Thursday, June 30, 2022

New Lorain Yacht Club Building – June 30, 1951

Back in June 1951, the Lorain Yacht Club was drawing up plans for a new building.

Above is the article that appeared in the Lorain Journal back on June 30, 1951. The article notes, "A new Lorain Yacht club building will decorate Lorain's waterfront area in the near future, according to an announcement made today by Don Heisner, commodore of the club.

"The announcement came after it was learned that the club had purchased land on Alabama-av from the Todd estate.

"The acre of ground purchased, a lot 150 feet wide by 200 feet deep, sets on high ground above Riverside park near the coast guard station.

"Architect's plans have already been drawn and officers of the club hope to start building operations as soon as the present war emergency ban on non-essential building is lifted.

"The new clubhouse, very nautical in design, will include a big sundeck, a dining or assembly room, showers for men and women, a club room, bar commodore's office, kitchen and other facilities. It will be approximately 70 feet wide by about 50 feet deep, leaving plenty of room for parking for club members, according to Heisner.

"The present yacht club, located at the foot of Oberlin-av, at the rear of the Lorain water works, was started in the mid-1920's with club members themselves erecting the four walls, roof and floor.

"It is understood that plans are now underway to sell the present yacht club but as yet nothing definite has been done, Heisner said."


I've written a lot about the original Yacht Club building that was located down at Hot Waters. I hated to see it demolished, as it was a link to Lorain's nautical past. 

Ironically, the newer Yacht Club building on Alabama Ave. mentioned in the above article was torn down before the original one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Grand Opening of Brady's Dairyland – June 1962

The name 'Brady' has been associated with the area around Leavitt Road and West 21st Street for some time. Back when there were just two Brady families on the west side of Lorain, it was the other Brady Bunch that owned a lot of land near that intersection.

Brady's Restaurant (which was located just north of where Burger King is today) has been a favorite topic on this blog – even though it's becoming increasingly difficult to find anyone who remembers this well-named restaurant. Brady's Chuckwagon Chicken House was another business owned by John Brady. It was located next door to Brady's Restaurant to the north, in the building where Marco's Pizza is located today.

But did you know there was a third Brady standalone food enterprise near that intersection?

Brady's Dairyland was located "Just Around the Corner From ... Brady's Restaurant" as the Grand Opening ad below says. It ran in the Lorain Journal back on June 5, 1962.

(Brady's Dairyland had actually opened in late May 1962 as noted in this post.)

Like all of John Brady's businesses, Brady's Dairyland was well-promoted, with the nearly full-page ad touting "Olde Type" Frosted Malts, Brady's Fresh Hawaiian Pineapple Barge, and "home made ice creams packaged for carry out." As an added incentive to drop by, a prize was awarded with every order over a dollar.
I like the fact that John Brady tied together all of his businesses with the same mascot, a caricature of his father (who started Brady's Restaurant) as a chef on a unicycle, delivering food.
As I noted in this post, Brady's Dairyland added donuts to its menu in 1966. But by 1970, the store disappeared in the city directory and was replaced at its 2511 W. 21st Street address by Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Bowman Ice Cream Ad – June 27, 1962

A dish of ice cream is still one of the simple joys in life.

When I was growing up, there was always a carton of ice cream in our freezer. I don't recall what brand Mom bought regularly; it's only the flavors I remember: chocolate, vanilla or Neapolitan – nothing too exotic in the early days.

But the concept of exotic flavors is exactly what's being promoted in this ad for Bowman Ice Cream that ran in the Journal back on June 27, 1962. The three "Fantas-tic" flavors in Bowman's Fantasy ice cream line included Swiss Style Chocolate Vanilla; Swiss Style Chocolate Candied Pecan Vanilla; and Orange-Sherbet Caramel Nut Vanilla.

Yuck. I don't think all those nutty flavors would have been a big hit with my siblings and me. 

