Friday, May 29, 2020

Post Cereals Contest – 1966

A few weeks ago (here), I mentioned that back in the 1960s I had entered a drawing contest sponsored by Post Cereals.

Well, of course I had to dig out my contest entry from storage, and do a little online research about the 1966 competition itself.

As it turns out, it was really more of a coloring contest. On the back of special Post Cereals boxes, a cartoon picture featuring one of the brand’s advertising mascots appeared, surrounded by copious amounts of white space. The idea was that kids would finish the drawing and color it all in.

Here’s the back of a Post Toasties box (courtesy of Ebay) with one of the pictures. This one features Billie Bird, one of the characters (voiced by Carl Reiner) on the Linus the Lionhearted TV show.

As you can see, a Mattel V-RROOM engine is one of the fourth prizes.

Anyway, my entry was from the back of a box of Alpha-Bits. Here’s what the front of a typical box (with Lovable Truly the Postman) looked like at that time.

I’m not sure why, but for some reason I redrew my entry instead of using the one on the box. Mom helped me with the words that I wanted to come out of Lovable Truly’s mouth: “I’m always in a hurry to get my Alpha Bits.”

Here’s my entry.

I have no idea why I made Lovable Truly’s hair blue, or gave him red shoes. I also strongly suspect that I was thinking of Lucky Charms when I drew the big bowl of cereal.

And here's the little note from Post telling me I was a Fourth Prize Winner.

As for my prize, I remember watching Dad fasten the V-RROOM engine to my bike. It was pretty noisy and I don’t think I used it very long.
Here’s what it looked like (courtesy of the online Museum of Vintage V-rroom Collectible Mattel Toys).
And here’s a great vintage commercial for it.
The real winner of all this was actually Post. I’m still eating Alpha Bits (and Sugar Crisp, er, I mean Golden Crisp) more than fifty years later!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

May 1969 – International Community Center for Lorain?

Here’s another one of those “What Might Have Been” scenarios for the City of Lorain: a proposed International Community Center at Lakeview Park.

The front page of the Journal from May 18, 1969 (above) tells the story.

At that time, the International Festival was only two years old, having been launched in the summer of 1967 (which I wrote about here).

The two-story building was to be the headquarters of the Lorain International Association. It was to include a small convention hall that could serve as the setting for the Festival and bazaar; a museum honoring Lorain’s ‘famous sons’ such as Admiral Ernest J. King; and an art gallery featuring works by Lorain native Stevan Dohanos. The Community Center would also provide a forum for Lorain citizens and the various civic, business and fraternal organizations to which they belonged.

The International Community Center was going to be located in the southern portion of Lakeview Park (on the south side of West Erie Avenue) next to the tennis courts.

Tax money would not be used to build the Center. Financing was to come from a major fund drive, getting Lorain citizens to pledge so much over a three year period.

Anyway, the Center was an intriguing idea at at time when the city was still fairly prosperous. Perhaps the idea may yet be revived someday, using an existing Downtown building rather than new construction.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Lorain Journal Movie Ads – May 1956

Here’s yet another vintage newspaper page, this time from the May 4, 1956 edition of the Lorain Journal. No front page this time; it’s the page with all the movie listings and restaurant ads, and there’s plenty of fun stuff to look at for longtime Lorainites.

Drive-ins were big back then, and all of the local ones were showing historical action movies.

At the Carlisle Drive-in there was John Wayne and Lauren Bacall in Blood Alley (1955). The second half of the double feature was Fort Yuma (1955)  with Peter Graves.

At the Lorain Drive-in, Burt Lancaster was starting in The Kentuckian (1955), with Jack Webb in Pete Kelly’s Blues as the second feature.

And over at the Tower Drive-in on Lake Avenue, The Warriors (1955) a late entry with Errol Flynn, was finishing its run.

Who would have guessed that in 2020, the one local drive-in still around – Aut-o-Rama – would be enjoying renewed popularity, thanks to the coronavirus and the necessities of social distancing? (I wrote about my trip to Aut-o-Rama back here.)

Courtesy Aut-o-Rama website.
Hey, that’s a commercial for Pic on the screen!
Anyway, back to the ads.

