Friday, January 15, 2016

Cabin Fever

Blogging about Vian’s motel and cabins the last two weeks reminded me of some other cabins that I’d been trying to research for some time now.

About a year ago, I had to make a trip to Toledo. While zipping along on the Ohio Turnpike somewhere west of Fremont, I noticed a cluster of small, ancient white cabins near the highway.

Could they be an old tourist camp that somehow survived? They were behind an old farmhouse, and looked almost identical to the surviving cabin of the old Hialeah Tourist Court in Lorain.

Although I have a ponderous backlog of local blog topics to research, for some reason I was determined to find out more about those cabins. Maybe there was even an old postcard out there showing them in their heyday.

After taking a virtual drive on the Ohio Turnpike via Google Maps, I was able to come up with the name of the road on which the cabins are located (Overmyer Road), as well as the closest town (Lindsey). I then contacted the Sandusky County Auditor’s office to see if they knew anything.

In a very nice email, they instructed me how to locate the parcel in their records using its County Road 127 designation. Unfortunately, there was no indication of how old the cabins were. But I did come up with the name of the owner of the property.

I utilized the Historic Aerials website, but it was hard to tell from old aerial photos whether they were there before the Ohio Turnpike was built.

But they were still in the middle of nowhere, which didn’t make a lot of sense, because tourist camps were usually located in a town or near the outskirts. So were they really old tourist cabins?

I decided to just call the owner of the property and ask him, which I did last evening.

I was a little apprehensive, however, because not everyone appreciates a phone call out of the blue from a kook asking nosy questions.

Apparently this guy didn’t, either. As I started to ask about the cabins, he replied gruffly, “They were a migrant labor camp” and promptly hung up.

So perhaps the cabins were more like those seen in The Grapes of Wrath.

Anyway, I think I’ll confine my cabin research to Lorain County for the near future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great story Dan. Thanks for sharing. Although it does leave one wondering....

Jackson, MI