Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hole-in-the-Wall Part 2: the Claus Farm

1896 Map showing the two Claus (spelled Clause here) farms
While many local residents have fond memories of sneaking onto Hole-in-the-Wall beach near Oak Point as teenagers, the "other" Hole-in-the-Wall is much lesser known.

That's because as opposed to being adjacent to a resort area, this Hole-in-the-Wall was part of the Henry B. Claus farm, where Quarry Creek empties into Lake Erie.

Historian and archivist Dennis Lamont explained the story to me in several emails over the last few years.

First of all he pinpointed the location. "This is directly across from the little two stone graveyard on Route 6 between the power plant and the Fairlane yard sign. Before they rebuilt the road and filled in the valley, it was a pretty steep grade on each side."

Dennis pointed out that both the Nickel Plate railroad and the Lake Shore Electric Railway both had bridges over Quarry Creek. Both bridges had a built-in feature to allow the Claus family to access the lakefront.

"When the Nickle Plate came through, they had to build a cattle pass in the trestle so the farmers could take their cattle and horses down to the lake," Dennis noted.

According to Dennis, the Claus hole-in-the-wall was also the location of a terrible accident on the Nickel Plate Railroad. On July 17, 1912 an engine and baggage car were backing up from Lorain, heading west towards Vermilion to pick up a group of Crystal Beach picnickers. The cars jumped the track, and fell forty feet from the trestle into the ravine below.

Here is a Willis Leiter photograph of the accident. The view is looking west. The Lake Shore Electric Railway bridge is not visible in this photo, but it was just to the south of the Nickel Plate bridge.

The Claus family eventually lost their "Hole-in-the-Wall" beach access when Lake Road was improved between Lorain and Vermilion in 1933. But the family didn't give it up without a fight.

An article in the August 14, 1933 Lorain Journal and Times-Herald mentioned the Lake Road construction delay due to negotiations between the government and the family. It stated, "The strip now being improved cannot be connected at its west end with the present road unless the dispute between Henry B. Claus and the highway department is settled.

"The right of way is clear up to Claus hill, where the new road will join the old Lake-rd after cutting out several curves and hills.

"Claus wants $4,500, claiming that the new route will block off the present by-pass under the railroad and street car tracks, which allows access from his Lake-rd property to the beach. The state has offered $1,700. Efforts to bring the two together on a compromise arrangement are underway. G. A. Resek, attorney for Claus, says the case is near settlement.

Henry B. Claus eventually had to settle for less. The August 17, 1933 Lorain Journal and Times-Herald reported, "The last bar to the progress of the West Lake-rd. construction was cleared today with settlement of an injunction suit brought against the state highway department by Henry B. Claus, Lake-rd farmer.

"Claus procured a court order restraining the highway department from entering his property to locate a new section of the Lake-rd from Beaver Creek to Claus' hill. He asked $4,500 damages for this property to be confiscated by the state to lay down the new road. The state had offered approximately $2,000.

"The case was settled for approximately $3,000, it was learned today."

Here's an undated aerial photo showing the Henry Claus farm situated next to a widened Lake Road. At the edge of the photo, you get a glimpse of the culvert allowing Quarry Creek to flow under Lake Road. The photo was in a collection of photos at the Lorain Historical Society taken shortly before, during and after the construction of the Ford plant in the late 1950s. That's Old Lake Road winding its way down from the top of the photo.

Up until about four years ago, the Claus farmhouse still stood on the south side of  Lake Road just east of the small family graveyard on the other side of Quarry Creek.
Here's a 2011 aerial view (below).

And then suddenly – and quietly – the two buildings were torn down, along with the other buildings near the graveyard. Today there is no evidence that the farms were ever there – except for the two gravestones.

Here is a current Bing Maps view (below).

However, if you know where to look, you can see exactly where the "Hole-in-the-Wall" under the Nickel Plate Railroad bridge and the Lake Shore Electric steel trestle was located.

Al Doane and a friend visited the site in 2012 and took some pictures. He noted in an email, "The train workmen have marked where the hole in the wall is by the two painted white poles set in the Right-of-Way track bed.

