Thursday, December 8, 2016

Mr. G’s Food Mart Article – December 17, 1965

I had never heard of Mr. G’s Food Mart until I saw the article below, which ran in the Journal on December 17, 1965. The convenience store was located at 3750 S. Broadway.

I suppose the store was conceived as a competitor to Lawson’s or 7-Eleven, being open seven days a week until 11:00 pm.

What’s interesting is that although the article doesn’t say it, Mr. G was well-known local grocer Meyer Goldberg. I guess it makes sense, since the first store in his grocery store chain was located right next door at 3810 South Broadway.

Mr. G's Food Mart appears to have been in business from 1965 until around 1972, when it disappeared from that year's Lorain City Directory.

The Lorain County Auditor website listing for 3750 Broadway included a photo (below) of the former Mr. G. building.

I drove over to the store’s location over the weekend so that I could get a fresh “now” photograph of the building.

As usual, I was a little late . All I found was another empty lot!

Courtesy Google Maps

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The (School) Bell to Toll Soon for Former Charleston Elementary

Charleston Elementary School – the first elementary school I attended in Lorain – has been a favorite topic on this blog since its beginning.

Although I only went to kindergarten and half of first grade there before my family moved in 1965, the school occupies a special place in my memory, as well as my heart.
Why?  Because Charleston has become a symbol to me of my early youth – and of simpler, more innocent times. My memories of my teachers, my classmates, my walk to school and the building itself are still vivid after more than 50 years. For me, it’s also a connection to a Lorain that hadn’t yet begun its downward spiral.

Way back in 2010 on this blog, I did a four-part series on Charleston Elementary that included my teachers and a photographic re-creation of the route I took to school.

During the Big Admiral King Painting Caper in 2011, Charleston Administration Center employee Lisa Miller of Lorain 365 invited me to pay a visit my former school. That memorable visit resulted in one of my favorite posts.

Which brings me to a few days ago, when I noticed that Lisa had left a new comment on my original Charleston post. She wrote, "As of December 2, 2016, the Charleston Building is officially closed and will be demolished.

"The Administrative Offices have been moved across the street to 2601 Pole Avenue, a small building outside the Performing Arts building on the SW corner of the new Lorain High School.”

I was grateful to get the heads-up (thanks, Lisa!) but disappointed – maybe even more than when Admiral King High School and Masson School were demolished.

But that’s the way it is. In Lorain, when an old school building’s gotta go, it’s gotta go.

In case you missed it (like me), here's the link to the story in the Morning Journal.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sheffield Lake Gets Its First Traffic Light – December 1964

Back in the mid-1970s, when I first learned how to drive, my father cautioned me about speeding through Sheffield Lake. "You can get away with going five miles over the speed limit,” he said, “but one more mile after that will get you a ticket.” He warned me that it was especially risky to speed in the vicinity of the shopping center, because that’s where the police sat waiting.

I never forgot that advice.

Well, actually I guess I did – because I got a ticket right in front of the Shoreway Shopping Center just a couple years ago!

Anyway, I recently found this article about Sheffield Lake getting its very first traffic light back in 1964. And since any post about Sheffield Lake gets to go to the front of the line (since I live in that fine city), here’s the article, which appeared in the Journal back on December 11, 1964.

And where was this light located?

For that you'll have to read the article. But not too fast there, Bub.

1st Stop Light Up in Sheffield Lake

SHEFFIELD LAKE – The first stop light in the history of this municipality was erected at SR 6-2 and 301 yesterday.

“The light is for our children.” stated Councilman Al Fuhrman, chairman of the safety committee, who initiated action on the matter at council three months ago.

He explained that many youngsters will be using the new Domonkas Library while their mothers were shopping in the center across Lake Rd. and the pedestrian traffic would be heavy.

“We felt there would be many fatalities at this intersection if there was no protection,” Fuhrman added.

The light will be used as a blinker for two weeks, until drivers become accustomed to it. Then it will be placed on the regular, routine lighting system.

