Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Vian’s Part 3

Like many savvy highway entrepreneurs in the 1930s and 40s, Nicholas Vian supplemented his restaurant business with cabins that were available to weary travelers, as well as those seeking a lakeside oasis where they could relax or fish.

In the photograph above, you can see the sign for Vian’s cabins on a building located adjacent to Lorain’s old swing bridge. (At that time, the building in the photo was home to the Checker Inn, a cafe operated by Tony Diulio. The building also housed various hotels through the years, including the Eagle Hotel and the Swamp Lily. The building disappeared from the Lorain city directories after the swing bridge was replaced by the current bascule bridge in 1939.)

Nicholas Vian also promoted his business – then known as Vian’s Grille and Cabins – through a series of postcards.

The three shown below – numbered 6839, 6840 and 6841 and designed with a distinctively shaped inset – is from the earliest series of postcards. (One of them turned up on Ebay with a 1939 postmark).

The combination of a restaurant, liquor, clean and attractive cabins, and cooling breezes off Lake Erie was undoubtedly a winning one, making Vian’s business very popular.
Next: More postcards

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