Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Spudnuts Come to Lorain – November 1950

Way back here in 2012, I told you about Lorain’s Spudnut Shop.

What’s a Spudnut? It was – and still is – a donut made from potato flour, and sold at a chain of stores with exclusive rights to the recipe. The original parent company that franchised the stores beginning in the late 1940s no longer exists, but there are still Spudnut Shops around – even in Ohio, believe it or not. 

Lorain’s Spudnut Shop was on 120 Eighth Street and was run by Michael and Jo Moldovan

With such a unique product, a little advertising was needed to introduce it to the area. So fifty years ago this month, the small ad below featuring Mr. Spudnut appeared in the Lorain Journal on November 14, 1950.

This ad was followed by another in the Journal on November 17, 1950, the eve of the official grand opening.

As the ad notes, “Be our guest as another beautiful SPUDNUT Shop opens! It’s Free Spudnuts and Coffee “on the house” – from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow. See SPUDNUTS made... taste their tantalizing golden goodness – and only then will you understand how honestly delicious... how DIFFERENT they are! Spudnuts are compounded with care to a secret formula, cooked at an exact temperature to a rich, golden brownness, then gently glazed, sugared or chocolate-iced – truly, an exciting new eating delight for every member of the family!” The kiddies received free Mr. Spudnut hats.

A few days later on November 20th, the store ran this thank-you ad.

After that, it was not uncommon to see the ad below in the Journal. This one ran on November 30, 1950.
According to my 2012 post, the Downtown Lorain store lasted until around 1956. There may have been a satellite location briefly in South Lorain, since the Lorain Spudnut Drive-in was listed at 3059 Pearl Avenue in the 1952 Lorain City Directory.
In preparation for this post (field work is often critical for a blog to maintain its journalistic integrity), I paid a visit to Spudnut Donuts at 650 Prospect Street in Berea.
While making my selections, I asked the friendly young lady working at the counter if the store had always been a Spudnut location through the years. Unfortunately, the blank stare that she gave me indicated that she was not familiar with the history of the chain.
But the donut selection at the store was incredible, and I walked out with a bag containing three huge donuts that was as heavy as, well, a sack of potatoes.
The Spudnuts were as delicious as I thought they would be. It’s the donut that eats like a meal.
And while the Berea store’s appearance inside and out is pretty much devoid of any graphic connection to the chain’s history (except for the vintage script logo on a roll of stickers), the website is nicely designed and features Mr. Spudnut.
If you’re ever in Berea, be sure to stop by the store on Prospect Street and try a Spudnut.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem... Venice Bones

A couple weeks ago (here), I told you about a coffin and some bones that were unearthed by workers digging up a Lorain street back in November 1905.

Well, I’ve dug up another story of mysterious bones. 

The village of Venice (just west of Sandusky) had a similar mystery of its own, at about the same time as Lorain's. Here’s the story as it appeared in the Lorain Times-Herald back on November 22, 1905.



Vermilion, Nov. 22. – (Staff Spl.) – Charles Grahl, a farmer at Venice, near this city, while plowing, discovered the skeletons of seven bodies lying side by side. The finding of the skeletons have startled the inhabitants of the village and none is able to account for them.

Years ago the land was covered with about three feet of water, and it is possible that the skeletons are those of sailors who met death by drowning. At no time was the land used as a burying ground. Only two inches of earth covered the skeletons, which are well preserved.


I’m not a journalist, but my understanding is that the Vermilion dateline means that the Journal staff member gathered the information for the story while in that city. 

