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Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

When dealing with the insane the best method is to pretend to be sane. - Herman Hesse.......I think its wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly. - Steven Wright.....Blessed is he who expects nothing for he shall never be disappointed - Jonathan Swift.......This week Etta James sings Stormy Weather (it is very appropriate for this weekend).......rnt...............

June 27,  2015 - Car Show & War Ends headline width=


SHOPTALK: The shoptop this week is a pic of a newspaper donated to the museum by my good bud and Vermilionite Al Crozier. The headline is from the old Cleveland News and it refers to the end of (“The war to end all wars.”) WW1. The newspaper fits perfectly with the military display at the museum. You can’t see it (here), but just above the display is a model bi-plane that was built by Ray Full back in the 1980s.

NOTHING SPECIAL:On my home top this week is an old pic I captured at a car show at Vermilion’s South Shore Shopping Center a fews years back.

I just liked the car and I liked the chrome effect I managed with the photo. So I used it on my desktop.

McDonald’s restaurant can be seen in the background.

OUR WINDOWS: Last November the museum held a wine tasting fundraiser. One of the funds we promoted was to have some of the windows on the museum building renovated. On Wednesday (06/24/15)of this week that work commenced.

Pictured below is volunteer Frank Homitz working on one of the windows on the south side of the building. Some of the wood could not be salvaged so it has to be duplicated.

When the windows are finished I believe that it will help insulate the lower part of the building much better than in the past. Some of the glaze on the windows was non-existent. It’s a wonder the glass just didn’t fall out.

Below is a pic of the almost finished window. After it’s cleaned and painted it’ll be as good as new.

Sometime in the future I’d like to place canvas awnings over these two windows. In years past there were awnings on them. In the summer the sun really bakes that side of the building.

The woodwork on the windows on the north side of the building is actually in very good condition. I guess the house next door protects that side of the building from the harsh winter winds.

BUSY-NESS: I’ve not had a paying job for several years now – and I’m busier than ever.

Sometimes I feel like one of those guys who you might see standing on a street corner playing a guitar, a harmonica, and crashing symbols with their knees; A persons of many trades but master of none.

But, seriously, I have a good deal of help or I couldn’t do much of anything.

My big sis, Nancy Alice Emery, who generally proofs my Saturday morning work went to Florida with her daughter to visit another daughter last week. But I guess she’ll be there for some time. Her first night there she fell out of bed and broke something so perhaps she’ll be able edit from her hospital bed. But that won’t prohibit her from working. I’m told she’s in the VIP section at the hospital. Her daughter works there and is connected.

Some people will do anything to get first class accommodations.

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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


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Vermilion News Print Shop Museum

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Audrey Folk

Audrey Troxel-Folk

CHECK THE ARTIFACT: This is a very nice photograph of a girl named Audrey Folk. Audrey was the mother of another Vermilion girl named Jane Smith. Janes given name is actually Audrey as well.

If you scroll down to the Artifacts section of "VV" you will get "The Rest of the Story"

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, Mavis Keener, Judy Lowery, Ray Luna, Wayne Rohrbaugh and Marjorie Sipos. – Correspondent Sandy Neiding

The Mississippi=

"As best I can tell it was taken from Vermilion’s old wagon bridge (c. 1920)..."

ROLLING ON THE RIVER: While developing some of my late grandfather’s glass negatives last week I came across the photograph that accompanies this week’s column. Though I’ve seen a print of it before I didn’t know it was one of my grandfather’s photos until I found the glass. And the print I’d seen was not quite as good as the one I was able to acquire in a digital darkroom. By and large it’s not a very attractive composition. A bit of color would’ve certainly made it more appealing. However, it is an interesting photo of Vermilion’s past.

As best I can tell it was taken from Vermilion’s old wagon bridge (c. 1920) looking southwest. The wagon bridge was removed in 1929, replaced by the current bridge that was built perhaps 20 or 30 yards to the northwest. The abutment for the old bridge is still plainly visible on the east bank of the river between Jon Clark’s home and Bill Romp’s marina. The detritus along the riverbank in the upper photograph appears to be discarded fishing nets, etc. that probably belonged to the Southwest Fishery that at the time occupied the Romp property.

