SHOPTALK: On my home desk this week is an interesting pic of a bunch of guys who look like they’re trying out for a part in that movie classic “O-Brother Where Art Thou”. I’m guessing the wagon is made up to look like an old fire-pumper wagon. And I’m also guessing that this pic was captured at the Olympic Club near Vermilion; But, again, that just a guess. I don’t recognize anyone in the photo. If nothing else it’s a very entertaining pic.
I am equally uncertain about the pic on the shoptop this week. This photo is courtesy of Vermilionite Phyllis Heyman-Rogers. I’d seen it before. Local realtor Bill Lehky has a larger copy of it.
Anyway, the first guess is that it was taken of the stage of Vermilion’s Opera House. That seems logical because it predates the only other stage that existed in town in the yesteryear – at South Street School.
The problem is actually identifying the scene. If we could see just a little higher over the stage there’d be no doubt as to where it was taken. That’s because there’s a painting of George Washington over the stage at the Opera House.
I don’t recognize anyone in this pic either. All are in costume, so that doesn’t make it easier – but still. Because of the number of folks on stage I’d speculate that this was a travelling troupe. I would guess that the photo was taken around 1910.
Whatever the case it’s a cool pic.
UNCERTAIN FUTURE: I’m not certain about how this page will be produced for the next two weeks following this issue. That’s due to the fact that on June 1st I’m trading in my old right hip for a spanking new 2017 model.
I doubt that I’ll be in the hospital for more than a day or two. But this is new territory for me so I don’t know how mobile I’ll be for a while. As readers may have noticed I work between the museum and home: I keep some of my devices / material at the shop. For instance my microfilm and readers are at the shop. As a consequence the page may be a little light on those materials for a few weeks.
I have been working on next week’s issue this week. However, putting them on-line is somewhat problematic. The first June issue may be a little early or a little late. And unless there are some terrible and unforeseen complications there shouldn’t be much of a problem thereafter.
MUSEUM NAME CHANGE: As this certificate illustrates the name of the Vermilion News Print Shop Museum has been changed to the VERMILION HISTORY MUSEUM (VHM).
When the museum was initially conceived we did not anticipate doing anything more than exhibiting a 19th / 20th century letterpress print shop. But with the unexpected death of my brother Al the apartment above the shop became part of the project – and we were able to put a plethora of artifacts – some that were already in the building and some that were loaned / donated by museum patrons – on display as well. Ergo, we inadvertently became more than a print shop museum.
In addition to this we were working in cooperation with the Vermilion Area Archival Society (VAAS) in an effort to preserve local history. The society is located at Vermilion’s Ritter Public Library. Their work essentially entails preserving for the public documents and photographs pertaining to the history of the Vermilion area. What they are unable to do is display physical artifacts because they lack the space. Ergo, the VHM fills that need.
If you’ve not visited the museum I believe you must if you’re interested in the past of the community of Vermilion, Ohio. You might even want to purchase a membership to the museum, the society – or both.
Your certainly are welcome here.
REMEMBERING SISTER BUTCH: Her given name was Zella Joan Tarrant. Her nickname was “Butch”. She was named after the wife of Vermilion’s First Congregational Church minister Earl T. English’s wife – Zella. Butch didn’t really like her name. But what’cha going to do? So Butch she was.
Butch was born in December 1942 the 7th of the 8 children of Wm. B. and Ella G. Roscoe-Tarrant. She died in early November 1976. She was a great athlete, musician and sister.
When she died she was married to a great guy named “Buck” Bolyard. Buck was a contractor in the Wakeman area. The couple had an extremely cozy home secreted away in a quiet pine forest in the Wakeman countryside.
I came across this candid pic of her whilst rambling through some of my many pix at the museum. It’s a nice snapshot – the way I remember her. I believe it was taken in the gymnasium at the Decatur Street School during a Prom.
I often wonder where she would’ve been in life by this time had she survived the cancer that riddled her frame. She told me just after she discovered the seriousness of her affliction, “I always knew I was going to be the first to die” – referring to us eight Tarrant siblings.
That’s not a mind-bending statement by any means. But it stayed with me all these years. Only the good die young.