I found an identical version of the story (below) that ran in the Cincinnati Enquirer on the same day with Sandusky as the dateline, so the news item probably originated in a Sandusky newspaper. Note how the Enquirer grouped the Venice story with two Indiana bone discovery stories. I guess they reflect how easy it was back then to unearth the remains of inhabitants from previous eras.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Johnny Appleseed Monument Dedicated – Nov. 1900

Back cover illustration from Classics Illustrated Junior comic book, Johnny Appleseed (1955)
Although it seems like it's Christmas time already, it’s really still fall for several more weeks. And fall always makes me think of apples.
I’ve been enjoying many of the popular and newer varieties of apples during the last two months. These included Honeycrisp, Pixie and – my favorite – Evercrisp, of which I bought two bags at Miller Orchards.
And while enjoying all these apples, I naturally thought of Johnny Appleseed, who planted many an apple tree in Ohio. The monument honoring him in Mansfield, Ohio was dedicated one hundred and twenty years ago this month, on November 8, 1900.
The original monument in Mansfield
Here’s a picture postcard view.
In the decades since its dedication, the original monument began to show its age, thanks to the weather and vandalism. 
Thus the decision was made to replace the shaft and stone with the inscription with new ones, and move the monument to a new location in another Mansfield park. The ’new’ monument was dedicated in September 1953.
(For a well-written history of the monument with terrific photographs, click here.)
I paid a visit to the monument in Mansfield a few weeks ago. A sign at the entrance to South Park lets you know you’re close.
And here’s the monument.

Unfortunately, it looks like this stone will need to be replaced as well.
And what happened to the original stone? It’s in a museum in Mansfield.

Anyway, here is the Mansfield News-Journal’s coverage of the original monument ceremony from its November 8, 1900 edition. It includes many details of the life and death of Johnny Appleseed. (Sorry, but it was too much for me to transcribe, so you’ll have to click on it and zoom in for a readable view.) 
A few weeks later, one Ohio newspaper did an interesting follow-up with its own written portrait of Johnny Appleseed using a different source for its information. The story paints an image very different from the skinny character wearing a pot for a hat in the Walt Disney cartoon. In this Bucyrus Evening Telegraph article, it’s not a pot at all that he wears on his head – it’s something of his own design made of paste board. And instead of being tall and skinny, he’s said to be short and ‘chunky.’ Read all about the life of this unique man in the article (below) from the Bucyrus Evening Telegraph of November 29, 1900.

Father of the Apple Orchards
One of His Trees Still Lives and Thrives Near Bucyrus
History of a Noted Character Lately Honored With a Monument at Mansfield

