Thursday, February 16, 2017

Early History of the Bait Shop

A 1930s view of the Lorain Yacht Club headquarters (at right)
with the Lorain Waterworks behind it
(Courtesy Al Doane Collection – Lorain Public Library)
As Al Doane pointed out to me yesterday, the small bait and tackle building down at Hot Waters that is going to be demolished has a pretty good historical pedigree.

The Lorain Journal of June 21, 1955 explained its origin in a story about water sports in Lorain County. It mentions how the Lorain Powerboat club was reorganized as the Lorain Yacht Club in 1927 and notes, “With funds from the old power boat club treasury plus money raised through the sale of subscription bonds, a clubhouse was built at Waterworks Park.

“John Dusendon, a popular Lorain small boat builder, and Dewey Moore supervised the construction of this building.”

1930s aerial view
(Courtesy Al Doane Collection – Lorain Public Library)
The article goes on to explain how the passing of L. I. Corthell, commodore of the Lorain Yacht Club in 1931, led to expansion of the building. He had left one-eighth of his estate to the Lorain Yacht Club and, as the article notes, “With these funds the clubhouse was expanded, the Bar and restrooms added and a permanent foundation placed under the building.

“This expansion took place in 1940 during Don Whyte’s term of office.”

In 1951 the Lorain Yacht Club purchased land on Alabama Avenue for a new clubhouse. As for its old one, “The club surrendered its old quarters to the Fraternal Order of Police in January 1953.”

So here you have a building that is Lorain’s oldest connection to its water sports heritage: the original Lorain Yacht Club headquarters. Plus, it has historical significance to the Lorain Fraternal Order of Police.

It not only needs to be saved and restored, it should have a historical plaque out in front of it.


Loraine Ritchey said...

Sorry Dan I still disagree it is not historical worth now - it is sentimental worth just like the Gow House and there is nothing left inside that property that is savable or of any historical significance - and IF there is such a desire to save it then those waterfront aficionados who have the money are choosing not to get involved- sorry but to me a focus should be on Admiral Kings house.. Captain Wilford's house ( going down hill fast) these are the properties that were not just a meeting place for "people" it was indeed the "people" and what they did who were worthy and their property. I am getting burned out with - in Lorain- they need to do this they need to do that - show me the money- show me the commitment for more than a few days a year- money where mouth is time- I believe the FOP did rehab and save a building on Broadway already

Dan Brady said...

It's an old building with some nautical history in a prime lakefront location that if fixed up, might be of interest to tourists who go down there to be near the lake and enjoy the view. It's something that if it was located in Vermilion, it would already be a small restaurant with a cute nautical theme.

I know it's a goner and I'll shed no tears when it comes down. But it sure would make a great setting for a seafood restaurant, wouldn't it? Can you imagine if Michael Symon had a seafood restaurant in there with local investors? Hell, he had one in an Avon Lake shopping center – why not Lorain?

THAT is the kind of thinking that I wish the leaders of my hometown would indulge in.

Loraine Ritchey said...

At the meeting there were of course suggestions as to what to do with the site- from putting up a seasonal building with snacks and fisherman's needs, there was also the question of "where" to locate a new building, to put out the location to developers to see if they would like to take on the location and build ... there are always suggestions and wish lists. Ask Michael Symon why not??? but I bet the fact that the median household income in Lorain is $35,447 Amherst 64,969 Avon 75,951 and Avon Lake 81,840 and I think you will see why an investor doesn't take a chance..... and would move to a shopping center....rather than Lorain's Hot waters.

The Rose Café couldn't make it in a lovely setting in Lake view with a lovely building in the middle of a lovely historical park with a view to drool over one stepped up except now it is an event place .... no longer summer lunches etc I loved their lobster rolls when it was Delucas.... The fishermen who use hot waters and the boat ramp want in and out quickly as evidence by the days of traffic trailer chaos and quite frankly that building contributes to that jam. The docks are in need of repair and I believe the city was/is going to use $150,000 in CDGB funds to address that situation..... I can envision a true English pub with lovely ploughman's lunches but that isn't going to happen either unless I "plough" money into it . The Jacalope is really our only waterfront restaurant of worth.... Anyway I digress.. I would suggest all that have an interest in having input as to what eventually happens at that spot but be sure the ideas are doable in this area..... contact Mr. Given 204-2011

Dan Brady said...

Bring on the giant flaming sacrificial perch.

Loraine Ritchey said...

Oh Dan don't get me started on flaming fish ;)

Dan Brady said...

Just kidding!

Anonymous said...

Too bad the Scott Reynolds didn't keep after the city to keep up the property - put his rent in escrow - but then he wasn't paying his rent anyway, which means he wasn't making any money so putting anything into it would be a waste - like about everything in Lorain. The whole town is turning into a dung heap.

Loraine Ritchey said...