BURNING INTO THE 20TH CENTURY: During the early years of the 20th century there were a number of very significant fires in Vermilion. In December of 1903 nearly all the buildings on the west side of Division (now Main) Street, just south of the railroad tracks, went up in flames. And just seven years later, on April 1, 1910, twenty-two cottages at Linwood Park were lost in a raging inferno that was stoked by high winds, a shortage of water and choked pumps on the town’s fire fighting equipment. Remarkably, no lives were lost during any of these conflagrations.
It is important to understand that during these years the primary lighting and heating source for most folks was either coal, wood or some form of very flammable liquid. Marry such things to the human condition and it’s a veritable wonder that such fires weren’t more prevalent. On the other hand, having a crackerjack volunteer fire department was, is and remains very advantageous too.
On Monday August 31, 1931 the fire bell rang out again. This time the alarm was for Linwood Park where a 3-story cottage (aka Friendship Apartments) owned by one Rev. Fassinger of Warren, Pennsylvania and an adjoining cottage (aka Forest Nook) owned by Miss Agnes Gray and a Miss Kistler of St. Louis were in flames. Mrs. Fassinger and a Mrs. William Dornhern of Pittsburg along with her two children were in the Friendship Apartments – and Agnes and Anna Gray, along with Myrtle Wiley were in the other cottage.
It seems that Mrs. Dornhern had risen early to light the oil stove to heat water for washing clothes. She then returned to bed and was reading to her husband when their daughter, who had been asleep on the third floor, called down to tell her that she smelled smoke. Initially, Mrs. D. ignored her daughter. But when she called down again she arose, started for the first floor, and was met by smoke and flames.
Meanwhile the Forest Nook cottage families were still in bed. By the time they understood the situation the only things they managed to save were themselves. While Miss Gray had grabbed a coat and a suitcase of clothing she had placed it on the ground too near the fire and flames, and it, too, was consumed.
It is very likely that firefighters vividly remembered the horrendous 1910 Linwood fire. And though the two cottages in this event were destroyed the Vermilion Fire Department led by Chief W.A. Tischer did manage to contain it to just the two buildings. The loss was estimated to have been around $5000 with the contents equaling that amount.
Unlike the 1910 fire there were several casualties related to this one. Vermilion’s Fire Chief suffered a painful gash on the arm when a burning branch hit him. Also, the Lorain Fire Department, that had been called to assist and to insure that the fire did not spread, crashed into a car at the bridge at Beaver Creek injuring five members of their department. Fortunately, their services were not needed.
In a letter written one day following the fire a young lady who had been staying at Linwood described the fire to her mother: “…[The fire] Started with the kerosene stoves and after the fire was going good you could hear the different stoves explode (the oil tanks I mean). The cottages were a mass of flames from the ground up to the great big tree over 100 years old…It’s a good thing it didn’t happen today instead of yesterday, as there is a high wind blowing from the back…”
On September 11, 1931 a local newspaper ran an article noting that Park representatives had met with J. Gessner of the Northland Construction Company to talk about further extension of a water main for added protection in the Park. But better yet, about a year later natural gas was brought to the park significantly reducing the need and / or the desire to use kerosene, oil, coal or wood as a regular fuel. The Twentieth Century – the Age of Extremes and Possibilities – was surely now underway.
Ref: Special Thanks to Joel Vormelker; The Sandusky Star-Register 09/11/1931; The Vermilion News 09/03/1931; Through These Gates: Linwood Park by Karen and Ray Boas; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 05/11/2017.
YESTERYEAR'S NEWS: The following clips were orally transcribed from past issues of The Vermilion News. I think you will find them both interesting and fun...
Vol. XII, No.50. - VERMILION, OHIO, THURSDAY, May 27, 1909
The following is been planned for Decoration Day, Monday, May 31, 09. In the morning the G. A. R. and other societies accompanied by band will go to Maple Grove and hold services and decorate graves.
Promptly at 1:00 p.m. the various societies will form a parade in front of the town hall and march to school house by way of Exchange Street where the children are to gather, the procession then will march down State Street and Grand to liberty thence to Exchange Place where a program will be rendered consistently of music, etc., and an address. In case of storm the meeting will be held at Hall.
Citizens are asked to decorate their places of residence and business especially along the line of march.
