Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Jordan’s Boats in Sheffield Lake – Part 2

So where was the large old house (above) that served as the Jordan residence beginning in the early 1940s located?

I sent Gretchen this Bing Maps aerial photo (below) so that she could explain. Heron’s Roost Apartments is the large building on the left, with two parking lots in front of it.

As Gretchen noted in her email, "The apartments (they show a gravel parking lot and a paved parking lot) is where the original house used to sit. In between the two parking lots is a huge oak tree that is original to the land. It can be seen in the old photo of the original house.

Here’s the distinctive tree that Gretchen is talking about (below).

The empty lot is also where that gas station used to be (I used to gas up there myself).
Gretchen continued. "The long driveway to the east (or right) is shared with the cottage (the small building with my red truck sitting in front of it) and the large contemporary house next to it. It's often been referred to as “half-a-house.” That was Tom's Dad's house.”

Here is that “half-a-house (below).

Courtesy Lorain County Auditor
"At the top of that driveway is the city lift station, a brick building.
"Where the cottage sits is where the Jordan boathouse used to be. There was an old stable at the top of the driveway they moved down to that spot to utilize as the bar/restaurant. Tom's father had it burned down the same time they burned down the original house.

Here are the cottage and city lift station as they looked this past weekend.

Still referring to that aerial photo, Gretchen also noted, "Now, to the right of the contemporary house and a little closer to the road is the old farm house (hidden by the big pine tree). It's still intact and I was told Mrs. Maison and her brother lived there in the 40's. Tom's father bought that house at some point.

Here’s that “hidden” farm house (below). You can see the contemporary house just to the left of it.

Best of all, Gretchen shared a wonderful piece of artwork. As she noted, "I'm attaching a picture of a painting Tom has of the old boat house. (It sat where the cottage is now). He was told the boy in the black shorts walking down the drive was him....and he was born in ' mid 60's I’m assuming, but the cars look a lot older for that period.

"Regardless, that's what the old boathouse looked like. His Grandfather (Sydney Jordan) had a boat rental also.

April 5, 1957 Lorain Journal ad
"Tom Jr. had one much later in the 70’s.

April 7, 1982 ad from the Avon Lake Press
"Also, I have the entire Sheffield Lake fire department searching for old photos of when the house and boat house were burned down. They also have messages in to the retired chief and some other retired firefighters who were probably there.”

At the time of her email last year, the cottage was for sale. (It would eventually be sold.) As Gretchen pointed out wistfully, "This place was quite the hub in its day. Tom said people were always coming down to shoot the breeze. His father had a system, if the garage door was open, stop in. If it was closed, come back later. His father was very social, as was his grandfather. Even to this day, we get people down here all the time."
Special thanks to Gretchen for her well-written reminisces and my sincere apologies in the delay in posting them. I will have to check in with her to see if she was successful in her quest to find out more about the grand old house.

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