Back in July, I posted a July 1971 Journal article that included a sketch of what Lorain’s new City Hall was going to look like. It was a little on the cartoony side, and might not have convinced the public that the finished building would justify the $5 million dollar price tag.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
September is fading fast – so I’d better post this front page of the Lorain Journal and Times-Herald from September 7, 1935 – a mere eighty-six years ago this month.
Compared to a typical front page of today’s Morning Journal (which contains two ‘soft’ news stories at most and a huge photo taking up half the page) this one is crammed with news.
What caught my attention at first was the photo of what we know today as Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial. It was only twenty years old at that point. Next to the photo of the monument is one of the restored Niagara, Admiral Perry’s flagship that had visited Lorain in 1913.
What’s interesting is that the article accompanying the photo repeats the often told story that Johnny Appleseed (strangely referred to here as Apple Seed Johnny) was listening to the guns firing during the Battle of Lake Erie from some hilltop in Vermilion.
But elsewhere on the Journal front page is the usual Lorain County mayhem: the sad story of a man who murdered his 21-year-old bride in their home on W. 23rd Street in Lorain; a busy night for Lorain’s vice squad resulting in the arrest of eight persons for liquor violations; a tale of vicious dogs on the run in Elyria that killed three lambs, one sow and two geese as well as injuring some goats; a fire in an Elyria chemical factory.
The grisly headline BURN BODIES OF GALE VICTIMS refers to the decision to burn the bodies of the victims of what is today referred to as the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane in the Florida Keys. It’s a horrible, sad story with hundreds of deaths, a majority of whom were veterans that were staying in work camps while working on the construction of the Overseas Highway.
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Drug stores have been a recurring topic on this blog, from Mom and Pop establishments like Whalen Drugs, to small regional chains such as Muir’s. There have also been a few posts devoted to other local favorites, including Kutza’s Pharmacy and National Pharmacy.
Well, here’s a post about my favorite Drug Store chain: namely, Discount Drug Mart. Why is it my favorite? Probably because it’s Northern Ohio-based, and there’s always been one nearby, wherever I’ve lived. (I probably live about one minute from the one in Vermilion.)
Anyway, fifty years ago this month, the Discount Drug Mart store in Amherst held its Grand Opening (at its original location on the east side of the highway), with a special appearance by Cleveland TV children’s show favorite, Captain Penny (former Elyrian Ron Penfound). The full-page ad below ran in the Journal on September 30, 1971.Broxodent Deluxe Electric Toothbrush (the first electric toothbrush); Polaroid Color Pack 108 Film (there’s some on eBay right now); Boone’s Farm Strawberry Wine; Sealtest Milk; and Geritol.
Monday, September 27, 2021
Above is the full-page ad that appeared in the Journal on Sept. 19, 1971.here); Arnold & Sir Richard Burton (an organ grinder and his monkey); and Blossom the Clown (an animal balloon artist). There was also Fritz, the Bavarian Glass Blower; a caricature sketch artist; nightly drawings for gift certificates; and Mini Grand Prix Children’s Rides.
Stores at the Mall at that time included: Andre Duval Beauty Salon; Arnold Palmer Cleaners; Baker’s Shoes; Barricini Candy; Bentley Ties; Blvd. Juvenile Shoes; Clarence Faflik Shoes; Cleveland Fabric Shop; Clowntown; Diamond’s Men Shop; Fanny Farmer Candy; Fisher-Fazio; Foxmoor Casuals; Goodyear Tire & Rubber; Gray Drugs; Midway Opticians; Harvest House Cafeteria; The Higbee Co.; Hobby Center; Hough Bakery; Household Finance; Lane Bryant; Lorain County Savings & Trust; Louis Cohn Mens Wear; Melody Manor; Memory Lane Card Shop; McDonald & Co.; Michael-Angela Hair Fashions; Midway Barber Shop; Midway Cinema; Nobil Shoes; O’Henry’s Pub; Parklane Hosiery; Paul Harris; JCPenney; Petries; Puppy Palace; Record World; Regal Shoes; Richman Brothers; Rose Jewelers; Sam Kleins; Schwede Appliance & TV; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Seven Seas Gift Shop; Sidewalk Cafe; Singer Sewing Center; Spencer Gifts; Ted Jacobs; Tweed Shop; Union Savings Associates; Walden Book Co.; Winkelman’s; and Woolworths.
In case you were wondering (like me), Clowntown was a photography studio that specialized in children. For some reason, I don’t think this place would succeed today.
