Friday, April 19, 2024

Proposed Rt. 254 in the News – April 1964

For those of us that depend on State Route 2 for a quick and easy way to get to Sandusky, or to connect up with I-90 to the east towards Cleveland, it's odd to think of the days before it was built.

State Route 2 been a favorite topic on this blog, since I remember when a piece of it was built here, then another chunk there, etc. It took a while before it all connected up and was technically finished. Although for a while the state couldn't decide what to call it, it was eventually designated State Route 2, and the familiar name "6 & 2" (Federal Route 6 and State Route 2) along the lakeshore was broken up forever.

Back in April 1964, the limited access highway we know as Route 2 was being referred to as State Route 254, and its planning and financing was in progress. That's the topic of the article above, which appeared in the Journal back on April 15, 1964.

The map shows that Rt. 254 would join up with I-90 to the east, just as Route 2 does now. But as the caption notes, "Eventually as routes are completed, I-90 becomes one limited access route from Boston, Mass. to the west coast. The proposed Rt. 254 will join I-90 and eventually become part of of that route. I-90 now crosses Lorain County as part of the Ohio Turnpike."

It sure sounds like I-90 was originally planned to be its own route separate from the Turnpike. As we all know, west of the Rt 57 interchange, I-90 gloms onto the Ohio Turnpike, while Route 2 follows its own route west towards Sandusky and Toledo.

The map also shows U. S. 6 as being part of the new highway, rather than State Route 2. That didn't happen either.


Also on the page: we get a look at pretty Miss Lorain, Maria Arvanitis; a story about Ohioan Mrs. Jerrie Mock, who was attempting to become the first woman to fly around the world alone (she made it); and a Lorain City Planning Commission article in which local restaurant entrepreneur Richard Head was requesting some rezoning of the property near his Hoop Drive-in at Leavitt and W. Erie.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ohio Edison Ad – April 1, 1953

"Keeping Ahead of the Joneses" is the theme of this stylish Ohio Edison ad that ran in the Lorain Journal back on April 1, 1953. But while the similar phrase "Keeping up with the Joneses" normally refers to the act of trying to compete with neighbors who might be in a slightly better economic standing, this ad has a different angle. It depicts how Ohio Edison is committed to being ready to supply electricity to a variety of different Joneses in the early 1950s.

And of course our old pal Reddy Kilowatt makes an appearance.

As for the Joneses in the text, the first ones (shown in an illustration as your basic nuclear family) are new householders that are "finding it to their advantage to live electrically through greater use of electric appliances." It's a little odd that they are referred to 'new customers' as the family doesn't exactly look like they were participants in the rural electrification program.

The second Jones is an industrialist whose factory uses "tens of thousands of kilowatt hours of electricity" each year. I like the chart on the wall with the upward arrow. Business is good!

The last Jones is shown as a pipe-smoking atomic scientist, symbolizing Ohio Edison's involvement in the construction of power plants to supply energy requirements of the Atomic Energy Commission's Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Pike County, which produced enriched uranium. (You can read about it here on Today, the plant is long-closed and the site is still being cleaned up. Oh well.

The ad is also interesting because it shows the old style transmission tower that is becoming a thing of the past (like the ones removed on Tower Boulevard). 

I wonder if any Journal readers wrote for their free copy of the Annual Report of the Ohio Edison Company?

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ford Mustang Goes on Sale to the Public – April 17, 1964

On this day back in 1964, the production Ford Mustang went on sale to the public. Henry Ford II himself unveiled the car at the 1964 New York World's Fair on April 17, 1964. (Click here for a great article with photos about that event.)

Maybe that's why the ad above for George May Ford, which ran in the Journal on April 16, 1964, doesn't even show a photo of one. Instead, we have a cowboy on a wild mustang.

"The mustang is at the George May Showroom. Not a wild horse, but wild horsepower from Ford," reads the ad copy. "But George May isn't making a production out of it; he's just letting you see for yourself the wild styling... and he is serving refreshments.

"You're all invited... you'll see... in person, a gun-toting cowboy and his horse... plus our model cowgirl hostess."

It all sounds like a lot of fun on a special day.

As a member of an Olds family, I've never been a Ford fan – but it's impossible not to love the look of the Mustang.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Fisher Food Ads – April 1964

Sixty years ago this month, the 1964 New York World's Fair opened. (You can read about it and see some great photos here on the NYC Parks website).