The bridge in the upper photo is the Lake Shore Electric (interurban) Bridge. That bridge was dismantled around 1939 after the system (a.k.a. “The Greatest Electric Railway System in the United States”) ceased operations. While dismantling the bridge L.S.E. officials were embarrassed when the bridge accidentally fell into the river effectively stopping the flow of pleasure and other boats on the stream to the express and extreme “displeasure” of Vermilion’s elected officials. (Funny. But not funny.)

Though barely visible in this particular photograph the steam (L.S. & M.S.) Railroad Bridge can be seen behind (south of) the electric bridge. While some things certainly change over time that bridge still remains; and only the name of the rail company has changed (several times) since these shadows were captured.

But setting all that aside the main subject of this photo is the boat passing under the bridge. Were it not for that boat this picture would not have merited a second look. But the boat was somewhat unusual – at least for those times. It is a paddlewheel craft with a flat bottom. Vermilionite Don Parsons currently has a very similar – but larger – boat providing visitors to our city with historic river tours. In this particular case I’m not sure what the purpose of the owner might have been. The passengers might have been tourists or they might have been members of the Olympic Outing Club heading for a weekend at the club up river.

Some of the older members of that club used to talk about coming from Cleveland on the interurban, and then taking a paddleboat taxi (or a rowboat) from town to the club grounds. In those days the River Road – not to mention the road down the hill to the club – were either poorly paved or not paved at all. Ergo, a water taxi ride would really have been a preferable mode of transport. In this specific instance, however, I don’t see any luggage with the passengers so this may have not been the aforementioned taxi.

Nevertheless it certainly appeared to be a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. While some persons may note that the passengers on the vessel do not appear to be dressed for camping or boating their formal attire was not terribly unusual for the times. In the first few decades of the 20th century wearing less clothing was apparently seldom an option for participating in either activity. It is not, therefore, atypical to find pictures of both men and women in canoes and rowboats wearing what we might consider to be very formal attire. But whether we know what these folks were about or not it would probably be safe for us to assume that they had a jolly good time rolling on the river in that yesteryear.

Ref: Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 05/20/15.

AN ADDENDUM: I need to add a few things to this photograph. After the article and pic were published in the Vermilion Photojournal Vermilionite Tom Moes dropped by the museum with some additional info about the boat in this pic.

A member of the Moes family built the craft at the Olympic Outing Club in the early years of the 20th century. Folks called it the “Mississippi”. Among other uses the paddlewheel was used to transport club members from the Lake Shore Electric bridge to the club.

When it was no longer being used the engine went up the hill to power the Moes Cider Mill on (West) River Road. But what happened to the boat itself is now (at least) a matter of conjecture.

Some have said that it was left to sink along the river at the Olympic Club. Others have said that it was used for a number of years as a houseboat along the river and later removed to a site on South Street used as a candy store. That little dwelling, by the way, still exists across the street from Vermilion’s former South Street School.

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. 8. – VERMILION, OHIO, THURSDAY, August 1, 1907

[NOTE: I don't know how these issues of the NEWS were scrambled - but they were. This is actually an earlier issue than the one I used last week.]


Part of the ceiling in the county surveyor’s office fell Sunday but fortunately no one was under it when it came down.

As a result the commissioners have decided to place steel on it as well as o the ceiling in the clerk’s room, which is in a poor condition and liable to fall at any time.

An injunction was issued against W.A. Christian, a Vermilion businessman Tuesday to restrain him from disposing of a stock of dry goods, notions and groceries, belonging to the plaintiff in action C.C. Baumhart it is averred.

C.S. Tuttle, on Monday, was appointed administrator of the state of William Roberts, late of Milan, the estimated value of which is $100. Roberts, it well be remembered, was until slain by George Bittner some time ago, engineer at the Milan water works station.

Real Estate Transfers.

The Diamond Cheese Co. to the clover Dairy Col., 1.70 acres Florence twp., $4,000.

Fell In The River

Some excitement was caused this morning at the dock near the Buckeye Fish House. A party of two Ladies, a little girl and a young man in a rowboat attempted to land. The young man tied the boat and assisted one lady and the little girl to the dock. While he was doing this the other young lady, who was holding on the to the dock instead of pulling the boat to the dock pushed it away throwing her into the water just as the young man turned to help her out. He seized her and held her up until bystanders assisted in pulling her out of the water. Had the ladies been alone and no one near as is often the case the story might have been different. However it is a good lesson in boating to those who come here to spend the summer. It is a marvel that there are not more accidents.

