Friday, September 28, 2018

The Passing Scene – September 1968

Well, September is just about over, so I’d better get this Passing Scene update in.

As I mentioned last month, the comic strip was drawn by a different artist rather than creator Gene Patrick during July 1968, before eventually disappearing from the pages of the Journal the following month.

But not forever.

Although the comic did not appear in the Journal during the first three weeks of September 1968, a hint that cartoonist Gene Patrick was back appeared in the paper on the 24th. That’s when his artwork accompanied a humorous article by Staff Writer Bonnie Lamp about an Oberlin College student winning a pony at an Indians game.
And four days later, a brand new Gene Patrick-drawn Passing Scene appeared in the paper in its old spot, atop the first page of the second section.
I love the expression of the convict eyeing the guns!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Lake Erie Expressway Map – Sept. 30, 1968

I've featured quite a few articles over the last few years about the construction of I-90, as well as the "new" Route 2, through Northeast Ohio.

One of the issues surrounding the new limited access highway was what to call it. Well, the article and map above – which ran in the Journal on September 30, 1968 – seems to resolve that problem.

The new highway was to be designated the "Lake Erie Expressway."

It's too bad the name didn't catch on. It's kind of, well, catchy.

Today, the Ohio Turnpike picks up the I-90 designation west of the Ohio Route 57 interchange, and Ohio State Route 2 winds its lonely way west to the Indiana border.

This Wiki entry provides a nice description of today's State Route 2. The website reminds us that the stretch through Erie County is called “The Jackie Mayer Miss America Highway.”

(By the way, Jackie was a featured guest in Sandusky’s Founders Day Parade as part of the city’s big Bicentennial celebration in August. Here’s the link to some video on the Sandusky Register website.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Manhattan Market Moving Ads – Sept. 1963

I’ve mentioned the well-remembered Manhattan Market grocery store on this blog a few times, including when the store moved back in September 1963.

It had relocated from its 11th and Broadway location further south to a former Fisher store.

Well, in the interest of being thorough, here are the two ads announcing both the upcoming move and the completion of it.

The first ad ran in the Lorain Journal on September 14, 1963. I like those cartoon heads. The women all look like First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Note the one, lone man; a similar ad today would of necessity have to include more males, since we seem to do most of the grocery shopping!

And here’s the second ad, announcing that the new store was open.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Sept. 1968 – The Castle to Be Torn down for Apartments?

Did you know that at one point the iconic Castle restaurant in Lorain was almost lost to an apartment complex?

That was the plan, as described in the article above, which ran in the Lorain Journal back on September 12, 1968.

The plan was proposed by the owner of the restaurant at that time. The idea was to provide senior citizen housing, with a beauty salon and an old fashioned general store on the first floor. The penthouse would feature a restaurant with an international theme.

As we all know, the project did not happen. (An earlier luxury high-rise apartment complex planned further west near the hospital didn’t happen either.)

Despite the fact that the Castle itself would have been lost, you have to admit that it was a pretty bold and thoughtful idea.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Home Tour – September 1968

Back in the beginning of September 1968, the American Association of University Women, Lorain Branch, were promoting their 10th Annual Tour of Homes. The Tour of Homes was a fundraiser for an international fellowship program that helped finance the higher education of women all over the world.

There were seven homes on the tour and a few of them are featured in the full page article above, which ran in the Lorain Journal on September 1, 1968.

Of particular interest is the Watts Granary, located on State Route 113 about one mile east of State Route 58. As the article notes, the 125-year-old granary had been converted into a cozy little home.

The other two homes were located in Avon Lake.

Of course, the reason I posted this article was because I was curious: were all of the homes still standing today?

Well, during the last fifty years since the article was published, a series of additions have been built on to the granary.

The Lorain County Auditor’s website shows the gradual transition, with Google Maps providing the most recent views. That’s the granary at the far left of the building.

As for the two homes in Avon Lake, only the one on Lake Road is still around (below).

Courtesy Lorain County Auditor
The house at 85 Coveland Drive was replaced by a modern, attractive home built in 2001 (below).