What's interesting is that in the 1962 ad, there are two versions of the Bowman bowman mascot: the cartoony version at the bottom of the ad, and a more angular, "modern" rendering of him near the top of the ad by the LIFE magazine logo.

Anyway, Bowman Ice Cream continues to fascinate me, probably because of the huge painted sign promoting it on the side of Whalen Drug in the 1960s. Where else could you buy it in the area? Check out this listing of local stores that ran on the same page as the ad.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Royal Crown Cola Ad – June 26, 1962

Friday's blog post highlighted Pepsi-Cola. Today we take a look at a cola competitor: Royal Crown Cola – or RC Cola.

Above is an ad that appeared in the Lorain Journal back on June 26, 1962.

According to its Wiki entry, "It was originally created for Cole-Hampton-Hatcher Grocery Store as an early generic brand, to avoid the high cost of purchasing Coca-Cola syrup.
"As a grocery wholesaler, Claud A. Hatcher purchased a large volume of Coca-Cola syrup from the local company salesman, Columbus Roberts. Hatcher felt that the company deserved a special reduced price for the syrup since it purchased such large volumes. Roberts would not budge on the cost, and a bitter conflict between the two erupted. Hatcher told Roberts he would win the battle by never purchasing any more Coca-Cola, and Hatcher determined to develop his own soft drink formula.
"In the 1950s, Royal Crown company was leading the beverage industry to sell the first canned soft drinks, followed by the first caffeine-free cola.
"In 1958, the company introduced the first diet cola, Diet Rite.

"In 1984, RC Cola accounted for approximately 4-5% of soft drink sales in the United States, behind Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and 7 Up
"RC Cola is owned and distributed in the U.S. by Keurig Dr Pepper. In the rest of the world, it is distributed by RC Cola International."
Keurig Dr. Pepper's fizzy roll call of soda pop brands
Click here to visit a great blog that has a comprehensive look at the innovative celebrity ad campaigns of Royal Crown Cola over the years. Besides pretty starlets like Gene Tierney shilling for the brand, the celebrity roster also included the Our Gang kids and John Wayne!
I hadn't thought about RC Cola for a long time until recently, when I bought a 2-liter bottle at Discount Drug Mart – for 99 Cents! While the taste was a long way from Pepsi or Coke, it wasn't bad at all. And since I was in the mood to guzzle pop, it was nice to have a huge bottle.
Maybe the brand ain't dead yet.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Pepsi Day at Cedar Point Ad – June 16, 1962

Which do you prefer – Coke or Pepsi?

It's a timeless question. I guess it depends on whether you prefer the slighter sweeter taste of Pepsi. 

Of course, a lot of people don't drink cola at all and would probably answer, "Neither."

These days, there are so many variations of Coke and Pepsi (click here to read the surprisingly long list of the Pepsi ones) that I wonder if the classic version of each is still the most popular in the U. S.

But I was raised on Pepsi (we always had it with Yala's Pizza on Friday night). So it's still my cola of choice – as long as if it's the version with real sugar. But I like Vanilla Coke too.

Anyway, another reason to like Pepsi is shown below: a special Pepsi Day at Cedar Point. The ad ran in the Journal back on June 16, 1962.

It was a pretty good deal. You could ride all the rides for one price: $1.50 (children under 12) or $2.50 (children over 12). And best of all, the price of Pepsi-Cola at Cedar Point that day was only 5 cents. Back then, I would have been burping with anticipation.

Anyway, Pepsi has bubbled up again and again on this blog, along with enough posts about soft drinks to rival the number devoted to Reddy Kilowatt. 
Maybe it's because Pepsi is bottled in Elyria, and tastes farm-fresh. 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Journal TV Page – June 25, 1962

Here's another TV page of the Lorain Journal from the early 1960s for your amusement. This one is for Monday, June 25, 1962 – sixty years ago this month.

What caught my eye on the page are the drawings of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, showing their evolution over the previous 20+ years. The illustrations were a promotion for ABC-TV's The Bugs Bunny Show, which was winding down its primetime run in 1962.