Naturally, the Fair provided opportunities for promotional tie-ins with businesses. You can see one above in an ad for Fisher Foods that ran in the Lorain Journal on April 1, 1964, that was a joint effort by the grocery store chain and the Cleveland Zoo.

As the ad copy notes, "Each year, along with the lions, tigers, the elephants, monkeys and the reptiles, the Cleveland Zoo is stocked with several species of the more common domestic animals which are equally interesting to children, among the, pigs, lambs and calves which are corralled in the zoo's Red Barn Yard. It's a famous stop on the miniature railroad at the zoo.

"We at Fisher Foods take pride in presenting these animals to the Zoo this year for the pleasure of you, yours and thousands of children who will be zoo visitors."

(Let's hope the animals that were donated weren't shrink-wrapped cuts and chops suitable for roasting.)

So what was the contest? Kids could win a trip for 4 to the New York World's Fair just for naming 3 pigs or 3 lambs at the Cleveland Zoo's Red Barn Yard and writing one sentence explaining "Why I want to visit the Cleveland Zoo this summer." There were 10 prizes in all: 2 for the World's Fair and 8 Second Prizes consisting of a day at Cedar Point.

The fine print of the contest rules stipulate to "be sure to give appropriate names to males and females." It's kind of sneaky that there's a female piggy in the middle of the porcine trio. I'm not sure if my entry – "Hammy, Spammy and Sammy" – would work.

Likewise, just to throw the kids off, there's a boy lamb centrally placed in the woolly threesome. 

Feel free to suggest names for the Mutton Trio in the comment section. (Sorry, no Greyhound Bus trip to New Yawk for the winner this time.)

Fisher Foods also mentioned the contest a week later in its April 8, 1964 ad. But good old Chief Wahoo and the Cleveland Indians ticket promotion dominates this time.
That's a nice rendering of the Indians' beloved mascot.


I combed through the Journal's online archives but was unable to locate the names of the New York World's Fair contest winners or their monikers for the two meaty trios. Sorry!

Monday, April 15, 2024

Hot Dog! Dog 'N Suds Better Than Ever in 2024!

Dog 'N Suds has only been open for about two weeks, and I've already been there twice. Its strong presence on Facebook has got me trained like a docile doggie to keep coming back.

On April 2nd, Opening Day, I carried out my meal because rain was in the forecast. It was just overcast while I was there, but by the time I was on Route 2 heading home, the expected torrential downpour came. (By the way, the cute car-hop unintentionally made my delicious Texas Burger & Fries a theme dinner by wearing cowboy boots.)

It was perfect weather for my second visit, this past Saturday for lunch. My chili dog (hold the onions) and root beer were picture perfect too – and I'm not woofin'. The service was great too.

I think the chili dog was quite possibly the best I'd ever had there. The chili sauce was sweet and meaty, the same as always, but nice and thick. And the root beer in the frosted mug was perfect as well. I didn't even mind when some ice flaked off the mug and dropped onto my car seat, providing my Hyundai Venue its baptism of fast food fire, and curing me of new-car-itis.

Anyway, Ilene's Dog 'N Suds on North Ridge Road is the only one in Ohio now, and one of only 20 locations in the whole country! So get out there and support an iconic Lorain County business.
I've been writing about Dog 'N Suds on this blog since 2009. Many posts were dedicated to trying to determine when it actually opened. 
A few years ago, I finally figured out that it originally opened around the fall of 1963, remained open in 1964 but seemed to have been shuttered during 1965. Then in the summer of 1966, it reopened as Eckstein's Dog 'N Suds.
Grand Opening Ad from Lorain Journal, July 1, 1966
Years ago, you had to be a real bloodhound to track down Dog 'N Suds memorabilia in antique shops and flea markets. I used to collect a few items, and still have a vintage wrapper somewhere in my files. 
But a quick check on eBay reveals a veritable coney-dog-copia of Dog 'N Suds mugs for sale. 
I wonder if any (the ones with Rover the mascot) are from the early August 1966 theft of 24 mugs from the Oberlin Dog 'N Suds drive-in on Route 58 by a, er, cat burglar?
There are other Dog 'N Suds items on eBay as well, including a paper cup, a place mat and a free root beer card.