Courtesy Lorain County Auditor
UPDATE (September 25, 2018)
Longtime contributor Dennis Thompson sent me the photo below of the Watts Granary as it appeared in 1981. It’s fascinating how the Granary evolved from a cozy main residence into the structural anachronism that it has become today.
At least the current owners have recognized the Granary as an important link to the past, and to the land, as well.
In the photo, you can also see a windmill and barn near the highway. The barn was once an art gallery known as the Windmill Art Barn. You can learn more about it in the article by Judy Johnson below, which appeared in the Chronicle on November 6, 1977. The article includes an interview with Katheryn and Ervin Snyder, the owners of the property at that time, in which they also talk about their renovation of the Granary.

Friday, September 21, 2018

That Putt-Putt Course at 254 and 57

Last week my post on the old Putt-Putt miniature golf course on Route 57 triggered several reader memories of an earlier facility to the north. That one was located at the highway's intersection with Route 254.

So who was behind the older Putt-Putt course and when did it open?

Two of my regular contributors provided me with the answer.

Rick Kurish did some research and determined that it opened in 1962. Rick provided this article (from the February 19, 1963 Chronicle-Telegram) noting that after it was in operation for a year, it was sold to an Elyria man.

Rick also found an ad from the Chronicle-Telegram of April 1963.
Checking the Dickman city directories, I found the first listing for the course in the 1963 edition. Its address at that time was 3135 N. Ridge Road. It changed a few times as the numbering system for that part of the country seemed to evolve.
Dennis Thompson had provided me with a wealth of information about various Northeastern Ohio miniature golf courses last year. Although I had not been able to mold his research into a post yet, among the items was this great article about the Putt-Putt at 254 and 57. The article was from the June 18, 1962 Chronicle-Telegram. It reveals May 1962 as the month it opened.
The article also provides a nice profile of the businessmen behind the operation. It notes, “The local operation, along with three others in the greater Cleveland area and one in Buffalo, N. Y., is owned by a youthful Cleveland attorney and his partner.
“The one who got the Putt-Put ball rolling in northern Ohio is Ed Haddad, a 28-year-old lawyer, who became interested in the latest outdoor recreation craze when he was an administrative assistant in Washington to a congressman from California.
“Haddad, who earned his law degree from Georgetown, got into the venture with Phil Aboid, who at the time the partnership was formed, was struggling along with another business.
“Since the pair first built a Putt-Putt course at Great Northern Shopping Center in North Olmsted, they have added layouts at Cleveland’s Southland Center, Willow Plaza, the Elyria-Lorain location and Buffalo.”
In the early days of the Putt-Putt phenomena, the parent company published a nice newsletter, The Putt-Putt World, that was distributed to the owners of its courses.
The April 1966 edition of The Putt-Putt World included this article outlining Ed Haddad’s success as a Putt-Putt pioneer.
An article from an earlier issue (April 1963) revealed that the Romp’s Putter Port Mini Golf facility in Vermilion, Ohio (still going strong in 2018) originally started out as an official Putt-Putt course.
I was unable to form a definitive timeline for the Putt-Putt at 57 and 254 due to lack of access to phone books and city directories during the Lorain Public Library’s ongoing remodeling. However, using the lone available source (the Dickman Directory), I noticed that the Putt-Putt seemed to disappear from the listings beginning with the 1970 edition.
By the late 1960s, the directory just lumped many commercial listings on North Ridge Road together with no numerical addresses at all. The Putt-Putt was part of this jumble (along with businesses such as Topper Bar) until the 1970 book. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Amber Oaks Review – Sept. 21, 1973

Back in the 60s and 70s, the Journal used to have a great advertising feature that spotlighted local restaurants. It was called the "Golden Crescent Guide to Dining and Dancing.”

It was a clever gimmick. The Guide always featured a positive review of a local restaurant, and included a photo of either the interior or exterior. A current advertisement of the business being reviewed usually appeared below the review.

Anyway, above is the September 21, 1973 edition of the Guide, promoting Sheffield Lake’s well-remembered Amber Oaks (a favorite topic on this blog).

I always liked that sign. Besides the leaf and acorn graphics, the sign – with its neon arrow and various components – seemed to convey that there was a lot going on inside that you didn’t want to miss, especially in the Cocktail Lounge.

It’s also interesting seeing the word ‘Chops’ on a restaurant sign or in an ad. It’s a very old-timey thing that you don’t run into very often, except in old Damon Runyon stories. According to this Wiki entry, the most common meat chops are pork and lamb.

