Friday, February 27, 2015

Lorain Crystal Ice Company – Part 4

1937 City Directory Listing
Although the Lorain Crystal Ice Company had a few branch locations listed in the 1931 Lorain City Directory, they disappeared in the following year's edition. But sometime in the late 1930s, the company really expanded into multiple branches.

The 1937 list of branch locations included:

• Iowa Avenue
• 934 W. 18th Street
• Northeast corner of East Erie Avenue and Georgia Avenue
• 1008 Fifth Street
• 1524 Lexington Avenue
• 3115 Palm Avenue
• 3230 Seneca Avenue
• 1014 10th Street
• 2124 E. 30th Street
• Northwest corner of E. 31st Court and Vine Avenue
• 220 E. 22nd Street
• Northeast corner of W. 25th Street and Reid Avenue

1945 City Directory Listing
By 1945 the list of branch locations has changed slightly, with a few additions and deletions

• South side of East Erie between Indiana and Iowa Avenues
• Northeast corner of East Erie Avenue and Georgia Avenue
• 934 W. 18th Street
• 1524 Lexington Avenue
• 2125 Oakdale Avenue
• Northwest corner of Oberlin Avenue and W. 20th Street
• 3115 Palm Avenue
• Northwest corner of Seneca Avenue and E. 33rd Street
• Northwest corner of 10th Street and Reid Avenue
• 2124 E. 30th Street
• Northwest corner of E. 31st Court and Vine Avenue 
• 220 E. 32nd Street
• Northeast corner of W. 25th Street and Reid Avenue

The 1947 City Directory was the last book to feature multiple branch locations. By the time of the 1950 book, there was only one branch listed (the Vine Avenue location) and by the 1952 book there were no branches listed at all.

Courtesy Paula Shorf
The personnel connected with the company were remarkably consistent through the years. By the time of the 1958 directory, the Dorn family was still involved, with Randolph J. Dorn as president. The 1958 directory was also the last time that the company would be listed in the directory under its original name.

Through the years, the company had also offered ready mixed concrete and building supplies along with its ice product. Apparently by the end of the 1950s, the time was right to make a change. The company took the name of Lorain Ready Mixed Concrete. Its listing in the directories continued under that name through the 1972 directory until it disappeared forever.

The 1973 directory included the listing for Myles Industries at 120 Oberlin Avenue, but the address went vacant in the 1974 book.

After that, the facility became part of the City of Lorain's Department of Utilities for many years. The building was eventually demolished, bringing to a close the history of one of Lorain's oldest and well-known companies.

The former home of Lorain Crystal Ice Company (the brick building) in 2003
You can see the empty lot where  the Lorain Crystal Ice building
was located where Oberlin Avenue meets First Street
UPDATE (March 5, 2015)
Click here to read Part 5 of this history and see photos of the cement plant before and during demolition in the 1980s.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lorain Crystal Ice Company – Part 3

May 26, 1933 Newspaper ad

Above is a small ad for the Lorain Crystal Ice Company that appeared as part of a full-page of advertising for the opening of the Deutschof in May of 1933.
The Lorain Crystal Ice Company suffered a loss in May 1935 with the death of William Seher. As reported in the Sandusky Register of May 15, 1935, "William Seher, 67, native of Sandusky and president of the Lorain Crystal Ice Co., died Monday at his home In Lorain." It noted that he moved to Lorain from Sandusky in 1895, and became manager of the Cleveland-Sandusky brewery at 330 12th Street in Lorain until Prohibition. His obituary also stated that in 1919 he started the Seher Bottling Co. of which he was president and manager, and that he entered the ice business in 1898.
This ad (below) for Lorain Crystal Ice Company appeared in the Lorain Journal and Times Herald on July 26, 1939.
For many young people today, it's probably hard to believe that before today's modern refrigerators became the norm, families had to have a block of ice delivered to their house by the "ice man" and placed in their "ice box" to keep their food fresh.
My mother remembers that her family's ice box was located in a little shed built on to the rear of their house on Sixth Street. The outside location worked out well because the ice man could deliver the ice without coming into the house. Also, the melting ice necessitated draining the ice box occasionally, and it was easier to do it outside.
The fascinating Ice Box Memories website has a whole page devoted to ice cards. What were ice cards? As the website explains, "Ice Cards were placed in windows so the iceman had a visual indication of the amount of ice to bring to the ice box."
Here is the card from the Ice Box Memories website for the Lorain Crystal Ice Company (below).
Courtesy Ice Box Memories website

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lorain Crystal Ice Company – Part 2

The Lorain Crystal Ice Company seemed to appear in the trade journals quite regularly in its early years.

