Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Late 1960s Champion Map of W. Lorain County

Yesterday I mentioned how for many years, the new Route 2 freeway ended at Baumhart Road. Here's a page from a Champion Map Atlas map showing that area and much of the northwest portion of Lorain County.

It's a lot of fun to get lost in these old maps. This one includes some of my favorite areas, including Route 6 west of the undercut.

Unfortunately, the map has no copyright date. However, you can still kind of get a rough idea of the time period in which it was printed.

It has a zip code listing in the back, so that puts it after 1963. The map also has the Penn Central Railroad tracks on it, so that puts it at least around 1968, since that is when the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroads merged. Strangely, it still includes Black River Township, which ceased to exist as of August 1964 after its remaining portion was annexed to Lorain.

Nevertheless it looks like a late 1960s map, even if some out-of-date elements were retained from earlier versions. (By the way, I had to scan the map in sections, so there's a bit of a seam in the middle of it.)

The map shows why Cooper-Foster Park Road jogs around the way it does today. Another interesting element of the map include the old bypassed stretch of Lake Road shown winding its way through the Beaver Park area. The old roadbed is still there today (most of it, anyway) but you can't drive it. (Several years ago, I tried to drive down into Beaver Park on the old Lake Road alignment, but a nearby resident – anticipating my intentions – quickly cut me off on foot.)

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 1975 – Section of Route 2 Opens

Although it might seem strange to someone too young to remember, there was a time when State Route 2 west of Lorain (the freeway, that is) was completed in various chunks over many years.

I can still remember when Route 2 ended at Baumhart and you had to get off.

But that era eventually ended. The photo and caption above – which appeared on the front page of the Journal of August 24, 1975 – announces the opening of the section from Baumhart Road in Lorain to State Route 61 (Ceylon Road) in Berlin Heights on August 25, 1975 – 39 years ago today.

As the caption notes, the section of Route 2 from State Route 61 to State Route 13 in Huron was not built yet. I can't remember what the delay was all about; I thought it had something to do with environmental issues or acquiring land or something. Does anybody remember?

According to this Wiki history of Route 2, the section from Huron to Ceylon was upgraded to freeway in August 1990. No wonder it still seems new to me.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Arby's Ad for Cartoon Character Glasses – August 28, 1975

Remember those cartoon character glasses that were available at select local fast food restaurants as part of a Pepsi promotion in the 1970s?

Of course you do. You might even have tried to assemble a complete set of the glasses (dated 1973) featuring the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes gang.

But it was almost impossible to accomplish. Often the store would not have the advertised glass of the week, and instead of Daffy Duck, you might end up disappointedly with Beaky Buzzard.

And even if you did manage to get a pretty good collection going, it was very likely that it would never survive the dishwasher.

Anyway, the Arby's ad above ran in the Journal on August 28, 1975. I wonder how many people were excited to get the Cool Cat glass?

I didn't go to Arby's to get my glasses. Hardees on Oberlin Avenue had the same glasses, so that's where I went. I even remember riding bikes there with a girl I liked so she could get the (ugh) Tweetie Pie glass, since the obnoxious canary was her favorite character.

We had several sets of glasses going in the Brady household, much to my mother's annoyance, I'm sure. They certainly cluttered up the bulging kitchen cabinets for a while, until the dishwasher started inevitably thinning the inventory. Then the rest of them that survived went off with us to college. (I have no idea whatever happened to mine.)

I always liked those original 1973 glasses, though, because they featured (for the most part) the definitive designs of the characters used on posters and in advertising in the 1940s and 50s.

Here's a complete set of the 1973 glasses (below), courtesy of Etsy.

A 1976 series of glasses featuring the characters interacting with each other just weren't as well drawn, and we didn't feel as bad when those broke.

Today, several generations of kids have grown up who never watched The Bugs Bunny Show on Saturday mornings – which is too bad. But for those of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s and enjoyed those cartoons, the Pepsi glasses were a lot of fun to collect.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

O. A. Hafely Ad – August 23, 1930

Here's an ad for O. A. Hafely Home Building & Financing that ran in the newspaper on August 23, 1930. The ad announces a new office that was opening at 1815 Oberlin Avenue.

I was a little surprised to see this ad, since I mainly associate Hafely built homes on the east side of Lorain. I lived in one myself back in the late 1980s on Nebraska Avenue.

I've blogged about O. A. Hafely before, including posting this 1969 article that included an interview with the man himself.

So is the little building shown in the ad still there on Oberlin Avenue? Sure, it is!

I wonder if the people living in it are aware of its connection with a company that helped transform Lorain?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

More Davidson Musings

That's East Skyline Drive running horizontally across the photo, south of
the Davidson property. You can see where Marshall Avenue dead-ends.
I received an email asking about the status of the Davidson house today. It's still there (as shown above) – the estate is as beautiful as ever in its unique setting, sandwiched between the working class homes of Meister Road and East Skyline Drive. I believe it has been enlarged over the years.

In yesterday's post, I forgot to mention a few things. First, the peacocks. I can remember their unique squawks coming from the property on many a morning in the 1960s.

I also forgot to note that my father's favorite uncle – Uncle Ben – was in the same graduating class of Lorain High School as Everett Davidson.

I'm hoping that members of the Davidson family notice this post. Why? Because Lorain dairy farmer William Neuman's daughter (Phyllis) married Lorain attorney Everett Davidson. I'm hoping that a descendant may have access to some old photos or information about the farm, which was located just down Meister Road to the east.

I'm hoping someone in the family can shed some light on this photo of the Neuman farm, as well as any other interesting tidbits about the Davidson home and how it came to be located on Meister Road.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Davidson Home Article – August 20, 1959

For those of us that grew up on the west side of Lorain near Meister Road, the Davison home always instilled a sense of wonderment. It was a real mansion, set back far enough from the road that you couldn't get a real good look at it. We could only see part of the back of it from Skyline Drive.

But it was probably our earliest introduction to the concept of being "rich."

After all, the Davidsons employed a gardener that many kids liked to provoke by sneaking onto the property to steal apples or whatever.

Anyway, the article above written by Lou Kepler – which appeared in the Lorain Journal on August 20, 1959 – profiles the family and gives a nice description of the house and property circa 1959, for those of us who have always wondered what it looked like.

The article includes a few interesting tidbits, including the fact that "two creeks, Martin's Run and Horn Creek, bisect the Davidson property."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Vintage Lorain County Fair Ad – August 18, 1946

Here's an ad for the great Lorain County Fair that ran in the Lorain Journal on August 18, 1946 – 68 years ago today!

That's some great looking illustrations of the farm animals. It looks like the artist actually studied some photos of the real thing before creating his rendering. (That's pretty rare these days; even now, if I had to draw a horse, he'd probably look like Quick Draw McGraw without the hat.)

Anyway, according to some vintage online newspaper articles, a record 4,500 people attended the fair on the opening day that year.

Courtesy Billboard
And in case you're wondering about the evening programs, Klein's Revue consisted of "breath-taking aerial acts," and the Congress of Daredevils was an automobile thrill show (which you can read about here).

The WLS Circus featured its famous White Horse Troupe (see ad at right).

Quite a difference from the fair fare of today.

Anyway, I hope to make it out to the Fair later this week. Gotta get my Rutana's Apple Dumpling fix for the year (extra sauce, please, and hold the ice cream).