Another one of these Golden Crescent Guides back in 1971 had a photograph of the outside of the restaurant (below).

I’m not sure what ever happened with the revival of Amber Oaks. It’s been at least two years since the building was fixed up very nicely.
A recent view of the current sign

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Billy Nahm and the Paul A. Miller Circus Revisited

Remember when I wrote about the day that the Paul Miller Circus put on a show in Bill Nahm's front yard in Lorain in September 1963?

My original post explained how young Billy had won a contest with the prize being a personal visit from the circus. The circus troupe included elephants, clowns, unicyclists and tumblers – making for a memorable day for Bill and his family, friends, and neighbors.
Billy and two of the clowns from the Paul Miller Circus
Billy and one of the elephants
Well, I recently found the Journal article providing the background about the contest and how Billy won. It's a cute story.

The Paul Miller Circus was already performing in Downtown Lorain for a special merchant "Fiesta Days" promotion.  But as it had done in other cities, the circus held a contest and invited local children to write letters explaining "Why I Would Like To Have A Circus In My Backyard."

There were many great entries, but according to the article, Billy's letter touched the judge's hearts.

Billy wrote, "Dear Mr. Miller. I would like to have a circus in my yard because this summer I tried to have a circus and had a lot of trouble.

"My turtle got run over, the snake got away and my dog would not do any tricks. The only thing I could do was the sumersalt [sic]. The kids did not like this show. They ate all the popcorn and went home.

"I would like to have a nice circus for them and all my other friends too. Thank you. – Billy Nahm."

Here is the whole article, as it appeared in the Journal on September 18, 1963 – 55 years ago.

(Thanks to Bill Nahm for allowing me to extend his fifteen minutes of fame a little longer!)
There's not a lot of information online about the Paul A. Miller Circus, but there are a few photos of its clowns.
Here's one of a clown named "Bumpsy Anthony" circa 1959, courtesy of Pat Cashin's Clown Alley blog. Here are a few posts from the same blog about Bumpsy.

It sure looks like Bumpsy in the photo of Billy Nahm and the two clowns.

UPDATE (Sept. 25, 2018)
The ‘Comments’ section for this post includes a few from Bill Nahm himself and his friends that make reference to his long career as a high school and college football official.

Well, nine years after the circus set up shop on Bill’s front lawn, Bill was as a senior at Clearview High School and a member of the Clipper football defense unit in the fall of 1972.

That’s Bill in the front row at the far left. The photo appeared in the Chronicle-Telegram on November 15, 1972.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Channel 43 Signs On – Sept. 1968

I saw a promo today for the 50th Anniversary of WUAB Channel 43, which first went on the air in Cleveland back on Sept. 15, 1968. You can read about its history here.

The 'UA' in the WUAB call letters stands for United Artists, the film studio that owned it at the time. The station was eventually sold to Gaylord Broadcasting in 1977.

Anyway, it's strange to think back how exciting it was for my siblings and me to get another TV channel back then. Locally, we only had Channels 3, 5 and 8 for years. Then Channel 61 signed on in January 1968, followed by Channel 43 later in the year. Suddenly we had a lot of options for our endless cartoon-watching.

I can even remember the printed flyer promoting Channel 43 that either came in the mail or as an insert with the newspaper. Why? Because it was strange-looking. It had a lot of what I now know as clip-art illustrations. The mention of Gilligan's Island (a favorite of ours) had a palm tree and a silhouette of a woman, who I think was supposed to represent Ginger.

Apparently, whatever advertising agency designed that flyer also designed the offbeat ad below, which ran in the Journal on October 31, 1968. The ad was promoting a longer broadcast day.

Note how the graphic for Underdog & Uncle Waldo humorously bears no resemblance to the actual characters (below)!
From left to right: Fillmore Bear, Hoppity Hooper and Uncle Waldo 
Anyway, we watched a lot of WUAB programming over the years, especially after school and on Saturday nights (reruns of Maverick, Wild, Wild West and Star Trek).

Monday, September 17, 2018

Lorain Lighthouse Article – September 16, 1968

Lorain’s Lighthouse is the best thing the city has going for it, and it’s always somewhat chilling to think how close the town came to losing it.

