Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign – January 1961

In January 1961, Lorain was in the midst of a growth spurt, with newly annexed industrial land & neighborhoods, with more to come. Thus, there was a need for a lot of new street signs.

That’s the subject of the photo in the upper left hand corner of the front page of the January 7, 1961 Lorain Journal, shown above.

Here’s a closer look at the photo.

That’s Mrs. Donna Ignatko, “smiling brunet secretary of Safety Director Gabor Toth” holding the sign for Fulmer Rd.

It’s interesting noting where the signs were going. There are several going into newly-annexed areas on the west side, including Fulmer Rd., Brenner Dr., S. Hogan Dr., etc. 

Two more west side signs that jumped out at me were the ones for Baumhart Road and Marshall Ave. 

Baumhart Road is now very important to me. Since I live in the eastern end of Vermilion, I use that particular highway to get on and off Route 2, and to get to the Ohio Turnpike. 

And Marshall Ave. was the nearest cross street to us on Skyline Drive (when my family first moved there in late 1965).


jasonmcgathey said...

Cool site! I've been following you for a little while, so it pops up on my Reader. If you don't mind sharing any "insider" knowledge, where do you find your historical materials like these? I tinker around with a blog about Columbus history myself, and was just wondering. Anyway, keep up the great work!

Dan Brady said...

Hi Jason,
Thanks for the nice comment. Basically I spend a lot of Saturday afternoons at my library looking at old newspaper microfilm. I start by seeing what was going on 50 years ago that month (because I remember those events usually), and if there isn’t anything too interesting, I go back 60 years. I save the newspaper pages or articles to a thumb drive and then review them at home to see what is blog-worthy. Then I spend a few more hours cleaning them up in a very old version of Photoshop. Every once in a while, I subscribe to one of the online newspaper archive services, but my local paper is not on there so I still need to hit the microfilm.

Your blog about Columbus sounds great, I loved that town when I was at Ohio State. I did a few posts in which I mentioned how it was a real time capsule of the 1950s even in the late 70s, with the Kahiiki, Big Bear grocery stores, etc.

Unknown said...

Guess what? I received a call from my daughter Polly Odelli and her friend Teresa called to tell her about your blog. I am Donna Ignatko and I did order all those signs. The picture was taken in the basement of the old Municipal Court Building, that is where the Street and Sign department was located. Neil Ellis and Ray Domanski were in charge of the signs and marking of the streets, etc. Gabor Toth was the Safety Director, he was a fine man, and I was also secretary to Ray Miraldi, City Prosecutor and John Hritsko, Assistant City Prosecutor, the office was combined. Imagine one secretary for both department, it was an exciting job, but with one child and my husband Carl called back into the Army because of the Berlin Crisis, it was also stressful. I thank Teresa Szczepanski for calling Polly. I am now 80 years old and truly, Teresa, it brought back a lot of wonderful memories and smiles. Thank you, too, Daniel Brady for your blog. thebarbielady@centurylink.net

Dan Brady said...

Hi Donna! Thanks so very much for leaving the comment – I really appreciate it! It was a great photo and I couldn’t resist posting it. It is impressive that you and all the other city employees got so much accomplished back then with minimum staffs and less-than-stellar working environments. Thanks again to you and your daughter and her friend for making my day!

Buster said...

Dan and Donna - Very cool seeing a 60-year-old photo and then hearing from its subject!

Theresa said...

Imagine my shock when I saw you this morning! I knew I'd eventually see someone I know :)