Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stevan Dohanos House Mystery – Solved! Part 2

Very early in this mystery, I couldn't believe that there wasn't any mention in the July 20, 1946 Lorain Journal that a Lorain house was on the cover of the latest Saturday Evening Post. It just doesn't happen every day – so why wasn't it in the paper? Why was there no photo of the house with its current owners grinning and clutching a copy of the Post?

So I went back to the microfilm a few days ago and read from that date forward almost two weeks.

What did I find? Nothing.

So with the Lorain Public Library closing in 15 minutes, I decided to backtrack from the July 20th date and see what I could find. I had already done a few weeks earlier, but I figured I had nothing to lose by retracing my steps.

Here's what I (groan) found in the Thursday, July 18, 1946 Lorain Journal.

How to Waste 3 Hours, or Life of a Reporter
Newsman Puts in Hectic Day Trying to Track Down House That Wasn't There


Ah, for the life of a mayor or a reporter!

Shortly before noon yesterday a publicity man from a national magazine strode into offices of The Journal telling us that Stevan Dohanos, artist son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Dohanos, 1690 E. 29th-st, had drawn the cover picture now appearing on this week's issue.

"The picture's of a house," he said (we could see that ourselves), "and what's more, it's a picture of a house in Lorain."

We Start to Work
All well and good, we figured – it would make a good "local" story – you know, a picture of a Lorain house being distributed all over the country, and so we rolled up our sleeves and started to work.

We agreed that it would be a good idea that the publicity man contact Mayor Patrick J. Flaherty and have him "officially" inspect the house.

The promotion man started for the mayor's office and, within a few minutes, he telephoned that the mayor "is all behind the plan."

"Come right down, we'll go out there right away," he declared.

This is where all the trouble started.

At least 10 people were waiting to see "hizzoner" about matters ranging from paying for an ad in a picnic program to a woman complaining about the water at her house being turned off.

Another Half-Hour
After a weary half-hour, we started. The publicity man found the name and address of Dohanos' parents and we were headed there to see if the picture corresponded with their house. It didn't.

Mrs. Dohanos stated that the house in the picture was located on 1st-st. In fact, she said, it was the house that Stevan was born in 39 years ago.

Back to Broadway again, the mayor decided it was time to eat. The restaurant was jammed with people and it cost 45 minutes, besides the check.

Down to Business
The mayor then had to stop at his office and at the same time thought he'd better call City Street Supt. Albert McDermott to see if the house was still on 1st-st. We were getting down to business again.

A half an hour later and we were to start again. But 10 more citizens of our city greeted the mayor as we attempted to get back on the trail again so that was another half hour. It was now three hours since our search started.

We climbed back into the car and drove thru the alley behind the police station – a matter of 200 yards – and it was there that we found where the house was when Dohanos sketched the picture two years ago.

Yes, you guessed it. It was one of the houses that was torn down by the Baltimore and Ohio railroad to make room for their new docks at the foot of Broadway.

Well, at least we know WHY Stevan Dohanos painted that particular house.

Next: Where was the house located on First Street anyway?

1 comment:

Lisa said...

You have quite a knack for solving these mysteries! Did you know Stevan was born in Charleston Village before you found this article?
Staying tuned...