Cold Storage and Ice Trade Journal, Volume 44 (March 1912) included a mention of the company. "The plant of the Lorain Crystal Ice Co. is being overhauled and remodeled, new apparatus added, and the 50-ton ice tanks equipped with a gravity feed ammonia circulating system, which will increase thier capacity to about 65 tons per day. These improvements are being made by The Cleveland Ice Machine Co., Cleveland, Ohio."

An article in Coal Age from December 1914 stated, "The Lorain Crystal Ice Co. has started the erection of a large storage plant for coal to hold 1200 tons. It will be completed by Jan. 1.

A Three-ton truck delivering ice for 72 cents a ton
(From December 1915 Refrigeration journal)
The December 1915 edition of Refrigeration included a detailed article about the use of motor trucks by ice companies, with a paragraph devoted to the Lorain Crystal Ice Company. The article stated, "Valuable figures on the cost of using motor trucks in wholesale transfer work are furnished by the Lorain Crystal Ice Company of Lorain, O. This company supplies ice to the National Tube Company, one of the biggest industrial concerns in the state of Ohio, having about 10,000 employees and being a heavy consumer of ice seven months in the year. A three-ton truck is employed to haul ice exclusively from the artificial plant in Lorain to the plant of the National Tube Company on the opposite side of the town. This truck, placed in service on May 1, 1913, is hauling ice a distance of 3 1/2 to 5 miles and making from six to seven trips daily at a cost of 72 cents per ton, including repairs, depreciation, driver, helper, and all other legitimate charges. In the second year of service the cost of hauling was less than the first year."

Here's the company's listing in the 1915-16 Lorain City Directory (below).

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lorain Crystal Ice Company – Part 1

I found this old Lorain Crystal Ice Company ice pick in my father's workbench, and it brought back some memories.

My parents had long told me about having ice delivered to their houses when they were kids in the 1920s and 30s, and how it was a treat to get some small ice chips to suck on from the back of the truck in the summer (if the delivery man was a nice guy). My mother also remembered going down to the company's Oberlin Avenue plant with her father and buying it there from a sort of vending machine. There was a slot to put your coins in, and then the block of ice would clunk its way down a chute so that you could take it home.

Anyway, here's some history about this iconic Lorain company.

A Standard History of Lorain County Ohio Volume II by G. Frederick Wright (1916) includes information about the people behind the Lorain Crystal Ice Company, as well as information about the early days of the business.

The entry for Albert A. Plato reads, "That he is not lacking in the mature judgment and resourcefulness implied in his classical family name, is shown by the position which Mr. Plato holds in connection with the more important industrial activities of the City of Lorain, where he is the general manager of the Crystal Ice Company, engaged in the manufacturing of artificial ice on an extensive scale. This company was organized in 1907 and was incorporated with a capital stock of $65,000, which was increased in 1914 to $75,000. The personnel of the company official corps is as here noted: William Seher, president; John S. Dorn, vice president; August Kuebeler, secretary; Edward A. Brown, treasurer; and Albert A. Plato, general manager. The plant of the company occupies a substantial modern building 130 by 150 feet in dimensions, a portion of the same having a height of three stories and the remainder of two stories. The establishment has a capacity for the output of fifty tons of ice daily, and a storage capacity for 3,000 tons. Employment is given to an average force of thirty men and the enterprise virtually represents one of the most important public utilities of the thriving City of Lorain.