Funeral of Martin Willoughby

The remains of the late Martin Willoughby, who was drowned at Vermilion, Ohio on Sunday July 14th, arrived here Friday morning in charge of his father, Mr. T.H. Willoughby, and accompanied by Messers W.E. Bailey, C.A. Mattison, C.F. Decker and F.C. McConnelly, of Vermilion. The funeral took place the same afternoon from the family residence, Rachel St., to the Watford cemetery. The service was conducted by the Rev. S.W. Maxworthy, pastor of the Watford Methodist Church, assisted by the Rev. T.B. Coupland. Deceased was a member of Ely Lodge, No. 424, A.F. & A.M. Vermilion, and the members of Havelock Lodge No. 238 A.F. & A.M. attended in a body.

The pallbearers were Bros Bailey, Mattison and Decker of Ely Lodge, and Fitzgerald, Swift and Kelly of Havelock. The Masonic service was conducted by Right Wor. Bro. James Newell, M.D. Mr. Willoughby speaks in terms grateful appreciation of the kindness and sympathy shown him by the members of the Masonic fraternity and citizens of Vermilion generally. They rendered every assistance in their power in the search for the body and in other ways and the family and friends will never forget the good people of the Ohio town. The body was picked up about seven miles from where the accidnt occurred. The Ohio brethren, who accompanied the remains, returned home on Friday evening. During their stay in town they were guests of Havelock Lodge – Watford Guide-Advocate

The Vermilion Milling Company
A Splendid Showing.

The “NEWS” is even glad to notice the evidences of prosperity coming to Vermilion enterprises and to Vermilion people: hence takes pleasure in announcing to its readers the success that has come to the Vermilion Milling Company. This present management has just commenced its second year, and during the last twelve months the amount of local business has increased over four hundred per cent, showing that the Vermilion people recognize the good work done by this company. One of the noteworthy things about this business is that nearly all the stock is now owned by people of this town and surrounding community. A. Monroe is the obliging salesman and Treasurer; Mr. John Hays the efficient Miller; and Mr. A. Gregory the engineer.

Senator Foraker Will Speak

Next Saturday – Farmer’s Picnic at Linwood Park – Electric cars every hour – Band concert all day – U.S. Senator Foraker and Congressman Mouser will speak. A large crowd will be present U.S. senator Foraker is an orator – his words have might - his sentences are fearless. Congressman Mouser’s popularity is shown by his two great Victories. You will hear words – Saturday, August 3 that will awake new interest in life.

[VV. Ed. Note: Joseph Benson Foraker was the 37th Governor of Ohio from 1886 to 1890 and a Republican United States Senator from 1897 until 1909. Foraker was born in rural Ohio in 1846, and enlisted at age 16 in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He died in Cincinnati in May 1917.

Grant Earl Mouser was U.S. Representative from Ohio. He was born in Marion, Ohio in 1868. He served as Republican representative in the 59th and 60th Congresses (March 4, 1905 – March 3, 1909) He died in Marion in 1949.]



Mrs. Belle Darby has been quite sick but is a good deal better at present.

The funeral of Mrs. Anthony who died last Friday night very suddenly of Apoplexy [i.e. a stroke] was quite well attended last Monday morning at the M.E. church. Mr. Knapp of this circuit delivered a few very appropriate remarks. Mrs. Howe and Miss Carter sang three beautiful duets. The deceased had no relatives but her husband who has the sympathy of all. They had moved here from Cleveland this spring, as she had long desired a home in the country. Here with only two of her old friends, Mr. and Mrs. House, she was suddenly stricken with death.


Miss Anna decker is recovering from typhoid fever.

Wm. Werner fractured his wrist while at work at No. 4 Lapp mill Monday at Lorain. It will be some time before he can use it.

Dr. Rogers and family have returned form their Linwood Park outing They report a very pleasant time.


Miss Mayme Cook is recovering from an attack of typhoid fever.

A number of dockworkers are out of work owing to the boats coming from upper ports coming in light. This is caused by the strike on the upper lakes.

Ted Banfied lost three of the fingers on his left hand while working on the car dump Monday.