Members of the safety committee also felt that bathers in the park would benefit from the light.

The city will also install a light at Harris Rd. and Lake Rd. The red light and accompanying siren will be on only when fire trucks are entering Lake Rd. traffic.

Firemen will then radio back to the station to have the light turned off. When they return from their emergency calls, firemen will radio ahead to have the light turned on again.

On Sunday, a patrolman will manually operate the light to alleviate traffic congestion after church services. This light was designed by Safety Director Myron Piggott.

What a difference 53 years makes.

Since that time, the designation of State Route 301 has been moved about 2 miles to the east and is now Abbe Road. The small bathing beach park has been paved over, and is now the boat launch.

And the biggest change of all? The traffic light mentioned in the article was taken down in the last few years.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Whiskeyville Revisited – Part 3

The Whiskeyville Cemetery is circled in the 1896 map above
To wrap up my series on Whiskeyville, here’s an interesting article that appeared in the April 7, 1959 Lorain Journal. It’s the story of an old pioneer cemetery that was located just north of the intersection of today’s Routes 113 and 58 that had to be moved.


At Whiskeyville Cemetery
Graves Being Moved for Rt. 58 Widening

AMHERST – Remains of seven persons were found in the first day’s work of removing the graves of deceased Lorain County settlers at the Whiskeyville Cemetery on Rt. 58, just north of Rt. 113, to make way for the highway widening.

It was in the early part of the 1800’s that some of the bodies were buried in this plot, then known as the Crandal cemetery, and owned by Lyman Crandal. Wayne Garland of the Garland Funeral Home is working on the relocation project. Thomas Heusser and O. J. Ruth, South Amherst cemetery sexton, assisted in the findings.

Before work began it was known by cemetery markers, that eight graves would be found. But a baby’s burial uncovered Monday, had not been accounted for before. There are still two bodies that were known, that of Lucia Smith and her mother Nancy Smith, consort of Chileab Smith, both buried in 1824.

The first remains to be uncovered were those of Rhoda Crandal, wife of Ezekial Crandal, who died in 1818 at the age of 37. The next was the finding of a part of a baby’s casket, the two metal handles adorned with lamb carvings, which were found next to Rhoda’s grave. The remains of Eliza Crandal were next to be unearthed. She died in 1838 at the age of 37.

The remains of Cornelius S. Ferris, who died March 28, 1833 at the age of 36 were found.

"In most cases of the early burials, only the remaining bones were arm and leg bones, and part of jaw bones and skulls," Garland said.

The remains of Jane Carter who died Nov. 10, 1828 at the age of 30 were also found.

Garland explained that each burial will be taken to the funeral home in plastic burial pouches and placed in hermetically sealed steel caskets. They will remain at the funeral home until all disinterments have been completed, then the remains will be re-interred in the Kendeigh Corners cemetery.

The Crandal cemetery was turned over to Amherst Township a number of years ago.

The state highway department has allowed 17 days for relocation but Garland expects to complete the work this week.

You can see the Crandall property in this 1874 Amherst Township map.

Click here to read the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram’s two articles on the moving of the Crandall family cemetery in April 1959, which are posted on the Genealogy Trails website.

UPDATE (December 5, 2016)
Since I posted the April 7, 1959 article this morning, I belatedly located an article (below) that was meant to be included in this series. It ran in the Lorain Journal on February 9, 1959 and includes a few facts not found in the later article.

Cemetery’s Death Ordered
With Widening Of Rt. 58

Mrs. O. C. Kay Looks At Tombstone
In Whiskeyville Cemetery
WHISKEYVILLE – The death of a cemetery has been ordered but the heirs cannot be found.

The State Highway Department has condemned the 141-year-old, 36-by-40-foot Whiskeyville Cemetery, in which at least eight people are buried, to make way for the widening of State Rt. 58. The plot lies just north of Rt. 113 beside Rt. 58.

A Highway Department representative told Amherst Township Trustees Saturday that the state will appropriate the land from the heirs – if any can be found – and that advertisements for bids on the project is scheduled for March 31.

The names of seven persons buried in the plot have been determined but the attempt to contact heirs so far has been unsuccessful. Title to the plot is uncertain.

The trustees passed a resolution to publish a notice of discontinuance of the cemetery in the daily papers within 30 days, which is the time state law allows for heirs to come forward and lay claim to reburial privileges.

In the event that no claims are made by heirs, the trustees will make arrangements for disinterment and reburial of the cemetery’s corpses. In this event, the highway department will reimburse the township trustees for all costs involved, the representative said.

Trustees indicated that the reburial would be made in the Kendeigh’s Corners Cemetery.

Friday, December 2, 2016

More Old Log Cabin Whiskey Ad Fun

While I try to decide if I should post some additional Whiskeyville history, I'll keep the theme going with a second shot of vintage whiskey ads from the pages of the Lorain Journal.

It wasn’t too difficult to rustle up more of these rustic-themed ads. By George, back in the late 1940s and early 50s, a boozy parade of ads for hard liquor and beer staggered across the pages of the Journal almost every day, usually in the sports section.

You might remember I posted this October 24, 1949 ad for Old Log Cabin back in late October.

This ad – featuring a hunter (hopefully not a squirrel hunter) appeared just two weeks later on November 7, 1949.
The campaign with the theme “There’s Bourbon Enjoyment Inside” was still running two years later. These ads featured photos of a variety of real people, young and old. The ad below ran in the Journal on August 8, 1951.
Five years later, the ads were a little more “hard sell.” The ad below ran on November 9, 1956 and boasted that Old Log Cabin was Ohio’s largest-selling straight bourbon.
Unfortunately, ten years later – gone were the illustrations of squirrels, checker-shirted hunters and the iconic log cabin. The “Mad Men” era of advertising was well underway, and a smoother approach was called for. Thus the ad below ran in the Journal on November 4, 1966.
Note that the bottler was now Old Log Cabin Company of Cincinnati. Apparently the new owner felt that there was still life in the brand, which had been around since the 1800s.
I’m not sure when the original Old Log Cabin brand was “boarded up” and closed. But it’s nice that the iconic brand was revived by Batch 206 Distillery of Seattle in 2015.
Courtesy Batch 206

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Whiskeyville Revisited – Part 2

Like me, regular blog contributor Rick Kurish had wondered on which corner the Midway (or Whiskeyville) Tavern had sat.

In a series of emails, Rick shared his thoughts and research. He wrote, "A couple of people have left comments on your blog as to the exact location of the Midway Tavern. I would like to know that myself. 

"Based on the caption accompanying the old photo, it would seem that the tavern would have been located on either the northeast or northwest corner of route 113. That's based on the caption indicating that the distillery was just north behind the tavern. If, as seems likely, the tavern fronted one of the four corners, the distillery being behind and north of the tavern, would place the tavern on the north side of the road.”

Rick also came up with a map that supports his theory. He wrote,” I found a 1912 plat showing the intersection of routes 58 and 113 at that time. Although the online copy is maddeningly blurry, it would appear that 6 mile house and the distillery were located on the north east side of the intersection. With a little imagination you can almost make out the word Hotel."

Here is that 1912 map (below).

I also found a map with the word 'hotel' visible as a label for a building on the northeast corner. It dates from 1857 (below). As you can see, there is another hotel further to the east, on the south side of the road.
An 1896 map (below) has no labels, but all of the buildings located at that intersection are clearly on the northeast side of the road.
Note the name "H. Howe" on the map to the east of the intersection. An article about an attempted robbery at the Howe residence in the Elyria Reporter of August 31, 1899 mentioned the tavern. It noted that the victim, Mrs. Jane Howe, and her aged uncle "live near the old tavern on the telegraph road about six miles west of Elyria."

