identifying the boys was, therefore, deemed unnecessary. But Loie, thank heaven, possessed the foresight to understand that that would not always be the case. So, beneath her photo in the scrapbook she wrote their names:

Back Row – L-R: Ralph Law; Fred Nicholas; Marcus Harris; Louis Moyer; Royal Knott; Moses Ranney. Bottom Row – L-R: Kenneth Kishman; Chester Wittmer; Sterling Smith; Percy Cullen; Ervin Maurer; Percy Holl; Robert Trinter.

You may note that a pair of crutches leans against the building behind the team. Those crutches belonged to Kenneth Kishman who broke his leg in the last (and title) game with the Huron team. Vermilion won that game (14-7) making them the Erie County Football Champs of 1919.

There are numerous other items in Loie’s book of memories of local interest – names and inscriptions. Not all are from 1920. One is from April 9, 1922. It reads, “To the dearest girl I ever knew.” It is signed, George Morris, Jr. She must’ve been very dear because she would later marry him. But the last inscription is probably the best. A young neighbor and friend named Marian M. Kishman wrote: “Remember me always / Remember me ever / Remember the fun we had together.” Yes.

Ref: Special thanks to: Jim Wall; Vermilion High School Hi-Times, 1920; and especially to Loie for the memories; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 08/14/2015.

"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.



The site of this house, originally six or eight rods from the bank of the lake, has disappeared—the red cedar logs, of which the house was built, having been cut up and sold for fence posts nearly thirty years after its erection. It will be observed that in the statement, that "Cyrus Ellithorpe was the first white child born on the Island," the narrative of Mr. Ellithorpe has been followed. In this connection it is as well to state that there was a legend that in the fall of 1814, a Mr. Allen with his wife came to the island, intending to make it their home, that during the winter Mrs. Allen and her child, a day or two old, died, and were buried by the husband and father, who, by this calamity, was left the only living being upon the island; that after performing alone and unassisted the mournful duty of the interment of his wife and child he left, and it is not known that he ever returned. Of course, as at this- late day any verification of this statement is impossible, it must be treated as a legend, and not as history.

In April of 1833, Benjamin A. Napier moved to the island with his family, and bringing with him five or six men, who came with the ostensible purpose of working for him. Napier had, in the summer of 1832, visited the island, and warned the inhabitants that (as he claimed ownership) they were all trespassers upon his property, and that he should treat them as such by ejecting them from the island at no distant day.

In consequence of the location being considered unhealthy; Mr. Ellis had, in the fall of 1832, vacated his own house, moving into the same house with Goodwin, and Napier, upon his arrival in the spring of 1833, had taken possession of the Ellis house, which he occupied until October of the same year, when he was ejected therefrom by legal process by D. and I. Kelley, who had previously acquired, by purchase, whatever of interest Ellis might have held in the property. The land they had purchased of Eldred, and Ellis held only a claim for improvements, or perhaps that of occupation by contract. This purchase and transfer of Ellis' right was for the purpose of acquiring possession, in order to enable them to take legal measures for the ejectment of Napier. But we have anticipated somewhat in this matter of the ejectment of Napier, and it becomes necessary for the preservation of chronological order to retrace our steps.

In June of 1833, Burr Higgins and Captain Judah W. Ransom, of Sandusky, held an interview at Norwalk with the agents of some of the principal owners of Cunningham's island, with a view to its purchase, if satisfactory terms, title, etc., could be obtained. This interview, after some negotiation, was unproductive of results, and no purchase was effected. Among the agents of the owners present at the interview at Norwalk was Mr. Allen, son-in-law of General Perkins, of Warren, the latter of whom was one of the largest owners of lands of the island.


Upon Mr. Allen's return home, he introduced the subject of the sale of the island to. Mr. Irad Kelley, of Cleveland, recommending the purchase as a good investment. The latter, it appears, had for some time been favorably impressed with the future value of the property, and had called the attention of his brother, Mr. Datus Kelley, of Rockport, to the matter, and upon this application of Mr. Allen they concluded to, and did, visit the island with reference to its purchase.

The difficulties that followed the advent of Napier upon the island, that beset the inhabitants consequent upon his claim of ownership, the seizure of their stock, etc., without legal process, and, as they claimed, without the shadow of equitable right, rendered it imperative that something should be done to put a stop to this forcible appropriation of their property. They were naturally, therefore, very anxious that some one should purchase the island, in order by this means to have the matter of title definitely settled. They claimed none themselves, not even that of squatters on unoccupied lands, but they did claim ownership in the stock which they had raised and were pasturing at "free commons" upon the island. Upon the arrival, therefore, of the Messrs. Kelley upon their visit for examination, it may be readily assumed that the interested parties were not backward in pointing out the desirability of the purchase. It is probable that they did not require it to be thus impressed upon them. However that may be, the result of the visit of Messrs. Datus and Irad Kelley was that they concluded to purchase, provided satisfactory terms and titles could be obtained.

As a result of their investigations, the first purchase of lands on the islands were effected, as appears by date of contract, on the twentieth day of August, 1833, of John A. and Mary Rockwell, and Alfred E. Perkins, through Simon Perkins, their attorney, and consisted, as detailed in said contracts, of lots numbered "two, three, four, five, six and seven, and the west part of lot eight, and containing fourteen hundred and forty-four and ninety-two-hundredths acres," or almost one half the total area of the island, for which they paid two thousand one hundred and sixty-seven and thirty-five hundredths dollars, or one dollar and fifty cents per acre.

Other purchases then followed, until the fee of the entire remainder of the islands was obtained (through the principals or their attorneys) of the different owners, these subsequent purchases having been effected as fast as the names of the different owners, or their agents, could be ascertained, within a short time following the date of the original purchase. Upon obtaining possession of the island, the Messrs. Kelley proceeded to effect the expulsion therefrom of Benjamin A. Napier, by ejectment, from the lands, upon which he had no legal or equitable claim, the possession of which he attempted forcibly to retain.

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

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Hull Souvenir knife width=


HULL SOUVENIR: This little utility knife was a souvenir / keepsake once given out by Hull's Builder Supply company.

I now take it for granted that everyone still remembers Hull's. But that's likely a mistake. Time goes by so quickly that it's hard for me to believe that people don't know such things.

Anyway, for the sake of those who are younger than myself - the Hull Builder Supply Company was on the east side of Main Street just north of the railroad tracks. Currently Main Street Vermilion occupies an office at the site. However, a builder supply firm continues to use much of the property in the area behind the office.

This little artifact was donated to the museum by my friends Mary Lynn and Franklin A. Homitz.


On a Plumbers truck: "We repair what your husband fixed."

On the trucks of a local plumbing company: "Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber."

Pizza shop slogan: "7 days without pizza makes one weak."

Door of a plastic surgeon's office: "Hello. Can we pick your nose?"

At a towing company: "We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows."

In a non-smoking area: "If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."

On a maternity room door: "Push. Push. Push."

At an optometrist's office: "If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."

On a taxidermist's window: "We really know our stuff."

In a podiatrist's office: "Time wounds all heels."

On a fence: "Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive."

At the electric company: "We would be de-lighted if you send in your bill. However, if you don't, you will be."

In a restaurant window: "Don't stand there and be hungry. Come on in and get fed up."

In the front yard of a funeral home: "Drive carefully. We'll wait"

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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)

"In a museum in Havanna their are two skulls of Christopher Columbus
- one when he was a boy and one when he was a man."

-Mark Twain

Vol.13, Issue 25 - August 29, 2015

Archive Issue #650

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