Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. - Ludwig Wittgenstein.....The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it. - William James......You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth. - Evan Esar....Laughter is my drug of choice.....rnt...............

January 20,  2018> Sunday boating and Saturday Dancing900

Saturday Dancing & Sunday Boating

SHOPTALK: On the shop desk this week is an interesting photograph of the dance floor at Crystal Gardens Dance Hall at Crystal Beach that probably hails from the late 1940s or very early 50s.

I don’t recognize the band, and I don’t recognize any of the dancers. I’ve taken my time and looked very closely at the photo – but nothing, aside from its site is familiar to me.

I can’t imagine what music they were dancing to when this pic was taken. I’m guessing it was a foxtrot; something a little more upbeat than a waltz. I say that because of the two girls dancing at the lower left. I don’t believe they’d be waltzing. But who knows. [I didn’t get any sound with the photo.]

CRUISING DOWN THE RIVER:On my home desk this week is an old photo demonstrating the way folks spent a Sunday afternoon way back when.

I’ve always found their apparel (in these shots) to be interesting. Most of the men wore neckties and slacks and the ladies wore long formal dresses with hats.

You have to wonder what might have happened if their rowboats overturned. I’d guess it didn’t happen much.

A NOTE FROM MY PA: My father (b.1898) died in 1985. He was a funny and witty guy. He was born in Nova Scotia, Canada and grew up in Portland, Maine. I never knew his mom or dad and have very few pix of them. My point being that I can’t testify to their characters. But my Pa (?) - that’s a different story.

I was going through some stuff last Tuesday and came across a clipping from the Lorain (Ohio) Journal of a short letter he wrote to the Editor back in 1974:

To the Editor: Having lived 70 and some odd years on this orbiting Ball of Good Intent, and having consumed tons of food and digested millions of words of nonsense and knowledge, I am led to the belief that the archeologists have proceeded in reverse.

In reality, the monkey descended from man. And the process appears continuing.

t this time I’m about the same age he was when he penned this piece, and I believe I can say without much hesitation, “Things haven’t changed.”

A WARM HEART: This pic is 103 footsteps from our backdoor. On my way to my truck there one day last week I looked at the scene in front of me and took this pic. (I always have my camera with me.)

Pictured is the clubhouse at the OOC in the heart of winter. It would appear that the lights inside are on, but that’s an illusion. The only light that is really on is the streetlamp on the right.

What struck me here though were the trees above the structures – so bare in bleak winter. It was so cold and quiet that morning. Even the crows were hiding somewhere. Yet, it didn’t matter. The scene warmed my heart.


IN 1991: My sister “Ginny” Wilkes toured the Edison Museum in Milan Ohio. While there she came across the drum she is kneeling beside. Our great-great grandfather, Levi Roscoe of Milan Ohio, made drums for the boys of the town. He sold three of the smaller drums to a nephew for nineteen dollars. He gave two (this base drum and a snare drum) to his family. The bass drum the photograph was given to the Milan museum by my mother, Ella G. Tarrant, back in the 1930s or 40s. I found the snare drum several years ago inside a plastic bag in what was once my father’s bedroom closet. It is now on display at the Vermilion History Museum along with our great-grandfather’s fife. He was a musician / fifer in the Union Army during the War of the Rebellion.

Recently Ginny visited the museum an inquired about the drum in the photo. Nobody seemed to know what happened to it.

SOMETHING ABOUT VERMILION POET HELEN KELSEY FOX: REPETITIO MATER STUDIORUM EST. If that which follows seems familiar to some readers, it should. It is a reiteration of a story – with some minor additions / corrections that appeared in the VPJ on 07/01/2010. While I don’t often make a habit out of formally repeating articles, as a student-recorder of local history I have long since become aware of the fact that some things merit repeating. What follows is one of those “things”.

Vermilion poet Helen Kelsey Fox was certainly no Emily Dickinson. But on the other foot - who is? I stumbled across her poetry while reviewing some microfilm files of The Vermilion News from 1901. What follows is an excerpt from her poem, “I Would I Were a Child Again”.