It does appear that the tavern, then, was located on the northeast corner of what is today the intersection of Ohio Routes 58 and 113.

Here’s a recent view of the intersection.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Whiskeyville Revisited – Part 1

6 Mile House (also known as Midway Tavern and Whiskeyville Tavern)
Courtesy of the Lorain County Historical Society
My post about the October 1933 fire that destroyed the Midway Tavern really just scratched the surface of the history of that interesting area. So I went back and did a little more research.

Amherst’s Story (1914) by Robert Grenville Armstrong included a few paragraphs about Whiskeyville. It noted that Jacob Shupe had started the first whiskey distillery in the township, and that his success at this enterprise led others to follow suit.

“It is interesting to note in this connection that Whiskeyville received its name from one of these stills, which Elias Mann built there,” wrote Armstrong. "This was in 1838. It is hard to shake a name, once it becomes attached.

“Whiskey, in those early days of scarcity of money, became a legal tender. It served the early pioneer for money. He could pay his notes in whiskey, provided the crop of grain was sufficient. He could use it to replenish his own diminished treasury.”

A book entitled, Amherst Ohio Sesquicentennial mentioned the stagecoach line on which the Midway Tavern had been located. The book noted, “It was during the 1820’s that a stagecoach line began operating between Cleveland and Fremont. It was the first stage line west of Cleveland, and was called the Beebe Stage Coach Line. It traveled west along the South Ridge Road (Ohio 113)."

Regular blog contributor Rick Kurish sent me some information about the tavern that was included in the book Amherst Reflections (July 1976) published by the Amherst Business and Professional Women’s Club. Include in Rick’s information (at left) was a version of the photo shown at the top of this post, and a caption that read, “The “6 Mile House” on the Western Reserve Maumee stage road at the intersection of what are now State Routes 113 and 58 was so-called because it was six miles from the Beebe Tavern in Elyria and an equal distance east of the Henrietta House. The distillery which helped give the neighborhood its name of Whiskeyville, a nickname still heard, was just north, behind the tavern.”

I also made a trip to the Elyria Public Library to see what I could find out about the tavern. A 1926-27 edition of the Directory of Lorain County included a listing for it. “The Midway” was listed as a dance hall run by Edward Sinerson; its address was Telegraph Road in Amherst Township.

The library also had microfilm for the Chronicle-Telegram, and I was able to find that paper’s reporting of the fire that destroyed the tavern. Here is the article (below), which ran on the front page of the C-T on October 6, 1933. It is different from the report that ran in the Lorain Journal.

Landmark West of Elyria Burns to the Ground,
Origin of Blaze Unknown

Whiskeyville Tavern, century-old landmark and at one time a stage coach stop on Telegraph road, burned to the ground early this morning from a fire of undetermined origin.

Perpetuating its early history, the ancient building, with some modern improvement, had up to the very last been a place of social gatherings and entertainment. Even last night, not long before the disastrous fire broke out, the tavern was the scene of a party and dance.

Recently the tavern had been operated by Mr. and Mrs. Harold Wallace. Awakened about 2:45 a.m. by the acrid odor of smoke, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace discovered the building enveloped in flames. They aroused their two children, and made their escape out over the porch roof.

Amherst Dept. Called
The Amherst fire department and neighbors fought the flames, but were unable to check their progress through the dry timbers. They prevented the flames from spreading to a barn in the rear, and to adjoining buildings, however.

Deputy Sheriff Claude Adams, who responded to the fire call, said that the fire raged for about two hours before it was subsided.

Considered as one of the best taverns in the early history of this section, it never lost its identity as as social center, like so many of its early contemporaries did when automobiles and good roads made their presence felt in American life. It was a popular stopping place until the last, and its passing brings nearer to close that chapter in the early social life of the Western Reserve.

An investigation of the cause of the blaze is to be made by the state fire marshall’s office, Sheriff Clarence W. Dick said.

Next: Just where was the tavern located?