Here is his photograph showing those poles.

Looking north at the location of Claus' Hole-in-the-Wall
(Photo courtesy of Al Doane)
Al also provided a great photograph showing how the filling in of the former ravine didn't entirely erase all evidence of what was there before. As seen in the photo below, according to Dennis, the stone part of the abutment is what's left of the Lake Shore Electric's bridge.

(Photo courtesy of Al Doane)
Lastly, here's what the location of Claus' Hole-in-the-Wall looks like today (below). Note the two sewer pipes emptying into the lake. As Dennis observed, "It's hard to imagine a wooden trestle on the Nickel Plate and an 180 foot long steel bridge on the Lake Shore Electric – along with Claus' cattle pass and a beach."

Thanks to everyone who contributed historical information and photos for these two posts.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hole-in-the-Wall Part 1: Oak Point

Hole-in-the-Wall.

To many local residents, the name probably brings up memories of that beach just west of Oak Point Road. You couldn't see it from Route 6, but you could tell where it was by all the cars parked in the grass just off the highway. To get to the beach, you had to climb over the railroad tracks. It was private property, so you if went there, you were trespassing – which probably just added to its allure.

I was there myself once or twice in the 1970s, and never knew how it got its name. That is, until a few local historians provided me with an explanation that dates back to the days when Lake Road was located further to the south and zigzagged across Beaver Creek.

1896 Map showing the Hahn property. Hole in the Wall
beach was north of the tracks and west of Oak Point.
Ted Reising-Derby, whose Hahn ancestors had a farm in that area, explained it in an email. He noted, "As far as my Hahn ancestors always said, technically the actual hole in the wall (and its beach) were on Hahn land nearer to the west side of Beaver Creek's mouth."

He pointed out that there was an "actual hole (large culvert) that went underneath the Nickel Plate Railroad tracks," and that that people used to access the beach through the "hole in the wall" there prior to the 1930s Lake Road improvement project which caused the loss of that access hole.

Dennis Lamont concurs. He and Drew Penfield have done much research about the resort that used to be located where Oak Point Road meets Lake Road near Beaver Creek. Dennis believes that the "hole in the wall" there "was where the old resort got under the Nickel Plate Railroad to get to their docks and boat livery. (You can read much more about the resort here on Drew's Lake Shore Rail Maps website.)

Ted Reising-Derby also noted that the "Hole-in-the Wall" beach is still there at Beaver Creek today and is very impressive. He also observed that after the 1930s highway improvements and the access "hole" was lost, the beach retained the name, although few people now know the origin.

Aerial view showing Hole-in-the-Wall beach today (at left)
Today, a very long chain link fence and several NO PARKING signs along Route 6 in that area discourage curiosity seekers from sneaking onto Hole-in-the-Wall beach.

Next: The "other" Hole-in-the-Wall

Friday, June 26, 2015

Second Hoop Drive-in Opens – June 1957


I'm too young to remember the Hoop Drive-in, but the more I think about it, the more impressed I am. It's a great story of a single restaurant on Henderson Drive becoming so popular that it expanded into multiple locations around Lorain and Elyria.

The second restaurant in the chain was the one on North Ridge Road just west of Route 57. The ad shown above announced its opening, and appeared in the Lorain Journal on June 29, 1957 – 58 years ago this Monday.

Eventually the success of the Hoop Drive-ins attracted the attention of the Manners restaurant chain, who ended up buying them, and hiring Richard Head, the man who operated them. (Mr. Head also operated the Lorain Diner.)

I did a two-part blog series on the history of the Hoops/Manners restaurants (here and here) as well as a post on the former Hoop/Manners location on the east side where a Denny's Diner was later built (here).

I like the modern, abstract graphics in the Hoop ad. It certainly gave it a unique, space-age feeling. It's nice that it plugged other local businesses, including the O'Neil Shopping Center, Lorain Creamery and Gelman Commission Co. (Gel-Pak).

I wonder what those free plastic banana boats mentioned in the ad looked like? I'll bet they looked like these (below) which are on Ebay right now, and are described as disposable, plastic banana boats.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lenny's Drive-in Pizza-Burger Ad – June 8, 1957

I've done a few posts about Lenny's Drive-in (here and here), which opened in July 1956. It was located right next door to the Airport Tavern (now Mutt & Jeff's) on Oberlin Avenue.

Well, here's another ad for Lenny's from about a year after the drive-in opened. The ad ran in the Lorain Journal on June 8, 1957 and featured a new nationally franchised menu offering, the Pizza-Burger.

As much as I like advertising mascots, I'm not a fan of the freakish mascot – although he is rather memorable. (I can see Jimmy Durante as their national spokesman.)

So what was the story behind the Pizza-Burger? Here's an article (courtesy of granitecitygossip.com) from the April 1957 issue of Fast Food that explains the whole story.

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"Do I Smell Pizza Burgers?"
by Marie Berube
Reprinted from Fast Food August 1957
Combine the zesty tang of a pizza with the ageless appeal of a hamburger and you've got the PIZZA-BURGER sandwich – newest fast food menu sensation!
For verification, just ask two Wisconsin men who've been building profits for quick-service operators across the country by franchising their pizza-burger rights.
The two partners, Paul de-Angelis and Hugh McGrorty, of Muskego, Wis., came up with the "different" sandwich a few years ago as the answer in their search for something really new to add to their menu at the Muskego Drive-In.
The felt, and have proven, however, that their spicy sandwich not only appeals to customers in the Muskego area -- but also draws heavy plaudits from patrons of rapid-service food establishments in every state of the nation.
The customer-building sandwich, made of seasoned ground beef and pork garnished with a sauce, cheese and chopped onion is grilled like a hamburger and served on a toasted bun.
Simplicity and speed of the pizza-burger is best verified by the many successful franchisers – people like Richard Reimer, co-owner with his parents of the Wagon Wheel Drive-In in Elgin, Illinois, who became a pizza-burger operator in 1955.
About once a week Reimer puts through his meat grinder 80 lbs. of lean pork butt and beef, adds the pizza-burger special blend of seasonings and spices -- then regrinds the mixture through a finer knife. Molded into hamburger patties, the meat is then packed into cartons and placed in the freezer.
The basic patty recipe is for 13 lbs. of meat, to be made up as needed rather than frozen, but Reimer finds that making up a week's supply and freezing it assists in speedy service -- and the meat loses nothing in flavor by being frozen, he states.
Preparation time for Reimer is about three and a half hours. Result: about 560 or his normal week's supply of patties for pizza-burgers -- for which he has exclusive rights in a guaranteed Elgin territory.
At the time of order, all Reimer does is grill a patty on one side, flip it over, top it with a special formula sauce, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped onion and sliced American cheese, heat through until done --pop onto toasted roll and serve.
"Secret" of the pizza-burger's zesty flavor is the method with which the seasonings are combined with the meat and the sauce. The franchise, Pizza-Burger Systems, Inc. supplies the seasonings in the right proportions in packets -- Reimer need only mix in as per instructions.
Basis for the sauce is a No. 10 can of tomato puree, the prescribed seasonings, cooking oil and water. A gallon of sauce takes only a couple of minutes to mix and is enough for about 150 sandwiches. Total cost of the sandwich and sauce is about 12 cents. Pizza-Burger Systems, Inc., suggests a 35 cent retail price.
Today's restaurant operation can become acquainted with the pizza-burger franchise system through a unique $10 option offer employed by deAngelis and McGrorty.
Under this plan, the restaurateur sends in $10 to Pizza-Burger Systems, Inc., and is assured a three week test option on a protected territory. For this nominal sum he receives seasoning mixes for about $42 worth of pizza-burgers, recipes, back-bar signs, hats, table tents, etc.
At the conclusion of the option period, the operator can decide to not carry the pizza-burger. In this instance he forfeits the $10 and removes all evidence of the pizza-burger name -- fully protected by registered trademark-- from his menus and premises.
Pizza-Burger Systems, Inc., reports, however, that the above option plan of action is not taken by 80% of the prospective franchisers. With the reception customers are giving the new sandwich treat and the profit picture of pizza-burgers, deAngelis and McGrorty say that all most operators want to do is more pizza-burger business!
In this common case, the quick service operator's $10 is applied toward the initial franchise fee, this ranges from $25 to $100 based on the population area.
In addition to the initial fee there is a small annual fee; as an example, the initial fee may be $45, the annual $30.
Accepting a protected territory, the restaurant then need only sign an agreement with Pizza-Burger Systems, Inc., stating that he will make the meat mixture and the accessory sauce according to specific direction and that he will purchase his seasoning and recipe mixture from Pizza-Burger Systems, Inc.
That's all there is to any operator becoming a franchised purveyor in an area protected for the duration of the franchise which is renewable each year.
With more and more operators climbing on the pizza-burger profit bandwagon, McGrorty and deAngelis devote all their time to the franchise end of their business and to production of the seasonings.
Boasting no sales force, Pizza-Burger Systems, Inc., lines up new franchises entirely through the mail. New prospects are the result of trade advertising and publicity, or word of mouth recommendations from established franchisers like Richard Reimer and his Wagon Wheel Drive-In.
McGrorty and deAngelis also have, in addition to the seasonings available for purchase such promotional material as match books, sandwich bags, hats, napkins, table tents, decals and menu clip-ons. All of these, which are optional purchases by the operator, feature a pert, prominent-nosed "Pizza Burger Boy" insignia, with the slogan "Do I Smell Pizza-Burgers?"
The yearly fee entitles the franchise to promotional streamers, back-bar signs and other such material, mailed almost every month. Suggested advertising ideas and spot radio advertisements are also covered by this small tariff.
A hybrid item born of the continuing demands for the different, the tasty and the quick in the speedy service food field, the pizza-burger is rapidly fulfilling the destiny of its name -- to rank with the pizza and the hamburger in consumer popularity. And growing right along with it are the dollar profits of the franchised operators.