Today, the iconic structure has its own website, and there are Lighthouse Tours and Sunset Dinners that make it possible to see it up close. But back in 1968, the future of the decommissioned building – for sale at that time – was still unknown.

That’s the focus of the editorial/photo feature above, which ran on the Page of Opinion of the Journal back on September 16, 1968. The eloquently-written article speculates on the Lighthouse’s future, and features great photos by Michael Pugh.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Old Dutch Beer Zip-Por Can Ad – September 13, 1963

Every time I think I’ve done my last Old Dutch Beer post, I come up with yet another ad that sheds more light on the Old Dutch legacy, further establishing this blog as the place to come to learn about this legendary brew. (I know, a dubious distinction at best.)

In this case, the ad – which ran in the Lorain Journal on Sept. 13, 1963 – shows my parents' favorite beer in a strange advertising period. 
The Findlay, Ohio brewery had merged with International Breweries of Detroit around 1957. Thus the classic, longstanding Old Dutch label featuring the elderly German couple had been revamped to conform to IB’s standard generic design. You can barely make them out in the oval near the top of the can.

Here’s a better look at the label design, courtesy of

During this time period, the advertising treated Old Dutch as just another beer in the International Breweries family. The ad at the top of this post promotes the Zip-Por Can, which seems to be a variation of the pull-top can, which was patented in 1963 (according to this Wiki entry).
Here’s a similar ad for Bavarian’s Select Beer, another IB product, that ran in the Cincinnati Enquirer on August 19, 1963.
Anyway, within a couple years the classic label was restored, and creative advertising campaigns (such as this one) helped to re-establish its popularity, at least on Skyline Drive.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Putt-Putt Kaput

A Summer 2011 view
Well, I noticed the other day that the old Putt-Putt miniature golf course out on Route 57 near Midway Mall was finally torn down and replaced by a FriendShip Kitchen convenience, food and fuel store. The miniature golf course had been there since around 1978.

For the last twenty years since it closed, it’s been slowly disappearing from view. Here’s a view from 2017.

(I wrote about the Putt-Putt here back in 2017, and the post yielded some nice, informative comments from readers.)

Anyway, the FriendShip store opened in late July, which you can read about here. It looks quite nice.

Although the Putt-Putt there didn’t last, the chain is still around. You can read about its history on the company website.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Jean Schaeffer Article – September 9, 1968

Here’s another one of those great full-page profiles of local personalities that the Journal used to publish. This one is by Staff Writer Bob Cotleur and is a nice, well-written tribute to Jean Schaeffer. It ran in the paper on September 9, 1968.

We first met Jean on this blog back in 2015 when I did a two-part series on the history of the Workshop Players.

(Jean's husband, Dr. Roy E. Schaeffer, was featured on the blog himself back here.)

The Workshop Players
Jean Schaeffer:
A Top Director
Staff Writer

YOU’D LIKE Jean Schaeffer in spite of yourself.

She can be a bolt of lightning or a clap of thunder, but she surrounds it with a warm spring day and you know, somehow, the lightning and the thunder only made you more alive.

Jean Schaeffer is the wife of Dr. Roy E. Schaeffer of Amherst and Oak Point Road, Lorain, the mother of John, 23; Bill, 21; Tane (pronounced Tah-nay), 18, and Narda, 15. She’s one of the play directors at Workshop Players, the stage director behind the girls of the Miss Lorain County Pageant, an actress, bike rider, golfer but most important of all, she’s a girl.

Her age is 53 but her spirit is 25 and you can easily find yourself fooled at a compromise, say around 37 or 38.

She lives a wonderful, full life, but others must tell you that. Although a lucid, engaging, well-read and knowledgeable woman, she goes blank on one major topic: herself.

This isn’t a pea-soup fog of modesty or embarrassment. She’s the rare woman who knows how and why she will react, and doesn’t worry. Her instincts are as natural as orchids in Bora-Bora.

PERHAPS THE greatest tribute to her instincts is found in the mountains and valleys of emotions she carves as a play director. No one ever said it, but if a character role called for a new emotion, those who know her could easily believe she’d research the emotion until she knew its full force, and could then successfully demand it of her actor or actress.

Mrs. Ted (Jeddie) Driscol, of Lorain, a friend for ten years, appeared in the Schaeffer-directed musical “The Bells Are Ringing.” She said, “Jean did a remarkable job with a cast of 50 and a musical (in a theatre not built for a musical). It was a real feat.

