Friday, June 30, 2023

60th Anniversary of St. Peter's Dedication – June 30, 1963

Sixty years ago today on Sunday, June 30, 1963, St. Peter Parish held the dedication of its new home on Oberlin Avenue in Lorain on the growing West Side. Above is the two-page spread that ran in the Journal on the eve of the celebration.

In addition to a Special Dedication Mass and ceremonies, the festivities on Sunday included an appearance of the Knights of St. John Marching Band, the dedication of a plaque by Italian American War Veterans and a dance featuring music by Jimmy Dulio. Tours of the church continued from Monday the next day through Thursday, with a special Fish Fry on Friday.

Even though I'm not Catholic, it would have been impossible for me to grow up in the West Side of Lorain and not be impressed by the beauty and size of the St. Peter campus. It seemed to dominate the Oberlin Avenue streetscape, especially since I saw it every time I pulled out onto Oberlin Avenue from W. 35th Street. Many, if not most, of my Catholic classmates at Masson attended St. Peter's as well.

One of the girls that I was interested in during high school worked there in the office. I remember riding my bike to an entrance behind the church to visit her, where there was a beautiful grotto fountain. I think it impressed me, since I was used to the more spartan surroundings of the church we had been attending. I later went to a few christenings at St Peter's over the years.

Anyway, a hearty congratulations to St. Peter Parish on the anniversary of its dedication.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

The Journal Goes to Hawaii – June 1963

Back in the days when the Journal was still a Lorain newspaper, it maintained a strong presence in the community by sponsoring outings, such as organizing bus trips to hockey games in Cleveland.

And here's another promotional package – and an ambitious one at that: The Journal's Hawaiian Adventure. The full page ad from the June 6, 1963 Journal above describes the trip to Hawaii.

As the well-written ad copy notes, "Make your vacation of 1963 one that pulsates with life, providing joy today and cherished memories tomorrow.

"You just mustn't miss seeing the one and only island state – the fiftieth of our great nation. On your approach by air Hawaii has the appearance of green jewels sparkling in the blue Pacific.

"This is the summer to look at, taste, feel, smell and love lovely Hawaii.

"And the way to go is to join The Journal's Hawaiian Adventure, a conducted tour that will take you just about everywhere that is anywhere in Hawaii, a magic carpet expedition designed to provide you the fullest enjoyment while freeing you from the troubles, problems and petty annoyances of traveling."

This small Lorain Travel Bureau ad, which appeared in the Journal on June 4, 1963, provides a little more detail. 

The 14-day trip had the price tag of $785 plus tax. In today's greenbacks, the $785 converts to about $7,800. It seems like a lot, but according to various online travel websites, the average cost of a trip to Hawaii today for one person for one week is about $4,000 – so maybe the Journal's package wasn't so bad.

I've never been to Hawaii. It's not on my bucket list or anything but I suppose it should be because of all that I've heard from friends and co-workers who have been there.

In the meantime, I'll have a glass of Hawaiian Punch and head down to Main Street Beach here in Vermilion.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

When Leavitt Road was Rough – June 1963

Leavitt Road has been the main thoroughfare on the west side of Lorain for a long time, connecting the city with the neighboring communities to the south, as well as providing access to State Route 2. In the last few years, it's been the address of much commercial development, including the city's Meijer superstore, Chick-fil-A, Five Guys and more.