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Incredibly, Pizza-Burger System, Inc. is still around. Click here to visit their website!
And to see some great photos of a diner in Granite City, Illinois that featured the Pizza-Burger, click here to visit the GraniteCity Gossip website.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lions Club Returns Washington Park to the City – June 24, 1925

One of the amazing things about the aftermath of the tornado that struck Lorain on June 28, 1924 is how quickly the city pulled together to bounce back.

Part of the recovery story is the volunteer work by various civic organizations to erase the scars of the storm. The article below, which appeared in the Lorain Times-Herald on June 24, 1925 – 90 years ago today – tells the story of the contribution of the Lorain Lions Club.

The article is unintentionally humorous. Upon the completion of the Lions Club's beautification efforts, the park was going to be torn up again – this time by the city!

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LIONS WILL TURN PARK INTO CITY HANDS THURSDAY
Washington Beauty Spot Rehabilitated at Cost of $3,000
OFFICIALS TO BE LUNCHEON GUESTS
Ceremony to Mark Completion of Task by Civic Club

Washington park which was taken over by the Lions club last fall to be rehabilitated, will be turned back to the city again at Thursday's noon luncheon meeting of the club at Hotel Lorain.

Special ceremony will mark the occasion at which acting Mayor H. D. Walter, Service Director William A. Miller and other city officials will attend.

The park which was badly torn up by the tornado of last June has been completely rehabilitated by the Lions in the eight months in which the park has been in their possession.

Approximately 100 young trees have been planted together with shrubbery. The park was first graded and seeded and the old band stand in the center removed. New sidewalks replaced the old ones which were torn up by the storm.

Close to $3,000 was spent in the work which is the club's part in rehabilitating city property damaged by the tornado.

However a part of the park will be torn up again according to Service Director William A. Miller. A trench 15 feet wide and five feet deep will be dug through the center of the park for a 24-inch water main which will run from the pumping station on First-st. to Ninth-st.

