Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Al Doane Remembers: The Tourist Home at 1219 West Erie

Partial 1931 City Directory Listing of West Erie Ave. 
I received an interesting email from well-known Lorain historian and author Albert Doane concerning my post about the tourist home at 1219 West Erie Avenue. Mr. Doane has a unique perspective about the tourist home – because it was right across the street from where he grew up at 1224 West Erie Avenue.

"I knew the family very well," wrote Mr. Doane. "This home was owned by Mr. & Mrs. Smith H. Stone. The Stones had three sons and one daughter. Son John started work for my father's electrical business that was conducted at 1224 West Erie in the rear garage."

John Stone also figures in a cute story Mr. Doane relates about when he was born.
"John always remembered when he and my older brother Bob came home from school, John beat Bob into my house to claim that he got to see the new baby – me – first."

The former tourist home at 1219 W. Erie
(now demolished)
Smith Stone's tourist home was a busy place that was host to both celebrities and working men. 
As Mr. Doane noted, "I remember John Stone, son of Smith Stone, telling me that one time Al Jolson came to Lorain to do a show at the Palace, and he roomed at the tourist home at 1219 West Erie. John also remarked that in the summer, the Army Corps of Engineers would come to Lorain to do repair to the harbor breakwaters with a crew of men and their tugs, crane, and barges. There would be some men renting rooms at 1219 West Erie for the duration of their time in Lorain."
Mr. Doane noted that Smith Stone had other business endeavors besides the tourist home.
"Mr. Smith Stone had a cigar store Confection store in the basement of the Verbeck Theater at the time of its fire (December 1905). The Stone family made popcorn balls in the barn for sale on Broadway."
1905 ad from the Lorain City Directory
Thinking about the tourist home reminded Mr. Doane of other pleasant memories of growing up in that neighborhood.
The former Doane home
at 1224 West Erie Avenue
"I remember the constant running of the street cars on West Erie all the time, and the steady stream of trailer trucks traveling on the street," he noted. "Our dog never got hit by the trucks nor the street cars. West Erie was a nice street to live. It was a short block from the lake, where we kids grew up living at the lake most every day."

Although the tourist home at 1219 West Erie is gone, the barn behind it remains – and Mr. Doane has a memory connected to it too. 

"My brother Bob and Bob Stilgenbauer each built an 18-foot sailboat in the barn in the rear of 1219 West Erie, and, with the help of their buddies, lowered both boats by rope and sweat from the second floor of the barn to the ground."

Special thanks to Albert Doane for his reminisces.

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