The one big ad that stands out on the page is for a movie I’ve never heard of: On The Threshold of Space starring Guy Madison, Wild Bill Hickok himself. It was showing at the Tivoli in Downtown Lorain.

And here’s the trailer.
There’s lots of other stars represented on the page, including Audie Murphy in World in My Corner (1956) at the Ohio Theater, and good ol’ Randolph Scott in Thunder Over the Plains (1953) about to open at the Palace as part of a children’s matinee. (I’ve seen so many Randolph Scott westerns on GRIT that he’s become somewhat of a favorite.)

I know I’ve been doing this blog for a long time when I see that I’ve written about most of the restaurants and businesses on this Journal page, including the Pueblo, the Showboat, Ben Hart’s, Evan’s Grill, Crystal Beach Ballroom and 4-Winds Drive-in.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A Hundred Years Ago In Lorain – Part 2

Yesterday I posted a front page of the Lorain Times-Herald from May 24, 1920. It contained all kinds of criminal mayhem (unlike today’s papers, which seem to keep that kind of thing off the front page in favor of “soft news").

Well, I discovered I had the next day’s edition of the paper – from May 25, 1920 – in my files as well. So here it is for your breakfast reading enjoyment

It offers a follow-up on the shooting of Stanley Jacoboski by Michael Martini but also some other interesting items.

POLICE WATCH RUM RUNNERS ON LAKE ERIE was the heading for an article that reminds us that Prohibition had been underway for about 4 months at that point. The article noted, “Reports of rum runners operating from Canadian shores to Lorain harbor have kept police and U. S. Customs officers busy here since Sunday, it was learned today.

“Police received a tip Sunday that the Key Bell, Canadian steamer, booked here for coal, landed in port with a cargo of whiskey alleged to have been smuggled from Canada for distribution here.

However, a search of the steamer produced nothing. In fact, despite the headline, it seems that there was no evidence that any liquor had been smuggled at all.

THOMAS O’BRIEN FIFTY YEARS IN LORAIN IS DEAD was the title of an article announcing the passing of aged resident. “Thomas O’Brien, aged 95, 603 west 20th-st, Lorain pioneer, died at his home yesterday afternoon,” it noted.

“O’Brien has been a resident of Lorain for over 50 years. He was born in County Cork, Ireland and came to the United States and settled in Syracuse, N. Y., when he was 14 years of age. He lived in that city 29 years and from there moved to Lorain.

“He became an employe of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad upon coming to Lorain and worked for that company until 23 years ago when he was injured in a railroad wreck. His injuries necessitated the amputation of both of his legs.

“The deceased pioneer built the home in which he died 25 years ago. He recently sold the property to the school board but was given a life lease on the property.

If all of the data (dates and ages) about Mr. O’Brien were accurate, he was born around 1825, and came to this country around 1939. He moved to Lorain around 1870 or so, so he sure had a ringside seat to watch the city grow.

It looks like his property was located near where Hawthorne school was eventually built.

Anyway, what might have been the most interesting article ended up being unreadable. BOYS DEMOLISH TENT OF FORTUNE TELLER was the title. It looks like a ‘gypsy fortune teller’ with the last name of Mitchell on E. 29th Street reported to Lorain police that boys had raided her place and completely demolished the tent in which “she was plying her trade.

You’d think that as a fortune teller, she might have known they were coming.

Monday, May 25, 2020

A Hundred Years Ago In Lorain – Part 1

Here’s a nice glimpse of what was going on in Lorain, Ohio one hundred years ago yesterday. It’s the front page of the Lorain Times-Herald for Monday, May 24, 1920.
The main item of interest to me originally was the announcement that the opening of the new Bath House at Lakeview Park was planned for Decoration Day (Memorial Day).

For a while, it was unclear when that very first bath house opened. It was originally supposed to be ready in 1919 (which I wrote about here). Unfortunately, the opening was pushed into 1920.

Sadly, it would be pretty much destroyed by the infamous tornado in 1924.

Anyway, there’s plenty of other interesting things to be found elsewhere on the front page (that is, if you can read the tiny type).