"The contractor who gets the job will have to replace everything in the park as he found it," City Engineer Chalmers Miller stated.

"While we regret a trench has to be dug through the park, we do not feel that the water supply for people in the southern section of the city should be hampered because of possibly hurting the beauty of Washington Park," he added.

According to Miller several thousand dollars will be saved by running the trench from First-st. through the park, down beside No. 1 fire station and straight to Ninth-st., instead of Broadway or Washington-av., where brick and asphalt pavement would have to be torn up.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

B.B. King Visits Lorain – 1961

Famed blues guitarist, singer and songwriter B.B. King passed away last month at the age of 89 after a career that began on radio in the early 1940s.

But did you know that he brought his orchestra to Lorain back in late 1961?

The above ad appeared in the Lorain Journal on October 26, 1961, announcing the appearance of B.B. King and his 10-piece Orchestra on the 29th of that month at the Lorain Arena. The bill also featured the Royal Jokers, the Young Magnolias and Irma Holsey, and a 65-year-old exotic dancer named Estalla Caledonia. Comedian Jim Danny was the emcee.

The smaller ad at left had appeared in the paper a few days earlier.

The Wiki page on B.B. King explains that while working as a singer and disk jockey, he received the nickname "Beale Street Blues Boy." It was later shortened to "Blues Boy," and finally to just "B.B."

The Royal Jokers were a Detroit group that had enjoyed much regional success in the 1950s, 60s and 70s despite personnel and managerial changes. Click here to learn more about them.

Here's a recording of B.B. King performing "Someday Baby" in 1961, just to give you an idea of what the crowd at the Lorain Arena enjoyed that day 54 years ago this fall. (It sure would be nice today if Lorain had a huge facility to host major musical acts.)


And here's the Royal Jokers performing "Red Hot" from that same time period of 1961.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Thoughts on the Demolition of Those Motels

Shoreway Motel as it looked this past weekend
It's probably not a surprise to any of my regular readers that I disagree with the City of Lorain's decision to expedite the process of demolishing the vintage motels on Route 6 on the western outskirts of town.

As reported in the Morning Journal last week (here), Parkview Motel and Shoreway Motel will be barricaded by the city by July 18 and demolished by Oct. 2. The Erieview Motel and Lake Motel will be discussed by the Lorain Demolition Board of Appeals this morning at 9 a.m.

According to the article in the Morning Journal, the city had obtained search warrants to inspect the four motels back in April. Numerous health and safety violations were found.

However, it sounds like rather than give the motels time to fix the problems, the city has basically pressured them into agreeing to be demolished. There was little discussion by the demo board about the conditions in the motels before making their decision. As a result, the motel owners will lose their businesses, and the motels' residents will lose their homes.

Parkview Motel as seen over the weekend
The Morning Journal printed an editorial on Sunday stating, "The city of Lorain's decision to take on four Lorain motels with what some would call squalid living conditions was an act of decency for people residing or lodging in them."

Not if the people living there can't afford anything else.

The editorial closed with these observations. "Visitors to the International City deserve safe and clean lodging options. The city's actions are a step toward ensuring they find them."

Find them? Find them where? There are no other motels in Lorain.

Erieview Motel on Friday night
I would much rather see the city work with these motels to try and keep them in business. Have the police patrol the area more often to discourage crime. Help the motel owners find loans or grants to fix up their buildings to correct the violations. Or try to find new owners for the motels who have deep enough pockets to improve them.

Erieview Motel – one of the two motels being discussed by the Demo Board today – was a state-of-the art motel plaza when it opened as the Beachcomber Motor Lodge in the late 1950s. It had a heated swimming pool and a business conference room that seated fifty. It even had a Howard Johnson's restaurant in front of it.

Wouldn't it be great to see it restored to its former glory?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Lorain cannot bulldoze its way back to prosperity. To attract tourists, it's got to have affordable places for them to stay, nice places where they can eat, and things for them to do. The city should partner with existing businesses to help them survive – not plot to put them out of business.

Empty lots don't generate taxes for the city. They only make the city look like an undeveloped ghost town, instead of being the supposed eastern gateway to Vacationland.