The listing for Mr. Plato also explains why there seems to be a discrepancy as to when the Lorain Crystal Ice Company was founded. (The online History of Lorain, Ohio Chronology states that the firm was founded in 1904). It explains that in May of 1904, Mr. Plato "assumed the position of collector for the Lorain & Elyria Ice & Coal Company. Upon the reorganization of the corporation in 1907, as the Crystal Ice Company of Lorain, Mr. Plato was made general manager, of which responsible office he has since continued the efficient and valuable incumbent."
Here is the company's listing in the 1912 City Directory (below).

Monday, February 23, 2015

Arthur Manichl, R.I.P.

It'll be a little sad this spring when I raise my garage door before leaving for work, and fail to see my neighbor Arthur Manichl walking his little dog Dixie past my house in the morning – just as he did every day in good weather.

He passed away last week at the age of 86.

Mr. Manichl and Dixie were a familiar sight to those of us who live along this stretch of Lake Road in Sheffield Lake. They lived about four houses east of me. No matter whether I was running late or not, I would always try and chat with him for at least a few minutes.

He and Dixie actually walked by my house several times during the day. If I had the day off and was mowing my lawn, I would stop the motor if I spotted him and we would chat even longer.

But even though we talked like this for years, I still really didn't know him that well. In fact, I didn't even call him by his first name. He was always Mr. Manichl to me. Somehow, it seemed disrespectful to call him anything else.

During our talks, I learned bits and pieces about him and his family; that he had been in the Navy during the Korean War; about what a great artist his wife Betty Jean was; about how lonely he'd been since she passed away in 2012.
Since he was from Lorain, we had much in common, and we talked a lot about our mutual hometown. He had graduated from Lorain High, and I found him in my mother's 1945 Scimitar (at right).

We talked a lot about politics, too. Fortunately we agreed on just about everything, because he could get cantankerous when talking about a politician that made him mad.

He was a great neighbor. Once he came over on a summer afternoon and edged my sidewalk for me. He knew I didn't own an edger – probably from looking at my less-than-perfectly-maintained yard three times a day. He also loaned me his post hole digger when I had to replace my mailbox for the second time.

Mr. Manichl had been slowing down in recent years, and I hadn't seen him since before Christmas. Strangely enough, I had just been thinking of him last Wednesday morning, wondering how the dog walking was going during this ridiculously cold weather and deep snow. Then I came home that night to read in the paper that he had passed away on Tuesday. It was an unhappy coincidence.

It seems that your life is made up of many people that you don't know very well, and that you really can't call close friends. But when they're gone, it turns out they were a bigger part of your life than you thought, and their passing leave a good sized hole.

Mr. Manichl was that kind of guy. I'll miss seeing him every morning.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Calling All Old Dutch Beer Fans in the Findlay Area!

Surprisingly, some of the continually most-visited posts on this blog are the ones I wrote about Old Dutch Beer, the beer my parents loyally drank for years. It's the beer I grew up with – so I always thought it was pretty good. And why not? After all, it's slogan was: the Good Beer.

(Back in 2012, I wrote about my fond Memories of Old Dutch Beer here, and about some of my Old Dutch Collectibles here.)

Anyway, a few days ago a gentleman left a comment on one of those posts with an unusual request. So here's my attempt to help.

He wrote, "There used to be a barn on Tiffin Avenue (in Findlay) that burned down in the late 70's in the field where AAA is now. It had the Old Dutch logo painted on it. I would like to find a pic of the logo. Any ideas where to find one?"

Here's a Bing Maps street view of the area he is talking about (below). The barn that burned down was to the right of the AAA building.

This past weekend, I contacted the Hancock Historical Museum in Findlay via email to see if I can smoke out (no pun intended) a photo for this gentleman. Unfortunately they did not have a photo on file.

I know the feeling well of trying to find a photo of something that you know is probably out there somewhere in someone's photo album. Perhaps this post can act as a black box "beacon" to attract an Old Dutch Beer fan who can help. 

Jenkins Fleet-Wing Service Ad – Feb. 21, 1952

About a year ago (here) I did a post about the Grand Opening of the Red Head gas station that was located at the corner of Washington Avenue and West Erie Avenue from the early 1970s until the 1990s. Well, above is an ad for the gas station that preceded it at that location.

