SHOPTALK: This week Crystal Beach Amusement Park occupies space on my desktops (and my thinking). On the shoptop is an old pic of the Rocket Ship ride at the front of the park during (probably) the 1950s. Over the years many local unions held annual picnics at the park (i.e. the steelworkers etc.). This pic probably was taken during one of them.
When I was in grade school all the kids were given some tickets for rides at the park on the last day of school. It was exciting to leave school and hurry to the park. Who could’ve asked for more? My favorites were the Fun House and the Bumper Cars.
When I was older (a budding juvenile delinquent) I used to like to hang out at the casino at the back of the park. I liked those little penny or nickel movie machines. I also like to watch people dance to fast / rock and roll music when there were big picnics (like the one mentioned) at the park. Some of those folks could really dance – and I admired them. It was something I was never good at doing.
On my home desk is an exterior pic of the dancehall at the front of the park. I later learned that it had a name – Crystal Gardens. I never attended any of the big dances at the place. Most of what I’d consider to be great big bands were done touring by the time I would have been old enough to hear or see them. Most of the time that I spent at the place was when it was being used as a roller rink. I liked to skate. But like the dancing thing – I wasn’t very good at skating either.
I do remember attending a rather large political event there back in October of 1960 when Republican candidate for Vice-President, Henry Cabot Lodge, spoke there to a 4-party gathering of Republicans. I must also insert, here, that I also saw (I did not hear him) JFK at George Daniels Field in Lorain that same year. Aside from those two guys, the only national politician of note that I’ve ever seen and heard is George McGovern.
Crystal Gardens was town down when I was away in Vietnam. One of the very first things I noticed when I came back home in February of 1967 was that it was just gone. For some unknown reason no one consulted with me first. (Smile).
These things die hard in my memory.
THE LEGION TRUCK: This gif is another from Rich Whitt’s home movie DVD. It’s a bit hard to watch because of the film jumping around so much. But if affords you an idea of what it was like during its “heyday”. You will note the political ads on the side (at least that’s what I think they might be).
The old truck survived many decades and several bands. Somewhere I have a pic given me by Vermilion photographer Scott Dommin when he was the VHS band. But eventually it ended up on the side of a house on Cherry Road southwest of town where it fell to complete ruin. One of Vermilion’s Smith boys bought the bell that was on the front of the vehicle at an auction. The rest now belongs to the ages, a number of old photographs and this jerky film of the truck at the Olympic Club in the 1930s.
There is some better film of the men on the truck in another clip. Perhaps that will be available later.
WHERE’S CHARLIE (?): About a week ago our neighbor at the Olympic Outing Club, Rich Whitt, asked me to make some copies of a DVD for him. F.Y.I. Richard, his sister, Cathy Fischer, and brother Don are the children of late Vermilion Postmaster Paul and Rita Leber-Whitt. It is my understanding that Rita’s father, Andy Leber, took a number of 16mm home movies of activities at the Olympic Club and several other places around Vermilion and elsewhere in the 30s. Parts of those movies were later made into a VHS recording, eventually placing them on Rich’s DVD.
The recording is quite long – over an hour. It consists of clips taken at different places and times over a period of years, months and seasons during the mid to late 1930s. These are silent clips both in color and black and white. But sound is irrelevant. For persons interested in local history they’re both fun and exciting.
A good portion of the film was captured at, of course, the Olympic Club. These are clips of several baseball parades and games. It seems that there was a parade before each game led by a band and occasionally Vermilion’s old American Legion Band Truck. There were both male and female baseball teams – some dressed in nice uniforms and some dressed in clownish costumes. The crowd attending these games were unbelievable. There were, perhaps, nearly five hundred to a thousand spectators at some of them. Some parts of the movie were taken during the club’s legendary Clam Bakes as well as their Vermilion Day celebrations when they invited the town to picnic at the club. In addition to those things there is also a very entertaining beauty contest spoof put on by all the ladies of the club. Fun, fellowship and a wonderful sense of humor were (and remain) hallmarks of the organization.