Watching that show in the evening (where it originally ran) is one of my earliest memories of childhood.

Here's a promotional spot for the show, courtesy of YouTube. It's kind of funny seeing the normally good-natured Speedy Gonzales brandishing a knife (not too mention seeing the obnoxious canary Tweetie Pie holding a gun).

In its original run, the show used to open with the iconic Warner Brothers shield swinging open to reveal Bugs Bunny munching a carrot.
I was so dumb as a very young kid that every time I saw the WB shield (like at the beginning of a Warner Brothers movie, for example), I thought the Oscar-winning rabbit might pop out from behind it.
Anyway, here's the well-remembered opening and closing credits of The Bugs Bunny Show.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Three Old Lorain Schools Close – June 1972

Yesterday's post was about beginnings – namely, the first class to graduate from Admiral King High School, back in June of 1962 (sixty years ago this month).

Today's blog is about endings – three Lorain elementary schools that were closing forever in June 1972. They were St. Joseph School (which opened in 1895); Harrison School (opened in 1904); and Oakwood School (opened in 1905).

The articles below appeared in the Lorain Journal on June 9, 1972. It's commendable that the newspaper realized that something important was happening, and covered the stories very well. Schools are a big part of everyone's life; they help make you who you are as an adult. When they are closed and/or demolished (something Lorain is very good at), part of you is lost.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

First AKHS Class Graduates – June 1962

Sixty years ago this month, the first graduating class of the new Admiral King High School in Lorain, Ohio held its commencement.

Above is the page of the June 15, 1962 Lorain Journal with the news, in an article written by Dan Murr.

As noted in the article, "Before a capacity audience of 2,400 persons, 280 seniors graduated in the AKHS gymnasium Thursday night.

"Dr. John W. Evans, superintendent of public schools, told the first class to graduate from Admiral King: "You are unique."

"Dr. Joseph F. Calta, AKHS principal, announced the first honor students, a total of 14 with one honorable mention.

"No greater recognition can be given to a high school student than to be named an honor graduate," the principal said. "It indicates they have placed school work first and made sacrifices in other areas."

"Dan Hronek, president of the first graduating class, asked his fellow grads to try and live up to the best they have, thanked the Board of Education, AKHS faculty members and the city of Lorain, then presented the class of 1962.

"The AKHS band, directed by Tom Evans, played two selections and the processional march, "Pomp and Circumstance" and the recessional march, "His Honor."

"The a cappella choir, directed by Donald Mayer, sang "Let There Be Peace on Earth" and "Almighty God of our Fathers.""

Monday, June 20, 2022

Henny Penny Chicken Comes to Elyria – June 1962

It took a while for nationally franchised chicken to grow in popularity during the early 1960s. 

During that time, many chicken entrepreneurs believed they had the right recipe for success and would eventually rule the roost. 
Here in Lorain County, Chicken in the Rough was added to the menu in the Vogue Room on Colorado Avenue in September 1960. The first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant was in Elyria on State Route 113 in 1961. (Colonel Sanders wouldn't bring his patented pressure cookers to Lorain on Oberlin Avenue until April 1971.) Chicken Delight turned up on W. 21st Street in 1964. And Minnie Pearl first hung her price-tagged hat at 2130 Leavitt in September 1969.
Well, here's one that I had never heard of before: Henny Penny. Much like Chicken in the Rough (as well as the early Kentucky Fried Chicken), it was added to an existing restaurant's menu alongside its other offerings. In this case, the restaurant was the Coffee Cup at 360 West Bridge Street in Elyria.
Here's the ad that ran in the Journal back on June 14, 1962.
Henny Penny seems like an odd choice for an advertising mascot. The feathery folk-tale character was the one who mistook the conk on her head by an acorn (or leaf, in some versions of the story) for the sky falling, and ended up getting eaten by a fox. 
So whatever happened to Henny Penny Chicken? It seems to have laid a big egg and disappeared.
However, there is a Henny Penny company based in Eaton, Ohio that successfully sells its pressure cookers to Chick-fil-A, Wendy's and McDonald's. Maybe it's the same company as that in the 1962 ad, having redirected its efforts from chicken to the equipment it refined to cook it in. I don't know for sure.
There is also a nine-outlet Henny Penny Chicken chain in Australia. Unfortunately, I can't find any direct link between the vintage franchised chicken chain in the US, and the restaurant chain Down Under – although they seem to have poached the chicken mascot (shown below).