Some of the businesses listed were not in the main portion of the Mall. For example, O’Henry’s Pub and Household Finance were in the strip of stores anchored by Goodyear Tire & Rubber (at the north end) and Fisher-Fazio (at the south end). In later years, AAA was a longtime tenant before it flew the coop to Avon.
Friday, September 24, 2021
Thursday, September 23, 2021
So many famous people have called Lorain, Ohio their hometown that it might be easy to overlook Stevan Dohanos. And that’s a shame, because the nationally known artist and illustrator was successful in his field in a way that most people can only dream about.
Dohanos' many artistic accomplishments include creating more than 125 covers for The Saturday Evening Post and designing forty U. S. postage stamps. He also served his country as the chairman of the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee, selecting the art for more than 300 postage stamps and designing some as well.
Seventy years ago this month, Mr. Dohanos was the subject of the article below, which appeared in the Lorain Journal on Sept. 6, 1951. It’s about his latest artistic endeavor, a poster for the Tuberculosis Association advocating getting a chest x-ray. The article relates how TB struck the Dohanos family, claiming several children – and almost the artist himself.
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
|The original Hot Dog Heaven building|
Yesterday’s post was about a restaurant that suffered a disastrous fire that wasn’t able to rebuild. Today’s post is about one that’s rebuilding right now.
The construction of the new home of Hot Dog Heaven in Amherst is well underway. It’s interesting watching it slowly take shape.
I’m glad the new building will reflect the warm, homey appearance of the old house it used to call home, rather than some slick, soulless fast-food joint. Here’s an architectural rendering of what the new building will look like when done. The design is quite clever in that it will look like the old building, expanded and enlarged.
The funny thing is, I’ve eaten at Hot Dog Heaven more often since it moved temporarily into the food truck at Hastee Tastee. The service is pretty fast and it’s much more convenient than it was going inside the old building. I’ve joked with the staff a few times that they should just move the food truck across the street to the old location. But the new location will have a drive-through, which will be great.
|The view on Sept. 24, 2021|
In a manner of years, it’s quite possible that people will wonder what that stretch of Cleveland Street looked like before the new, enlarged Hot Dog Heaven was built. Thus, here are a few Google maps views showing the two houses that were torn down to make way for the new restaurant.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
|The view on Feb. 27, 2011|
It’s hard to believe that it was ten and a half years ago that Elberta Inn (at that time known as Alizé at Elberta Inn) burned down. It was back on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 when the Vermilion landmark was destroyed by a fire.
The owners had hoped to rebuild, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. Today the former location of the iconic restaurant is still a parking lot.
Fifty years ago this month, the well-known restaurant had just changed hands. Below is the article by Staff Writer Bob Cotleur that appeared in the Journal on September 5, 1971. Bill and Ann Manson were the new owners.
As the article noted, the couple had owned and operated the Rancho Pillow Motel in Sandusky in the late 1950s. Eventually they sold the motel, and moved to Florida where they owned and operated two eight-suite apartments. But they decided to come out of semi-retirement and move back to Ohio.
“Back in Ohio he hunted for a business,” according to the article. “This time motels didn’t interest him. But Elberta Inn did.
“"It was a small town and had been in business since 1921,” he explained.
“Mrs. Lucy Hess, one of the founders who is still alive, recently called Manson on the phone and later sent him some snapshots of that era.
“"In those days,” Manson says, “A roller skating rink was alongside. People skated in, sat down and ordered.
The article points out that “Eli,” the former head chef at the Saddle Inn in Avon Lake was now running the kitchen for Elberta Inn.
|1971 Lorain Phone book advertisement|
Elberta Inn had been a favorite topic on this blog.
This 2014 post includes a great vintage aerial photo of the Inn, courtesy of the Lorain Historical Society. I wrote about the Feb. 2011 fire back here on this post, noting that I had almost planned to dine there the night it burned down, since it was my birthday.
Lastly, this post highlights Elberta Inn in one of those "Golden Crescent Guide to Dining” features that appeared regularly in the Journal.
Monday, September 20, 2021
But what about the old-time railroaders who had spent their entire careers on steam locomotives?
Here’s a charming story about one of them – Frank C. Fairhead of Lorain – who would not have to deal with the coming changes, due to his retirement from the B&O after 45 years of service.
The article below ran in the Lorain Journal on September 13, 1951.
The article notes, “Frank C. Fairhead, 65, 2338 Livingston-av, stepped from the cab of B. and O. engine 1057 yesterday afternoon, officially ending 45 years of service on that line.
