Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: Old School Bell from Lafayette School

On the grounds of BGSU Firelands College, is this old school bell which once rang at Lafayette School, a rural school in Perkins Township in the first quarter of the twentieth century. The bell was a gift from Victor E. Tolleson III, and the display was made possible by a gift from Blanche Frohman.

According to an article in the October 13, 1921 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal, my Great Grandma Ada's younger brother, Rollin Steen, was the teacher of Lafayette School, No. 9 in 1921, and his students presented a play that fall in order to raise money for the school's organ fund.

Rollin Steen can be seen in this Steen family picture. He is the little boy standing between his parents, Sarah and Charles Steen. His twin sisters Ada and Alpha Steen are standing behind him.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Signs You Have GOCD

Randy at Genea-Musings has given us another mission for tonight's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. It is:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and I hope that all of you do!), is to:

1) Read Michael John Neill's post 10 Signs You Have Genealogy OCD (come on, give Michael some link love).

2) Make up any number of sentences that will add to his list of signs that you have Genealogy OCD. From one to many, no limit!

3) Share your ingenuity and humor with us in your own blog post, in Comments to this post, in comments to Michael's post, or in a comment on Google Plus or Facebook.


Mine are:

You Know You Have GOCD when:
  1. Every time your grandson sees a cemetery, he says, “My grandma took me there.”
  2. A subscription to Archives.Com is one of your favorite birthday gifts.
  3. You have the phone number to the library at the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center on speed dial.
  4. You would rather go cemetery hopping than to the shopping mall.
  5. All your co-workers know you love to research “dead people.”
  6. Your Windows Live gallery is filled with pictures of tombstones.
  7. Your favorite television show is Who Do You Think You Are?
  8. Over half your friends on Facebook are fellow genies.
  9. Your nieces and nephews in a three-county area know that you are the one to contact for their family history assignment.
  10. Before almost every dinner out, a trip to the cemetery is in order.

St. Mary's Parish Quarterly, July 1922

Recently, I had the opportunity to view a "Parish Quarterly" put out by St. Mary's Catholic Church in Sandusky, Ohio in July of 1922. While I do not own this quarterly, the owner allowed me to take digital pictures of the contents of the booklet. Click on the phrase: Kizoa slideshow: St. Mary's Parish Quarterly, July 1922 to view several pages from the July 1922 St. Mary's Parish Quarterly.

Tombstones of Three Young Children of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Schwehr

In Block 44 of Oakland Cemetery are three graves of young children, all adorned with a lamb. The website Colorado-Cemeteries.Com states that the lamb is the most common Victorian marker for a child's tombstone, representing Christ or innocence. Albert and Mary Schwehr appear in the 1880 U.S. Census for Erie County. Albert was born in Baden in 1847. Mary Schwehr was born in Bavaria in 1849. By 1880, they had three children: George A. Schwehr was 6, Edwin J. Schwehr was age 3, and Ella D. Schwehr was age 1. Albert Schwehr, the father, was first associated with the Sandusky Tool Company, and later was with the Ohio Motor Company, according to his obituary found in the 1936 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK at the Sandusky Library. Several patents were issued to Albert Schwehr between 1877 and 1907.

The children who died young were:

Albert J. Schwehr, who was buried on July 26, 1873, at age 1 year, 2 months, and 25 days

Ella D. Schwehr, who was buried on July 18, 1880, at age 1 year, 8 months, and 1 day


Edwin J. Schwehr, who was buried on July 18, 1880, at age 3 years, 8 months, and 10 days

Edwin and Ella Schwehr both died of scarlet fever on the same day, according the Oakland Cemetery interment records. The grief that Mr. and Mrs. Schwehr must have been unimaginable.

