Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Farm Mystery Solved – Part 1

One of the longtime mysteries here on the blog involves this vintage photo, which appeared in the Arcadia Images of America – Lorain book. The photo was believed to be that of the old Neuman dairy farm in 1932, which was located at the northwest corner of Oberlin Avenue and Meister Road.

The problem is that the photo shows a transmission tower. There simply aren’t any near Meister Road, which made me wonder just where this photo was taken. (I explored the possibilities in this 2012 post, entitled "A Towering Mystery.”

It seemed to make sense that the photo was taken near Tower Boulevard, either near Oberlin Avenue or Leavitt Road, since the towers that are there today seem to be of the same style in the vintage photo. But I didn’t know for sure if the photo was even taken in Lorain.

Well, thanks to the tenacity of longtime blog contributor Dennis Thompson, we now know exactly where the photo was taken, and what landmark farm it depicts.

Here’s the story.

Like me, Dennis Thompson was intrigued by the above photo. "Dan had run the photo a few times,” he noted, "and generated lots of interest because it clearly does not match the Neuman farm that we can see in the older aerial photos.
Heres what Dennis is talking about. As you can see, the size and shape of the buildings in this 1924 aerial photo of the Neuman farm do not correspond with those in the other photo.
Dennis didnt have a lot to work with in his hunt to identify the farm in the photo. "The only real clue was the high voltage tower in the photo, he observed.
So Dennis began by looking into the history of the tower.
"Ohio Public Service started business in 1921 when Trumbull Public Service, Massillon Electric and Gas, Alliance Gas and Power, Lorain County Electric, and Utilities Construction Company merged,” he noted. "In 1922 the new company gained control over Ashland Gas and Electric and began to connect its subsidiaries by constructing a high voltage transmission system. By 1924 Ohio Public Service had purchased Sandusky Gas and Electric, Port Clinton Electric Light and Power, and Northwestern Ohio Railway and Power Company. Shortly after acquiring these companies, Ohio Public Service extended its high voltage transmission system to Toledo.
"So if the photo is accurately dated, that tower shown has to be one of the original high voltage towers in the area.”

Dennis believed that the tower was still standing, and he was determined to figure out where it is.

"I was going to find that tower if I had to walk the whole line!” he joked.

Next: Cropped out

No comments: