Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Those Cascade Park Bears – October 16, 1968

Back in early August, I featured some vintage articles about Cascade Park that included one (courtesy of Rick Kurish) about how the park’s beloved bears managed to survive the notorious July 4, 1969 flooding.

Since the time of that post, I found another article about the three bears. This one ran in the Lorain Journal on October 16, 1968 – 50 years ago today – and speculates about the future of Grandma, Gracie and Sophie.

At that time, it was unclear as to whether Elyria was going to be able to keep the bears due to insufficient city funds.

The grass-roots campaign to save the bears also included the goal of enlarging the bears’ den.

The article explains that Grandma “has been in the park for more than 20 years.

“The old bear was born in the den under the big ledge and is the last known descendant of the original pair of bears brought to the city.

“Gracie, who was born in 1957, might possibly be the daughter of Grandma.

“Sophie, who is not as gentle as the other two bears, was given to the city by a hunter who brought the cub back from a hunting trip in 1957.”


Monday, October 15, 2018

Ortner’s Airport Article – October 10, 1968

1947 Phone Book Listing
Many Lorainites are familiar with the various airports that were located on Leavitt Road near the intersection with Meister Road. Originally there was Port Mills (which opened in 1929); later there was the Lorain Skyport (on the east side of Leavitt) and Long’s City Airport (on the west side).

But there was another airport listed in the Lorain phone book for years that many people (like me) may have heard of, but never knew much about it or where it was: Ortner’s.

That’s why I was happy to find the article below, which appeared in the Lorain Journal on October 10, 1968. It provides a nice look at the impressive operation owned by Andrew Ortner, as well as a brief history.


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With the tragic deaths of Andy and Dean Ortner in separate airplane accidents, the company was left with no one to run it. It was eventually sold in the late 1970s, and continued on as a small country airfield. But in 2011 the airport came full circle, and is once again owned by the Ortner family. Here is the link to the Ortner Airport website.

Click here to read Richard Payerchin’s 2013 article about the Ortner family reacquiring the airport.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Lorain Community Hospital Postcard - Then & Now

I can't remember where I got this undated, vintage postcard (above) showing an aerial view of the former Lorain Community Hospital. Nevertheless, it's still fun to compare it with a more recent view of the facility, now known as Mercy Health Lorain Hospital.

A quick look at the Google Maps aerial below reveals a quite different, sprawling campus, thanks to a series of additions. Several parking areas have been enlarged as well.

Here's an architectural rendering of the hospital circa 1970, courtesy of the Alamy stock photo website.
There are some oddities if you compare all three images. Perhaps some of the buildings in the architectural rendering were merely proposed, as they are not visible (at least to my eye) in the current aerial.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Route 254 & 57 Intersection – October 1963

I’m sure most of my readers are familiar with the intersection of State Routes 57 and 254.

It’s been one of the busiest intersections in Lorain County for a long time. Even back in 1963, it had achieved some notoriety (and not because the E. H. Roberts building was located there).

Read all about it in the article below, which appeared in the Lorain Journal back on October 1, 1963. It’s interesting in that it reminds us that in those days (prior to the construction of I-90) that “Rt. 254 offers the best route into Downtown Cleveland unless a motorist wants to take one of the other routes such as Rt. 20 or 10."

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Intersection Still Is Bad
By DICK DiLUCIANO

ELYRIA – Lorain county continues to have the dubious distinction of having the third most dangerous intersection in the state within its boundaries.

The intersection, Rt. 254 and Rt. 57, midway between Elyria and Lorain, ranks third as far as total number of accidents is concerned and may rank higher as far as property damage is concerned.

Some of the county’s most spectacular accidents occur at the heavily-traveled intersection.

Despite the fact that the state is constantly bettering the traffic-light system at the intersection, the accident toll continues to climb at its present rate of about seven or eight accidents each week.

Not all the mishaps occur in the confines of the intersection. Many of them are scattered about within a one or two-mile radius of the two roads.

One of the big reasons for the high collision toll is the tremendous amount of traffic carried by both Rt. 57 and Rt. 254.

Rt. 254 offers the best route into Downtown Cleveland unless a motorist wants to take one of the other routes such as Rt. 20 or 10 which are packed with semi-trucks.

Rt. 57 is the main route between Lorain and Elyria.

Also adding to the problem is the number of business places which are located on Rt. 254. Two of the county’s largest stores, O’Neil’s and Ontario’s, are both located on Rt. 254.

Hills Department Store on Rt. 57 and Homewood Dr. in Lorain attracts large numbers of motorists from the south side of Rt. 254.

The light system at Rt. 254 is plentiful, if not adequate.

Traffic is regulated by radar, which changes the lights according to the amount of traffic.

If motorists would rely strictly on light commands, it is doubtful that as many collisions would occur each year.

They don’t, and as a result many rear-end collisions and “cut-in” accidents do occur.

Another factor in the accident rate is the 60-mile-per-hour daytime speed limit on Rt. 57.

A motorist racing along at 60-miles-per-hour has, unless alert, trouble stopping for traffic once he comes to the intersection.

State patrol officials and state highway workers have no solution in mind as far as reducing accidents at the intersection.

As long as the human element controls the automobile, there is little they can hope to accomplish with regulated traffic flow and speed limits.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Town Crier Inn Ad – October 10, 1963

Yesterday’s post dealt with the United Polish Club’s 50th Anniversary celebration back in early October 1963. Well, at that same time, the above ad for the Town Crier Inn ran in the Lorain Journal on October 10, 1963 – 55 years ago today.

I’ve written about the Town Crier Inn before. This 2012 post included several postcards, such as the one at left. Hey, on the sign it’s spelled ‘Towne Crier Inn.’

My posts on restauranteur Richard Head revealed that he was involved with this restaurant too, even though it was in North Ridgeville.

Nevertheless, the Town Crier Inn offered roast whole round of beef, baked Virginia-style ham, country chicken, sea food, and open hearth broiled steaks.

A little touch of the colonial days, gone from Lorain County forever.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

United Polish Club Burns its Mortgage – October 1963

The United Polish Club’s former building was in the news a few weeks ago.

It’s yet another iconic building in Lorain that very likely will have a appointment with the wrecking crew. A Morning Journal article by Richard Payerchin noted, “the building is in forfeiture to the state of Ohio for owing back taxes of at least $74,765, according to the demo board.”

But the future of the building looked a lot rosier back on October 7, 1963. That’s when an article by Jim Mahoney ran in the Journal explaining that the 1949 mortgage of $165,000 was finally paid off.

The photo that ran with the article is shown at right.

The article noted, "A spark that glowed in 1949 burst into flame Sunday night.

"The $165,000 mortgage of United Polish Club vanished in 90 seconds – PAID after 14 years.

"The ritual of the match and paper highlighted the 50th jubilee banquet with a capacity throng of 400 witnessing.

"After a week-long celebration, the half-century milestone was passed with a three-hour program of jubilation, speech-making and commendations.”

Mayor Woodrow Mathna gave a speech, noting “It has been a great honor for me to follow John C. Jaworski in the mayor’s chair. He served 10 years with dignity and was held in high esteem. The Polish people of this community have an outstanding history for being progressive and active participants in community affairs.”

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I covered the United Polish Club's 50th jubilee celebration in a two part series, here and here.

Monday, October 8, 2018

1964 Ohio State University Homecoming Game Program

Saturday was the big Homecoming Game at Ohio State University, my Alma Mater. Gee, it just seems just like yesterday that I was hanging around Siebert Hall, my dormitory. (I wish I was there now.)

Nevertheless, it’s not too late to post these images from the Football Program from the Homecoming Game back on October 24, 1964. The images are courtesy of the Ohio State University Knowledge Bank.

The program’s cover photo is interesting to me, because it shows the original University Hall. The building dates from 1873, but was demolished in 1971. (Click here to read about its history and demolition.)

A souless replica of University Hall – built at the same location as the original – opened in 1976, a year before I made it down to the campus.

Anyway, here are a few ads from that 1964 program. (Note how I included ads for Sinclair gasoline and Howard Johnson's, favorite topics on this blog.)

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You might be wondering: are any of those businesses still around?
The Howard’s Johnson’s on Dublin-Granville Road is long gone. Here’s a 1962 view courtesy of the Columbus Dispatch.

The Olentangy Inn is history as well. 
The Lincoln Lodge, however, lives on; not as a resort-style hotel, but as the Lincoln Lodge Retirement Residence (below).

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I’ll be doing some more Ohio State posts in the coming weeks, since the 1968 season ended with the Buckeyes as the national champions.