“The thing about Jean is that she can take what’s hidden inside you and bring it out. I’ve seen her work with people with no experience and she’d get remarkable reactions.

“She... well, she illuminates. You look at her and her eyes are bright and alive. And it always rubs off on those she works with.”

Over 20 years ago Orlando (Pete) Petrillo of 955 N. Pasadena, Elyria, joined the fledgling Workshop Players and appeared with Jean Schaeffer in “Lost Horizons,” and he’s appeared in at least a dozen Workshop plays since.

“She gets involved, deeply and thoroughly. I believe she is the biggest part of the success of this theatre and that’s caused, in turn, by her intense interest in theatre and its success.

“She caused it to become a part of the Amherst community and she spread the magic to the countryside. She’s brought in such groups as the Sheffield Lake Kiwanians, the Methodist Men’s Club of Elyria and organizations from Oberlin and Lorain.

“This gal has the tenacity of a bulldog. She goes to any length for authenticity. In one play (the musical version is Fiddler on the Roof) much depended upon Jewish customs and dialogue. She got a Jewish authority on the subject – to increase authenticity.

“I love her dearly. She’s my gal. And no job is too small for her. She’s swept floors, sold tickets, acted and directed,” he said.

Petrillo has only acted with Jean a couple of times “but I certainly hope a good vehicle comes along so we can again.”

He has appeared in such plays as “Teahouse of the August Moon,” “Solid Gold Cadillac” and the only two musicals ever produced at Workshop. He is considered one of the area’s finest actors as Jeddie Driscol, a vibrant ghost in Blythe Spirit, is considered one of the finest actresses here.

THE JOURNAL’S Society Editor Louella Kepler is a long time friend who traveled to Europe with Jean on the Journal’s special tour last summer. She sees her in a different light, the light of civic events, as a friend and fellow voyager.

“Jean is very knowledgeable and alert to what’s going on around her. She is extremely fashion conscious and has traveled extensively. She collects unusual items and has a special fondness for elephants, small carvings or large.

“She’s also invariably late for appointments since she is so engrossed in the present. Once, at Montmarte, a young artist was making a charcoal drawing of her. Thirty-one people waited on the bus. When Jean finally arrived she said sincerely, ‘Oh, were you waiting? I’m sorry,’ they were.

“She’s also a sticker for showing appreciation. Once, when she learned I was in New York, she called just to say she was thinking of me. She wrote more post cards than anyone else on the trip. And she’ll buy a little gift for someone because she knows they’ll like it.

“Her family is tops on her list. She thought nothing of calling from Europe just to find out if everyone was O.K.

“And she is a stickler for authenticity. Once she needed a copy of the London Times for a play. She wrote to London and got one. And she also got real high-button men’s and womens' shoes for another play.”

Mrs. Tom (Jennie) Heinzerling of Foster Park Road, Amherst, is another close friend of 10-years standing. She acted for Jean but also worked with her in all three Miss Lorain County Pageants/

“Jean is a taskmaster. If the girl was supposed to go down the runway and stop at ‘x’, turn at 90 degrees and proceed – that was it. If she stopped two inches too far or turned at 75 degrees, Jean repeated the rehearsal.

“It likely drove others a bit batty. Some kept saying “It’s after 11 p. m.” but Jean is a perfectionist.

“And the end result showed in the pageant.

“I think she’s wonderful, sort of kooky, like I am. She doesn’t worry about the state of the world and when she golfs, she gives it all she’s got. She’s wonderful to be with, warm, kind, considerate. At social events she makes sure people are introduced, really meet each other.

“I know Jean gets some sort of self satisfaction, by helping others. And I’m sure her family’s in love with her,” she said.

Miss Lorain County, Donna Jean Prosser, agreed. “Mrs. Schaeffer is somehow ever-youthful, never-changing.”

Jean Schaeffer was born in Detroit but moved to Pontiac, Mich. while a child. She and Doctor Schaeffer were both in their late 20s when they married in a formal Navy ceremony at Gross Ile, Mich., in 1944.

WHEN THE WAR ENDED they moved into an old farm house on Old Lake Road (now Oak Point Road) which had more than 100 crusty, crumbling years scratched on its hide.