Mrs. W.H. Block, who has been in a New York hospital since her return from Chile, S.A. passed through here Friday on her way to relatives in White House. Mrs. Block is still very ill. She was accompanied by her husband.

[VV. Ed. Note: This piece isn’t very clear. White House (i.e. Whitehouse) is a village in Lucas County Ohio. I believe the article was supposed to mean that Mrs. Block had been in a New York hospital and was on her way to be with relatives in Whitehouse.


Souvenir Post Cards 1c each at the NEWS office.

Irvin Mason, twenty-four, miraculously escaped death at Huron Tuesday morning. As he was about step upon a car dumper on the Wheeling docks where he was employed, after ascending a tall ladder he slipped and fell forty-five feet, striking the roof of a shanty from which he rolled to the ground, 20 feet, in all 65 feet. The unfortunate man was picked up unconscious and Dr. Woessner was summoned. An examination developed the fact that no bones had been broken although the spine was injured.

A number of refined vaudeville artists are with “The Folks up Willow Creek” and many pleasing and artistic specialties are given during the action of the play at the Opera House August 10th.

Vermilion Post Office is going some now. During the past month the weight of the first-class mail alone was about 50 lbs. That the souvenir post card business is not on the decline is evidenced b the sale of one cent stamps we are informed that the sale s have reached 2000 in one day.

One thousand square yards of special scenery, all on a magnificent scale and adjustable to any sized stage, is carried by the Frank Davidson company. This assures absolute scenic perfection to The Folks up Willow Creek” and will virtually make an entire new stage in our Opera House, all of the stock scenery being removed. Such a display of mechanical effects was never before attempted, an is well worth seeing. The date is August 10th.

Mrs. Dan Myers is on the sick list this week.

Mrs. L.J. Decker has been quite ill this week.

BORN – Wednesday, July 31 1907, to Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Christian a daughter.

The Milan Sunday School picnicked at Linwood Park Tuesday. Two carloads came.

Mrs. F.E. Englebry returned home from the hospital at Cleveland Thursday and is recovering as fast as can be expected.

W.E. Bailey, Plumber, expects Mr. Archie Davis of Watford, Ontario, to arrive today to enter his employ.

The Vermilion Telephone co., have recently installed phones at the following residences; Jas. Risden, F.C. Morgan, Mrs. Katherine Ferber, Frank Risden and C.F. Smith.

Lewis Englebry, who has been quite sick for the past week is reported on the gain although he has not been down to his tore as yet.

The fish tug Leidheiser Bro.’s that was built for Leidheiser Bro.’s of this place was launched at Lorain Wednesday.


Mary W. Buxton



Mary Wakefield Buxton

The summer of 1954, when I was 14 years old, Father sent me away from my home town in Vermilion, Ohio to attend a swank girl’s summer camp on Torch Lake on the northern tip of Michigan. I was following in my older sister Alice’s footsteps who had attended the camp two years before me. I was gone from my home in Vermilion for a very long 8 weeks.

Sending me away to summer camp was part of Father’s plan he called “helping his daughters grow up” which he had started at age 6 when I had to start placing all his “person to person” long distant calls from the dial up black telephone in the kitchen while he directed me as to each step from his chair in the living room. This included the holy terror of talking to an “operator” which seemed particularly spooky because it was a strange voice speaking to me in the telephone. All my protests in having to do this chore fell on Father’s deaf ears…. “I was shy when I was growing up and I won’t have my daughter shy,” he would say as I dialed “O” with trembling fingers. (Father's program to eradicate any shyness in his daughters must have worked because none of his three daughters turned out shy.)

At 14, I had never been seriously away from home before other than an occasional overnight at Polly Warner’s house in the Vermilion Lagoons. Spending an entire summer away from home was a noticeable shock to my unformulated blob of grey matter thought of as my brain. I suffered dreadfully that summer from a malady that I later learned was called “homesickness.” My parents came to visit me half way through the summer camp program and when they left, I remember feeling this terrible sense of despair as I kissed them goodbye and then crying profusely as I ran back through the dark path in the woods to my cabin.