“Fellow railroaders clustered around to congratulate Fairhead on his retirement, and Douglas Wallace, general yardmaster, was on hand to “order him from the cab of the engine” if need be. It was all in the spirit of fun, but the railroaders showed in their gruff way that the popular engineer would be missed at the local B. and O. yards.
“And Fairhead, by the way he looked back over his shoulder at old No. 1057, showed that he too was retiring with regret.
““That baby’s got the same type boiler our engines had when I started work here back in 1906,” Fairhead said. He explained that all the engines have been modernized, overhauled and safety devices added, but the “boilers remain of the same type as in the early 1900’s."
"Fairhead has been an engineer since 1913 and has spent the past 10 years in the yard. The previous 35 years were all spent on the road as fireman and engineer.
“The retiring railroader has long been associated with the Central Lorain’s Businessmen’s association and has taken an active interest in civic affairs.
“Fairhead won the plaudits of his co-workers and other B. and O. officials upon his retirement.
“Ralph Gohlke, terminal agent, said the veteran engineer was a “regular and faithful worker with an excellent safety record.”
“Now that his days of herding the iron horses are a thing of the past, Fairhead intends to turn his attention to his favorite hobby, flower raising. He will also undoubtedly spend a lot of time working on the model village in his backyard.”
|2338 Livingston Avenue.|
Friday, September 17, 2021
|Yikes, Woodsy has that whistle in his mouth.|
Thursday, September 16, 2021
I stop in at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Leavitt Road every few days, and I see a lot of Cappuccino Blasts® being sold, as well as any number of frozen drinks topped with whipped cream. Yesterday, the person in front of me ordered twelve bucks worth of drinks that looked like chocolate sodas.
Indeed, the top three best selling drinks at Dunkin' Donuts nationally are the hot caramel macchiato, the caramel iced coffee and hazelnut iced coffee. (Gee, I thought coffee was something you had with dessert. It’s not supposed to be the dessert!)
Anyway, I’m beginning to wonder: doesn’t anybody drink plain old coffee anymore?
Which leads me to the topic of today’s post, namely a classic plain old coffee – Hills Brothers Coffee to be exact. I’ve written about it before (here), as it was my parents’ favorite coffee for many years.
The ad below for the classic brew ran in the Lorain Journal on September 20, 1951.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
|June 27, 1941 Amherst News-Times ad|
That’s a good question that I’ve been asked several times, via email as well as comments left on the blog.
Vintage ads for Ashbolt Orchards only list the address as Foster Park Road, or State Route 254. A 1945 article in the Van Wert Times Bulletin refers to Ashbolt’s "Detroit Road farms.” And several ads from the Amherst News-Times lists ‘Foster Park Road’ as the address, with the explanation: First road south of Penfield Junction, between Lorain and Elyria.
That area where the orchards were located was well outside Lorain city limits, so it’s not too surprising that directions were included in the ad.
But I agree with longtime blog contributor Rick Kurish that Ashbolt Orchards were most likely located on today’s Cooper Foster Park Road between South Broadway and Oberlin Avenue. Driving that stretch of highway today reveals many streets on both sides of the highway named for orchards or the varieties of fruits grown on orchards. Borman's Farm still operates a roadside stand offering their seasonal fruits and vegetables.
As Rick noted, Ashbolt Drive can be found on older maps, right at the end of Cherrywood Drive. I suspect that the street wouldn’t have that name unless it occupied at least part of the former Ashbolt Orchards – particularly where cherries were grown.
|Portion of a 1960s Champion Map|
It’s still on the Lorain County Auditor website.
But Ashbolt Drive is pretty much just a paper street today. I had hoped to take a photo of the street sign, but there’s no street that I can see. Cherrywood just dead-ends.
Looking at some vintage aerials, there were several impressive orchards where Cherrywood Drive is today, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the location of Ashbolt Orchards.
|The area today|
|Same area in 1952, showing orchards|
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
While preparing yesterday’s post about the Ashbolt children meeting the stars of the “Our Gang” comedies, I wondered: just who was William E. Ashbolt, their father?
It turns out that Mr. Ashbolt was truly a man for all seasons: family man, newspaperman, politician and orchardist.
Read all about this unique man and his accomplishments in this article that ran in the Lorain Journal at the time of his death on March 30, 1943.
WM. ASHBOLT DIES OF HEART ATTACK AT 51
Former Ohio Legislator Stricken Early Today in Hospital
SERVED 4 YEARS
Veteran Newspaperman Won Wide Acclaim as Orchardist
Fifty-one years old, Ashbolt was taken ill Saturday, but was believed recovering when the sudden attack occurred. He died at 12:50 a. m.