In other clips there are some very interesting views of the Vermilion Lagoons, the clubhouse and power and sailboats on the river and at the entrance to the harbor. There are Regatta scenes of activities on the river near the water treatment plant and the old sail loft featuring canoes, rowboats, and various types of pleasure powerboats – along with swimming and diving contests. It’s interesting to see how many observers parked their cars in the spaces not yet occupied by homes in the Lagoons in those years. There are also some scenes of the wide beach that once ran from the Lagoons east toward the Crystal Beach Amusement Park, with swimmers and sunbathers happily enjoying a day by the lake in the sun.
And then there is a piece that very nearly escaped my attention. It is entitled “Trinter and Fergy Among the Glad’s” It’s a 30 second clip of two men in a small field of gladiolas. It wasn’t until I’d watched the entire movie several times that it occurred to me that “Trinter” was Vermilion’s Charles Adam “Charlie” Trinter, and that “Fergy” was Vermilion’s Earl Carter Furgason.
Furgason owned and operated a poolhall and bowling alley on Division/Main Street (VPJ: 09/19/2019). Charlie Trinter (VPJ: 02/12/2004) is one of my favorite Vermilion businessmen and personalities of the yesteryear. In my journeys through Vermilion’s past he appears like the game character “Waldo” just about everywhere. So, suddenly, there he is in this vintage movie made by a member of the Olympic Outing Club in the 1930s. Some years ago, Trinter’s granddaughter, Kathy Dickason-Kvach, told me about the proverbial “field of gladiolas” he nurtured in the backyard of his Perry Street home and – poof! - there he, as well as E. C. Furgason pop up, in living color, in this rather eclectic home movie.
Charlie had once owned and operated a large general store on the southwest corner of Liberty and Division/Main streets (now occupied by City offices) with a fella named Joseph Unser. He was also an insurance agent, a realtor, a VBC Commodore, a rural postal carrier for nearly five years, postmaster for 23 years and clerk of the Board of Education for 44 years. In 1914 he and a fellow businessman named Lewis Englebry, along with an early aviation pioneer named Tony Janus, were photographed on Linwood Beach in front of Janus’ biplane. He was more than likely one of the very first Vermilion guys to fly as a passenger when he accompanied Janus on a flight from Linwood to Cedar Point.
He died in June of 1947, so I never really had any chance to know him. But, as should be obvious, I admire him – his enthusiasm for life and our Vermilion. So, to merely say that I am exceptionally surprised and pleased to have found him in a most unlikely place is an understatement. This movie, would, of course, never win an Academy Award. But it is beyond any doubt a valuable artifactual record from days long gone of days long gone.
Ref: Special Thanks To: Rich Whitt and Family; Written Sunday, October 6, 2019
Vol. XV, No 19 - VERMILION, OHIO THURSDAY, October 12, 1911
To The Electors of Vermilion Greeting:
The reason I am candidate for Mayor of the Independent Ticket.
When the Civic League movement was started and its purpose made known, I had decided to give the movement my hearty support; and seeing that the committee on candidates had trouble finding the man for the place, I promised that if they could not find a better man for the office I would consent to have my name placed before the people.
The result is that the civic league is unanimously endorsed me for the office of Mayor.
To me this movement is one of protest at the loose and lax methods and actions of the present incumbent.
To be your mayor, that is the mayor of all the people, not the mayor of an exclusive few, would be to me, and should be to anyone, the highest honor that could be conferred on a citizen. If it is not, it is the fault the man in losing the respect of the citizens and consequently receiving no honor.
If elected I promise to change these conditions by conducting the office so as to command respect; perform the duties of Mayor conscientiously and to be slow to make radical changes.
I believe in obeying the laws myself and by example, in the law I should do all in my power to inculcate a like obedience, and encourage moderation, industry, thrift, purity and justice.