The family lives in that same house today and it is now one of the most charming homes in Lorain County. The remodeling work went slowly but painstakingly over the years as they planned.

Speaking of the gal he’ll soon share a 25th wedding anniversary with, Dr. Schaeffer was philosophical.

“We kind of hit it off together. Mutually attracted. And we had four wonderful children. Jean and her parents had a good religious background and it brought us close to the church.

“When the children were young she spent a good deal of time with them even though she has always been active in civic things. But she was always home with the children.

“We’ve had the usual banter, but we always respected each other’s interests. I like bridge and golf. She plays golf, but not with my intensity. And she likes theatre. We’ve had our mutual interests, such as dancing, and our outside interests. Neither of us ever overshadowed the other.

“When it’s theatre, it’s her night. Bridge is mine.”

NOT TOO LONG ago the Schaeffers tried a new sport, surf riding on the wake of a cabin cruiser, and Jean holds the rope until riding speed is right for Bill or Dr. Roy.

Dr. Roy also has another new sport for Jean.

“He runs me around the block every morning,” she said, “It’s great exercise to start the day, he says.”

But run she does.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Harriet Root Article – September 3, 1968 – Part 2

Here’s Part 2 of the article about Harriet Root that ran in the Journal on September 3, 1968. It includes her reminisces about the Lorain Tornado of 1924.

She Did Her Duty
Harriet Root:
A Lorain Asset – Part 2
Staff Writer

AFTER THE WAR, she returned to Lorain where she became engaged in Red Cross work and later was appointed secretary of the local unit.

Her work during the 1924 Lorain tornado has been termed “outstanding” and thinking back to that humid June day she recalls her first inkling of the upcoming storm.

“I was driving over the East Erie bridge after having closed up the Red Cross office, and suddenly I noticed the strangest yellowish color in the northwest sky. I did not know about the tornado until later when a family member came over and told the family.”

Later appointed to the national disaster staff of the Red Cross, she served in a number of disaster areas: the Mississippi floods, southern Illinois tornado, Florida hurricanes, the California dam tragedy and the Kentucky floods.

Modesty is probably her most outstanding feature and when she was given The Journal’s “Best Citizen Award” in 1931 due to her work during the Depression, she didn’t think she deserved it.

New Deal leaders in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration had had their eye on the energetic Lorain woman and in 1934 she was approached by a group of the president’s representatives who asked her to be the first director of the U.S. Government Information Service.

“I didn’t know much about the work, but the gentlemen were so persuasive that I couldn’t refuse,” she said. “The information office was formed in 1934 in a few upstairs rooms, but grew so rapidly that a whole building was constructed to house it.”

DURING THE Second World War Miss Root again packed her bags and set out for Australia and New Zealand to establish United States Information libraries which would help the natives understand her country better.

She remained in Australia for three years helping Jewish refugee families find new homes when the war ended.

Most people after such exhaustive work would call for a breather, but Miss Root, upon her return to Lorain, jumped right again into civic activities. She was an active member of the Community Chest, United Appeal, Salvation Army, to which she was named a life board member in 1963, and YMCA work.

In 1967 she was honored by Lorain’s Quota Club as being named its “Woman of the Year.”

The attractive Lorain woman who spends much of her time reading and entertaining visitors has kept well abreast of the news and has her own ideas in issues of the day.

ON TODAY’S YOUTH – “The youth are not so much different now. I can’t say I like hippies or ones that let their hair hang in their eyes, but they’re such a small percentage of the whole."

ON RACIAL PROBLEM – “I firmly believe in judging a person as an individual and not the color of his skin. I feel everyone has the perfect right to live and go where he pleases.”

ON VIETNAM – “We’re in it and we’ve got to stop it. I hope the next administration finds a way to stop it.”

ON POLITICS – “I don’t think Rockefeller could have been nominated. Nebraska didn’t like him.”

The spark that prompted her to begin that first civic project more than 50 years ago still glows strongly with Miss Harriet Root. Her home is open to any and all who need help or just want to talk.

She likes to know what others are thinking.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Harriet Root Article – September 3, 1968 – Part 1

An October 2014 view
The William Root House, located on U.S. Route 6 near the Lorain - Sheffield Lake border has been a favorite topic on this blog. That’s probably because I lived fairly close to the house for eighteen years, and enjoyed seeing it in all of the seasons.

