Thursday, May 19, 2022

Massacre Mile Article – May 31, 1972

Just a little south of the former Emerald Valley Golf Course (the topic of yesterday's post) is the portion of Leavitt Road once known as 'Massacre Mile' – where the big sweeping curve is located.

Massacre Mile has been featured on this blog before. This 1967 article from the Journal seems to be the one of the earliest references to that part of State Route 58 as that nickname; and this 1976 article provided an update of the carnage in the ensuing nine years.

Well, here's yet another article about Massacre Mile – this one dating from right in the middle between the years of the previous articles. It ran in the Journal on May 31, 1972.

I'm not sure if anyone refers to that part of Leavitt Road as Massacre Mile any more, especially since the speed limit has been reduced. In the past many years, I've also noticed at least one house on the curve that was removed.

But there's a new problem area nearby – namely, the entrance to Lighthouse Village. Last year it seems like every time I went through that area where Tower Boulevard runs into the shopping area, there was a bad accident there.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Emerald Valley Golf Club Opens – May 1962

Emerald Valley Golf Course has been featured on this blog several times over the years, including posts devoted to a 1969 interview with Emil and Emily Kucirek (the builders and co-owners of the course); a 1970 Journal article about the Emerald Valley Golf Shop; and a post with a 1972 newspaper ad and photos of how the clubhouse looks today.

Well, here's a good article about the initial opening of the Emerald Valley Golf Club. The story appeared in the Journal back on May 4, 1962. It provides a great history of the course and mentions the farm that used to occupy the site.

It notes, "Emerald Valley Golf Club, $300,000 semi-private nine-hole golf course located on Leavitt Rd. at the intersection of Jaeger Rd., will be available to its golfing membership for the first time Saturday.

"Emil and Emily Kucirek, builders and co-owners, added that trick shot artist Paul Hahn will appear for an exhibition at the Lorain links June 3.

Photo of Paul Hahn courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

"Construction of the 2,845 yard golf course began in November of 1960 on a 60-acre tract of land once known as the Glen Mauer Farm. Kucirek also has an additional 60-acre tract for another nine holes to be built "at some future date."

"The course is ideally laid out with two creeks and two manmade lakes offering additional hazards along with an abundance of natural tree hazards. It has three par three holes, four par fours and two par fives, No. 1 and 4 both stretching 530 yards.

"Play will be mostly on an open basis the first year.

"Emerald Valley's spacious clubhouse has been in use for several months now and is available for parties, weddings, etc. It contains a dining room seating 88 upstairs and a banquet hall seating 225 downstairs.

"Other clubhouse facilities include a southern exposure patio overlooking the course, lounge bar, snack bar, pro shop, locker room for men and parking for 200 cars. Future plans call for construction of a swimming pool by 1963 and tennis courts."


Unfortunately I never golfed at Emerald Valley. My career on the links was a short one, only spanning a few years in the late 1990s/early 2000s. (I mentioned my golf lessons at Bob-O-Link Golf Course back on this post.) I mainly played at Aqua Marine (another lonnnnng delayed post on this blog) on the way home from work, and patronized many driving ranges from Elyria to Westlake and beyond.

I may pick up golf again some day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Lorain County Flooding – May 12, 1956

Although it's nothing to feel nostalgic about, Lorain County was the scene of some serious flooding 66 years ago this month. 

The above front page story from the May 12, 1956 Lorain Journal tells the tale.

As Jack LaVriha noted in his article, "A series of heavy thunderstorms during the night left virtually every section of the city and many parts of Lorain County in a flooded condition, caused thousands of dollars in property damage and swelled Black River through Cascade Park in Elyria to 12 feet above normal.

"Beaver Creek, west of Lorain, went over its banks to flood the area, there was five feet of water in the E. 28th Street subway, the E. 36th St. ditch was 12 feet deep at its peak and the southwest section in the Willow Creek area was virtually under water.

"Service Director Wallace J. Chapla described the thunderstorms which hit the city at about 10 p.m. and continued on and off until 2 a.m. as "the worst from the standpoint of flooded conditions in the history of Lorain."