There’s a small blurb noting that Jack the Peeper was at it again, this time in the Fourth Street and Hamilton Avenue area. Also in the news: a manhunt for John Joyce, a Cleveland saloon keeper who allegedly shot Harold Kagy; the tragic death of Carl Schmauch, Amherst automobile dealer, in a accident involving the car in which he was driving and a Michigan Central freight train; and the bar room shooting of Stanley Jacoboski by Michael Martini (which you can read more about in Don Hilton’s Murders, Mysteries and History of Lorain County, 1824-1956).

On the local health front (not unlike today’s daily coronavirus statistics), there were reports of three cases of scarlet fever, two of typhoid and three of whooping cough.

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Passing Scene – May 14, 1966

It’s been a while since I posted a Passing Scene comic strip from the Journal.

Cartoonist Gene Patrick seemed to put his creation on hiatus back in July 1969. As of March 1970, the comic still hadn’t returned to the pages of the Journal.

Consequently, since I'd been posting them chronologically from a 50-year prospective, they’ve been absent from this blog. With the Lorain Public Library closed to the public since the middle of March due to the Coronavirus, I haven’t had access to Journal microfilm for quite a while. And I’m not sure when I will again.

Anyway, here’s a strip that I haven’t posted before, believe it or not. It’s from the May 14, 1966 Journal.
It’s a good one too. It has the memorable cartoon (reproduced elsewhere) of the Lorain Lighthouse being saved from demolition. There’s also a funny panel about Lorain County Speedway, as well as one indicating that the atypical cold weather that we had recently (remember the snow a few weeks ago?) was also a problem in 1969.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Canadian Clippings – May 1964

I’ve spent a lot of time in Canada over the years. Consequently, I'm always interested in what’s going on up there in the news. Unfortunately, today’s struggling American newspapers seem to routinely ignore our friendly neighbor to the north, and to find out anything at all, it’s necessary to visit a Canadian news website.

But that wasn’t always the case. Back in the 1960s, when the Journal was still packed with news stories, you could expect to see at least some news filtering out about the Great White North.

Along those lines, here are a few samples, both from May 1964.

The first one (below) is pretty interesting and ran in the Journal on May 20, 1964.

At the time, Canada wasn’t even a hundred years old (that birthday would be celebrated in 1967 at Expo 67), and was still trying to establish its own identify independent of the United Kingdom. Thus, there was a national debate over the design of a new flag for Canada, with the goal of coming up with something that French-speaking Quebec would accept.

Here’s the old design (which incorporated the British Union Jack) that was being replaced.

Prime Minister Lester Pearson preferred this design (below).
But in the end, this now-iconic design (below) was chosen. 
To learn more about the flag debate, click here.

The second Journal clipping (below) is from ten days later – May 30, 1964. This article noted that construction had started on the latest tourist attraction on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls: a 500-foot tower.

Canada Makes Bid For
U. S. Niagara Business

Latest addition to the Niagara Falls “high rise” observation points is a tower which will be completed by late spring 1965 on the Canadian side.

Niagara International Center adjoining Queen Victoria Park will double as a sightseeing vantage point for tourists and a showroom for Canadian industry.

The tower will be 500 feet high, with exterior press elevators, revolving restaurant at the top, glassed-in observation deck and construction requiring unusual engineering features.

- Heating coils will be incorporated in the canopy at the top of the dome to prevent build-up of snow or ice. Elevator guide rails will be equipped with electrical heating cables to prevent icing conditions.

The dome will be faced with “self-cleaning” stainless steel or similar weather-resistant high-finish material.

Canada’s ‘business pitch’ will be a 105,000 square foot exhibition hall on two levels and a mezzanine at the base of the tower.

A different “thematic approach” will be used each year, with the opening season accenting “The World of Travel” and an early climax coming in 1967, when Canada will note its centennial.

A 60-foot diameter half-globe, representing the northern hemisphere, will be the central display in the tower.

Several towers have been erected recently on the American side of the falls as an attraction for tourists.

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Since the photo of the tower from the article is rather poor, here’s a better look at it through a series of vintage postcards. Note that the tower eventually received a name: Skylon Tower.

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Niagara Falls has been a regular topic on this blog over the years. Click here to visit some of those old posts.


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Masson Heads for Half-day Sessions – May 1969

Will schools finally reopen this fall?