Now you the Electorate must decide who you will have to enforce the laws and suggest and plan improvements for the welfare of the community.
Yours for the welfare of Vermilion.
F. W. Wakefield.
Prosecutor Will be Asked to Decide
The Vermilion Village Board of Education held its regular meeting Monday evening with Messrs. Beeckel, Leimbach and Wakefield present. Absent Messrs. Coen and Kishman. Mr. Wakefield presided in the absence of President Coen. After the regular routine of business payment of the bills, the question as to whether the village district lost the territory when certain farmlands were detached or not. The Township board being in session the village board adjourned to the formers meeting and discuss the subject with them. It seems they had already asked the prosecuting attorney for a decision in the matter, through their clerk, but had heard nothing as of yet. It was finally decided to have the clerk of the village board communicate with the prosecutor and ask him to look into the matter. It seems at present the Township schools have the be. If these pupils will be subject to tuition as being in the Township. If it is still in the district the village board should have the money derived from the school tax. It is important that this matter be decided. The board then adjourned.
Chamber of Commerce
The Vermilion Chamber of Commerce held its regular session Wednesday with some 13 members present. Among the reports of the committees were several of the of interest. The Industrial committee reported communications from two factories, one manufacturing auto parts and the other a Marine fixtures factory. The letters were answered, but no reply received, in each case sites were offered.
Vermilion has one proposition however, which promises to be good, and that is a barrel and box factory. This is a branch factory, one of several now in operation. Temporary quarters are now under consideration later permanent quarters will be secured. Vermilion is a good location being a good fishing port and a fruit and berry raising section, easy of access and with first class shipping facilities. We understand this is a sure thing for Vermilion.
G. B. McConnelly, having Patty to retire from the Chamber of Commerce and as trustee, J. A. Clark was selected by acclamation.
The necessity of lights upon the fire escapes on the hall was mentioned in the Secretary instructed to write to the Township trustees calling their attention the fact also asking them to place lights in the shed. In the discussion it developed that the matter had been talked over but as the trustees had proposed that the town will pay half of the cost lighting sheds and the Council could not see it that way, it was dropped. The lighting of the sheds would be a great improvement that would be of benefit only to the people of the Township. It could be done with incandescent bulbs at a very low cost. The lighting of the fire escapes is a necessity in case of fire, they would be in their present condition a menace rather than a safeguard and if the matter was put up to state fire official such lighting would be ordered at once.
As a subject of general good it was proposed by E. J. Law that sewage disposal be taken up and it was ordered that the secretary should write to the various health boards for publication upon the subject, it will be but a short time before the government will require such plants for towns upon the Great Lakes, and the better we are informed upon the subject the more intelligent action can be taken when the time comes. The new movement to secure the purity of the waters of the lakes is attracting the attention of the health authorities in both Canada and the United States and some stringent regulations may be expected.
Comments upon the comfort station were made. Elyria is expecting to follow our example and proposes to erect two upon their public squares soon. Sandusky people are doing considerable thinking and we as a town are receiving compliments from near and far upon this improvement.
It was suggested that Vermilion adopt some “slogan” such as many cities and towns are adopting. For example Cleveland now has “Cleveland six City,” and it is emblazoned upon everything printed including the business stationery. The NEWS is open to suggestions, let’s have them. Either send direct to Chas. Heidloff, secretary or the NEWS.
After ordering payment of bills meeting adjourned.
In an item last week in the court notes we stated that there was a QUESTION of ownership of and in the Unser – Rathbun controversy. Mr. Unser informs us that he has purchased the property and hold holds the deeds of the same.
Charged with stealing $12 worth of tools from blacksmith Jacobs at Huron, C. V. Parker, claiming an Ashtabula residence was arrested by Marshal Frey Saturday afternoon at Huron and brought to the county jail.
It was just a week ago that the doors of the County institution opened to release Parker, who had been confined for stealing several bottles of beer at Vermilion, according to the authorities.