That's why it's hard to imagine Leavitt Road being in such poor condition that drivers would consider it "the worst highway and state route in Lorain County."
But apparently that was the condition of Leavitt Road back in 1963, according to the article above, which appeared in the Journal back on June 21, 1963.
As the article notes, "The highway – although it's worse than an old country road – is used by heavy north-south traffic entering and leaving Lorain each day.
"But it's Enemy Number One to springs, shock absorbers, axles, tires and frames of cars.
"The speed limit has been reduced to 25 mph because of the roughness which is worse than temporary detours during highway construction.
"Thousands of temporary tar patches – old and new – make the road resemble an oversized quilt.
"The worst section is between W. 21st St. and the yet-to-be-opened 40th St."
But help was on the way. The article points out that "The State Highway Department has proposed an estimated $1.3 million program to widen (to four lanes) and resurface it.
The widening and repaving of Leavit Road from W. 21st Street south to North Ridge Road became a reality in 1964, with construction contracts about to be awarded in early summer (which I wrote about on this post).
And a little more than a year later in December 1965, the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place, (which was the subject of this blog post).
The second part of my two-part series on O'Hara's Beverage Spot included a few photos of the beverage store while Leavitt Road was being paved.
While preparing this post, I made a feeble attempt to answer the question, "Who or what was Leavitt Road name for?" I've been checking vintage maps for some time, but still haven't seen the Leavitt name on a farm or property. (Remember, many local roads were often named for the farm located at the end of it.)
This rather neat vintage map (which I believe is from the 1930s) includes the misspelled 'Levitt Road.' I wonder if the name was in place in the Amherst area before being applied to the entire road, extending into Lorain?
Using the online Journal archives, it seems the Leavitt Road name was in use in the earliest editions available, dating back to the early 1920s.
An article from December 5, 1922 notes that talk of improving the road was going on even then. "Following the approval of the proposed permanent improvement of Leavitt road given last night by the trustees of Amherst township, the proposition will be laid before the county commissioners tomorrow at Elyria.
"Trustees of Black River and Amherst townships, the Chamber of Commerce good roads committee and Service Director Snell will meet with the county commissioners to determine what can be done in the attempt to pave the Leavitt road from Whiskeyville to East Erie avenue.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Buy Frankies, Win a Renault Dauphine – June 1963

Superior's Frankies, the "Keener Wiener," offered some pretty keen prizes in its "June is FRANKIES Month Sweepstakes." Above is the ad which ran in the Journal back on June 12, 1963, boasting more than $15,000 in valuable prizes.

First prize was a new Renault Dauphine, "the 40 mile to the gallon classic that's more durable than ever... appreciated by more than 1/4-million owners since 1956."

Here's a look at a 1963 Renault Dauphine, described as a 'barn find.' You can read its story on the Barn Finds website, which notes that the car was only in production until 1967. (And if you like to read that sort of thing, here's the story of another one that was 'squirreled away in a shed' for more than thirty years.)

Other goodies listed as prizes include: 8 Viking Zig Zag sewing machines, 20 Bushnell 7 x 35 Banner Binoculars, 20 In-Sink-erator Garbage Disposals, four Westinghouse Portable Dishwashers (I'm sure Reddy Kilowatt would have approved), 35 Channel Master 6-Transistor Radios – and – 175 Westinghouse Hot Dog Cookers known as "Dog-O-Matics."
If you feel bad that you missed out on that last prize, you can pick one up on eBay right now for the 'red hot' price of $49.
And if you are outfitting your domicile in 1963 furnishings, you might be interested in knowing that the Channel Master 6-Transistor Radio Model 6506 is on eBay as well.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Hole-in-the-Wall in the News – June 11, 1963

Anyone who grew up in Lorain in the 1960s and 70s probably remembers Hole in the Wall beach, located just west of Beaver Park and Oak Point Road. It was one of many places where local teenagers would congregate. Unlike Lakeview Park, however, it was located on private property, so anyone at the beach there was trespassing.  Making it worse, it was a little dangerous to access it, since it involved crossing railroad tracks on foot in an area dense with bushes and tall grass.

It was a trouble spot even in the early 1960s, according to the article above, which appeared on the front page of the Journal back on June 11, 1963.

As the article notes, "Police Chief Frank Pawlak today launched a campaign to discourage swimmers from going to the Hole-in-the-Wall swimming area on Lake Erie, west of the Beaver Park Marina.

"He said he has ordered "no parking" signs erected along Rts. 6 and 2 in the vicinity of the swimming area to make it as difficult as possible for would-be swimmers to go to the Hole-in-the Wall area.

"Pawlak's action came on the heels of the beating of three persons at the popular beach last Sunday.