Mother later said that “crying” was not the word for it…rather, she recalled, I was howling like a wounded beast that had just suffered the unhappy fate of being shot. She said it nearly killed them to drive off to Ohio leaving their daughter so obviously unhappy and alone in Michigan. Ah, what parents must endure to defeat any signs of shyness in their offspring.

I had no sooner arrived back in Vermilion in late August, sadder but definitely not wiser, than I started as a freshman student at Vermilion High School. Another even greater shock than summer camp away from home awaited me (more along the line of trauma) which left a permanent mark of terror in my heart from which I have never fully recovered.

Due to my earning a poor grade in the high school placement exam administered at the end of the 8th grade, (and perhaps due to the fact I was mainly a lazy and unmotivated student when it came to studying) I had been placed in a class of “slower learners” or, as they now say which is more palatable to our politically correct ears, the non-college bound students.

This was excruciatingly painful to my tender 14 year old sense of ego, which was quite well developed for my age along with a rather shallow outlook on life. Yet, in spite of all my shortcomings, I was upset, not because I cared much about academics which I didn’t, but because I was suddenly separated from my friends. Later this early placement would so upset my academic schedule that I would have to take 3 years of foreign languages all at the same time in my senior year in order to qualify for entrance to a woman’s college in the south that I later had decided to attend. Taking French 1, 11, and Spanish 11 all in the same last year of high school, the three classes coming one after another and taught by with the remarkable Miss Mary Chadwick, was another trauma that left deep scars on my anima from which I have never fully recovered.

So my freshman year instead of taking French 1 and learning to parlez-vous Francais with my friends, I most unceremoniously found myself in home economics class learning to cook and sew. Horreurs! This was somewhat like waking up from a bad dream only to find you are in a kitchen staring at a sink full of dirty dishes or worse, finding yourself facing a stack of shirts that needed resewn buttons.

I did not tell my parents of this abrupt change in my academic standing at school nor the fact I was not taking subjects my freshman year which would prepare me for college as they expected. Why upset one’s parents? I chose rather to bumble along desperately hoping someone would stumble upon my lack of required foreign language and magically change my status.

To every needy student comes along a teacher who will save her. Lo and behold Mrs. Hooper, my beloved English teacher, a lovely and caring woman, (who became later Mrs. Schroeder ) noticed my sudden good grades in her English class (you can bet my grades had suddenly shot up) and at the end of the first semester and I was returned to the college bound class grouping. Saved in English, I still could not enter French 1 at mid- semester and thus had to continue baking biscuits and sewing hems into skirts. A terrible fate that apparently awaited all 14 year old girls who did not want to learn to speak French.

The experience taught me an important lesson. I hate to cook and sew. It also it taught me that I would have to work hard in life if I hoped to make something of myself. If I didn’t work hard, I would have to cook and sew. This stark reality that hits every 14 year old girl across the face of America may very well have been the beginning of the feminist movement.

Now every writer is tempted to make himself look better than in fact he really is, especially when writing autobiography. How easy it is to spin the silvery words! But, gentle readers, I cannot stray from cold, hard truth because there are many fellow students and even some teachers who may read my story and know instantly when I have gone off track. Thus, I would very much like to write that from the time I was returned back to college prep English class that I became a serious student and buckled down to my school work… but that amazing metamorphous did not come about until my senior year when I finally turned my attention to earning good grades. I have always said…better late than never.

Discerning readers (and those who personally knew me in high school) may come to the conclusion that my problem was essentially that I was basically a “laugher.” Correct. I was the type of girl who could laugh on a dime and at just about anything. My one rule on humor was… “If it moved, it was funny.” This most liberal definition of comedy afforded me a great deal of laughter. This proves that I was not just an occasional laugher, but a dedicated, hard core laugher of the first degree.

However, this condition came about not from any evil intent and premeditation on my part but from nature and gene. Was it my fault that things struck me as funny? No, indeed. Blame it on the Parsons.

Mother was a Parsons and the women from this family line in Vermilion were full of fun. Mother also said she had a shot of French blood in her system so I suspect that had done the trick. The Parsons were an old Vermilion family, many of the Parsons men were captains on lake freighters. Perhaps that was why their wives were laughers, simply because their husbands were gone for such long periods of time? Well, who knows? But the fact is three Parsons women had married into the Wakefield family, “newcomers” to Vermilion as Mother liked to point out, with Aunt Mary marrying A.F. Wakefield, Aunt Bernadette marrying Fred Wakefield, and my mother marrying George Wakefield. From that point on there was always a lot of laughter in the Wakefield family.