“I would I were a child again / To roam among the clover, / To wander by my dear old home / With meadow lark and plover. / What honeyed hours I then enjoyed, / The like I ne’er shall see, / No matter where I am employed / Or what my life may be... “

The poem is fair, but hardly unique for American newspapers of those times. My initial take on the piece was that it was just used to fill space on the printed page. Nonetheless I was curious so, of course, I “Googled” her. To my surprise I found mention of her in two places. Carl Van Vechten gives her a paragraph in his book “The Merry-Go-Round (1918). While in Frank L. Boyden’s “Popular American Composers” (out of copyright) she is afforded five full paragraphs. And though I’ve yet to discover any of her work in print - outside the pages of The News - I’m sure that it exists. One of her compositions, “A Song of Lake Erie”, was published by the Success Music Co. of Chicago during the summer of 1901, and was sold as a souvenir at the “Groves” (i.e. Linwood Park and Shadduck’s Grove) for 50 cents.

Reviewing her biographical data I was a bit put off. Whenever anyone uses phrases such as “artistic temperament”; “poetic nature”; and “lyric mentality” I am inclined to think that the truth is being dramatically enhanced. And when more than passing mention is made of a person having been descended from European royalty - in this case a French nobleman and a German princess - as if this lineage had something to do with their said talent, I found myself ready to quit reading. But when I further discovered in both accounts of her life that she was apparently so imbued with the “poetic spark” (another one of those phrases) that she was said to speak in rhyme half the time, I just knew there was something about Helen that wasn’t being said.

Born on a farm 4 miles south of the Village of Vermilion in 1850 Helen was the only daughter of Mary A. Riblet and Daniel Kelsey. Her biography indicates that It was from her mother that the poet inherited her “rare spiritual gifts” and royal lineage. [The Riblets were actually a prominent Vermilion farm family.] It has been said that Helen’s talents were noted at a very early age, and that she quickly developed an exceptional ability as a writer of both prose and poetry.

Right around 1874 she met and married a Berlin (Heights) man named Theodore Fox. By 1880 the couple had a son, Joel (aka. Jay) and a daughter they named after Helen’s mother Mary. Sometime during the following decade the couple divorced, and in December of 1890 Helen, who was then living alone with her widowed mother along Risden Road, fell ill and was not expected to survive. But survive she did. And by the early 20th century she was beginning to establish herself in north-central Ohio as a respected writer and composer. But then her fortunes seemed to turn downward.

In late January of 1907 a story appeared on the front page of the Richwood Gazette in Union County, Ohio beginning with the headline “ A Pitiful Case”. It seems that Mrs. Fox, who had apparently been living with a relative in that area, was receiving treatment at the Marysville hospital with a nervous condition, which - as the newspaper report put it - had “dethroned her reason”. Helen, who the newspaper referred to as having once been “one of the brightest literary lights on the stage” was being transferred to the Erie County Infirmary for further treatment. She never recovered.

In the U.S. Census of 1920 she is listed as being an inmate of the Toledo State Hospital. And on the 25th day of April the following year there she died. She was laid to rest at Maple Grove cemetery not too far from her childhood home. On her tombstone are the words: “Helen Kelsey Fox – Ohio’s Poetess”. But a further inscription on her grave might have been the last lines of her “Child” poem: “I would I were a child again / To roam amid the clover, / To hear the meadow-lark’s sweet song / But ah, those days are over.”

Ref: Special Thanks To: Vermilionite Laurence Bettcher and Vermilion expatriate Jim Wall; VPJ 07/01/10; Re-published 01/11/2017.

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. XIII, No.33. - VERMILION,OHIO THURSDAY, January 20, 1910


Vermilion River Reaches A Height Exceeded In 1900

The January thaw and rain the past few days brought about a rise in the Vermilion River Tuesday afternoon and night which, caused much alarm to those having property near the water. The water rose to such a height as to enter the offices of the fish companies and the freezers which contain large quantities of fish did not escape. The water in the several fish houses varied from 18 to 25 inches. Men were kept busy looking after property of various kinds about the houses, and on one of the talks others were stationed with pikes to ward off dangerous cakes of ice, logs and timbers, which might float down. As soon as the ice had broken out of the mouth of the river the danger was past. The water at one time reached to within 18 inches of the flood of 1900.

So far as we can still ascertain the only damage sustained was the loss of numerous small articles which floated off in the wetting and upheaveal of flows.

A number of small launches were on the riverbank but so far as his unknown are uninjured.

