Monday, October 1, 2012

Oberlin Avenue Farmhouses Part 1

(Color inset photos courtesy of the Lorain County Auditor's website)

Here's part of the 1924 aerial view of Oberlin Avenue that I've been using for my research on the Neuman dairy farm. At the top of the map you can see what is now W. 24th Street between the row of trees, and of course at the bottom is the Neuman farm property at Meister Road.

As you can see, all the farms are on the west side of the road. By comparing the 1924 aerial with some current ones from Bing Maps, as well as checking records on the Lorain County Auditor's website, I was able to identify all three of the houses. (Click on the photo for an enlarged view.)

I'm sure a few of them look pretty familiar to you if you're from Lorain. It's strange thinking of those three houses being the only thing out that way in the 1920s.

At the top of the photo is the brick house directly across from where George Daniel Field is now. Because of that landmark location, it's probably very recognizable to many Lorain Countians. It's also one of the oldest in the city, having been built in 1868.

I spent a lot of time in that house in the 1970s and 80s. That's because for many years, it was the home of the well-known Horner family: Edward and Betty, and their sons Doug and Bruce. Doug and I met as trombone players in the Admiral King Marching Band in 1974, and became good friends. For years after that, many happy times were spent at that house hanging out and visiting with the Horners.

I even sketched the Horners' house for Art class.

The unique house really became a symbol of friendship and fellowship. It always seemed to be full of friends old and new, and the Horners hosted many parties and simple impromptu gatherings where everyone always felt welcome.

Much later, Betty and Ed moved and ended up in Cleveland, where Doug is Pastor of St. Paul's Community Church. Sadly, Army Sergeant Bruce E. Horner lost his life in Iraq while serving his country, and Edward Horner recently passed away.

Here is the current view of the former Horner residence.


Loraine Ritchey said...

Dan as you know Bruce Horner is being honored with a tribute garden space along the walkway Eric Barnes- Heroes Walk - he will be having one of the Admiral King granite benches as part of his space . The dedication ceremony will be November 11th at 11 am. which is a Sunday

Randall Chet said...

Hi Dan - news of Bruce's death hit me pretty hard. He and I were pretty close during high school, and I spent much time at the Horner household also. I only met Doug a couple of times but Bruce was always talking about him - he really looked up to his older brother. Where will the Hero's Walk be located?

Dan Brady said...

Hi Randall! The Eric Barnes Heroes Walk will link Settlers Watch and the Admiral King Tribute Site.

Doug Majka said...

I was at the Horner house quite a bit, but not as much as Bruce was at my parents house. Our garage and house dead ended 25th Place. My cousins always commented when they came over, which was frequently, that they thought Bruce was one of the family. My parents had a pool table in the basement, and Bruce loved to shoot pool. Practically every day after school he could be found there. Doug and I were pretty good friends as well, even though he was a few years older. Thanks for sharing the bit about their dad. I was unaware Ed had passed away.