The above ad announcing the Jenkins Fleet-Wing Service Station ran in the Lorain Journal on Feb. 21, 1952. Previously the outlet had been operated by C. Norman Kent.

Here is the 1952 city directory listing (below) showing the various partners in the enterprise.

It looks like the business was under this ownership team for only a couple of years; by the time of the 1955 City Directory it was listed as Bowers Fleet-Wing.

Speaking of Fleet-Wing, I wonder whatever happened to that gasoline brand? There's a Fleetwing Corporation that distributes petroleum products, but I don't think it's the same company.

Anyway, what's interesting about the 1952 ad is the promotional offer of a pair of Color-King ash trays. Apparently they were made by the Federal Glass Company, located in Columbus, Ohio.

I guess it would be hard to make a living selling ash trays these days.

Color-King ash trays are easy to find on the internet (especially on Ebay) in a variety of colors. It's hard to date the ones in the Fleet-Wing ad, though, because although the ad is from 1952, the style of Color King box seems to be much older.

Here's a box that matches the one in the ad. It's identified online as being from the late 1930s.

And here's the corresponding ash trays, courtesy of Etsy. 
They're actually quite nice. They remind of the little trays you use to poach an egg.

Here are a couple more Color-King sets supposedly from the 1950s. It looks like whoever was designing the boxes was having a hard time deciding on a type font.

UPDATE (March 5, 2015)
I received an email from Renee Dore who informed me that her husband Phil's father (also named Phil) was part owner of the Fleet-Wing gas station. She said that her husband always called Mr. Jenkins "Grandpa Jenkins." Renee also explained "They had another place on 28th Street. It was called Cap's Auto; that was for Clarence, Andy and Phil."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dennis the Menace First Appears in the Lorain Journal – 1955

For those of us that still read newspapers, a peek at the comics is like having dessert after a so-so meal. No matter how bad the main course was, you still have something to look forward to.

While many of my favorite comics are newer ones (such as Pearls Before Swine and Overboard), I still read many of the classics out of habit – including Hank Ketcham's Dennis the Menace.

Although Dennis the Menace made his debut in comics back in March 1951, the cute lad with the cowlick didn't make his first appearance in the Lorain Journal until January 1955 – 60 years ago last month. A short teaser campaign appeared in late January to drum up interest in the adventures of the mischievous youngster and his parents, Henry and Alice Mitchell.

Here are the panels that were featured on the front page of the Journal on January 27, 28 and 29. It's a nice little bit of promotion that you don't see anymore when a new strip is launched – probably because so few new ones are actually introduced these days.

The first Dennis the Menace comic strip ran on the front page of the Monday, January 31, 1955 Journal (below).
And here's the second one, appearing a day later on February 1st (below).
It would take a week or two before Dennis would assume his longtime home at the bottom of the Page of Opinion. Here's the February 19th strip (below) in its well-remembered natural habitat. (Note the appearance of a drone in the Laff-a-Day strip!)

I like the design of the early Dennis. He's very appealing and a little bit younger than the version that currently appears on the comic page.
One thing's for sure – I always had a hard time associating the TV series Dennis the Menace with the comic strip, despite the fact that the adult actors were very well cast for their parts. Maybe it's because the comic strip art wasn't featured in the credits. Instead, a whirling cyclone graphic (similar to the Tasmanian Devil) was used to represent Dennis. Plus, by the time my siblings and I were watching it, Jay North was getting a little old – not unlike when Spanky and Alfalfa were literally growing out of their clothes on the Little Rascals movie series near the end.
Here's the opening theme to the Dennis the Menace TV series. It includes the well-known Kelloggs musical tagline that's been stuck in my brain for more than fifty years! 

My favorite Dennis the Menace memory is probably of this Tip Top Elf Book: Dennis the Menace Camps Out (1958). I remember it being mixed in with our collection of Golden Books that we had when I was  a kid. 
Unlike the Golden Books, which were largely fairy tales or stories about animals, Dennis the Menace Camps Out told a story in which we could relate. We were a camping family, so it was amusing to see Dennis set up his tent in his backyard, bringing along all kinds of funny stuff like an electric frying pan, a TV, a toy truck, etc.
In the story he gets scared in the middle of the night, and ends up wandering into good old Mr. Wilson's house, looking for some company, as well as some cookies. It's a cute tale.
Anyway, despite Hank Ketcham's passing back in 2001, Dennis the Menace continues today, still appearing in more than 1,000 newspapers.