It’s hard to say at this point. Even if they do, some school systems are pondering ways to reduce the number of kids in the classrooms in an effort to keep them safe.

Which reminded me of the year that Masson Elementary School in Lorain had the half-day sessions to alleviate school crowding.

The article below, which appeared on the front page of the Journal on May 29, 1969, allowed parents of the affected children to voice their opinion of the radical concept.

Some parents were indifferent to the whole thing; others were disgusted.

Hey, regular blog commenter Mike K. is in this photo
of my fifth grade class. 
I included my opinion of the whole thing back on this post. I noted, "It's suspicious that the decision to do this was made in late May, right after the failure of the $12.5 million building bond issue at the ballot box. I guess the school board had to make their point. 

"Under this new schedule, students who walked to school attended from 7:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., and those who took the bus went to class from 12:45 to 5:45 p.m (which seems pretty late).

(I also wrote about the half-day sessions on this post.)

I still think the whole thing (which took place when I was in fifth grade during the 1969-1970 school year) was kind of disruptive. Up to that point, you pretty much had the same kids in your class every year, and you got used to seeing them. Half-day sessions caused the kids to be split into two groups: those who walked to school, and those who took the bus.

As I’ve mentioned before, where I lived on Skyline Drive was right on the edge of the bus boundary. The bus went right by our house on its way to Leavitt Road.

Of course, in the present day, parents have so many options of where to send their kids to school that it’s highly unlikely that living in the same Lorain neighborhood means that they automatically go to the same school. And more’s the pity. 


****
Its still incredible to me how many buildings there were in the Lorain School System had back then.

There were 17 elementary schools (Boone, Charleston, Emerson, Fairhome, Garfield, Harrison, Homewood, Irving, Jane Lindsay, Lakeview, Larkmoor, Lincoln, Lowell, Masson, Oakwood, Palm and Washington); and 5 junior high schools (Hawthorne, Irving, Longfellow, Masson and Whittier).

I know, I know... it’s time for Alan Hopewell to make the usual remarks about how cool Hawthorne was.

Ah, but "Masson Mustangs are the best,” as the old cheer went.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

1883 Arch Bridge Over Beaver Creek

During a break in the weather on Sunday afternoon, I headed out to grab a few photographs that I needed for some upcoming posts. When it was time to head for home, I did as I often do. Rather than go back the way I came, I made some random turns down country roads that I hadn’t been on before.

While this approach occasionally causes me to get lost, it often reveals a new roadside item of interest.

And it did this time too. While zipping north on Quarry Road, I happened to notice an interesting bridge on Garfield Road. It was just west of the intersection.
Of course, I had to pull over for a better look, and was rewarded with this view (below).
The southern side of the bridge (below) has the year 1883 inscribed in it.
The bridge is listed on Bridgehunter.com, and is identified as an 1883 arch bridge over Beaver Creek on TR18.
I’m impressed that the charming bridge has not been replaced.
For an excellent article on the Structure magazine website that examines the challenges of evaluating and preserving historic stone arch bridges, click here.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Sy Sans Beach Motel

What does “Sy Sans” mean? Read on and find out.
I’ve mentioned many times how I enjoy living out in Vermilion. It’s part of Ohio’s Vacationland, and if often feels as though you really are perpetually on vacation, with the lakefront atmosphere and little motels and cottages nearby.

I often drive over to Huron just to enjoy that timeless vacation ambiance along the way, and I never get tired of seeing all of the various mom-and-pop businesses that have survived for decades.

Several of the cottages have been featured on this blog over the years, including Walk-In-The-Water Cottages, Lakeland Lodges Motel and the granddaddy of them all, Mari-Dor Beach.

Courtesy Cottages at the Water’s Edge
Well, here’s another one: Cottages at the Water’s Edge, located 4 miles west of Vermilion on U. S. Route 6 (out there known as West Lake Road).

Like its Lake Road cottage counterparts, the business now known as Cottages at the Water’s Edge has also been around a long time. According to a nice comprehensive history on its website, the business dates back to when it was just a store at Stop 141 on the old Lake Shore Electric streetcar line.

Eventually, tourists were camping at the site and cottages followed, beginning in the 1930s. Over the years, various owners ran the place, including Lloyd Moats (who also owned Peck’s Cottages).