Dallas Washburn 42, hung himself in the hayloft of the barn on the farm of William Hoag a brother-in-law near Berlinville Monday evening. He has been making his home there since his release from the Ohio Penitentiary where he served 12 years for the murder of a colored woman at Norwalk. His brother George committed suicide in the same manner a few years ago in a barn not half a mile distant from the one which Dallas ended his life. The body was found by his niece Cora Belle Hoag when she went to call him to supper. No motive for the deed has been found as he seemed in good spirits a short time before.
I hereby forbid all and everyone from now on this 19th day of May 1909 to harbor or trust my wife, Mrs. Mae Phelps, as I will not be responsible for any debts contracted by her. Signed, Joshua Phelps, Rugby, Ohio.
C.C. Baumhart and family last week moved to their recently purchased property at 414 East College St. after repainting and papering the house inside and are much pleased with their location. – Oberlin news
The case of the village of Vermilion, Erie County, vs. the L.S. & M.S. Railway company was filed in the Supreme Court yesterday afternoon and at the same time a motion for a temporary injunction. The case grows out of the proposed change of grade of the road through the village.
George C. West until recently proprietor of the Sandusky West house was adjudged insane and taken to the state hospital at Toledo, Thursday afternoon.
It is dangerous to even talk of drilling in corn in some instances. Elmer Schaffer who is employed on the Haber farm found it so on Saturday night. He indulged in an argument as to how much corn could be drilled in a day with Joe Myers and Haze Broughton in a saloon. Later while on his way home he met someone near the Brass Works who administered a terrible beating and in consequence he has to artistically blackened black eyes and a bruised face. He came to town and caused the arrest of job Joe Myers, Haze Broughton and his brother and Liva Brown and Geo Skinn, accusing them of being connected with the affair. Schaefer alleges that the young men laid in waiting for him at the Brass Works, and attacked him and that Haze Brown was the one who struck them first knocking him down so he could not tell when the others helped beat him. He also alleges he heard one man make some remark about not doing a good job. The accused to deny this statement and say that, the Broughton boys and Liva Brown were on their way home when Shaffer caught up with them and struck Haze who then responded and did all the work while the two others looked on and Myers drove by in a rig. Myers and Skinn were discharged there being no evidence against him. The two Broughton boys and Liva Brown were bound over under a $400 bonds. The hearing was held Tuesday afternoon before Mayor Williams. R Darby of Milan representing the defendants.
Mrs. George Hearn is still very ill.
BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. John Gurz of Cloughs Quarry Thursday, May 20, a daughter.
BORN – to Mr. Mrs. Louis Merchant South Amherst, Sunday, May 23, a son.
George Grant who for the past 12 years has held the position that the steel plant, has given up his post and will now take life easy.
Owing to a mistake it was reported that William Robiek, who fell from a train Tuesday, now at Memorial Hospital, Elyria was dead. The head nurse reports that Mr. Robiek is improving rapidly it will be out in a few days.
Amherst will have a new grocery store to open about June 5.
BORN – to Mr. Mrs. Anthony Furhman a daughter, Saturday, May 22.
School closed Saturday with a picnic at Crystal Beach. The children all seemed to have a good time.
A certain young man from Rugby created quite a sensation by getting into a fight in Vermilion Saturday evening was arrested and out on bail we hear. Well blood will tell.
Don't forget to go to the picnic and help all have a good time at Ruggles Beach Friday. You know we have two Patterson graduates representing our corner.
Mr. William Nutter was very fortunate killing a large hen-hawk on Mr. Albert Denman's place, which measures 4 feet from wing to wing. He also climbed the tree and captured the two young hawks. There are quite a few more left you better get busy Bill.
Miss Maude Fischer spent Monday at Cleveland.
Mrs. Jas Nolan is spending some time with relatives in East.
John Lumley left Tuesday morning for Mount Clemens Michigan, on an effort to be to gain release from rheumatism.
We sell Schwensen's Pies, Cakes and Bread, fresh every day. W. A. Christian.
F.P. Zolinger, cashier of the Third National Bank of Sandusky, was appointed guardian of Valentine Fries Friday.
Adolph Plate, a lifelong resident of Sandusky died at Providence Hospital Thursday. He was the father of Mrs. Mary Anderson of Huron who is quite well known here.
Mrs. B. Sarr, who is been ill for the past several weeks died Wednesday morning at her home on Ohio Street. A husband and five children survive. After a short service at the home tomorrow morning the remains will be taken to Berlin Heights where the funeral services will be held at 1 o'clock.
BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Trinter a daughter Sunday, May 23, ‘09.
J.A. Cummings, a prominent area County farmer was seized with an attack of paralysis and fell down the steps of the courthouse at Sandusky Tuesday. He was taken to his home near Milan. Owing to his advanced age, 80, his condition is critical.
Our genial drayman B.F. Pelton stated the other day that the past month had been the heaviest in receipt of freight here that he had ever known.
John Barry and his wife were called in to Cleveland Wednesday evening by a message announcing the finding of the body of Capt. Barry. The remains were identified by means of the clothing. Funeral services were held this morning at 9 o'clock.
We have good Folding Pocket Camera, for sale cheap but the NEWS office. Takes fine pictures and uses regular Kodak films. Call and see it.
THIS SCRAP: This is just an interesting piece of local history...
VHS CLASS 1967: From Trudy Tischer Archer: The reunion of the Class of 1967 will be at Vermilion Boat Club on August 12. They are searching for classmates far and wide. Susan Backus is heading this up. Ellen Koachway O'Hara, Peter Hart and Marie Agen are assisting. They also have a Facebook page: Class of 1967
Trudy can be contacted at: email@example.com
WW2 GOLD STARS: EMPTY PLACES: Backtracking (again): In the previous Yesteryear (VPJ 05/09/13) I wrote that WW2 started in 1937 when Germany invaded Poland. In fact the German invasion of Poland didn’t occur until September 1, 1939. But anyway you cut it U.S. option to enter the conflict following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii was “Hobson’s choice”. And when the dust finally settled o’er the world in the summer of 1945 there were 13 empty places at dining room tables in the vicinity of Vermilion, Ohio.
Aside from the two Holland brothers and Billy Bond the war had directly stolen the lives of eight additional Vermilion men: Private Russel G. Davidson, was killed in Italy in late January, 1944; Private Michael Darvis was cut down on a Normandy Beach on 7 June 1944, and was the posthumous recipient of the Purple Heart and Silver Star; Private First Class Ben W. Henkle, was killed in France on 12 August 1944, and was awarded the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster; Private John Gima / Gimme was killed while fighting in Germany on 24 November 1944; Private George Mize gave his life in Italy on 12 May 1944; Marine Lt. Elmer Leimbach (of Amherst / Brownhelm) was killed in a plane crash while training for combat at Cherry Point, North Carolina on 16 June 1944; Private Richard N. Floyd was killed on July 7, 1944 during the American drive on St. Lo during the Normandy Invasion; Private First Class Elmer C. Miller of Brownhelm died of wounds received in Luxembourg on 17 January 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge; Staff Sgt. Russel Badertscher was killed in action on January 15, 1945 in Belgium. While the Sgt. was a Lorain native he was married to a well-known Vermilion girl named Evelyn Leidheiser who was making her home in town while her husband was in the service.
Private James Francis Judge was killed on 8 April 1945 in the vicinity of Oberhof, Germany. Initially he worked as a ground crew mechanic in England for 14 months. In February of 1945 he volunteered for duty with the 359th infantry of Patton’s Third Army and was sent to fight in Germany. While advancing well ahead of his company through a wooded area, he routed three enemies from their positions, killing one and wounding the remaining two. As he moved on, he encountered two more of the enemy and pinned them down with accurate rifle fire. When a machine gun opened fire on him, and at the risk of his life, he returned to his squad under intense fire to obtain a bazooka. Although wounded he led a bazooka man over the same hazardous route and, by directing effective rocket fire, destroyed the machine gun nest. He was later killed by sniper fire. On December 12, 1945 his mother, Mrs. Loretta Judge was presented the Silver Star for her son’s bravery.
And were 13 Gold Stars not enough there was a final casualty. Private First Class Jacob J. Karchin (pictured) enlisted in the U.S. Army in Toledo, Ohio on 14 October 1942. He served in the 331st Infantry Regiment, 83rd Division. He was badly wounded during the Normandy Invasion at Cherbourg in 1944. After 22 days of intense fighting he was hit in the back when a phosphorous smoke shell burst a few feet behind him, and was later struck by a piece of shrapnel. There was some doubt at that time that he would ever walk again.
He was hospitalized for a long time in both France and the U.S. After his hospitalization at Crile (Veterans) Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio he tried to work – but never fully recovered from his wounds. He was honorably discharged from the service in 1945 receiving several decorations for bravery in combat including the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Constantly in pain, in early April of 1947, he took his own life. He was 31 years old.
By that time the world again was on the verge of enjoying a period of relative peace and prosperity. This business of war, oddly enough, seemed to have helped us dig our way out of the Great Economic Depression. Perhaps, some must have thought, humanity finally understood what Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman meant when he said, “War is Hell.” But few folks apparently understood what the residual effects of victory in Europe and the Pacific would be. And fewer still had ever heard of the 38th Parallel, much less an exotic country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia called Việt Nam. But that would change – anon.
Ref: U.S. Census date for WW2 War Casualties; VN Museum photo archives; Special thanks to VHS History Teacher (Ret.) Terry Smith; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 05/16/2013
HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY
…"The third year began as the second one ended, with flying colors and high aspirations for developing the social faculties of the farmer and raising him to a higher plane in society.
"At this time our ninety-eight members were about evenly divided between the sexes, and also between old people and young people. The young folks were the life of the grange, and at times, under the inspiring music of the organ and violins, they could not refrain from timing the music with their feet. This was offensive to some of our pious church folks, and with due deference to their feelings the dancing was stopped. The end of this social amusement was the end of the great interest taken in the meetings by the young people, and one after another dropped out until our membership consisted principally of old people.
"The purchasing of goods at wholesale, by our grange, proved unsatisfactory, and many who had come into our ranks mainly on account of the gain in dollars and cents, ceased to attend. Hence our meetings before the third year closed were not large but interesting to those who attended. A paper was started, essays written and read, and the program was changed from meetings of business to a school for the attainment of that knowledge and culture necessary to the elevation and refinement of farmers and their families. Most of the then active members held that the gaining of knowledge was of more value and a nobler object of the grange than the saving of a few dollars and cents. Hence this feature was for some time held to be the grand work of the order. But our meetings were often not well attended, and many who did not attend ceased to pay dues; but none were dropped for non-payment of dues until sometime in the fourth year.
"Throughout the fourth year meetings were held regularly every two weeks, sometimes well attended, but generally only by the faithful who seemed to enjoy them and were profited by attending. Many of the uninterested were dropped for nonpayment of dues until our numbers were greatly reduced. Some said the grange was dead; others said it was not dead, and never would die. And this condition of things continued for some years; sometimes the interest being quite lively, and then again less interest was taken and the meetings would become fewer and smaller.
"At the present time we number forty-two members and several of these are not in good standing. But we have some twenty or twenty-five members who are as zealous in the cause as when the grange was first organized. They see the necessity for a farmer's organization and believe that there can be no better organization than the grange. When all other classes are organized to protect themselves and to facilitate their own interests, is it not clear that if the farmers of our country do not organize, they must go to the wall? Is it not clear that surrounded as they are by rings, chartered corporations with special privileges, monopolies and trust companies, the only alternative is organization or servitude?"
VERMILION ARTIFACT #254
REMINGTON 12: Lest we ever forget. This is the oldest typewriter in the museum. It’s a Remington 12, c.1920. Just how much news was written using this machine isn’t known – nor could it be; a lot is probably a good figure. The machine still functions and it is very, very heavy.
There are a few of us left who learned to type on contraptions similar to this. It was a percussion instrument. Some may recall when some talented nut would type in along with a piece of classical music. It was an amusing act. Everything is soft touch today so that art is long forgot. (Our children don’t know what they missed.)
Some of the little cub scouts who visit the museum are more infatuated with our typewriters (and old rotary dial phones) than the printing presses. I suppose that’s understandable.
In any case, it was my ability to type and type accurately that saved my life in Vietnam. So in a round about way a Remington and Vermilion teacher Sarah Welker saved me.
A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE
A man was in the hospital recovering from an operation when a nun walked into his room. She was there to cheer up the sick and ailing. The man and nun started talking and she asked about his life. He talked about his wife and 13 children. "My, my," said the nun, "13 children....you're a good, proper Catholic family. The Lord is very proud of you!"
"I'm sorry, Sister," he said, "I am not Catholic. I'm Jewish."
"Jewish!?" she replies. "Hmmm....you're a sex maniac, aren't you?"
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, "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 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
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):