Speaking of the Dennis the Menace TV theme song, you might vaguely remember (like I did) a Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoon that used a variation of it. The explanation is that the cartoon was made during a musician's strike, and instead of a custom written music score, stock music themes – including a variation of the music used as the Dennis the Menace theme song – were cobbled together for use on the soundtrack.
Here is a snippet of that Road Runner cartoon: Hook, Line and Stinker (1958).

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Raptis Sheffield Inn Ad – April 21, 1960

Following up on my post on Sheffield Lake businesses on E. Lake Road from 1942, here's an ad for one that came a little later. It's for Raptis Sheffield Inn and appeared in the Avon Lake Press on April 21, 1960.

Raptis Sheffield Inn was located at 5348 E. Lake Road – the location which in recent years was the home of Gus' Steak & Ale. (I'm not sure what the current status is of the business at that location since the internet cafe closed.)

As I noted back here, the 1942 directory listing for 5348 E. Lake Road was for a restaurant operated by Carl G. Maurer. By the time of the 1947 book, the restaurant's listing had changed, and was now listed as being run by Edward Morley.

The restaurant apparently changed hands again by the time the 1950 directory was published. Howard W. Rhodes was now the man in charge, and would remain so for the next several years.

Beginning with the 1955-56 directory, the formerly unnamed restaurant finally had a name – Raptis Sheffield Inn – with Steve and Regina Raptis listed as the owners. They continued to operate the restaurant and catering business into the 1960s.

Steve Raptis passed away in 1963. The family kept the business going until it became the well-remembered Bill and Don's Sheffield Inn beginning in the 1965 directory. ("Don" was Donald W. Dunham, who was an owner for 30 years.)

1989-90 Lorain Phone Book Ad
I can't remember exactly when the building burned down in the 1990s. Does anybody recall when it happened?

Anyway, Sheffield Lake – small as it is – has been lucky through the years to have so many family businesses providing food and drink along Lake Road.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gartner's Supper Club Ad – Feb 1955

Back on my first post about Urban Miller's Supper Club (here), someone posted a comment about a supper club on the far east end of Cleveland Street in Elyria by the railroad tracks.

I could be wrong but they might be talking about Gartner's Supper Club. The above ad for the place appeared in the Lorain Journal on February 3, 1955 – 60 years ago this month.

The 'supper club' designation was probably just an attempt to be trendy. Actually this place was better known as Gartner's Inn and was located at 39462 Center Ridge Road. It was opened by Roy E. Fankhauser, a German immigrant, in 1937.

I found an early listing for the tavern in the 1941 Elyria City Directory. It was lumped in with a group of businesses at the east end of Cleveland Street (below).

Unfortunately, Mr. Fankhauser's name was often mangled when it appeared in the directory as the president of the company. In the 1941 book he is listed as R. E. Frankhausen; in the 1947 book as Roy Funkhouser; in the 1957 book, in the twilight years of the inn, it's finally correct.

Interestingly, besides being a tavern owner, Roy Fankhauser was also a pioneer in the area of vending machines. He had installed jukeboxes and bingo machines in his own tavern, and subsequently established a separate business on the side servicing other companies. This side business grew into Ohio Vending Machines and Entertainment, the single largest vending company in Northern Ohio. (You can visit the company website here.)

But let's get back to Gartner's Inn.

In 1947 a full-page ad (at right) announced the opening of the new Gartner's Inn, timed to coincide with the New Year's Eve celebration. A July 1948 article provided more promotion of the "new" inn, and a March 23, 1954 article described improvements done to the exterior of the place.

As the years went on, the Elyria city directories didn't always include the company's listing, as the Center Ridge Road businesses were technically in North Ridgeville. Thus, Gartner's Inn is a little harder to research and was omitted in the directories throughout much of the 1950s.

The last listing I could find for Gartner's Inn was in the 1962 book. Beginning in the 1963 book, the tavern's listing was now the Porter House.