In case you are wondering, here's what the building at 360 West Bridge Street in Elyria looks like. And the landmark building is for sale, too.
Courtesy Howard Hanna
UPDATE (June 21, 2022)
It turns out that the Henny Penny Corporation based in Eaton, Ohio is indeed the same company that was involved with selling Henny Penny Chicken franchises beginning in 1957. The idea was that franchisees had to purchase the company's patented commercial fryer (the world's first) to prepare the chicken. There were 15 outlets in Ohio in 1965. Some of the other states and their number of locations at that time included Indiana (15); Iowa (75); Kansas (20); Illinois (40); and Nebraska (10). The locations included carry-out stores constructed specifically to sell Henny Penny Chicken.
Ad from the May 2, 1962 East Cleveland Leader
Today, the company still manufactures pressure fryers, but is now a leading food service equipment manufacturer. In 2017, the company celebrated 60 years in business.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Journal TV Page – June 4, 1962

Well, it's Friday. How about a post featuring Joe Friday? Jack Webb, that is.

He's the main feature on this TV page from the Journal back on June 4, 1962. The first run of his classic series Dragnet had been off the air for a few years, and Jack Webb was keeping busy as a producer and director.

As the caption notes, "Jack Webb returns to the television scene this fall in a new series of factual dramatic shows sponsored by General Electric, beginning Sunday, Sept. 30, on the CBS Television Network.

"In the new series, Webb will serve as host and narrator, will star in about one third of the programs and will direct many of the dramatizations."

Although the series (entitled GE True received good reviews for some of its episodes, it apparently was no match for Bonanza, the show it was up against on the schedule. GE True lasted only one season, and Webb was back playing Sgt. Joe Friday in a new, color version of Dragnet by 1967.

Jack Webb has appeared on this blog before (here and here)


Be sure to check out the Television Programs grid. It's a lot of fun to look at.

I can actually remember watching Huckleberry Hound after dinner (it came on at 7:00 pm on Channel 3).

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Hills Dept. Store Father's Day Ad – June 1962

We'll linger another day here on the blog at Hills Dept. Store out on Route 57, savoring the smell of the freshly popped popcorn by the exit.

Like yesterday, it's June 1962 – sixty years ago – and today's ad is a timely one, promoting Fathers Day savings. It ran in the Journal back on June 15, 1962.

The Father's Day gifts shown in the ad are the standard issue: shirts, ties, socks, belts, key chains, etc.

The ad is definitely of its time, with the father in the ad resembling the typical TV situation comedy dad of that era. (Strangely, he's not smoking a pipe.)
Even as a kid growing up in the 1960s, I knew there was something a little unrealistic about the way families were portrayed on the TV shows we watched, such as Leave it to Beaver or My Three Sons. My dad worked in a plant as a machinist, and only wore a tie to church, or if he and Mom were going out to eat with their friends, which wasn't that often. So I don't remember ever giving him a tie for Father's Day.
Somehow I don't think ties are a big gift item in 2022 either.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Hills Dept. Store Boat Show – June 1962

Boat Shows seem to be a regular topic on this blog. And I don't even own a boat!

I've done a couple of posts (here and here) over the years about the Mid-America Boat Show, traditionally held in Downtown Cleveland during the winter months. 

Midway Mall had its own Boat Show as well. (You can read about the March 1971 edition  here). And I mentioned the boat display during the Open House of Vermilion Marina in May 1965.