Though a monument has been erected to the memory of “Johnny Appleseed,” in Richland County, there still thrives on the Dan McMichael farm east of Bucyrus, a living monument in the form of one of the apple trees, which was grown from the seed sown by this eccentric individual, and still bears fruit. It is probably the last living apple tree planed by Johnny, but it is healthy and bears luscious fruit annually. The father of the apple orchards of Ohio, will be remembered by many people still living in Bucyrus, and other parts of Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania, and he was one of the most noted personages of pioneer history. Jonathan Chapman was his name, but he was seldom ever known by any other name than his soubriquet “Johnny Appleseed,” which he received from the fact that he made a business of sowing and distributing seeds each year, and in this way cultivating apple trees from the seed which he sowed in different localities. He was known in Ohio as early as 1811. He had little nurseries all through Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. He was first seen in Ohio in 1806. He was going down the river with two canoes lashed together, well laden with apple seed which he had obtained at the cider presses in Western Pennsylvania.
Johnny Appleseed was a very remarkable personage, identified particularly with the early history of Richland County, and played an important part during the war of 1812. He was born in 1775, at or near Springfield, Mass. In the early years of the past century he removed with his father and family to Marietta, Ohio. Johnny’s father, Nathaniel sr., moved from Marietta to Duck Creek. Johnny returned to Pennsylvania, and here it was he began the nursery business and continued it on west. He often visited his father at Marietta and Duck Creek, and gathered seeds there. In connection with the apple tree business, he employed much of his time in sowing seeds of different medical herbs in the localities which were destitute of them. His main objective was to equalize the distribution of these plants so that every locality would be supplied with a variety, dog fennel, pennyroyal, catnip, horehound, mullin, rattle root, and in fact every other plant which he supposed to be medicinal. He had little nurseries all through Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana.
If a man wanted trees and was not able to pay for them Johnny took his note, and if the man ever became able and was willing to pay the debt the money was accepted thankfully, but if not it was well with Johnny. Some times he accepted articles of wearing apparel instead of money. One coat in particular presented a fine appearance, although a bit unfitted for the rough wear it received. It was sky blue, light, very firm and soft, made in the prevailing Quaker style with two rows of silvery looking buttons as large as silver dollars. This bit of finery was at one time the wedding garment of a very wealthy young Quaker.
Johnny was never known in the least to resemble a fashion plate. He didn’t believe in wearing clothes simply for the purpose of making a fine appearance. He thought if he was comfortably clad, in clothes that suited the weather that was all that was necessary. His head covering was frequently of his own manufacturing. It was of paste board, with the front brim widely extending to protect his face from the sun. It was not a very sightly affair of course, but no one ever thought of laughing at Johnny Appleseed. He was too genuinely liked. His trousers were old and scant and short with a variety of substitutes for suspenders. He never wore a coat except in winter. His feet were knobby and horny and frequently bare. The bosom of his shirt was always pulled out loosely, so as to make a sort of pocket or pouch, in which he carried his books. He frequently wore an old coffee sack for a coat, with holes cut in it for his arms.
Johnny’s family, the Chapmans and their relatives are scattered throughout Ohio and Indiana. Four of his half sisters were living when a memorial was raised to his memory in 1882. The father Nathaniel Chapman was twice married. The children of the first wife were John, Lucy and Petty. The girls married and remained in the east. The children of the second marriage were: Nathaniel, Perley, Persia, Abner (a mute), Mary, Ionathan, (also a mute), Davie and Dolly.
Johnny’s personal appearance was unusual. He was small of stature, heavy set, rather chunky, quick in conversation and restless in his movements. His eyes were dark and sparkling and his hair and beard permitted to attain the greatest length. His clothing was generally more than half worn out before he fell heir to it.
Religiously considered he was a Swedenborgian and one of our early spiritualists. He maintained the doctrine that a spiritual intercourse could be held with the dead, having himself frequent conversations with the inhabitants of the spirit land, two of which of the feminine gender, had revealed to him the consoling news that they were to be his wives in a future state providing he would keep himself free from a matrimonial alliance while on earth. He vowed celibacy and never could be persuaded to pay any attention to the fair sex. He died as he lived a blameless moral man.
The Indians all liked him and treated him kindly, always. From his habits they regarded him as a man above his fellows. He could endure pain like an Indian warrior; could thrust pins into his face without a tremor. So insensible was he to acute pain, that his treatment of a wound or sore was to sear it with a hot iron and then treat it as a burn. He was never known to hurt any animal, or to give any living thing pain, not even a snake. Once, when overtaken by night while traveling, he crawled into a hollow log and slept till morning. In the other end of the log was a bear and her cubs. Johnny said he knew that the bear would not hurt him, and that there was room enough for all.
On the subject of apples he was charmingly enthusiastic. One would be astonished at his beautiful description of excellent fruit. His descriptions were poetic. The language well chosen; it could have been no finer, had the whole of Webster’s Unabridged with all its royal vocabulary, been fresh upon his ready tongue. All the orchards in the while settlements came from the nurseries of Johnny’s planting. Sometimes he carried a load of seeds on an old horse, but more frequently he bore them on his back, going from place to place on the wild frontier, clearing a little patch, surrounding it with a rude enclosure, and planting sees therein. He would frequently carry as much as a bushel and a half of seeds on his back.
In 1838, he resolved to go further on west than Ohio. Civilization was making the wilderness to blossom like the rose, villages were springing up, stage coaches laden with passengers were common, orchards were everywhere, mail facilities were very good, frame and brick houses were taking the place of the humble cabin; and poor old Johnny felt that his field of usefulness would have to be taken up further on. In the intervening years he returned to Ohio many times. His last visit was the same year that he died. In the spring of that year, one day after traveling twenty miles, he entered the house of a friend in Allen county, Ind., and he was as usual cordially received. He declined to eat anything except some bread and milk, which he ate while sitting on the door steps, occasionally looking out toward the setting sun.
Before bed time he read from his little book “fresh news right from Heaven,” and at the usual time for retiring he lay down upon the floor in his usual custom, as he never slept on a bed or coach of any kind. In the morning the beautiful light supernal was upon his countenance; the death angel had touched him in the silence and darkness, and although the dear old man essayed to speak, he was so near dead that his tongue refused its office. The physician came and pronounced him dying, but remarked that he never saw a man so perfectly calm and placid.
I’ve written about Johnny Appleseed before on this blog, including this post about his presence in Lorain County, and this one about my pilgrimage to the Johnny Appleseed Educational Center and Museum in Urbana, Ohio. (Unfortunately, many of the links on those ten-year-old posts no longer work.)
Panel from Classics Illustrated Junior comic book, Johnny Appleseed (1955)