"He said the Lorain Waterworks rain meter registered 1.45 inches of rainfall during the four-hour period of thunderstorms.

"In Elyria, City Parks Commissioner Vern Bell said after an inspection of Black River in Cascade Park that "the 12 feet of water over normal is the highest I've ever seen it – and it's still going up."

"Route 611 in the Moore Rd. area at Avon was under water – a situation which occurs after every heavy rain – while residents in the French Creek district angrily wanted to know when the county commissioners were going to do something about the drainage problems."


This blog has been, well, flooded with posts about flooding in Lorain County, including the Flood of 1913; flooding in Avon and Avon Lake in March 1952; Black River flooding in Elyria in March 1955; Vermilion River flooding in January 1959; Vermilion River flood threats in January 1970; and the infamous July 4, 1969 storm (including coverage in the Vermilion Photojournal).

Monday, May 16, 2022

Reddy for the Power to Come Back On

Did you hear the transformer blow in Vermilion near the railroad overpass on Friday night?

I had just settled down to enjoy the fine, educational programming on GRIT TV when I heard what sounded like an atom bomb going off a few hundred feet from my condo – followed by a loss of most, but not all, power.

I heard my condo neighbors congregating outside, so I joined them in what turned out to be a post-winter reunion of sorts. One of them suggested that the transformer at the bottom of the hill was the problem. I made a quick call to Ohio Edison (First Energy, actually) and a truck was out in about a half hour, just as darkness fell. I watched as the workers headed into the woods, flashlights in hand.

About twenty minutes later, the First Energy workers came back up and told me that an unlucky woodpecker was the culprit who caused the lack of power. They went right to work, and power was back on about a half-hour after that.

Reddy Kilowatt would have been proud.

And speaking of Reddy, here's an ad from the May 11, 1965 edition of the Journal, showing our old pal serving up a Gold Medallion Home on a platter.

So what's a Gold Medallion Home?

According to Washington State's Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation website, "One of the most effective mass marketing home campaigns of all time was the “Live Better Electrically” (LBE) program of the post-World War II era. It began in the mid 1950s when the General Electric (GE) and Westinghouse corporations decided to co-sponsor a multi-million dollar nationwide campaign to promote the sales of electric appliances and to tout the benefits of electric power.  General Electric provided the main support for the program, which launched in March of 1956.

"At the time, utility companies were rushing to meet the increased demand for electricity in postwar America. However, as more power plants came on line the cost of electricity decreased.  To increase company profits, homeowners were encouraged to consume more power through the purchase of a variety of electric products. For GE and Westinghouse, the creation of a new market for electric heat also promised to increase company profits. Additionally, the two corporations not only sold residential electric heating units and a variety of household appliances, but they also sold electrical generating equipment to  utility companies nationwide.

"To further the new program, in October 1957 the National Electrical Manufacturers Association launched the "Medallion Homes" campaign, which sought to sell initially 20,000 all-electric homes nationwide within a year. 

"To earn a LBE Medallion emblem a house had to be solely sourced with electricity for heat, light, and power. The house also had to have an electric range or built-in oven and surface units, and an electric refrigerator and/or refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen. Other requirements were an electric water heater, plus at least one more major electric appliance selected by the builder or buyer from an approved list.  An optional appliance might be a dishwasher, food waste disposer, clothes dryer or even an air conditioner. Full 150 ampere service was also required, with a specified number of outlets and switches per linear foot of wall space. And finally, to meet the requirement of “modern living,” Medallion Homes had high standard for built-in illumination throughout the house, initially an unusual feature within new home construction.

"The homes that met LBE standards could be marked with a 3” inch brass plaque emblazed with the “Live Better Electrically” logo. The brass plaque was typically found near the front entry door and could be embedded in the concrete sidewalk, patio or doorstep, or affixed to the wall as a stand-alone marker.  Some plaques were incorporated into a doorbell or knocker. For those who wanted a less permanent marker, a 6” inch decal could be affixed to a window."