Also, at 14 I had a deeply imaginative brain, inclined toward storytelling, comedy, poetry, day dreaming and fantasy. I was under the peculiar impression that life was rather a play and everything in the world that happened was presented on a stage of sorts and for my own personal amusement. In this delightful delusion even my teachers at school had been hired and their classes set up to entertain me. I must say they all did a beautiful job as I was entirely entertained and I enjoyed life and school immensely.

The fact that I thought life full of fun may have been directly related to the fact that Mother never allowed her daughters to attend a funeral. Thus I had no idea that people were dying all around me. I didn’t hear about death until I was 18 and the news came as such a shock. “You mean we actually die?” I asked Mother with a bit of incredulous look pasted across my concerned brow.

“Well, yes, dear, in the end we all die,” she said and then flipped a pancake she was busily preparing for my breakfast. Then, Mother quoted my great grandmother, Franc Horton Parson’s famous line that I had heard from her all of my life… “Oh, let the children laugh and have fun… while they can” and suddenly I understood what her dire saying really meant. Let them laugh before we tell them they are going to die.

My close friends went along with my natural inclinations for laughter even though they were much more serious students than I was. Mary Lou Callahan, Polly Warner, Lynn Roberts, Martha Harrison, Cynthia Avery…just a few of my old co-harts, oh, how we laughed at everything…especially our teachers who struck as especially hilarious next to our parents, of course, not to mention the boys in our class whom we really thought were the most immature and silly creatures who had ever walked the earth.

Of course, if truth be known, we were furious with the boys in our class because as soon as we entered high school they dropped us like hotcakes and they had even had the bloody nerve to establish girlfriends in the younger grades. How they could have given up our suave sophistication, breath taking beauty and exquisite brains for such juveniles was quite a mystery and we never forgave them for their treachery. To punish them for their betrayal, we ridiculed them relentlessly for everything they did, said, and thought for the next 4 years which was quite appropriate.

Some of the boys in our class were Roger Boughton, David Halley, Jeff Edwards, Glen Owens, Nick Mayer, and Bob Mroski. When I later heard Nick Mayer had become Chief of Police in Vermilion, I knew that if I had even a grain of intelligence, I had better never be caught speeding ever again in Vermilion.

For some unknown reason I found Miss Grob’s home- each class especially hysterically funny. That we girls would learn to cook in her spanking white, immaculate Betty Crocker kitchen or sit at one of those silly sewing machines that were lined up along the windowed wall and actually sew dresses was the best joke of all.

That year with Miss Grob’s help I went through the painful throes of learning to make my own clothes. My wretched creations included a pink and white flowered frock which Miss Grob had had to finally throw up her hands and sew the collar on for me as it was far too tricky for me. My “piece de resistance” at year’s end was an oriental sheath cut from a few yards of rich green and red brocade trimmed with gold braid “frogs” that Mother managed to find somewhere in Lorain after not finding any for sale in Vermilion.

Ah, I gazed at myself in the mirror. My dress was much too tight and I could barely walk in it in spite of the alluring slit that traveled up my leg like a snake but no matter. I imagined I looked like Suzie Wong even with a head of short curls topped off with a freckled nose. To think I wobbled across the stage in high heels and modeled my dresses in an evening style show for admiring parents and friends makes me laugh out loud some 60 years later.

Then there was the cooking side of the home economics class and many, many aromatic trays of home-made burnt biscuits.

Mr. Zeimke taught Algebra and, to my despair, I never understood one word of it. I do believe I have no head for math. To prove this innate weakness, I recently bought a book of Algebra to see if any of it made sense to me at age 70. It did not. The horrid truth is I am not one bit interested in finding the unknown X, let alone able to discover it.

But I loved Coach Ziemke who was an exceedingly popular coach. I remember vividly him standing at the head of the classroom gazing down at his open math book and scratching his freshly cut “crewcut” head trying to figure out how to explain a problem to the class. Finally Tom Peebles, the class brain, would be called on to work the problem on the chalk board so we could all understand how it was solved. Tom would turn his back to us and busy himself covering the entire slate with hundreds of illegible chicken scratching. Then he would sit down. Mr. Ziemke would say “Good work Tom,” the bell would ring, and that was that. Let the unknown forever remain unknown forever was my philosophy.