1973-74 Tiffany phone book ad
It was the Porter House for many years until it became Tiffany's Steak House and Brew in the early 1970s – continuing under that name until around 1996.

After a year with no listing at all, the address became the home of Lite Rock Cafe beginning in the 1998 book. After that, the address was host to a variety of businesses, some at the same time, including Home Plate Cafe, Roca Bar & Grill, Guys-N-Dolls, the Country Ridge, and Indigo Salon (which I think is still sharing the space).

Time marches on, and tastes change. The era of supper clubs is long gone, at least in our area.

Today, the primary entertainment establishment at the 39462 Center Ridge Road address is Crissy's Lounge (below).

Monday, February 16, 2015

First Lutheran Church Directory – 1966

The scene a few days after the August 28, 2014 fire
It's very distressing to follow the story of the aftermath of the tragic fire that destroyed First Evangelical Lutheran Church on Sixth Street in Lorain.

Besides having sympathy for the parishioners (including Sandy of Sheffield Lake, who is a member there and helps me with my blog research from time to time), I also have a connection with the church. My parents and grandparents attended First Lutheran for years, and our family as well – until we switched to a new Lutheran Church that opened on the west side of Lorain in the late 1960s.

While the good parishioners of First Evangelical Lutheran Church decide whether to rebuild or relocate, I thought it might be a good time to post a small piece of the church's history that's been in the Brady family for years. It's a 1966 directory of the congregation (below).

There opening page documents the pastors and church officials.

Next are pages spotlighting church life.

Next are pages about church activities and community social involvement.

The main body of the book, of course, is the collection of photographs of church members. Here's a sample page that includes the Reverend Robert A. Boettger, as well as my grandmother (Helen Bumke).

People had large families back then and the fact is pretty well represented in the directory. It's typical to see at least 2 or 3 kids or more in each family. You also see a lot of widows such as my grandmother and her friends.
The back of the book includes an alphabetical listing of all church members including those serving in the military.

The directory – published by National Church Publications of Mansfield, Ohio is a quaint snapshot of First Lutheran in the mid-1960s. It's definitely a glimpse of a bygone time, when people made it a priority to belong to a church, and wear their "Sunday best" to services.

Looking through the book, I'm amazed at how many people I know and recognize, including a few civic leaders. Parishioners are not just from Lorain either – I saw people listed from all over Lorain County, including Amherst, Elyria, Sheffield Lake, Vermilion and Avon Lake.

There's also several of my fellow Masson Elementary classmates – once again proving to me that those bonds forged in Lorain City Schools during childhood are still stronger than any I've experienced since.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Former White Castle on Griswold Road

While researching the Tradewinds restaurant/supper club, I've been driving up and down Griswold a lot lately – so it was a good opportunity to snap a shot of the former White Castle. It's doing business as a Hertz Car Rental Location right now.

Hertz did a pretty good job of cloaking the building's humble fast food beginnings. I wonder if there's still a faint whiff of onions in the air there?

Anyway, the restaurant famous for its Sliders first showed up in the Elyria city directory with a 41070 Griswold Road address around '87 or 88. (It was in the 1988 book, but the library had no '87 edition – so I'm not exactly sure when it opened).

White Castle continued to be listed in the Elyria directory (although with a new 615 Griswold Road address) until it slid off the map beginning with the 1997 edition.

It's hard to believe this restaurant closed 17 years ago!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dorothy and Elmer Tavern in Sheffield Lake

Courtesy Paula Shorf
I had a little trouble yesterday trying to pinpoint just where the Dorothy and Elmer tavern was located at 4790 Lake Road in Sheffield Lake for yesterday's post. (The address no longer exists.) There are only a few online references to it, mainly on the Sheffield Lake Forum pages of – which were helpful.

Initially, I wasn't sure if perhaps Dorothy and Elmer's was torn down to make way for Amber Oaks, but now I know they co-existed for a short while – at least the two buildings did.