In 1953, the grandparents of the current owner bought it, and it became known as Miller’s Sandy Beach Cottages. Then, in 1963 the property was purchased by the current owner’s aunt and uncle, Frank and Helen Simon, who renamed it Sy Sans Beach Motel.

(Why Sy Sans? According to the website, the “Sy” was for Frank, who his wife called Simon, and the “Sans” was for the sandy beach.)

The current owners bought the place in 1985. They have continued to improve and expand the property, and are busy grooming the next generation to take over someday.


Same view as the vintage photo above
Happily, they are committed to maintaining the resort's old time feeling. As the welcome message on the resort’s website notes, “Step back in time to a family vacation tradition on the shores of beautiful Lake Erie.

Click here to visit the website.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Eagle Nest Revisited

Earlier in the week, I featured stories by a few of the great people who, year after year, share their research and findings with me so that it can appear on the blog. (In fact, both of them are hard at work on new topics that will show up here soon.)

So it’s only fitting to close out the week with a nod to another longtime blog contributor (and all around nice guy), Bob Kovach.  A few weeks ago, Bob contacted me about his front row seat when it comes to the eagle nest located near the Philip Q. Maiorana Wastewater Treatment Plant (that I wrote about here). 

You see, Bob works at the PQM Plant and is well aware of how popular the eagle nest is to photographers. "I regularly see people taking pictures out there, he noted.

"I probably watched you taking pictures and didn't even know it was you!”


Bob couldn’t resist taking a few photos of the nest’s occupants himself, and sent me these two terrific photos. Its hard to believe these are Lorain eagles!
Bob has contributed several great posts here over the years. 
On one of my personal favorite posts of all time, Bob took us on a tour (here) of the old U. S. Route 6 alignment that goes through the woods (near the PQM Plant) just south of the present 4-lane highway. He provided reminisces and photos of the Lorain Crystal Ice building here; shared some ultra-rare photos of the old Lorain City Airport buildings here; produced a photo of Aviator Bill Long’s Ercoupe here; provided some background information about an old Oberlin Avenue farmhouse here; and sent copies of rare memorabilia, including vintage coal bills and a Canada Dry Bottling Company of Lorain letter. And that’s not even everything; type Bob Kovach in the search box and youll see.

As recently as a few days ago, Bob suggested an update to this week's post on flying boats, which you can read here.
Thanks, Bob!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

May 1913 – Coast-to-Coast Highway Through Lorain?

Here’s an interesting article from the days when most roads weren’t paved, and a coast-to-coast concrete highway was just being discussed.

The article is from the front page of the May 27, 1913 Lorain Daily News, and contemplates the possibility that Lorain might be one of the cities through which a proposed highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific would pass.

Here is a rough transcription of the article. (I’ve indicated where I could not make out what the Daily News article said.)

****
OCEAN TO OCEAN ROAD MAY BE
CONSTRUCTED THROUGH LORAIN
National Highway, a Pavement From the Atlantic to
Pacific, Made Possible by Cement Company Gift
Here’s Chance for City’s Civic Bodies to Do Good
Work in Securing Road for Lorain

A proposed ocean-to-ocean highway national improved highway-pavement from the Atlantic to the Pacific taking the northern route through Ohio has been made certain by the action of the American Portland Cement Company, who have pledged in the undertaking approximately 2,700,000 barrels of cement as a gift. The entire undertaking will cost $29,000,000, and no call for pledges of money or other aid will be made until half this is raised. The pledges already made are valued at $9,500,000.

The old plan of routing through Columbus and Indianapolis has been abandoned the incorporators of [illegible] the Lincoln Highway Association and instead the road will go through Akron, Cleveland and Toledo in crossing Ohio. It will follow Lake Erie closely in going from Cleveland to Toledo.

This means to Lorain an opportunity of obtaining at once the badly needed east to west god roads into the city, and thousands of dollars in trade. The motorist and he will be the chief user of the new highway is a free [illegible] and the patronage of tourists traveling east and west is to be greatly sought after. Whether the road will pass through Lorain is uncertain, but it is thought that in operation and boosting by Lorain people, with autoists and the board of commerce, can obtain the advantage for Lorain, which, through the metropolis of the county has always been neglected in the building of state and intercounty roads.