US 6 traffic zips by the Lake Motel Friday night
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UPDATE (June 22, 2015)
As expected, the Erieview Motel will be torn down according to this article on the Morning Journal website. The Lake Motel was granted a 30 day delay.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Don't forget this Sunday's Unveiling of New Book on Black River Shipbuilding Family

At a time when Lorain seems to have lost all connections with its nautical past, along comes a book that celebrates and documents the history of a local pioneering shipbuilding family from the days when the city was known as Mouth of the Black River.


The graceful barkentine Zack Chandler, built by 
James Monroe Jones at his Detroit Shipyard in 1867.
Courtesy Great Lakes Historical Society 
The title of the book – and it's a mouthful – is The Great Lakes Vessels of Augustus Jones and his Shipbuilding Sons William, Benjamin Buel, George Washington, Frederick Nelson and James Monroe from 1818 to 1881. The book is a collaborative effort that was written and compiled by James H. Jones, a descendant of Augustus Jones, and historians Matthew Weisman of Elyria, and ex-Lorainite Paula Shorf of San Francisco.

As a flyer provided to me by the authors noted, "Augustus Jones settled at the Mouth of the Black River in 1818 with his family from Essex, Connecticut. This new book helps tell the fabulous story of Augustus and his five sons and the vessels they built all over the Great Lakes."

(You might remember that Matthew Weisman and Paul Shorf previously collaborated on the book Lorain: The Real Postcards of Willis Leiter.)

An inaugural book signing and reception will be held this Sunday, June 21 from noon to 4:00 pm at the Jackalope Lakeside restaurant at 301 Lakeside Avenue in Lorain. The authors will be available to sign books and there will be a display of photos and other early Black River shipbuilding memorabilia. There will also be light refreshments.

Richard Payerchin of the Morning Journal wrote a great article about the book, which include an interview with Matthew Weisman. You can read it online here.

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So why did August Jones move to Mouth of the Black River and launch a shipbuilding industry here? Matt Weisman theorizes that it was because Jones' vessels and shipyard in Essex, Connecticut were burned to the ground during a British raid that took place during the War of 1812.

You can learn more about the raid in this video.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Beaver Park Article – August 11, 1962

Here's an interesting article that ran in the Chronicle-Telegram on August 11, 1962. It's an interesting snapshot of what was going on along the lakefront from the western limits of Lorain out to Vermilion-on-the-Lake back in 1962. The focus of the article is the pollution problem, but it also provides a little historic background of Beaver Park as well as Hole-in-the-Wall beach. It also mentions some of the motels including the Vanishing Beach Motel.
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Beaver Park has managed to escape lake pollution
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one of a series dealing with pollution in Lake Erie and its effect on beach areas and communities.
By JIM TOEDTMAN