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Lorain General Hospital Proposal – November 1950

Did you know that Lorain almost had a hospital on the East Side on Root Road?

I didn’t either, but here's the story that ran in the Lorain Journal on November 9, 1950. It’s an intriguing idea that perhaps was ahead of its time.


Campaign Opens Soon for Proposed General Hospital

Plans Near Completion On City-Wide Campaign

With more than three years of preparation and planning behind them, members of the campaign advisory committee for the proposed Lorain General hospital are completing plans for launching their drive to solicit funds.

C. C. Waterhouse, general chairman of the campaign, announced today that plans for a poster contest for pupils of elementary and secondary grades and adults will be held in the near future.

A kickoff dinner, tentatively set for the latter part of this month, will officially signal the start of the campaign.

One-Story Structure

At first, the cost of the new hospital was estimated at $200,000 but Waterhouse said it may run as high as $350,000. To house 25 or 30 beds, it is to be a one-story brick structure, 90 by 185 feet.

It will be a nonsectarian, non-profit institution, and will be open to both osteopaths and medical practitioners licensed by the state of Ohio.

The hospital will be located south of the Nickel Plate railroad on Root-rd, with three and one half acres of land available for building space.

Earlier action in starting the campaign was postponed for two reasons, Waterhouse said. The first was a survey made by another local group which was considering the construction of a hospital; the second was the building of the addition to St. Joseph’s hospital.

The campaign advisory committee consists of 27 local men and women. For purposes of methodical campaigning here, the city has been divided into nine divisions, almost the same plan used for the Community Chest drive.

Two Captains Named

Recently appointed captain of the national firms division was J. Harold Clark. G. William Eddy was selected as captain of the professional and clerical division. Other division heads will be chosen in the near future.

Waterhouse said that preliminary plans are being made for coverage of other communities in Lorain-co. Earl Sure, president of Sheffield Lake Businessmen’s association, is in charge of the drive there.


I don’t know how far along this proposal went before it was abandoned. It was a good idea, because that area remains underserved today from a health care standpoint. 

From a 2020 perspective, the hospital seems like it was going to be rather small. (It would have fit on my house lot when I lived in Sheffield Lake.) The article doesn’t say what side of Root Road it was going to be on, but it was still farmland south of the tracks on both sides back then. But being adjacent to train tracks doesn’t seem like the quietest place for hospital patients to convalesce.

Ironically, today the trend seems to be for health care organizations to build small to medium-sized neighborhood clinics, such as the one Mercy built on Oak Point Road a few years ago. I was just there a few days ago and it’s quite nice.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Lorain Creamery Article – Nov. 15, 1970

Here’s an interesting article written by Journal Staff Writer Bob Cotleur about Wells Gray, the president of Lorain Creamery. The profile ran in the paper back on November 15, 1970. At the time, the business had just expanded to Avon Lake with the opening of the Old English Parlour on Miller Road.