Well, Hills Department Store on Route 57 was apparently ahead of its time, holding its own Boat Show in its parking lot in warm weather. Although Hills had been open for two years (having held its Grand Opening in August 1960), it was still coming up with creative ways to drive traffic into the store.

Below are the two ads that appeared in the Journal promoting the special event, on Tuesday June 5th and Wednesday, June 6, 1962.

So you couldn't afford a boat? Not to worry. As an extra enticement to lure shoppers, Hills also offered 20 to 40% off on all fishing tackle and sporting goods.
All in all, a pretty good promotion, and a nice reminder of how buying a boat was not out of the average worker's grasp, back when the area's economy was firing on all cylinders.
My family never owned a boat (most of us can't even swim), but Dad had several work friends from BF Goodrich who took him fishing out on the lake. I went out with Dad and his buddies at least once, but the boating life was not for me. It made me green around the gills.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Vermilion-on-the-Lake Real Estate Ad – June 1962

Yesterday's post featured a June 1962 real estate ad for Valley View Estates in Vermilion, located on the west side of the Vermilion River off West River Road. Its marketing tapped into the desires and aspirations of the middle class, offering a swim club membership for residents and a new school for the kiddies to attend.

Today's post highlights a real estate ad for a neighborhood on the east side of town: Vermilion-on-the-Lake. It had only recently become part of Vermilion, merging with the city in May 1962.

The ad below appeared in the Journal back on June 1, 1962.

With Vermilion-on-the-Lake being, well, on the lake, the developer didn't need to offer a swim club membership; it had its own "private beach facilities." Other amenities included being near new schools, and shopping – and "Just a Stone's Throw From The Ford Plant."

I wrote about Vermilion-the-Lake's origins as a vacation resort (back here, in a multi-part blog series). Today, VOL is an eclectic neighborhood with something for everyone. I know a few people who live or have lived there, and they love it.
I almost bought down there when I moved to Vermilion a few years ago. VOL has a nice, homey feeling not unlike what I experienced living in Sheffield Lake, which has a cottage past of its own.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Vermilion's Valley View Estates Ad – June 1962

It's always interesting seeing vintage real estates promoting a new housing development, subdivision or allotment. They capture that moment in time when everything was brand new, full of promise and at the peak of perfection.

Many of these types of ads have been featured on this blog over the years, including several for Rock Creek Run, Skyline East, Skyline Park (here and here), Kimberly Oaks, the Hoy-Lo-Mae Allotment, the Sherwood Allotment; and Knickerbocker Knolls and Lake Breeze Estates in Sheffield Lake.

Well, since I live in Vermilion it's only natural that I post ads for some of its neighborhoods. Here's one for Valley View Estates, "Vermilion's Finest New Home Area." It ran in the Journal back on June 2, 1962.

It looks like there were some nice amenities, including Valley View Swim Club for all residents and Valley View School.

I like the little graphic of the swimmer with sunglasses, which adds a glamorous touch to the proceedings.
I'm still learning about all of the different neighborhoods in Vermilion and how they evolved. A few years ago I did a little research for a friend at work whose grandparents owned a big farm dating back to the 1940s, on the west side of West River Road roughly opposite the Moe property. 
When finally sold, the farm became part of the Big Oaks Subdivision, which is just slightly south of Valley View Estates.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Paul Miller Circus at O'Neil's – June 7, 1962

Sixty years ago this month, Paul A. Miller's Wild Animal Circus came to O'Neil - Sheffield Center for a free show – just in time for kids being on summer vacation.

Above is the ad that ran in the Journal on June 7, 1962.

I've written about the Paul A. Miller Wild Animal Circus before.

The Paul Miller Circus came to Ridgeview Shopping Center in June 1960 (the subject of this post). It is also the one that came to Lorain and put on a show in young Bill Nahm's front yard at his home near Clearview High School in September 1963 (which I wrote about here and here). 

As the ad above notes, the circus included lions, bears, a baby elephant, aerial acts, clowns, and juggling. There were also seventeen exciting thrill rides for which you had to buy a ticket.