Billboards of two Lake Rd. motels near Lorain’s western city limits tell the story of struggling Lake Erie. The first advertises its location, “On the Lake,” and an added – and rather ironic – feature, “heated swimming pool.”
Nearby the Vanishing Beach Motel sports its colors.
Despite these telltale signs, swimming, boating and fishing enthusiasts are flocking to areas within the nine-mile stretch from western Lorain to Vermilion-on-the-Lake.
A growing resort area along Lake Erie is Beaver Park, just west of the intersection of Rts 611 and U.S. 6 and St. Rt. 2.
Behind the area’s development have been the efforts of Dr. W. G. Schaeffer, who purchased the plot of overgrown brush in 1922.
Boating Marina
Since then a boating marina which harbors more than 500 boats, a restaurant, houses and a motel have sprung up along the 1,000 foot sandy beach.
Swimming enthusiasts also have discovered the area. In addition to the beach, which is cleaned daily, a low bacteria count also attracts hopeful bathers.
“Bacteria count readings have showed no pollution,” Dr. Schaeffer said. This is probably due to the fact that the beach is more than four miles to the west of the Black River.
The only time we get any dirt in the area is when there is a prevailing north east wind, Schaeffer said.
Swimmers are guarded only on Sunday, when there are two guards.
Heading west, a collection of motor vehicles parked to the north of Lake Rd., announces the approach to well-known Hole-in-the-Wall beach. Swimmers of all types frolic in the unguarded water.
On a day when temperatures were in the low 80’s, more than 100 people gathered from 20 cars and a tractor-trailer truck.
Dr. Schaeffer, operator of the Beaver Park property, explained the history of the beach’s name. “There used to be a culvert right across from where the Ford Plant is today,” he said.
“To get to the swimming area we used to drive into this culvert,” he continued.
This hole in the wall was eliminated about 1924 or 1925 when Nickel Plate Railroad raised its tracks and the Hole-in-the-Wall beach was moved to the east a few miles.
Coliform bacteria readings have been taken by officials of the Lorain City Water Dept. Results of the readings indicate the waters have a count of 30.
Coliform counts
The water department also found Lakeview and Century Park has readings of 30. At the same beaches, the city health board found the coliform counts were 2,198 and 1,107. However these latter readings were taken in May.
That count is well below the safe-swimming limit established by federal officials. The limit is 1,000 coliform bacteria per 100 milliliters. Coliform bacteria are found in all industrial and animal waste.
Another beach apparently well below the 1,000 limit is the beach at Vermilion-on-the-Lake. Lot owners in the settlement have undertaken “Operation Rejuvenate” and are in the process of rehabilitating their beach.
Existing structures indicate that a series of piers and a long sidewalk once existed. According to Ken Bender, lifeguard at the beach, efforts are under way to reconstruct these forms.
Bulldozers have begun the project by moving all rocks off the sand. In addition the lot owners association have received railroad ties which will be used to help rebuild the central pier and for stairways down to the beach.
Youngsters are getting into the act as well. On a recent workday, a 10-year-old boy named Denny was seen throwing rocks into the frame in which the pier is being rebuilt.
Bender said yesterday that beginners' swimming lessons have been started. 13 children have enrolled in the classes and five sessions have been held already.
A Lorain school teacher, Bender distinguishes himself from other swimmers by wearing a black baseball cap, and guards everyday but Sunday from 12 to 6 pm.
An unusual plan for Sunday swimmers has been instituted at the beach. Swimmers only will be admitted if they are with their families.
"There are two motives behind this plan," Bender said. "First we want all swimmers to be watched, and second this will keep families closer together."
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I'm guessing that the unnamed motel referred to in the first paragraph of the article was probably Anchor Lodge, judging by the motel's phone book ad in 1963 (below).

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Beaver Shore Motel

Courtesy Frank and Carolyn Sipkovsky
The lakefront Beaver Shore Motel was located just east of the sprawling Beaver Park Marina property. It first appeared in the Lorain Phone Book in the November 1960 edition.

Here is the first phone book ad for the motel (below).
That ad continued to appear in the phone book until the November 1968 edition, when it was replaced by a larger ad (below) with a photo of the building.
An article in the June 8, 1968 edition of the Chronicle-Telegram mentioned that the Beaver Park Company had bought the motel that year with the hopes of developing package deals for "transient yachtsmen who would like to stay for a few days." So perhaps the change in ownership resulted in an improved marketing effort for the motel. 
Here is the backside of the vintage card found at the top of this post.
As the advertising copy said, the motel was indeed "hidden from highway view." The motel office was visible from Route 6 and the motel was behind and below it.
Here's the motel office as seen in a Bing Maps aerial (below). It's the blue-grey building with the small covered bay with the wavy roof under which a person could apparently park and register. Frank Sipkovsky told me in an email that Walt Rothgery lived in the building during the time he ran the motel.
Here's another view from the opposite direction. You can see the road that led down to the motel. I don't know exactly where the motel was relative to the office. Does anybody know for sure?
The motel office was still visible from Route 6 during the past few years but has since been demolished. Here are a few photos from the Lorain County Auditors website (below).
The Beaver Shore Motel listing continued to appear in the Lorain Phone Book with the same phone number until it finally disappeared in the November 1989-90 edition.