I agree this building over the years was not kept up to code and now well now you have the result of those non inspections - from Foltin on down - this didn't happen over night and quite frankly administrations come and go but the common denominator in all these issues is the Lorain Building Dept they have been a constant - I know Foltin told them to go easy on landlords etc ( Chronicle article Broken homes 2005 By not administering its code enforcement, property maintenance and building programs, it is difficult for the city to preserve its housing stock,” auditors wrote in their report. and from Foltin “We feel that if they don’t have a successful plan and aren’t self-sufficient and nice to people, then we will not continue with them,” Foltin said recently of the inspectors.
Falling into disrepair
setting the bar we have the mess we have now because no-one wants to upset the mult-iproperty owners and Klinar wants complaint driven inspections only - yeah and that will get you retaliation and concrete through you front window - I know..... so call Klinar and tell him he needs to pull his finger out!!!! I feel a blog post coming on ( sigh)

MMCM retired said...

so petty .....I agree with the admirals and captains house being from lorain and joing navy after our fed gov let the epa and others cut the steel mill and lease it out( see how far that got them) and now ford being gone whats left. just like any city i.e. Detroit you take away the industry out the city that once flourished now diminishes. so you can say the income has effect it does but when our higher ups let our source of income out source to other countries how can we survive and how do you expect a city to survive. politicians so worried about making a name for them selfs, being retired master chief in the navy and currently working in for the navy I see how our military suffers and relating to as I grew up thru the 70'80' 90 seeing how the time took its toll and the politicians did nothing to save anything. regulations can hamper a lot of things but when peoples lively hood relies on it and your city suffers need to do something about it and no one did. society today thinks they are owed something they don't want to work or earn, growing up my paper route went from lakeview park to Oberlin ave to the train tracks, summer I cut at least dozen lawns and fall racked leaves, winter shoveld drives and sidewalks. cruise around see how much of that happens these days, not much. I still love the city I grew up in always will I agree and disagree with miss ritchey just like our beloved president either way both had goods and bads all I can do is help my fellow sailors keep their equipment going with what we have, just like our politicians should with our city, hope fully the save the admiral and captains houses. dan love your blog look at ever day from japan, guam, Hawaii, Iraq and currently in Washington, the ohara piece was awesome, I grew up with the kids my grandma help one of them get into teaching, been very close to them keep up your awesome miss ritchey hope you are not offended but there is always a big picture that gets cast aside, 2 yrs ago when I was home before retirement I mentioned that to Chase. I know not much of they city is worth saving because of father time and the neglect of building owners and industry leaving but save what we can it is an unique city

Anonymous said...

Not to be that guy, but If the City of Lorain wants me to come back downtown then they really need to give me a reason! The only reasons I go to Downtown Lorain today is to visit Gyro's and More, Fligners and on the very, very rare occasion, Swiss American jewelers. I think the politicians in Lorain ruined any chance of reviving this city years ago. I just got done reading something about Lorain being the worst place in Ohio to try and find a job and yet they talk of grand plans to rebuild Broadway, WHY. No one goes there anymore! And quite frankly it is kind of a scary place at night. The Corner is gone, no restaurants to speak of, not even a post office. What is left, is struggling and I expect more closings. So Lorain officials why are you going to rebuild anything if no one goes there? I suggest you get of you dead butts and figure out a way to attract businesses that pay fair wages and then talk about rebuilding. How about no taxes on new business period. Eventually those dollars will trickle down into City coffers to rebuild. Better than watching decay for years and then close it!

Sorry for the Rant,
Mike Pawlowski

MMCM retired said...

cant attract what the fed gov wont let exist because of operating restraints, hell we import metal that isn't even tensiled to our American standard, take a look at Detroit what happen to them when the auto industry left. we will see if trump brings back some of this industry and its location. only place that has decent industry is Elyria....rigid/bae etc and avon with the bearing plant and parker. I would love to retire for the second time at 65 and move back but I don't see that happening when there is nothing there.

Loraine Ritchey said...

MMCM not offended just fed up with trying for the past 30 years to keep a neighborhood from falling further in decline and putting my money where my mouth is.... but we I believe have failed ( Charleston village society ) not because of constraints but because the biggest business in Lorain was and is multiproperty out of town landlords

Anonymous said...

At 50, Lorain's "heyday" was actually before my time. In the 80's, there was a lot of "remember when" being said. (Which I find myself saying quite a bit lately!)And those days were booming compared to now. The town however does still have a pulse, faint as it may be. It is depressing to see all the commercial vacants dotting the landscape. Some are wrecks that need to be razed. Others are in quite good shape. Currently a Vacant Properties Program is aggressively being implemented in the city. ( See Lorain website for info)
A synergy needs to take place where both the landlords keep their properties up, and the city entices new business, lite industry. Stats have been showing this next generation tends to prefer central location living (shopping, going out, etc) vs. driving for a gallon of milk. Hence Ohio City's boom. Downtown is prime for that, but...there need be close employment. And hubs to draw the youth.

Old Lorain is a snapshot of what made the country great. Whether our great-grandparents got off a boat, or migrated North, they were able to pursue the American Dream. And their grand kids had a pretty good time growing up together!

Unfortunately the last few decades have also been a refection of nationally felt decline.

But there is a rebirth in other areas that were, at one time, worse off than this town. Plans seem to be in place, not going to happen overnight.Many a decade getting here. Hopefully all can stay on course and create a place people want to come.

Lots of $$ floats pass Lorain in the summer.