Route of the proposed ocean to ocean highway in accordance with the revised schedule follows.

New York to Philadelphia; Harrisburg; Pittsburgh; Akron; Cleveland; Toledo; Chicago; Clinton, IA; Des Moines, IA; Omaha, Neb.; Denver, Colo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Big Pine, Cal.; and two branches through California, one in San Francisco and the other to Los Angeles.

The highway association hopes to sell every automobile and motorcycle owner in states through which the highway runs a certificate of the Lincoln Highway Association at $[illegible].

****
As it turns out, the coast-to-coast highway being discussed in the article ended up being the Lincoln Highway, whose Association was founded a little more than a month later on July 1, 1913. The original route was cobbled together with a combination of existing roads and new construction.

But the highway's eventual route did not go through Lorain as hoped. Instead, the road took a straight route across the north central part of Ohio, bypassing Cleveland and Toledo, and going through Canton, Mansfield, Marion, Kenton and Lima instead.

Lorain would eventually be a city on a coast-to-coast highway, when U. S. Route 6 (the Grand Army of the Republic Highway) was created and signed across the state.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Benoist Flying Boats & the Lorain Hydro and Aero Co.

Today’s blog post is brought to you by local historian Rick Kurish, a longtime contributor to this blog who has suggested many great topic ideas over the years. Rick is always researching things of interest, and willing to share his findings as well.

In his article, Rick takes a brief look at Benoist Flying Boats, as well as the Lorain Hydro and Aero Company.

****
Some time ago I came across the online photographs of Ernst Niebergall, a photographer working in Sandusky in the early 1900s. While the collection contains many interesting photographs, my attention was captured by a photo of an airplane taken on the beach at Cedar Point in the summer of 1914. 

The caption was "Benoist Flying Boat Owned by Lorain Hydro and Aero Company.” 
And here are two more Ernst Niebergall photos from the same collection, and with the same caption. 


Since I'd never heard of a Benoist Flying Boat or the Lorain Hydro and Aero Company, I couldn’t resist a little research. What I found was quite interesting. 

It turns out that Thomas W. Benoist was an early pioneer in both aviation design and business. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri and within a few years of the Wright Brothers flight, he was building and flying planes in St. Louis. 
1912 ad in “Aero and Hydro"
“In an aviation career of only ten years, he formed the world’s first aircraft parts distribution company, established one of the leading American aircraft manufacturing companies and a successful flying school, and from January to April 1914 operated the world’s first scheduled airline,” according to this Wiki entry.

He eventually became interested in “flying boats,” and along with his chief pilot Tony Jannus, developed one capable of transatlantic flight. Since the Roberts Motor Company of Sandusky, Ohio was Benoist’s preferred source for his aircraft engines, he moved his company there in June 1916. Sandusky Bay was also a perfect body of water to test his designs. 

Heres the newspaper article announcing the move to Sandusky by the Benoist Aeroplane company.

Unfortunately, just at the time his business was stating to take off, he was killed in a tragic streetcar accident in Sandusky. 

The Sandusky Star - Journal of June 14, 1917 has a long article about his death. At the time of his passing, Benoist's airplane designs were drawing interest from the U.S. Government for potential use in World War I. 

The Sandusky papers have several articles on his meetings with the government, including one in which government officials were to come to Sandusky just a week after his death.

Despite articles which speculated that Sandusky could become to airplane manufacturing what Detroit was to the automobile industry, his company died shortly after his death. His family sold the business, which was moved out of Sandusky. The company wasn’t mature enough to survive the loss of its creator and visionary leader. 

The accomplishments of Thomas W. Benoist are well documented on the internet, and include the fact that he operated the first passenger airline in the U.S. This was a passenger service between the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg in Florida. The flight took 20 minutes and cost 5 dollars. 

His achievements in aviation were also honored on a U.S. postage stamp, which depicted his flying boat. The stamp was issued as part of Transportation Series issued between 1990 and 1994.

So what was the connection between Thomas Benoist and the Lorain Hydro and Aero Company? 

The tie-in was that Lorain Hydro and Aero purchased two Benoist Flying Boats, and in 1915 flew exhibitions at Cedar Point. The company also flew passengers from Sandusky to Cedar Point. 