In the interview, Gray sheds some light on his background as a college football star, and shares his thoughts about the future of the creamery business.

Like many Lorainites, I have many pleasant memories of getting ice cream cones at the walk-up window at the Creamery, as well as enjoying many sit-down treats at both Old English Parlour outlets. My sister worked for the Grays as a waitress at the Parlour in Lorain. 

Strangely enough, until I read this article I didn’t realize that the pretty girl with the last name of Gray in my class at Admiral King High School was the daughter of the man who was the president of the Creamery.


Wells Gray: From Football to Lorain Creamery

“This clippity-clop has got to stop. You’re drivin’ me nuts in the mornin.’ Deliver the milk but get rid of that silk, That high-stepping’ horse is deplorin’...

– From a factory worker’s pre-dawn complaint, circa 1980 to 1930-plus.

By BOB COTLEUR, Staff Writer

WELLS ORION GRAY, a handsome, rugged, 36-year-old former college football star, is president of Lorain Creamery Inc., a milk and ice cream palace.

Gray and his brother, Paul, 32 and cousin, Dick Gray, 36, are part of the management team that recently spent $300,000 to open an English Cottage-styled, 104-seat old fashioned Ice Cream Parlor in Avon Lake a few weeks ago. Even the spelling is English and old fashioned.

The milkmen employed by the Lorain Creamery home-deliver bread, eggs, laundry soap, glassware, candy and hand lotion, to name a few of the non-milk items stacked inside the milk trucks.

“One of our best sellers,” says Wells Gray, “is chicken pot pie.”

Yet what’s up front... is milk.

And what Wells Gray is... is contrast.

“Wow-wie,” says dark-haired, small and pretty Mrs. Eva Short, manager of the cozy 25-seat ‘parlour’ at the plant site on Oberlin Avenue and 14th Street in Lorain. “Wells Gray is a terrific guy, a hardworking man’s man. But always the same. He always says, “How ya doing’ Ev,’ or he calls me ‘Chief.’”

Mrs. Short, with her wide, friendly smile, sees and likes the outer man.

She knows he won a football scholarship from Lorain High, to the University of Wisconsin and that as a six-foot, 220-pound guard he became the Badger’s captain in 1955 and won honorable mention on the All-American scene. She may even know he was drafted by the Washington Redskins at the same time he was drafted by Uncle Sam.

And Uncle Sam won, of course. She’s got to know that.

BUT SHE MAY NOT know he earned his degree in agriculture with a major in dairy farming which is of itself a contrast, for Lorain Creamery never owned a cow. It buys its basic milk from a Cleveland co-op known as Milk, Inc., even though the raw milk comes from cows in Henrietta, Birmingham, South Amherst, “all around here,” as Wells Gray says.

But she doesn’t know the inner man.

“Sometimes I feel frustrated behind the desk, “ said the Badger guard who played an All-Star game with Sam Huff. He also roomed with Jim Temp, for seven years a defensive end with Green Bay, and, at another time, with Quarterback Jim Haluska (Browns, Chicago Bears). “Sometimes I like to get more involved in the physical things. I feel that I think better when I get out and work.”

Once he even thought of another kind of work. But after a talk with his late dad, it faded away. “Dad pointed out there would always be a need for milk,” Gray said, “and it seems there always was plenty to do around the creamery.”

That’s Wells Gray’s philosophy today and the only contrast between him and his late father was one of age.

But, for the man who turned away from pro - football after military service because of bad knees, still another contrast arrived in life.

His wife, the former Kathleen Mramor of Lorain who had earned her degree in fine arts at Ohio State University and now dabbles in interior decorating, was a part of it. When Kathleen Gray complained that Wells’ pipe was “smelling up the house” and the kids were “after me with those TV commercials about smoking, I gave it up.

“Didn’t smoke much anyhow,” he said, sounding like Blanton Collier after San Diego dunked the Browns.