""All of the cars parked in the area will be ticketed since the beach is inside the city limits," Pawlak said.

"Pawlak noted that after leaving the highway where they must park their cars, swimmers must cross the Nickel Plate tracks to reach the beach, which is owned by the railroad.

""It is up to the railroad to keep people from trespassing on their property," he said."

Despite the signs, it was a popular place even when I was in high school in the mid-1970s. I only went there once or twice with my friends, and I worried the whole time I was there that my car might be ticketed or towed.

Sixty years later, you can still see a bunch of cars parked along the highway there, every once in a while, despite a fence designed to keep swimmers out. A 'No Parking' sign is still there, but it's faded – just like my memories of bumming around Lorain with my high school pals in much simpler times.

I've written about Hole-in-the-Wall before. My earlier two-part series in 2015 explained how there were two Hole-in-the-Walls: the one at Beaver Park and the one at the Claus farm a little further west. Both got their name from the fact that access to Lake Erie was provided by way of a 'hole' under a trestle or bridge.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Beemans Gum Article – June 21, 1963

Does anyone still chew gum regularly anymore?

I'm not sure how popular this pastime is these days. I pretty much gave up gum chewing when it began to bother my teeth and their remaining razor-thin layer of enamel. I try the sugar-free variety once in a while, but I'm not a fan of the over-designed, European-style packaging.

But many years ago when I was a kid, I was a big fan of Beemans gum. It had a nice flavor and wasn't too sweet. 

And the man who invented Beemans gum was a former resident of Wakeman, as explained in this article that appeared in the Friday, June 21, 1963 edition of the Journal.

As the article notes, "A doctor, who fussed with chemicals and chided people for overeating but later made a fortune in Cleveland, was a former resident of this village and the town of Birmingham, four miles north of here.

"He signed his name, E. E. Beeman, M.D.
"For many years as a young doctor he was not too busy because people did not seek him out for treatment of their ailments.
"But he continued puttering in his small laboratory and found that a substance called pepsin, which was extracted from a pig's stomach, gave humans relief if they suffered from gastric ills.
"Doc Beeman admitted to friends that his fragrant bottle with the picture of a pig on the label, did not sell too well.
"Acting on the suggestion of a friend, Doc Beeman worked on a formula combining gum and pepsin and within a short time the Beeman Chemical Co. was launched to produce Beeman's Pepsin Chewing Gum."
The rest, as they say, was history. Beemans is still produced today (although it's not made in the U.S.) and is marketed as a nostalgic gum. Click here to visit the Gerrit J. Verburg Co. website to learn more about Beemans and where you can find it today.
But remember, it no longer contains pepsin – so you're on your own if you overindulge. 
By the way, it was fairly easy, thanks to Google Maps, to 'drive by' the former Beemans house in Wakeman, located on South River Street (State Route 60) just south of U. S. Route 20.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Pepsi, For Those Who Think Young – June 1963

Do you prefer Coke – or Pepsi? (Or maybe even RC Cola?)

While I was growing up in the 1960s and 70s, Pepsi was the cola you'd find in the Brady refrigerator, although we only drank it on weekends, usually with our Yala's pizza on Friday night. 

I still prefer Pepsi to Coke to this very day. Admittedly, I have a sweet tooth – and Pepsi Cola Made with Real Sugar is like the Nectar of the Gods to me. Yessir, addiction is a terrible thing.

So why did Mom buy Pepsi in the first place? Unlike ads for Hill Brothers Coffee and the Oldsmobile Cutlass, I don't think the Pepsi advertisement below influenced her. It ran in the Lorain Journal back on June 27, 1963.

Even sixty years ago, soft drinks like Pepsi were positioning themselves as something that was part of a youthful lifestyle. 

Here's a little better look at the Pepsi ad. This trade magazine version of it happens to be on eBay right now.

And here's a full-page 1963 magazine ad fresh from eBay with the same theme. Those might be the same models (they're in the same swimsuits, either way).