The Lorain Hydro and Aero Company was the brainstorm of Lorain businessman J. E. Pepin, who circa 1910 to 1917 was the manager of the Citizen’s Loan and Trust Company located at 552 Broadway in Lorain. An article in the Chronicle-Telegram of November 7, 1914 (below) announced the organization of the company with Pepin as president. 

J. E. Pepin seems to have been a rather interesting character. An article in the Sandusky Register on March 1, 1919 indicates that after the Lorain Hydro and Aero company, Pepin moved to Detroit and eventually enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War I. After many daring exploits in France, he was apparently using something like hypnotism to cure shell shock cases in a hospital. 

C. Ray Benedict was the regular aviator for the Lorain Hydro and Aero Company. An article in his hometown newspaper, the Binghamton Press on September 1, 1915 details his activities during the summer of 1915, when the Lorain Hydro and Aero Co. had the concession for Cedar Point. 


Another article indicted that the residents of Lorain were treated to an air show in the summer of 1917 when the Anderegg brothers were testing a hydroplane they were purchasing from the Lorain Hydro and Aero Company. The company had gone out of business at that point and had sold its last machines to the Anderegg brothers. The article notes that the company had its headquarters near Broadway and 9th Street.


****
As a sideline to the articles about the Benoist Aircraft company, here is another interesting article. It centers around a woman flyer named Alys McKey Bryant who worked for the Benoist company in Sandusky. The article was published as she prepared to leave Sandusky after Benoist’s death in 1917.
While working for the company, Alys McKey Bryant was the factory supervisor, mechanic, and flight instructor. Quite a resume for a woman circa 1917. 
Courtesy Wikipedia
There is a great article about her, including several photos, in the Ohio's Yesterdays series published online by the Rutherford B. Hays Presidential Library and Museum. It is well worth reading. Here is the link.


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UPDATE (May 14, 2020)
A longtime contributor to this blog reminded me in an email that there is another Lorain connection to the ‘flying boat’ topic discussed here today. In an email, Bob Kovach noted, "Lorain's own Bill Long was also connected to the flying boat scene. 

He also flew people back and forth to Cedar Point.

"Bill Long also restored one of those sea planes then donated it to the Crawford Auto Museum for display, observed Bob. "Unfortunately, around 2010 it was auctioned off to a private collector for over $500,000 dollars.

Here is that 1917 Curtiss MF 'Seagull' Hydroaeroplane that was formerly owned by Bill Long.

As stated on the Bonhams.com auction website, "Records are sketchy, but it appears that A-5543 had a single owner, William H. Long, who was the owner and longtime operator of the Lorain, Ohio airport. 

"Long is said to have based the MF at Sandusky Bay, from which he made frequent trips to Cedar Point Amusement Park, presumably flying joyriders and sightseers.

Here’s another photo of the plane at the time of the 2010 auction, courtesy of the Financial Times website.
The website noted, "It was... the prize-winning American aviator Glen H Curtiss who perfected early flying boat design and his “F” model of around 1913 was adopted by the US Navy. The Curtiss MF (for “Modernised F model”) on offer here dates from 1917 and is a rare survivor among more than 80 of its type that were in service with the navy until the early 1920s. 

"Many MFs were sold off by the navy after the war, and it is thought that this former training aircraft was bought by William H Long, one-time owner of Lorain airport, who based it at Sandusky Bay, Ohio, and used it for ferrying sightseers to the nearby Cedar Point amusement park. The plane was last refurbished in 1945 before being donated to a car and aircraft museum in Cleveland, after which it went on display at Ohio’s Western Reserve Historical Society. In recent years, the MF has been in storage but is said to be in “remarkably good order.”

Anyway, Bob also sent me the photo below, which he found among some discarded items behind the old Lorain City Airport on Leavitt Road. (Bob lived nearby and even remembers Bill Long personally.)


Bob believes the photo (which is labeled only “Nov 4”) is of Bill Long’s flying boat.

As usual, thanks for sharing, Bob!


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By the way, in this 1959 interview with Bill Long, one of the bearded aviator’s prized collectibles that was stored at the airport was the wooden propeller to the Curtiss flying boat.