The place mat notes that at that time, there were more than 500 locations! With a mere twenty now, it's all the more reason to support our Dog 'N Suds in Lorain County.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Lorain City Hall That Might Have Been – April 8, 1964

Lorain City Hall has been a recurring topic on this blog. Why? Because I'm old enough to remember the old Lorain City Hall, located in an aging, run-down mansion (with the Civil Defense Tower behind it). Its eventual demolition and replacement by the current one has been explored in many blog posts.

We've even debated the attractiveness of the present City Hall. Some commenters like it. I'm not a fan; I think it looks horribly dated and is a poor symbol of a city that is trying to reinvent itself and make a comeback. 

(Maybe I don't like it because the only time I ever go in there is to pay a speeding ticket or go to court.)

Anyway, I was very surprised to see the article and photo below, which appeared in the April 8, 1964 edition of the Journal. The proposed design of the new City Hall is very different from what was eventually built.

This design was estimated to cost less than a million in 1964. According to the article, "The proposed new building would have six floors and a basement. It would be 80 x 80 foot in size, and contain 45,000 square feet of office space.

"The top floor would house a new jail and some the mechanical equipment. Prisoners would be able to have outdoor exercise on the rooftop under the supervision of guards.
"Reflecting pools would flank either side of the front entrances."
Fast forward to July 1971, seven years later. A new City Hall design is unveiled (see below). This one is originally estimated at $8.7 million, but with elimination of some elements, such as underground parking, the hope is that it would only cost about $5 million. (Yikes! That's $38 million in today's inflated greenbacks!)

From July 22, 1971 Journal 
I have no idea what the final cost was, but I kind of wish they had built the 1964 version. Strangely enough, in this era where every new restaurant has a boxy design, the 1964 version of City Hall would look less dated.
The location for the new Lorain City Hall was also the subject of a debate by city officials in April 1964. An argument was made for building the new City Hall in a central location, specifically at W. 20th and Elyria Avenue, to better serve the citizens of Lorain. There was also an expectation that with harbor improvements, the port would be so busy that the Bascule Bridge would need to be replaced with a high level bridge; as the result, the new City Hall would end up under it at its west end.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Cedar Point's New Rides – April 1964

Vintage postcard of Cedar Point Millrace

Cedar Point
may not be the top-ranked amusement park today when it comes to attendance or public polls, but it will always be No. 1 in the hearts of those who visited it during the 1960s and 70s. It was during that time period that the park introduced many beloved rides that helped transform Cedar Point from the rundown resort of the 1950s to the popular thrill center it is today.

The 1964 season was a big one for Cedar Point, as noted in the article below, which appeared in the Journal back on April 9, 1964. 

Vintage postcard of Millrace with Blue Streak
in background
It notes, "At least five new rides, representing an investment of more than $600,000 will greet visitors on opening day.

"Heading the list will be a $200,000 roller coaster named the "Blue Streak" which will be 2,400 feet in length and starts out with an 80-foot climb. It replaces the Cyclone which was dismantled 12 years ago.

"Other new rides are the Calypso, a circulating and tilting sensation, the Broadway Trip, which takes passengers on a ride through a three-level dark enclosure, and a French Frolic a swinging ride, which is also being installed at the New York World's Fair.

"Among the rides which has proved a favorite and installed 10 days prior to last year's closing was the Millrace.

The article also notes that "a number of new animated features have been added to the route of the narrow-gauge Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad which operates two trains with four cars each, including a caboose added for the new season."

In case you're wondering what the Calypso was like, here's a nice YouTube video to dizzily remind you.

It's hard not to get overwhelmed with nostalgia thinking about the Cedar Point of the 1960s and 70s. I have many memories about our visits to the park as a family: going to the Millrace first (and getting wet to start the day, much to Mom's annoyance); visiting Jungle Larry's Safari Island; the (long-gone) Pirate and Earthquake Rides; dinner at the Silver Dollar; riding in the Cadillac Cars (a decade before getting a real driver's license); an evening ride on the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad; and a nighttime view of the park from the Space Spiral.

Happy Days.
Cedar Point has been a topic on this blog many times. In fact, my 3-part post on "Visions of Cedar Point 1966" is my sixth most visited post of all time.