Anyway, it's kind of sad thinking how today the classic circus that we all remember is no more – thanks to rising costs of transporting them, dwindling attendance and animal-rights activists. Oh well.

Yes, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is poised to make a comeback in 2023. But it will be without any animals at all. What good is that?

I'm sorry, but if I'm going to go see a circus, I want to see animals. At the very least: a lion, a few elephants and maybe some trained seals honking some horns. Oh, and some non-threatening clowns that won't provoke nightmares.

Both my mother and father used to tell me about how a circus would come to Lorain, and set up where George Daniel Stadium is today (which was on the outskirts of town back in the 1930s). There was usually some kind of circus parade too, from the train to the circus grounds. But those days are over.


I've done a few posts on other circuses, including a 1901 visit to Lorain by the Adam Forepaugh and Sells Brothers Circus, the Sam Dill Circus featuring movie cowboy Tom Mix (my Dad's favorite) which came to town in 1934, and a 1965 appearance by the Cristiani-Wallace Brothers Circus.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Central Security Bank Ad with Chief Wahoo – June 1972

Fifty years ago, you could reserve your Cleveland Indians tickets at any Central Security Bank office. That's according to this ad featuring Chief Wahoo, which ran in the Journal on June 9, 1972. 

I kind of miss the Chief, although I understand why he had to go. But I think it was a mistake to change the team's name entirely, seeing how other professional sports teams with Native American themes managed to hold on to theirs. 

It's interesting seeing how the business opportunity to be the Cleveland baseball ticket office locally bounced around. In 1953, Richman Brothers was the place to reserve them.

In April 1963, you could buy them at Colony Bar.

Of course, now you can't buy Cleveland Indians tickets anywhere.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Lorain's $22 Million Harbor Program – June 1962

Sixty years ago, Lorain was celebrating a new 4-year $22 million Harbor Improvement Program and anticipating the revenue that being a world port would generate.

As described in the June 2, 1962 Journal, "The Black River, termed a "life line of Lorain," is due for an operation that will make it one of the leading ports on the Great Lakes.

"This operation, one of the most vast ever undertaken, is expected to have far-reaching effects. It definitely will lure more and bigger commercial vessels to Lorain. And beyond that, more industry, more trade, and more tax dollars are among determinants which prompted Congress to approve improvements totaling about $22 million."

What did the improvements consist of?

According to the article, "Bends in the river will be cut to allow entrance of longer ships; enlargement of the turning basin will enable more maneuverability for those 700-800 footers. And although not visible, the channel deepening will make possible heaver cargoes.

"And in the outer harbor, proposed breakwall construction, as recommended by the Army Engineers, will make entrance and exit into the Lorain port safer operations."

How was Lorain awarded the money?

According to another article in the same edition of the paper, "One of they key reasons for the federal government promising $22 million to improve Lorain's harbor is contained in three words – "St. Lawrence Seaway."

"For without the seaway linking the Great Lakes with ports throughout the world, Lorain probably never would have been considered so highly for harbor modernization.

"The seaway fits into Lorain's future perfectly. With the natural harbor Lorain possesses, deep-sea commercial shipping firms are expected to find their way here. Thus, this northern Ohio port someday will be exporting bulk materials to such countries as Canada, England, Germany, and even Japan.

"Lorain is expected to feel the impact of the new world artery through additional revenue and monetary saving during the coming years.

"The entire world will come to the attention of Lorainites."

As you can see, it was a joyous time with big hopes. And the Journal's June 2, 1962 edition included many articles about the harbor, including its history, as well as congratulatory ads by local businesses and organizations.

Here's one page from that newspaper that has a nice selection of historical articles.

At the top of the page, an article compares the excitement surrounding the harbor improvement program with that of the 1913 Perry Centennial celebration, the 100th anniversary of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's victory over the British Fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie. During those festivities, Perry's flagship, the Niagara, arrived in Lorain accompanied by two other Navy ships. 