25 Years a Newsman
Ashbold went into politics in 1933, when he was elected to the state legislature, after more than 25 years as a newspaperman in Lorain, Cleveland and Columbus during the latter years of which he acquired and developed the Ashbolt Orchards on Foster Park-rd, south of Lorain.
He served as Lorain-co state representative from 1934 to 1942, but dropped out of the legislature at the conclusion of his 1940-42 term to run for county auditor, a race he lost to Auditor Frank Ayres.
On Jan. 4 he was appointed to city council to fill the vacancy created when Councilman-at-Large Leslie M. Burge took up his seat in the state house of representatives.
Started Work at 16
Ashbolt, born in Lorain, the son of a pioneer Lorain family, started making news when he was 14 years old, by walking to Columbus and return. While in Columbus he paid a call to a newspaper and by the time he was 16 had landed a job as copy boy on the Ohio State Journal, a Columbus morning newspaper.
Possessing an uncanny ability to ferret out news stories, he soon became a reporter and eventually returned to Lorain, where he worked a total of some 20 years on the Lorain Times-Herald.
He also worked several years on the Cleveland Times, in the course of which he ‘covered’ both Washington news and Columbus state offices. It was during the time that he was employed on the Cleveland Times that he was a member of the press section which accompanied a Coolidge campaign train on a cross county tour in 1924.
After the Times ceased publication, he returned to Lorain, working as a newspaperman for the Times-Herald and started his orchards, which now include 4,000 peach and cherry trees. Just coming into maturity is a 1,000-tree orchard of sweet cherries, which Ashbolt characterized as one of the largest sweet cherry orchards east of the Rocky Mountains.
One of the ex-state legislators favorite pastimes was reminiscing of his days in newspaper work and of the fast and furious “news breaks” of the “roaring 20’s” and the reportorial fights during the days when the Times-Herald and Lorain Journal were in competition in Lorain.
Since consolidation of the two Lorain papers, Ashbolt had worked for brief intervals for The Journal doing special assignments and filling in at times of emergency “to keep his hand in as a newspaperman.”
In the legislature, he is best remembered for his battles against congressional redistricting bills that would have been contrary to Lorain county’s best interests, his successful fight to have sale of all intoxicating drinks, including 3.2 beer, restricted to persons 21 years old or over, and his co-sponsorship of the Whittemore-Ashbolt which enabled installment payment of taxes by hard-pressed property owners.
Ashbolt, who had enjoyed exceptionally good health all his life, suffered a heart attack in 1938, which was followed by an attack of sciatic rheumatism which kept him confined for many months afterward. He was not [illegible] recovered when he ran for his legislative post in 1940, but in the past year believed that he had regained his strength and health.
He was a member of the Lorain Congregational church, was a 32nd degree Mason, and was affiliated with the Lorain Elks, Eagles, Moose and Pythian Sister lodges and American Legion post 30.
Body Taken Home
The legislator lived at 1025 4th-st. Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Gertrude Ashbolt, former head of relief administration in Lorain, and two sons and two daughters.
The sons are Pfc. William A. Ashbolt, now in the U.S. Marine corps, stationed at Kearney Mesa, San Diego, Calif., Allen, at home, and Mrs. Cornelius Yingling and Mrs. Russell Warman, both of Lorain.
Also surviving are four sisters, Mrs. William Cable, Lorain, Mrs. Roy Gordon, Croton, Conn., Mrs. Dvid Weins, and Mrs. Fred Newton, both of Lakewood. Five grandchildren also survive.
The body was to be taken late this afternoon to the Ashbolt residence. Funeral arrangements are incomplete pending word from his son in the Marines.
An article in the Van Wert Times Bulletin on August 14, 1945 examined how the late William E. Ashbolt, thought his efforts at his orchard, had hoped to take “two of the biggest headaches out of the annual canning chore of Northern Ohio housewives.”
As the article noted, Ashbolt “was born on a farm in Lorain County and the cleaning and skinning of peaches, and the gremlin task of pitting cherries when canning season rolled around were things he never forgot.”
One of Ashbolt’s solutions was to install "a large tent with open sides at his Detroit Road farm and in this tent he built a conveyor system that washed the cherries three times in ice water while girls sorted them to pick out any that were imperfect.”
"Crowning achievement of the newspaperman turned orchardist was a giant pitting machine housed in the middle of the vast tent top."
|Advertisement from the Amherst News-Times of July 9, 1935|
|Advertisement from the Amherst News-Times of August 20, 1942|