"Cloudy" Noel who resided in the boathouse near the foot of the pier was forced to move out, and enough ice deposited in his front door yard to supply the town could it be properly cared for.


On Wednesday evening Jan. 19, the marriage of Mr. Frank Burdette Parsons and Miss Florence Maud Corbin, took place at the home of the bride's parents, Mr. Mrs. James Corbin. Promptly at 6 o'clock the bride walked down the stairs and into the room on the arm of her father, and was met at the door of the parlor by the bride groom, who led her to the altar, where Mr. Cliff Parsons took the part of the "best man" and Miss Grace Parsons as "maid of honor", and Rev. J. W. H. Brown pronounced the words that made the happy couple husband and wife. After congratulations by the assembled guests all sat down to a sumptuous wedding repast, and while the bidden guests inside the house partook of things good to eat the uninvited guests on the outside "discoursed delightful music (?)"would not be comforted" until the bridegroom went out and gave them the wherewithal to purchase a "treat" for themselves.

The bride looked very pretty in a dress of fine blue chiffon over pale blue silk and carried a handsome bouquet of bridal roses. The "maid of honor" wore pink and silk mull.

A delightful evening was spent, and then Mr. and Mrs. Parsons went to their new home, previously furnished, on Washington Street. The bride is one of Vermilion’s most charming young ladies and the bridegroom one of Vermilion’s most worthy young men. Their host of friends wishes them continued and increasing happiness through life.

The "out-of-town guests" were: Mr. and Mrs. David Stevens and son Frank of Berlin Heights; Miss Mae C. Greiner, Cleveland; Mr. and Mrs. H. Baumhart, Cleveland; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Resek and son, Loraine; Mr. E. Vanscoten, Clyde.


Mrs. DeWitt Haskins who moved here from Sandusky several months ago, died at St. Joseph Hospital, Lorain, Wednesday morning. She was taken to the hospital a little more than a week ago suffering from erysipelas [acute infection] of the right limb caused by an ingrown toenail. She was operated on for that together with another complaint, which caused her death. Deceased was 60 years of age and leaves a husband and three sons.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at 1 PM at the residence of John A. Englebry.


Some time ago Mayor Williams received a telegram from Congressman Anderson asking what we wanted for the harbor here. The mayor answered by telegram, Pier extension. Later he wrote a letter to him further explaining our wants. He also handed the telegram from Mr. Anderson to the local Tugmen who wrote Mr. Anderson concerning the matter.

Wednesday Mayor Williams received a telegram dated at Washington as follows:

Hon. H. R. Williams,
Vermillion, Ohio.

Letter received. I am attending river and harbor committee meeting in your behalf.

C. C. Anderson
M. C. 13th Dist.


The Baumhart–Black case was settled out of court Thursday. Two other cases were also adjusted that of J. W. Krapp vs. T. J. Ball and Ross Ball vs. Lake Shore Electric.

The demurrer to the petition of the defendant in the case of Harold Stokes vs. Lizzie C. Kyle was overturned by Judge Reed in the Court of Common Pleas Monday. The order was entered accordingly on the docket.

The damage case of Alonzo DeMaria has been postponed one week owing to the illness of one of the attorney [sic]. It was set for Tuesday.

DeMaria bases his action upon alleged injuries sustained in a wreck on the defendant company's lines near Vermilion some time ago. He was at the time in the employ of the company on one of the cars figuring in the collision.



The majority of quarry workers reported for work Monday.

BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Darey, a daughter, Jan. 13, 1910.

Quite a party of Amherst people made a trip to Vermilion in a bobsled Sunday.

Mrs. Lersch is slowly recovering from a recent attack of pneumonia and little Norman is able to be about the house.

Mrs. Albert Berg was painfully injured Sunday evening by falling on the steps at her sister's home in Elyria. She struck on her side and hip.

The farmers north of town are talking foxhunt. A number of tracks of the animals have been found in the vicinity of Brownhelm woods.

The funeral of Mrs. Fred Zuerch [sic], was held Wednesday afternoon at 1 o'clock from the Evangelical church. Rev. Lindenmeyer officiating. Interment was made in Evergreen Cemetery, at South Amherst. Besides her son Fred Zuercher [sic], with whom she made her home, she leaves three other sons and four daughters to mourn their loss.