(The Perry Centennial was mentioned as an upcoming event on the front page of the June 4, 1913 Lorain Daily News that I posted yesterday.)
Other articles on the page shown above include one about Captain Julian "Dick" Porter and his three-masted schooner, as well as one about the ferry boat used to cross the Black River.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Lorain Daily News Front Page – June 4, 1913

Yesterday's post featured the front page of the Lorain Daily News of June 2, 1913. Today we sneak a peek at what was going on two days later on June 4th. (Don't ask me the significance of these two dates; I had them in my file for some reason, and since the blog has an insatiable appetite for content, I present them for your perusal.)

Like the earlier edition of the News, this one has a tragic story as well. A Lorain woman "attempted to end her life in Cleveland yesterday. She drank carbolic acid while walking on the street, then went to the fourth floor of the Arcade building and attempted to throw herself from a balcony. She was restrained by people around her."

What's really unusual is that at that time there seemed to be an epidemic of attention-grabbing cross-country travelers. 

The June 2, 1913 Daily News front page that I posted yesterday had the story of the two vegetarians hoping to walk from Buffalo to San Francisco and passing through Lorain. This edition of the paper had two stories. In the first, a family from Buffalo was traveling to Denver in a prairie schooner and made a pit stop in Lorain. As the article noted, "C. Carrol and family of Buffalo, traveling across the continent in palatial prairie schooners, passed through Lorain at 10:30 o'clock this morning. The caravan halted in front of the city hall for a half hour to have a horse shod.

"The family, consisting of the father, mother, four daughters and two sons, departed from Buffalo May 29th. They expect to reach Denver, the city for which they are bound, in about two months.

""We are making the trip by wagon for the pleasure to be derived from the trip," Mr. Carrol stated this morning.

"The party will rest their horses outside of Lorain for a day and then continue on the trip. From here they will go to Toledo."

The other story was of Edward Payson Weston, the "veteran pedestrian who left New York Monday on a 1,446-mile walk to Minnesota." He was still in New York at the time of the article. I'm not sure if he had Lorain on his itinerary.

Elsewhere on the page: the announcement that local grocers were going to be closing at noon on Thursday from June through September; the story of a well-attended smoker given by the Knights of Columbus; an article about "sediment which is being dredged from the river at the winding basin at the steel plant" to be dumped near the east shore of the lake in the hopes of creating an east side beach; the arrest of an Elyria man for failing to furnish garbage cans at the tenement he owned in South Lorain; and the plans for Slater's Beach (located just west of Lorain) to be converted into a modern amusement park.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Lorain Daily News Front Page – June 2, 1913

One hundred and nine years ago this month, there was a lot going on in Lorain, and nationally, as this front page of the Lorain Daily News from June 2, 1913 attests.

There were the usual accounts of tragedy.

Sadly, a watchman in the boiler shop at National Tube was found dead there, with heart trouble as the likely cause. Funeral services were held for a young girl who had fallen into a bonfire in the rear of her house and died of her burns. And another young girl broke her arm while playing near her home on Fifth Street.

As usual, crime took up some space on the front page, including the story of a raid of a gambling house on East Avenue in Elyria.

Speeding was the subject of two articles, with two very different modes of transportation. In one, two young men were arrested for racing their horses on Broadway near 13th Street. The other article involved two motorcycle speeders, also on Broadway.

Speaking of animals, another article noted that a cow owned by the Mayor of Amherst lost its life at Stop 84, killed by an eastbound Lake Shore Electric car.

The political cartoon by Bob Satterfield offers a surprisingly cynical view of the lofty aspirations of the young graduate – with his own father trying to 'bring him back down to Earth.' (This Wiki entry for the cartoonist explains the story behind the little cartoon bear shown heading to the mines.)


Remember my posts about Mrs. David Beach and her long walk from New York to Chicago?  She was the vegetarian who passed through Lorain on her cross-country trip back in May 1912. She did it to prove that you needed neither meat nor water to accomplish such a feat.