I did a two-part post on the house's history way back in 2011, and featured a 1959 Journal article about the house here.

Well, here’s another article that includes some history about the Root home, which ran in the Journal on September 3, 1968. This time, however, Harriet Root and her many accomplishments are the focus.

After reading about her life, you’ll probably agree: they don’t make’em like her anymore.

The article ran a full-page in the Journal and is a little long (and I’m a lousy typist), so I’ll bust it into two parts.

She Did Her Duty
Harriet Root:
A Lorain Asset
Staff Writer

HARRIET ROOT IS a woman who, in her own words, “likes to know where things are headed and what other people are thinking.”

The cornerstone for that characteristic curiosity was laid more than a half century ago at an eastern college.

“I guess I became interested in community work while I was a senior at Wellesley College,” Miss Root reflected. “I was taking a course on immigration and we would go down to the port of Boston to talk with the many immigrants coming into the United States.”

Miss Root has lived most of her life, appropriately enough, in a city peopled with immigrants and their descendants. It could very well be possible that the curious young schoolgirl spoke with some who eventually settled in Lorain.

From their conversations she found within her the desire to help whenever and wherever it was needed, whether the call came from a community crippled by a tornado or a family bed-ridden with disease.

Although her seemingly perpetual reservoir of energy has been curtailed over the years, she can still look happily back on more than 20 years of unselfish and generous devotion to her city, state and country. And it all began back in the 1630’s.

“In the early days, I guess about the 1630’s, my ancestors got into trouble in England and it was a case of either getting their heads chopped off or leaving the country,” she said matter-of-factly. They chose the latter.

THE ROOTS, along with other families, left their home in Sheffield, England and began the tedious journey which ended with the founding of Sheffield Village near the French Creek Road area in Lorain County.

But the Roots had one more step to go before the journey was finally completed.

“They moved closer to the lake where this house was built in 1850.”

The home at 3535 E. Erie Ave., Lorain, is reminiscent of a bygone era and sits on a small portion of four acres of land which to the average passerby might look like a small estate. The white board fence surrounding the grounds, the wide expanse of lawn which carpets the front, an aged footbridge and the freshly-painted boathouse accent the home’s two-story, green-shuttered colonial appearance.

From here, she looks out upon a world in which she began her first civic work soon after her graduation in 1907 from Wellesley.

“Women weren’t really accepted in welfare work at that time,” she stated, “but a group of clubwomen asked me to help start a sewing class for girls in South Lorain. I didn’t know a thing about sewing,” she added smiling, “but we soon had a class of 100 girls.”

In 1910 she became active in the associated charities movement, and when the first rumblings of war in Europe were heard in 1914 she lost no time starting a Lorain class in surgical dressings.

Early in 1917, she was informed that a unit from her alma mater was planning to go to France, and unhesitatingly she accepted the call to join this group of dedicated women.

“In France we worked with the refugees in trying to keep the families together and finding a place for them to live. Later we were transferred to an American Army evacuation point just outside Bordeaux to aid injured soldiers in adjusting to their return to the United States.”

Next: Red Cross work and the 1924 Lorain Tornado

Friday, September 7, 2018

Bob’s Donuts Revisited

Two of the very first posts on this blog back in the first week of April 2009 dealt with Lorain’s beloved Bob’s Donuts. On one post, I featured my photo above of the large ‘Bob’s Donut’s’ sign painted on the side of the building facing south.

It may very well be the only existing photo of that sign.

People really miss Bob’s Donuts, even almost seventeen years after it closed in December 2002. I know I do, after stopping in there every Saturday morning for years as part of my weekly ritual.

Recently while digging around in a box of my old 35mm photographs, I found the original, uncropped photo. It provides a nice view of the signs on the pole in front of the store, as well as a glimpse of the surrounding neighborhood.

And here’s the inevitable depressing ‘now’ shot.
Hey, did you click on the uncropped, vintage photo and take a good look at it? Off in the distance you can see the sign down the street for Forest City Auto Parts, featuring the one, the only, the long-necked... Max!

Max has been featured on this blog many times over the years. On one post, several Forest City Auto Parts employees left some great comments about how Max got his name.