State And County

Eva Killen, 17, was killed Friday by an L. S. Train at the Hayes Avenue crossing at Sandusky. She with a number of others was waiting for a long freight train to pass. They went under the gates and were on the other track. The watchman saw the approach of the past passenger and called a warning, but Ms. Killen failed to hear in time and was hurled 25 feet by the engine and killed instantly.

Strong's Corners

We are having quite changeable weather at present.

Mrs. Zurcher died in her home Sunday night. The funeral will be held Wednesday at the German church at South Amherst; at 2 o'clock. She was a good Christian woman and leaves many relatives and friends to mourn her death.

Rev. Lindenmeyer had charge of the funeral.

Two ordinances were introduced at the meeting of Sandusky city Council Monday night that is worthy of imitation by the Council of every city and village in the state. They were the curfew ordinance and a bill to bar minors from saloons. The provisions are as follows: according to it, the curfew ordinance, minors under 16 years of age will have to be indoors, unless accompanied by parents or guardians between 9 PM and 5 AM. Upon the first violation the child will be taken to his home by a policeman and the parents warned. Upon the second violation, the parent or guardian will be fined not to exceed $10 and for a third offense the parent or guardian will be fined $25 and imprisoned not more than 10 days. A bell or whistle will be sounded by the police each night.

An ordinance concerning minors and saloons – was introduced to prohibit minors under 21 years to enter any saloon, beer garden or room where intoxicating liquor is sold. A penalty of from $1 to $50 and jail sentences of from 1 to 10 days if prescribed. This is separate from the law governing the sale of liquor to minors.

Both were referred to the ordinance committee and it is probable they will be passed at the next meeting.

Mr. John Scheid of W. Huron underwent a serious operation at Providence Hospital last week.

Ex-sheriff Sanderson of Sandusky County died in his home in Fremont Wednesday.


Mr. Claude Poyer who has been very ill at the home of his father I. B. Poyer for several weeks past is reported no better.

Dr. Heinig and wife of Lucas O. were visiting our town this week with a view of two locating. He is one of our best doctors, and his wife is a trained nurse.

[NOTE: And Dr. Emil Henig would locate here. Among many others he delivered me into this world. He died in October of 1949. His wife, Edna, died in 1957.]

Sleigh riding parties have been quite numerous the past week but the sudden rise in temperature on Monday put an end to that form of enjoyment for the time being.

Mr. C. Walper is reported ill at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John Lens.

Glenn Faulhaber was returned to Providence Hospital, Sandusky Sunday where he underwent another slight operation. Tuesday the little toe on his right foot had grown out of place and festered and this together part the soul of his foot had to be amputated. It will be remembered that Mr. Faulhaber lost his left leg in a railroad accident at Sandusky last August.

Miss Alice Kane who has been very ill for the past several months, was taken to a Cleveland Sanitarium Friday where it is hoped the good nursing may be beneficial.

Mrs. Wm. Rice had the misfortune to fall downstairs Tuesday evening at the home of her son. Mr. H. P. Rice. She was severely bruised and will be laid up several days but luckily escaped with no broken bones.

Dr. A. C. Tidd, house physician at St. Joseph's Hospital Lorain, has purchased the entire equipment of the late Dr. R. P. Pelton and is ready for business in the Telephone Bldg.

West Vermilion

C. W. Kishman has received a shipment superior grain drills for the spring trade.

Martin Knock is having a good success with this traps.

A. R. Rumsey is attending the Lake Carries meeting at Detroit this week.

The small streams in this vicinity are full to their banks and the low farmers are all underwater caused by the falling rain. It looks as if some damage would result from the flood.


Mrs. M. J. Trinter is reported on the sick list.

Floyd Wasem is reported on the sick list.

Quite a number of the older people enjoyed a sleigh ride out to Ben Greenhoe’s Saturday where they spent a pleasant evening.


MORE STUFF FOR YOUR HISTORY NOTEBOOK:They actually began findin these bones on the French farm in 1880. It just took them a few years to uncover the whole skeleton. By 1901 they had uncovered most of it and sent the bones to the Oberlin museum.




…John Liddle, corporal; appointed corporal July 8, 1862; wounded September 19, 1863, in battle of Chickamauga, Georgia.

John Whalon, corporal; appointed-corporal November 23, 1862; mustered out with company June 22, 1864.