BORN – to Mr. Mrs. William Schauver, a daughter, Sunday, Oct. 8, 1911.
The funeral services of the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hansen was held Monday morning. Rev. E. C. Snyder officiated. The remains were entered in the Crown Hill Cemetery.
The funeral services of Mrs. R Miller, age 70 years, who died at her home in Brownhelm, Saturday, were held from the Brownhelm church Tuesday afternoon at 1:30, Rev. Pretzer of Vermilion officiating.
BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Hard a son, Tuesday morning.
BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Archie McDowell, a son, Friday, October 6, ‘11.
Mr. Norris Welch of Florence and Miss Ethel Bottomley of Vermilion and Mr. Geo Urig of Elyria were the Sunday guests of Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Housman.
[NOTE: Norris and Ethel later married.]
Mr. Henry Koppenhafer met with an accident one day last week while butchering, the knife slipped and caught him above the knee. He was laid up for a couple of days but is able to be about again.
HAVE YOU NOTICED
How much the new curbs and gutters on Liberty and Division Sts. will add to the general appearance of our village.
The change in the gates and position of crossing watchmen will be changed on the Lake Shore Ry.
The telephone lineman are trimming trees this week.
Vermilion has an unusually large number of fine well-kept residences.
That election will soon be here when it is time that every voter should “do his duty.”
That the NEWS is publishing a very interesting story. Read it.
TALK WITH THE MAYOR
Mayor Williams, says if the party who made complaint on the short weights and measures would come to him and enter complaint, he is ready to “open court”. He says he would like to talk with “One of the Many.”
LOCALS AND PERSONALS
Aug. Schroeder, 19-year-old son of Martin Schroeder, an Amherst Farmer was shot and slightly wounded Tuesday afternoon following a few words with three Lorain foreigners were hunting on the farm.
Little Katherine Becker who has been quite ill the past two weeks is reported improving.
P. J. Havice these will be in town once or twice a week with cider For Sale.
Mrs. Dietrich is reported quite ill from pneumonia at her home in the stove plan allotment.
Examination of the tug Comet discloses that no injuries were sustained excepting to the propeller.
Mrs. Myra Bailey was called to Florence Tuesday noon on account of the death of her sister, Mrs. Melissa Jarret who is been in failing health for more than a year.
The memorial service on Sunday evening in the Cong’l church in honor of Miss Frances Willard under the auspices of the W. C. T. U. Was very interesting and appropriate one. The program consisted of special singing, recitation and an address by Rev. Burnett.
BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. William Gegenheimer a daughter. Thursday, Oct. 5th, 11.
Mrs. E. B. Welch and daughter Velma visited a Cleveland and Elyria last week.
[We later knew Velma as Velma Sandak.]
Mrs. Regina S. Miller passed away at her home in Brownhelm, at 5:40 5 A. M., Oct. 8, 1911, after an illness of six days due to a stroke of apoplexy. Mrs. Regina Miller was born in Brownhelm, July 5th, 1841, was married to A. D. Miller, who died in 1887, after five sons and three daughters were born, Jacob of Amherst, Henry of Elyria, Charles Brownhelm, Willie of Amherst, and Peter who died in March, 1902. Mrs. Sales of Huron, Mrs. Whitmore of Vermilion, Mrs. Strahle of Brownhelm, also 19 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, all of whom reside in Lorain and Erie Co.
The deceased was 73 yrs. 3 mos. and 3 dys. old, and was in good health until the time of her illness.
Mrs. Regina Miller resided all of her life within one half mile of her birthplace. Her death was a sad blow to the whole community having been a kind and affectionate mother and a loyal friend to all who knew her. The funeral took place from the German church at Brownhelm, on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1911, at 1:30 P. M., Rev. A. C. Pretzer officiating.
The neighbors and friends have the thanks of the family for their kindness during the illness and death.
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