But Wells is very proud of his wife. “She did the decorating of our Avon Lake ice-cream parlour-restaurant,” he says, “and she works Monday and Friday evenings at T. N. Molas’ furniture store as the interior decorating consultant.”

Wells Gray missed one of the more interesting scenes of business life when, back on June 17, 1931, his father Wellsley D. Gray and his two partners proudly announced the opening of their new $40,000 store on Oberlin and 14th Street. They had been in business since 1923 and this was a great step forward.

IT WAS THE depression. Herbert Hoover was at Marion, Ohio, dedicating a monument when an airplane flew over and drowned him out and making him irate enough to threaten Congressional action against planes flying over crowds. Al Capone was having his troubles that day with federal agents.

But the big story in Lorain was the birth of a new business (Lorain Creamery) during the depression.

Wells Gray missed it all because he wasn’t born until 1933.

“As kids we worked on the horse and wagons (not everything was rubber-tired trucks) before we had drivers’ licenses,” he said of the three partners today.

He said his dad, who suffered a stroke in the summer of 1968 and died the next January, was very easy-going. “He rarely lost his temper and I can’t ever remember him swearing.”

Later on, Wells got his drivers license and then spent some summers spelling the milkmen on vacation. Even today, as late as a few years ago, “when help was hard to get,” he and Paul and Dick got out and handled routes as well as running things in general.

AS THE FOUNDING fathers left the scene, Wells took over operations and production. Cousin Dick handled office and managerial responsibilities and Paul ran the ice cream production and route work. All three are equal shareholders in Lorain Creamery and Wells guesses they made him president “because I was the oldest.” But he isn’t too impressed with it “because we share in all responsibilities.”

Lorain Creamery even today isn’t huge by most standards, but it processes some 40,000 pounds of milk each day, about 3,000 gallons, and covers a home delivery territory in the upper two-thirds of Lorain County (nothing in Oberlin), west to Huron in Erie County and east to Bay Village.

When the new operation in Avon Lake was approved, a new corporation, Parlours Inc., was formed with Paul Gray as president.

“We have 33 people with Lorain Creamery,” Wells said, “which includes 20 route drivers. Paul also has 33 people in Avon Lake, 25 of them are waitresses.” (The ice cream parlour also serves light lunches, these chilly days.)

The real success of Lorain Creamery is the firm’s ability to make headway against the tides of the times. When the founders began business in 1923, there were at least seven or eight creameries serving Lorain, Wells said. Today there are four. “Home Dairy, Clovervale, Trotta, which distributes for Oberlin Farms, and ourselves.”

He felt that Dairyman’s Association, large on the scene just a few years ago, had just about ended all their home delivery routes.

“We still have all of ours even though other companies have cut back,” he said. Gray offers a mental image of a mother of a large family lugging six half-gallons of milk home from a Lawsons or Clovervale store.

“We save her handling that weight and also hold down her impulse buying,” he points out while adding a package of cookies to the milk in his mental image. He means this is why he sticks with home delivery.

YET HIS OWN diversification techniques – selling soaps and chicken pot pie – came from the idea that if a driver is going to make home stop twice a week, he might as well sell something.

“In the summer time kids frequently switch to Kool-aid, so the driver ought to at least sell a loaf of bread or a dozen eggs.”

But the items the driver offers, Gray says, come from meetings between his partners, a sales and route manager. The five decide. Then the customer is advised by a sales flyer of what items are new and coming soon. He samples, first.

“Halloween candy went very well and Rose - Milk hand lotion was a big seller. So is laundry compound.” They sell more than a ton a month and pitch it on “no polluting phosphates,” one ultra-modern hard-sell technique that blends with old-fashioned, home-delivered handling.

Even the ice cream parlor is built on sophisticated merchandizing methods, despite maple nuts and butter pecans that are real and not ersatz.

“We thought about it a long time, even before dad and the others retired. They were pretty conservative guys,” Gray said in understatement, “but they build the company well and delivered a quality product that survived.”