My last class was speech with Miss Thelma Toby. In spite of my father’s program to beat shyness out of my little head, I soon discovered at age 14 I was totally unable to stand up in front of the class and give a speech. I could stand up in front of the class, however, and giggle. I was quite good at that as it always struck me as charmingly funny that my class mates would stare back at me expecting me to give a speech on some assigned topic. It was even funnier that Miss Toby sat at the back of the classroom with a gradebook in front of her and holding a pen and poised to give me a grade for giggling.

I remember one really pathetic stab of a speech. Miss Toby had asked us to speak on a current event. I chose speaking on an up and coming treaty Congress was considering with Russia. This was 1954 and we were in the midst of the “Cold War.” I asked Father the evening before my speech what he thought I should say. He grumbled from deep behind the op-ed page of his Cleveland Plain Dealer his abbreviated response. “Any treaty signed with the Ruskies isn’t worth the paper it’s signed on, “which was exactly what I said the next morning in speech class and not one word more. I did not get an A on my speech.

That one day this incessant giggler and 100 per cent plagiarizer of her father’s ideas would ever become a professional speaker let alone a humorous writer is the funniest part of the story. My early inclination of seeing comedy most everywhere I went in life had me writing humor by the time I was in my 20s and once I started I never stopped.

How those teachers of yesteryear managed to shape the rough mounds of flesh and giggles into living souls that would day pass as responsible and productive adults is still a mystery to me….even today.

*Join the fun memories next week as Mays conquers shyness, still has no concept of death, continues to burn biscuits, giggles at everything she sees and becomes a sophomore at dear old V.H.S. 2716 .

"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.



…Mr. Bull arranged with Mr. Benajah Wolcott, a native of Danbury, Connecticut, but at that time residing in New York City, to come to the western wilds and start a colony on his new purchase.

Mr. Wolcott and his family, consisting of his wife, two daughters and one son, and accompanied by two hired men, named Bishop and Osborn, left Connecticut, in a sleigh, February 13, 1809. They arrived in Cleveland in March, but the lake being ice bound, the family were unable to proceed farther, and remained there until about the first of May. Mr. Wolcott, accompanied by Bishop and Osborn, proceeded to the peninsula, by land, to prepare a house for those left in Cleveland, make garden, and arrange as far as possible for a permanent home. In May, Mr. Wolcott returned to Cleveland for his family, and the lake being open, secured passage on a small schooner, the "Sally"' of Cuyahoga, for their home. A severe storm assailed them, while on the vessel, and they narrowly escaped shipwreck, but finally were able to secure safety by running into Black river, where they remained until the weather became settled, when they proceeded on their voyage, arriving in Sandusky bay on the evening of the 8th of May, and the next day landed at what was then known as the "Middle Orchard," on the peninsula, near where now stands Fox's dock. Wolcott and his family were the first settlers in Danbury. At that time there were three orchards in the peninsula, planted by the French and Indians. The east orchard was owned by an Indian, named Notaway, but was afterwards bought by Mr. Bull. The west orchard was owned by Frenchman, named Stacey.

In the spring of 1810, a man named Lee settled on a place now known as Hartshorn's. Mr. Ball, Mr. Saunders and Major Parsons came during the same year.

In April, 1811, Joseph Ramsdell and wife, with four sons, John, Jacob, Horace and Valentine, and, accompanied by Abiathar Sherley and wife, left Oswego, New York, in an open boat, arriving at the peninsula in June.

Several families moved to Danbury previous to the war of 1813, but the precise date of their coming cannot now be ascertained.

The first birth among these settlers was a daughter to Abiathar Sherman. She is now Mrs. Atwater, of Huron, Erie county, Ohio. Mr. Wolcott died in 1843. His eldest daughter married Truman Pettibone (who was the first justice of the peace in Danbury) in Cleveland in 1814. They settled in Danbury, where he died July 22, 1830.