I did dig up some background information on the owners too. "Elmer" was Elmer Bartel (1890 - 1967), who ran the tavern with his wife Dorothy (1897 - 1977) for 22 years before retiring in the late 1950s/early 1960s. Apparently they sold the business to Paul Uca and Paul Tasse, who ran it for a couple of years in the early 1960s before they finally built and opened Amber Oaks right next door at 4798 Lake Road in May 1963.

Beginning with Amber Oaks' first appearance in the 1964 city directory, the listing for Dorothy and Elmer disappeared – and was replaced with Sheffield Lake Beverage. By the time of the 1965 book, the 4790 Lake Road address was listed as vacant.

For roughly the next 15 years, a few businesses made a go of it at the Dorothy and Elmer location. There was also a residence in the back of the building with its own listing at the same 4790 Lake Road address.

Walter's Delicatessen was listed in the 1966 directory, followed by Lu's Delicatessen which appeared in the 1968 and 1969 books. By the time of the 1970 edition, the address was vacant – and would remain so until the 1975 book, when the Flower Box appeared. But it too would only be listed for one more year before the 4790 Lake Road address went vacant for good.

I'm pretty sure that the former Dorothy and Elmer's tavern was finally torn down and replaced by the Convenient Food Mart that opened in 1979 at 4786 Lake Road. Look for a final update below next week after I speak with the gentleman who operated the store back then.

That's Amber Oaks on the left and Vollick's Bi-Rite Xpress
(the former location of Dorothy and Elmer's tavern) on the right

UPDATE (Feb. 17, 2015)
I spoke with Mr. Dennis Vollick, owner of the Bi-Rite Express store and the original owner/operator of the Convenient Food Mart store in Sheffield Lake in the 1970s. He confirmed for me that the site was definitely cleared and empty before the Convenient store was constructed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sheffield Lake's Lake Road Businesses – 1942

While preparing Monday's post about the old Sheffield Lake Fire Station on Lake Road, I poked around in the vintage Lorain City Directories a bit. The 1942 edition provides a nice snapshot of the Sheffield Lake businesses located on Lake Road at that time.

It's interesting seeing the various Mom and Pop places – some long-gone – that preceded the current businesses at roughly the same location.

I've highlighted the businesses on the scan of the directory listing above so it's easier to pick them out. (Although I'm merely providing a roll call of them here, a few of them will eventually receive the full-blown blog treatment.)

Vintage Vian's postcard
Heading east into Sheffield Lake from Lorain, the first business is Nicholas Vian's restaurant. Today the site is occupied by The Residence.

Up near where the Shoreway Shopping Center would celebrate its Grand Opening in 1958, we find the only business listed is Heavyweight Boxer Johnny Risko's restaurant and Mary Risko's beauty shop next door. Today, Risko's still does a great business, judging by the number of cars outside.

The building at 4282 Lake Road
in 1955
Just a stone's throw way on the south side of the road is the restaurant at 4282 Lake Road run by Gladys Palmer, with a filling station in front run by Paul Gehrke. (I did a post on this place back here.) Today the location is the home of Uncle Ray's Trains.

Up near where Grantwood Avenue intersects Lake Road was a restaurant on the lake side run by Kurt Schmelzer at 4337 Lake Road. Today two lakefront residences occupy the spot.

Still further east is where Dotzlaf's Food Store was located at 4540 E. Lake Road. You know the building today – it houses Dock's Tavern.

Up at 4628 Lake Road was Harry W. Gang's grocery store. Make It Happen Studios recently relocated their martial arts and dance school business there.

Elmer and Dorothy Bartel's restaurant was at 4790 Lake Road, roughly where the Bi-Rite Express is today.

Erma Sidway's restaurant (at left) was at 5128 Lake Road. You might remember the vintage postcard of the place from this blog post. Today there is nothing left on the wooded site across from the Erie Shore Landing apartments to indicate it was ever there.

Back in 1942, Carl Maurer's restaurant was located at 5348 Lake Road. Later it was Bill and Don's; today you know that location as the home of Gus' Restaurant and Lounge.

And right next door to the east was Ervin Brow's gas station and Mrs. Clara Brow's grocery store at 5384 Lake Road, where Cove Beach intersects with Lake Road. Today that address is home to Hair-Ways Beauty Salon.