You can find some of these medallions on eBay, such as the one below, which is the same as the one Reddy is holding.

Anyway, the main message of the ad was that shoppers could see a Gold Medallion Home at O'Neil Sheffield Shopping Center that weekend. It was a great gimmick, bringing the Open House to the potential buyers, instead of vice-versa.

I may have to pick me up one of those medallions. I live in an all-electric, modern condo, where the only gas is a result of my cooking.

How do I like an all-electric home? It's great, except for situations like Friday night.


Friday, May 13, 2022

Vermilion Marina Ad – May 15, 1965

With the arrival of the warm weather comes the urge for boaters to get their crafts into the water in preparation for summer fun.

Fifty-seven years ago, area boaters had a great choice of where to dock their boat: Vermilion Marina, located south of Routes 6&2, off West River Road.

If the marina sounds familiar, that's because it was part of the Key Harbor Lagoons development (which I wrote about here).

The above ad ran in the Lorain Journal back on May 15, 1965. An Owens boat display and style show was also planned

Looking at the ad, I noticed that there was a 20-piece set of Owens Yacht Originals for "your 1st Mate" with the purchase of a new 26, 28 or 30 foot Owens. Naturally, I thought that it was a set of glasses or tumblers, like the type given away at gas stations.

I was thinking too small – it was a free wardrobe of "lovely yachting clothes." This 1965 ad from the July 1965 issue of Popular Boating tells the story.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Harbour Town Inn – May 1972

Fifty years ago, Vermilion was still in the planning stage of its Harbour Town – 1837 downtown district renewal project.

One of the first businesses to embrace the concept was the Harbour Town Inn, located at Exchange and Liberty Streets. Above is an article from the May 21, 1972 Journal that tells the story.

"The original building was constructed in the 1860's," the article by Staff Writer Bob Cotleur notes. "The dining room had been closed the past 40 years. And it seems entirely possible there might be a ghost around, though it won't be on the wide, white front veranda."

Although it may seem hard to believe, here is how the building looked when it was Hotel Maudelton

Historian Rich Tarrant's excellent "Vermilion Views" website includes a well-researched history of the building here, including the story of how the building was moved to that location.

And courtesy of Google, here's a look at the building today, which is the home of Step by Step Employment and Training.

I almost forgot to mention that we also get on that same page a nice article about Lorain's Pete Delis, who along with his wife Olga owned and operated the well-remembered Delis Furniture Store at 1224 Broadway at that time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Ponderosa Pines Park Article – May 1972

Ponderosa Pines Park Ranch House was one of the restaurants I wrote about back on St. Patrick's Day. Despite its colorful and Western-sounding name, however, I'd never heard of it. I only knew from its ad that it was located on Diagonal Road, south of Route 303.

Thus I was happy to see this "Golden Crescent Guide to Dining and Dancing" from the May 26, 1972 Journal devoted to the place. It turns out that the restaurant was part of Ponderosa Pines Park, a camping resort with a 9 home golf course, swimming, and horseback riding, not to mention 400 campsites.

Ernie Nichols and the Nightbeats were the featured performers on Friday and Saturday nights back in May 1972.

Courtesy UMKC Digital Special Collections
Today, Ponderosa Pines Park is no more. The golf course is now Pheasant Run Golf Course. Its website notes, "Pheasant Run Golf Course was originally built in the mid-1060s as a nine-hole public golf course. The course expanded to an 18-hole course in the mid-1980s, and further expanded when we added our clubhouse and pavilion in 1995."

The campground appears to be the location of a housing development. 
But the large lake nearby – Ponderosa Pines Lake – keeps the memories alive.
The original Ponderosa Pines Park Ranch House building appears to be still standing, although it is unclear if it is being used for anything.

The Golden Crescent Guide to Dining and Dancing features many restaurants that have appeared on this blog through the years, including Amber Oaks, Elberta Inn, Sherwood Inn, and Presti's of Oberlin.