When Mr. Wolcott came to Danbury, there were two white men there, a Frenchman, named Stacey, and a cattle-buyer, named Patterson. In 1811, three men settled on Bull's Island. It was contemplated to build a town on the island, and, about this time, Mr. Saunders opened a small stock of goods. James Stevens also lived on the island. Large numbers of hogs were slaughtered on the peninsula by B. Thompson. They were driven there from the south.

The custom house was kept on the main land, west of the island, by Colonel P. P. Ferry.

The second daughter of Mr. Wolcott was born at Danbury, Connecticut, December 17, 1798, and was married to Joseph Ramsdell in November, 1817. They settled on the peninsula in 1811, where they resided until 1825, when they moved to Bloomingville, where Mr. Ramsdell died.

Valentine Ramsdell was killed while piloting a party of soldiers on the peninsula, in a skirmish with the Indians, some time in September, 1812. Horace Ramsdell died at Bloomingville, January 29, 1872, at the age of seventy-nine. Mr. Bull died in Cleveland, in October 1812, from the effects of exposure in fleeing from the peninsula, and from anxiety to protect the frontier. Bishop, who came with Mr. Wolcott, was killed by the Indians. Osborn settled in Cleveland, where he died.

In 1816, Colonel S. M. Lockwood came from Albany, New York, and commenced the laborious work of hewing out a home on the peninsula. He erected a log house near the present Hartshorn residence, and in October of the same year his family, consisting of a wife, three sons and a daughter, started from Albany for Buffalo, New York, in wagons. Owing to severe weather they remained in Buffalo nearly three months, when they secured passage in the small schooner "Aurora," but were twice driven back by storms, which finally drove the vessel ashore on the sand. Their household goods were removed, and a third time they started, this time on the sloop "Nautilus," but were again driven back by storm. Finally, in January, 1817, they started in sleighs, and came through to their new home in a two weeks' journey from Buffalo.

At this time the settlers on the peninsula were Roswald and Truman Pettibone, Abijah Wolcott, Alfred and Charles Richards, Harry and Artemadorus Fuller, John and Jacob Ramsdell, also their father and unmarried brother Horace. Ezra Lee also resided on the peninsula and ran a ferry across the bay to "Ogontz Place," now Sandusky.

In 1829, Talmage Waterbury came to the peninsula from eastern New York, with his family, consisting of a wife, two sous and three daughters. In 1830 or 1831, he erected a windmill in Portage township for Colonel Lockwood, which was used for the purpose of grinding plaster. It was run a number of years and was finally replaced by a steam mill.


Before the war of 1812, a dealer in cattle between the south and Maiden, Canada, named Patterson, brought from Kentucky an attractive young girl of marriageable age, whom he considered as his property. He sold her to a Frenchman, named Stacey, for a wife. There was at that time no magistrate or clergyman nearer than the far east, but this seemed to…

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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AUDREY’S RING: This is a very cool addition to the museum. It’s a class ring from the 1918 class at Vermilion High School. It belonged a lady named Audrey Troxel-Folk. Audrey was the mother of a well-known Vermilion lady named Jane Smith. I do believe that Jane’s given name was also Audrey.

I had a rather difficult time trying to get background on Mrs. Folk because I was originally told that her last name might have been Friday. But that didn’t seem to jibe with anything I could find. So I kept looking and this is what I found.

Audrey was the second daughter born to William and Matilda Troxel of Vermilion about 1901. Her sister, Lottie, was nine years her senior. The family lived on State Street and her father was a foreman on the railroad.

After Audrey graduated from Vermilion High School she met and married a Norwalk, Ohio guy named Donald Folk. I believe their daughter Jane was born when they lived in Norwalk.

Evidently Audrey was a very small person because the ring just barely fits on the tip of my little finger.

At the museum we show it under a lit magnifying glass. It really is a beaut.


The old man was a witness in a burglary trial. The defense lawyer asks Sam, "Did you see my client commit this burglary?" "Yes," said Sam , "I saw him plainly take the goods."

The lawyer asks Sam again, "Sam, this happened at night. Are you sure you saw my client commit this crime?"

"Yes" says Sam, "I saw him do it."

Then the lawyer asks Sam, "Sam listen, you are 80 years old and your eyesight probably is bad. Just how far can you see at night?"

Sam says, "I can see the moon, how far is that?

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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
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Vermilion, Ohio
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Vol.13, Issue 16 - June 27, 2015

Archive Issue #642

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