It seems that right about then in the 1960s, Pepsi decided to become the soft drink for the beach crowd – and continued that theme for a while. Here's a commercial from 1967.
And here's an accompanying print ad.
Anyways, beach babes or not, it seems that Pepsi has never been able to catch up with Coke in sales, despite the Brady family's loyal support in Lorain. But what's interesting is that later this year, Pepsi will return to its roots and revise its logo to restore more of a classic look in honor of the brand's 125th anniversary. Here's the fizzy lowdown on the food website.
I like the logo a lot. And I'll continue my unwavering support of Pepsi with Real Sugar.

I wrote about some of my Pepsi memories back here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Take "Blondie" With You on Vacation – June 1963

Back in the days when just about everybody subscribed to a newspaper, going on vacation presented a problem. Do you suspend delivery during the time you'd be away – and possibly miss some important news? Or have a neighbor retrieve your papers out of your mailbox and save them for you until you returned?

Or would you just have the paper delivered to you at your vacation destination? That's the idea behind this ad, which appeared in the Journal back on June 15, 1963.

It's interesting that the Journal was promoting the comic strip "Blondie" as the reason to keep the subscription going at the vacation address in 1963. The newspaper used "Popeye" in the same way back in 1938. Perhaps King Features Syndicate (which owned both comic strips) provided the ad templates to the newspapers which carried their strips.

It's odd that the idea of not missing any of the comic hijinks of the Bumsteads was stressed, as opposed to keeping tabs on the comic hijinks happenings in Lorain.

Of course, many people moved around a lot on their vacations. We sure did, pulling a camper from one locale to another and never staying in one spot for more than a few days. By the time the Journal would arrive at whatever KOA Campground we were staying at, we'd have been long gone.

Note the ad for Brady's Restaurant (no relation), a favorite topic on this blog. One of these days (or years as the case may be), I'll post the ultimate comprehensive history of the restaurant that I've been promising for so long.

Kinda like the Pueblo.


Blondie and Dagwood have showed up on this blog several times.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Grand Opening of Hi-Acres Golf Course – June 1963

For all of you golfers out there: do you have an all-time favorite Northeast Ohio course – one that you particularly enjoy?

Perhaps it's one where you always played well. Or maybe you favor it because of the interesting layout, or even its sheer lush beauty.

Although I wasn't a golfer for very long (and I wasn't very good), I found that I felt right at home at Aqua Marine. It was close, conveniently right on the way home from work; it was a Par 3, so I could play nine holes quickly; and I was usually the only one there when I was playing, which was perfect for my brand of golf links hijinks.

I still have a polo shirt from Aqua Marine.

Anyway, sixty years ago, a brand new course that may have eventually become somebody's favorite opened up on Frailey Road just west of Vermilion: Hi-Acres Golf Club. Below is the Grand Opening ad that appeared in the Journal on June 6, 1963.

Is that Lauren Bacall in the background in those long socks, admiring the man's swing?

Here's a recent aerial view of the course property, courtesy of Google Maps.
Wayne and Carol Langham owned and operated the course from 1979 until 2012, when the course apparently closed. Carol Langham passed away in September 2018.
Today, a Google Maps drive-by shows a forlorn, overgrown sign near the course's location at 9517 Frailey Road.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Father's Day "Lucky Dad" Sweepstakes – June 1963

Here's hoping all of you fathers out there (including my two brothers) enjoyed a Happy Father's Day!

Above is an ad from the June 7, 1963 Journal with a special "Lucky Dad" Sweepstakes promotion being held by the Downtown Merchants Association of Lorain. The only requirement was to register Dad at any one of the participating stores. In addition to the main prize of a $100 savings bond, each store contributed a prize – either a sample of its own particular merchandise, or a gift certificate. The winning father received all the goodies; but what's interesting is that whoever registered him got a transistor radio, courtesy of WEOL in Elyria.

Small, portable AM transistor radios were still a hot item in 1963, having only been mass-marketed since the late 1950s. I remember one Christmas when my siblings and I each received one; they were green and came with some kind of faux leather wraparound case which we quickly removed. The radios themselves didn't seem to work real well, but could at least receive the stations we listened to, such as CKLW out of Windsor.

Eventually, transistor radios seemed old-fashioned next to huge boom boxes that also could get FM.

Today, I still listen to AM radio in my car, even when the stations I listen to simulcast on FM. (Don't ask me why.) And some car manufacturers have already removed AM radios from their new vehicles, or are planning to. If AM radio ever really goes away, I'll miss it – along with the CD players that are already history in new cars.


It only took me a few minutes on eBay to find a transistor radio exactly like I used to have. It turns out it was a Westinghouse. And by George, it still had its leather-like case that was such a nuisance.

Friday, June 16, 2023

RC Cola Ad – June 28, 1972


RC Cola has 'popped' up on this blog before in a vintage ad, and here's another one. It's from the June 28, 1972 Journal and as you can see, uses Uncle Sam in his famous "I Want You" pose. What he wants is for RC Cola drinkers to buy their favorite soft drink in the 16 ounce glass returnable bottles.

It's a pity we don't use those kind of bottles anymore. 

Anyway, I have a personal reason for posting this ad. I suspect that it's the reason that I won a poster contest when I was in eighth grade!

Let me explain. As I noted back on this post, the Ford Motor Company sponsored the Fire Prevention Week Poster Contest in Lorain County back in the 1960s and early 1970s. For the 1972 contest (held in early fall that year), my art teacher gave me the idea of using Uncle Sam in his iconic pose, but wearing a fireman's hat, with the slogan "I WANT YOU to prevent fires."

It was a great idea, and not surprising since my teacher had some ad agency experience.

Anyway, I won in my age division (which I wrote about here) and my poster was on display at Midway Mall in October 1972. It's not a stretch to believe that this full-page newspaper ad from June 1972 might have still been fresh in my teacher's mind a couple months later and triggered his award-winning poster concept.

Just another example of serendipity in the great scheme of life, how one simple event (the publishing of a newspaper ad) might have lead to unexpected results (my winning $50 and a tour of the Ford plant).


UPDATE (July 23, 2023) 

RC Cola was pretty busy in the summer of 1972, marketing-wise. Here's an ad for RC and Diet Rite Colas with a neat contest theme that ran in the Journal back on July 19, 1972.

The $100,000 Guessing Game challenged participants to guess how many cans and bottles of RC and Diet Rite Colas were in the Honda. Prizes included $10,000, a Honda, a Mini-Bike or a Lolli-Clock. I'm not sure how many of these prizes were involved to achieve that $100,000 price tag.

Gee, I wonder who won?
I guess finding out would involve a trip to the Archives and Special Collections files at Columbia State University, since that is where you'll find all of the historic Royal Crown Cola Marketing materials.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Hills Dads, Grads & Brides Ad – June 6, 1963

June is the month symbolizing many things: graduations, Father's Day celebrations and, of course, the June bride. 

And Hills Dept. store managed to get all of them into this ad that ran on June 6, 1963.  

I really like the use of illustration in this ad, as well as the loose style that the artist used to render them in. Unfortunately, the ad would be seen as hopelessly old-fashioned today since no specific items for sale are depicted. But it creates a nice mood reinforced by the uncluttered layout.

Hills seemed to have difficulty deciding on a consistent look for its advertising. A 1962 Father's Day ad used a cartoony style, but series of ads in a ad campaign later that year exclusively employed photographs. 

But in the end, it was the store's selection, discount prices, layaway plan and location that guaranteed its success for many years. Much like Super K on Leavitt Road many years later, it was exactly the right store for this area. Mom bought a lot of clothes and toys there for many years.

And for us kids, sometimes it meant (hopefully) a frozen Coke or box of popcorn as a treat when we were done shopping. And maybe a glimpse of the steam engine or Easter Basket in Oakwood Park.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Paintings for the Castle – June 1962

Do you remember the Castle?

It's probably getting harder to find area residents who remember this iconic Lorain restaurant (although the building is still there today and host to Papasitos and Beer Mexican Grill). But those lucky enough to eat at the Castle in its heyday no doubt have happy memories of special occasions celebrated with a fine dinner in a unique, medieval environment.