John Sheppard, corporal; appointed corporal December 31, 1862; mustered out with company June 22, 1864.

Irwin G. Porter, corporal; appointed corporal November 31, 1862; mustered out with company June 22, 1864.

Jeremiah E. Williams, musician; mustered out with company June 22, 1864.

Richard Larimer, wagoner; transferred from company H July 2, 1861; mustered out with company June 22, 1864.


Ole Anderson; killed July 25, 1861, at Camp Chase by the accidental discharge of a gun.

Nelson Arnold; transferred to company V, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 1864; veteran.

John Arni; transferred to company H July 2, 1861.

Isaac H. Ames; transferred to company F, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 1864.

Dayton Andrews; transferred to company F. Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry , 1864.

Francis Bradley; reduced from corporal December 31, 1861; died March 22, 1862, near Duck River, Tennessee.

Henry C. Beck mustered out with company June 22, 1864.

Simon Bernhart; reduced from corporal September 1, 1861; mustered out with company June 22, 1864.

Isaac Burlingame; mustered out with company June m22, 1864.

Lewis Bernstine; mustered out with company June 22, 1864.

John Brokely; died July 4, 1862, at Athens, Ala.

Samuel Bradner; no record found.

Benjamin F. Burcan; discharged January 18, 1862, on surgeon's certificate of disability.

William L. Benton; transferred to company F, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 1864.

Thomas W. Carpenter; mustered out with company June 22, 1864.

Thomas C. Campbell; died November 16, 1861, at Cheat Mountain, Va.

Charles Castle; no record found.

Jeremiah Cole, discharged October 2, 1863, on surgeon's certificate of disability.

John C. Dildine, mustered out with company June 22, 1864.

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

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KREB’S DAIRY AGAIN: This is the second cap I’ve found for this dairy and the second time it has appeared here. But the first time it was a cap for chocolate milk. Anyway, like the last time I thought I’d find more information about Kreb’s Dairy in Wakeman, Ohio and did not. What I did find is that they seemed to have a tremendous excess of milk bottle caps, and they’re all for sale on eBay for about three or four bucks. They’re certainly worth keeping. But I don’t know that they’re worth much.

I found this cap with others in an old handmade box along with a few old buttons and other sundry trinkets.


A sight-seeing bus travelling from San Francisco to Muir Woods National Monument wound around many hairpin curves. After successfully negotiating a particularly sharp curve, the bus driver pulled over to the side of the road. "Well, this is a new twist," he said, surveying his wide-eyed passengers. "I'm taking a load of petrified tourists to see a living forest!

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LOCAL ANNOUNCEMENTS: After giving it much thought this link has been "put-down". During the last year most of the folks who used to use this page as a bulletin board have acquired their own and, consequently, no longer need this forum from "Views". I have, however, kept links (in the links section) to Larry Hohler's "Hope Homes" in Kenya - and to Bette Lou Higgins' Eden Valley Enterprises sites. They are historically and socially relevant projects. I suggest that you visit these sites on a regular basis to see "what's shakin'".

Pay particular note to the "Hope Homes" page during the next few months / years. They are constantly improving the lives of their youngsters and those around them. This is an exciting project accomplished by exciting people.

Although this Vermilion High School Class of 1959 reunion is over classmates may want to stay connected with each other through organizerROGER BOUGHTON. Ye can connect by mailing him @ 2205 SW 10th Ave. Austin, MN. 55912 or you can just emailRoger.

Persons interested in the history of the Lake Shore Electric Railway (which was the subject of a recent past podcast series) - "the greatest electaric railway system on the planet" may want to go to and purchase a book called "Images of Rail - Lake Shore Electric Railway". It was put together by Thomas J. Patton with the help of my friends DENNIS LAMONT and ALBERT DOANE. It'd make a nice gift.

Another great book with Vermilion Roots is, "Grandma's Favorites: A Compilation of Recipes from MARGARET SANDERS BUELL by Amy O'Neal, ELIZABETH THOMPSON and MEG WALTER (May 2, 2012). This book very literally will provide one with the flavor of old Vermilion. And ye can also find it at Take a look.

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, 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
P.O. Box 437
Vermilion, Ohio
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"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."— Albert Einstein

Vol. 15. Issue 456- January 20, 2018

Archive Issue #775

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