WHEN THE SONS got control, Paul researched New England states where old fashioned ice cream parlors made it big. Wells visited a successful operation in Indiana and heard management state the parlor doubled their ice cream business.

“Oh, we thought about stores like Lawsons and knew it was a good outlet for your milk and good for increasing your volume, but we liked the profit picture more on ice cream. And when we spent $20,000 to remodel the front of the Oberlin Avenue plant into a 25-seat parlor everybody that came in told us 'too bad it wasn’t bigger.’”

The decision to go ahead in Avon Lake followed naturally. But the caution conservatism of Bothe Wellsley D. and Wells Gray hasn’t flown out the window. Wells believes with a special consultant on the parlor that “the thing to do is stick with your newest investment and really get it going.

“We’ve got an eye on a site or two in Lorain and we may buy the land. But then we’ll wait five years or so...”

It’ll be interesting to see what his children will think and do a couple of decades from now. The oldest, Wells, 14, is tremendously interested in football today and his father finds some of his shiningest moments in “any successes Wells and any of my kids or wife has.”

The other children are Erin, 12, and James, 4.

As for the kids’ father, he still has one more contrast left in his system. “It is possible,” he says, “that in time milk itself could be a relatively small part of our business although milk is the main reason we go to the customer’s house today. But as the public demands certain products, this is what we’re going to have to sell.”

There is, of course, nothing at all old fashioned about that.


Like the bread man and the Charles Chips man, the milk man eventually lost favor with the public, who apparently preferred going to grocery or convenient stores for their dairy products. The Creamery had its own little store in the building on Oberlin Avenue offering milk, donuts, cheese, etc.

According to an article in the Chronicle-Telegram from Feb. 2000, the Lorain Creamery lasted until 1989 when it sold out to Smith Dairy.

Today the building on Oberlin Avenue is still there, triggering happy memories of great ice cream to those who remember.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving – 1970 Style!

Here’s hoping that you and your loved ones enjoy a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! 

Fifty years ago, the Journal featured these two ads in its November 26, 1970 edition. Above is a full-page ad for Elyria Savings & Trust with a nice, stylized illustration signed ‘Nowak.’ I suspect it’s the work of Superman artist and syndicated illustrator Leo Nowak, whose 1958 Kroger artwork I posted back here. (By George, the second pilgrim from the left does bear somewhat of a resemblance to ol’ Supe.)

This second Journal ad is of the variety very familiar to regular readers of this blog, that of the full-page holiday ad with various local sponsors.

As usual, the fun (or disappointment as the case may be) is seeing what’s still around, fifty years later. Despite their full-page ad, Elyria Savings & Trust sponsored this page as well. As many of you might remember, EST became part of First Merit in the late 1990s, which was merged into Huntington Bank in 2016.

Surprisingly, this ad has more survivors than most of the ones I’ve posted in the past. The Morning Journal, the Lorain Palace Theater, and Midway Mall are all still around in some form or another.
And Ridge Hill Memorial Park, which never goes out of business.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Heilman’s Thanksgiving Dinner Ad – Nov. 1960

Going out to eat on Thanksgiving has long been a tradition for many families that simply want to avoid cleaning up a big mess after the preparation of the meal. This provides more time to visit and enjoy the holiday. 

Over the years, I’ve featured a variety of vintage Thanksgiving restaurant ads, including the Deutschof (1937), the Castle (1954),  Howard Johnson’s (1957), and the Airport Tavern (1957).

Here’s another one. It’s for the well-remembered Heilman’s Restaurant at the corner of Broadway and West Erie Avenue and ran in the Journal on November 12, 1960.

It’s a strange-looking ad too. 

Despite the fancy-sounding meal on the menu (a “gourmet buffet complete with garnished hams, decorated turkeys, ice carvings), the ad depicts what looks like twin pilgrim clowns. Each has a bulbous schnozzola that would not look out of place on Red Nose Day.

Gee, the turkey dinner and clown motif is almost reminiscent of an ad for Harvest House.