And part of that setting was the decor. An article and accompanying photo from the June 12, 1962 Journal (below) explains how one local artist, Wilhelm O. Kuhn of Avon Lake, provided most of the paintings for its walls. 

As noted n the article, "Walter P. Blondyn, owner of Castle-on-the-Lake, 2532 W. Erie Ave., pleasantly surprised Kuhn by purchasing more than 25 oil paintings, virtually the entire collection Kuhn had been featuring in his one-man show, which ended Monday night at the Castle.

""This has never happened to me," said Kuhn shortly after Blondyn presented him with a check. "It's something artists only dream about."

"Blondyn, who purchased the castle in November, 1960, said he became so fascinated with the art by Kuhn that he made a decision Monday afternoon to purchase all of [the] paintings which large crowds had been admiring.

"I plan to hang most of the paintings in the Castle," said Blondyn."

It was a pretty nice gesture by Blondyn. I wonder where those paintings are today?

Here's a sample of Kuhn's work, found online.

Elsewhere on that same Journal page: a look at the S.S. Aquarama, scheduled to take some Lorainites on a scenic cruise of Lake Erie; a courageous rescue of a drowning victim by a Lorain man; an listing of the July draft call totals for Lorain, Erie and Huron counties; announcement of the upcoming Lorain High School commencement exercises; and some great advice in the "...By George!" column.


The Castle has been the subject of many posts, including this post that features its Grand Opening in 1941.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

J. W. Dant Whiskey Ad – June 11, 1963

Many whiskey ads that appeared in the Journal over the years have been featured on this blog. It's fascinating seeing how each brand was marketed: stressing its Canadian heritage (Corby's); claiming it's the best-tasting (Schenley); emphasizing its age (Old Quaker); positioning it as an economical choice (Golden Wedding); employing cute animals in its ads (PM Blended Whiskey); or using a rugged, North Woods theme (Old Log Cabin).

And here's yet another whiskey brand with a whole new marketing angle: J. W. Dant. The ad below appeared in the Journal on June 11, 1963.

While you might assume that ol' J. W. himself is the guy in the ad (who looks kind of like "Curly Joe" DeRita of the Three Stooges), it's not. The gentleman providing the testimonial is Newt Kook, President of the company.

With a name like Kook, could he actually be a real person? Or just a kooky advertising gimmick?

It turns out he was a real person. According to the bourbon history website, Kook was the plant manager of the distillery at the time that Schenley bought both the brand (and its operations) in 1952. "Schenley sent him around the country to sell J. W. Dant Bourbon," the website notes. "It worked and the brand grew under Schenley."

It looks like Curley Joe Kook became the friendly face of the brand, for a while, at least. Here's a magazine ad from 1955.

And here's one from 1966.

Today, the Journal doesn't run whiskey ads. (It doesn't run any national or regional ads at all, for that matter.) But today's whiskey drinker isn't going to be influenced by a print ad anyway.

Any least J. W. Dant Whiskey is still around, produced by Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky.
That old kook, Newt, would be proud.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Oberlin Ads – June 1963

I've worked in Oberlin for almost a year and a half, and really enjoy driving through the college campus area each day on State Route 511 during my commute. There's always something interesting to see, whether it's the beautiful architecture of the historic campus buildings, or the students themselves, who often dress in a throwback, 'hippie' fashion right out of a 1970s time warp. 

It's never boring, and all quite different from commuting to Cleveland, which for decades was a daily study in frustration for me on I-90. I don't miss that drive a bit – and I believe my blood pressure is lower as a result. 

When did I first become acquainted with Oberlin? Back in the 1960s, my family spent a lot of time at Findley State Park (just south of Wellington on State Route 58) both swimming and camping, so we passed though Oberlin a lot. Oberlin College was my first glimpse of what 'going to college' looked like, and it left a big impression on me. Of course, when it came time to apply for a school, Oberlin was out of the question (I was only looking at affordable state schools) and it was off to Ohio State for me. 