Well, the above June 1913 front page includes an account of a similar feat by two long distance hikers ("Bax" and "Skip") walking from Buffalo, New York to San Francisco, California. They had left Buffalo on May 21st and, walking eight hours a day, hoped to arrive at their destination by Thanksgiving.

As the article notes, "The object of the trip, the two young men claim, is to prove that the vegetarian diet under laborious conditions is more efficient than a meat diet. The men push a cart made of a box and a pair of bicycle wheels in which they carry their supplies."

Hilariously, the young men had unfavorable opinions about the roads in our area. 

"The roads in the vicinity of Lorain are the worst we encountered since starting on our journey," the men declared. They were able to travel but eight miles last Saturday as the wheels on their cart gave way on account of the poor conditions of the Lake Shore road near Avon Lake."

Friday, June 3, 2022

Von's "Symphony On Ice" at Midway Mall – June 1972

Back when Midway Mall was still fairly new and the place to shop, there was always something going on to attract visitors from Lorain and Elyria. 

Besides seasonal appearances by Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, there were sportsman showsboat shows and camping shows; a traveling petting zoo; visits from celebrities like Channel 8's Franz the Toymaker; Eva Gabor; Les Barker, the "Creator" of Bugs Bunny; Lipko's Human Comedy Chimps; Snoopy and the Red Baron

Then there were the ice shows. I wrote about Leduc's Frosty Follies back here.

And here's another one: Von's "Symphony on Ice," starring Georg von Birgelen. This is the ad that ran in the Journal back on June 1, 1972. Note that von Birgelen is called "The Giant Of The Ice" – that's not only because of his talent; he was known for skating in two foot stilt skates!

At the time of Birgelen's passing in 1990, the Baltimore Sun noted, "Born and educated in Switzerland, Mr. von Birgelen won European championships in skating on stilts and jumping.

"Until 1984, he and his wife, the former Eileen Meade, produced their own ice show, "Symphony on Ice."
A very interesting blog entitled Skate Guard, which features 'the ultimate archive of figure skating's fascinating and fabulous history, includes a great, detailed biography of Mr. Birgelen.  Click here to visit the post devoted to him; it's the only place on the internet where you can learn about his life and career.


Thursday, June 2, 2022

Dolly Parton Comes to Elyria Catholic – June 1972

Courtesy Wikipedia
Dolly Parton has been such a huge star for so many years that it's interesting to see that she made a Lorain County appearance fairly early in her career back in early June 1972, with her performing partner Porter Wagoner.

Dolly and Porter were one of country music's most popular duos. She first appeared on The Porter Wagoner Show in 1967, and the duo released their first studio album in early 1968. They were so popular that it's not surprising that they would take the show on the road.

And in June 1972, the show came to Elyria Catholic High School. Below is the ad that appeared in the Lorain Journal back on June 2, 1972 – fifty years ago today.

Also appearing on the bill was comedian Gilbert "Speck" Rhodes, as well as the Wagonmasters.

Dolly would eventually leave the show to strike out on her own in 1975, and launch a successful career that is still going strong today. Click here to visit her website.


One of the local UHF channels (either 43 or 61) used to show the syndicated Porter Wagoner Show, and although I never watched it, I remember Dolly Parton being on it – because of the outlandish wigs she wore!

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Holiday Inn Motel cottages – Then & Now

It's been exciting watching the former Holiday Inn Motel property (in more recent years, the McKenzie Woods apartments) get transformed into The VillageA Road to Hope Community.

(Click here to visit The Road to Hope website and learn about the good work they do, providing an "abstinence-based, twelve-step environment within where the addicted person receives the support, guidance and faith necessary to become a productive member of our society, while living in accordance with a regimen of daily sobriety.)

The organization has done a first rate job of renovating the buildings into something wonderful. The work is now complete and a ribbon cutting was held on Friday, May 27th.

It wasn't very long ago that the empty cottages at the eastern end of the property looked like this.

And here they are today.