Anyway, I'm quite fond of Oberlin now, with its quaint charm and abundant history – so the small grouping of ads below caught my attention. They appeared in the Lorain Journal back on June 4, 1963.

Right away, the simple ad for Gibson's seems to dominate, and happily it's still in business. Despite all of the controversy and publicity of the incident that happened back in late 2016, it seems to be doing well. (As part of my field research for this post, I stopped and picked up a few donuts. The store was doing a brisk business.)

At least two of the businesses in the ads, however, are no more. Herrick's Jewelry, unfortunately, closed after 107 years in business back on June 30, 2020. Powers and Dawley is closed as well, shutting down in March 1998 after sixty years of retail business.
Oberlin Inn was the topic of a three-part series here on the blog back in 2016. After its demolition, in was replaced by the ultra-modern The Hotel at Oberlin. Here's a recent view (below).

Friday, June 9, 2023

Ford's "Welcome to Lorain" Sign – June 7, 1962

I drive by the sad, former Ford plant on Baumhart Road every day on the way to work, so the large photo in the upper left hand corner of this page from the June 7, 1962 Lorain Journal caught my eye.

"The large Welcome to Lorain sign was erected by the Ford Motor Company on the northwest corner of its property at Baumhardt Rd. and Rts. 2 and 6," reads the caption. "The large sign is to be the first of many which will indirectly point up the growth of Greater Lorain."

I like the fact that the sign includes, "Birthplace of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King" at the bottom. Those were the days, when Lorain celebrated its most famous and accomplished citizen with a sign on a federal highway at the entrance to town.

Here's a photo (courtesy of the Lorain Historical Society) showing an aerial view of the sign. It's right where Baumhart curves to the east where it meets Route 6. As you can see, the sign is pretty big.

Also of interest on the same page of the Journal is the opening of the well-remembered Jupiter discount store. The photo caption notes, "Three executives of S. S. Kresge Co. were on hand today for the official opening of the company's newest Jupiter discount store at 630 Broadway." I had no idea that Kmart and Jupiter had the same parent company. 

It still seems unbelievable to me that in 2023 there are only three Kmart stores left in the continental United States. 

But there's still a functioning website. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyways), the 'store locator' search engine on the website probably doesn't get much use these days. 

And to think that for many years, the Lorain store on Leavitt Road was my Mom's favorite store.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Turning Lakeview Park's Fountain On Earlier – June 6, 1963

I've written several times about what a magical place Lorain when I was growing up in the 1960s. There were so many weird and wonderful things to see from the back seat of the family car, including huge Easter baskets, a great big V, a steam engine sitting in Oakwood Park and the Lakeview Park fountain with its color light show.

I have a pleasant memory of my parents taking my siblings and me (in our pajamas) down to Lakeview Park to see the lights. There were lots of oohs and ahs as we watched the colors change.

The city must have been aware that taking their kids down to the park to see the fountain was a popular thing for parents to do. To accommodate them, the decision was made to turn on the lights a half-hour earlier. As noted in the Journal's "Around City Hall" column (shown above) of June 6, 1963, "Lorain's Lakeview Park fountain has begun spraying the many formations and colors of water a little earlier each evening.

"While in the past it was turned on at 9 p.m. each day, Park Supt. Rodney Hale said the starting time effective Tuesday now is 8:30 p.m. 

"Reason for the switch is so children can have a chance to see the attraction.

"The fountain, which continues to be a main focal point of interest in Lorain was built in 1932."

A 1951 postcard

It's kind of nice that the city was trying to do something for the kids, although it was summer, and kids do stay up later. Plus, it probably wasn't dark enough to truly enjoy it.

The article does have one error. The fountain was not unveiled until Memorial Day, May 30, 1936. (I devoted a post to it back here.)


The same article mentioned a deteriorating fire engine on display at Oakwood Park, and the proposed removal of it. I guess that's why I never heard of it before.

Cascade Park had one too (which I wrote about here and here).