A sibling of Albert, Ella, and Edwin Schwehr, George A. Schwehr (sometimes spelled Schwer, became a successful businessman in Sandusky. He was considered a pioneer in the manufacturing of engines, having worked with the Ohio Motor Company, the Dauch Tractor Company, and the Sanitary Bottle Paper Company. Mr. and Mrs. Albert Schwer also had another daughter named Ella, born in 1882.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ralph J. Woolson

Ralph Woolson is buried in the Castalia Cemetery, with his wife Carrie Woolson, who was born Carrie Burggraf. Mr. Woolson died on January 14, 1963. For many years Ralph Woolson had been the manager of the “Blue Hole” in Castalia, a longtime tourist attraction in Erie County, Ohio. The Blue Hole is now closed to the public. The Castalia Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Erie County's Margaretta Township.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Collective Memory

The term Collective Memory has been the topic of books, news articles, and college seminars. To me, collective memory, as it relates to family history, was described well by by John H. Byrne in his book CONCISE LEARNING AND MEMORY: THE EDITOR'S SELECTION (Academic, 2009) on page 12:

"In a literal sense, collective memory refers to remembering that occurs within any social context."

Most all the students who attended Margaretta High School in Castalia, Ohio during the decade of the 1960's will recall Andy Orshoski passing out candy to students in the hallway before school started, and his often said phrase, "What d'ya know, Joe?" And I will never forget where I was on November 22, 1963, leaving classes Mrs. Arheit's music class and going on to Mr. Bracy's math class, when we all got that news that President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

Mom and her siblings and cousins have unique memories from playing at their grandparents' farm in Perkins Township in the 1940's, and I'm sure they recall Grandma Ada's good cooking too!

The enthusiasm, joy, and the basics of learning to play as a team, will long be recalled by these Little League ball players from Bay View in the 1960's though their coaches are now deceased.

Everyone was who able to make the Summer of 2007 Orshoski Family Photo Shoot, is thankful that we have these memories of a time before we knew that cancer was soon to take her Mom from us.

I encourage you to document your own memories in a journal or a blog and to identify the individuals in your photos. Ask your older relatives and neighbors some of their fondest recollections. Collective memories are a precious thing!

Albert Kade

According to his birth record, accessed at Family Search Labs, Albert Kade was born on March 19, 1883 to Fred and Mina (Schoeneman)Kade in Sandusky, Ohio. Little Albert Kade died when he was only seven years old. A brief obituary found in the July 29, 1890 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that funeral services for Albert Kade were held at the family residence at 1101 Vine Street in Sandusky, Ohio. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery. Infants and young children died frequently during the nineteenth century, before the medical advances and improvement in sanitation during the twentieth and twenty first centuries.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sandusky Polka

The Sandusky Polka was composed by Ida T. Reeder in 1852, and was published by Stayman and Brothers in Philadelphia. You can view the entire musical composition at the Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1820-1860 Collection from the Library of Congress. According to the website of the Sandusky Historic Site in Lynchburg, Virginia, Charles Johnston, built the fine brick house in the early part of the nineteenth century. He named it Sandusky to commemorate a narrow escape he had in 1790, when he and his companions were held captive by a party of Shawnees at an encampment near Lake Erie, near the frontier settlement of Sandusky, Ohio. Click here to read the history of this beautiful home in Virginia. During the Civil War, Union General David Hunter made Sandusky his headquarters. Future presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley were among General Hunter's staff members. Ida T. Reeder, who wrote both the Sandusky Polka and the Sandusky Waltz, was related to the Hutter family, who owned the historic Sandusky home in Lynchburg, Virginia, for several years. View images of the Historic Sandusky Home here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Abijah Hewitt

Abijah Hewitt, whose tombstone is seen here at Perkins Cemetery, was an early settler of the Firelands. His son, William Hewitt, was the president of the First National Bank of Cleveland in 1872. Abijah Hewitt died on July 31, 1851, at the age of sixty nine years and six months.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Family History Details from a 60 Year Old Tax Return

My parents' first joint tax return was filed in 1951, for the year 1950, which was the year in which they were married. I ran across a copy of their 1040 form from that first tax return, which provided the address of their first apartment, at 436 Huron Avenue in Sandusky, Ohio.

Here is a picture of 436 Huron Avenue today. Mom said that in that first apartment, they had to share bathroom privileges with another couple who lived in the same building.

Below is is listing of the places where my parents were employed. Mom was a typist at the Periodical Publishers' Service Bureau. Dad listed three different places of employment: National Distillers, Barr Rubber Products, and the Apex Electrical Manufacturing Company.

As often was the case, Mom told me a lot more about her first job, than Dad ever did. At Periodical Publishers, she made life long friends. Her co-workers attended her bridal and baby showers. After many years, Mom went back to work for Periodical Publishers for a time, following the death of my dad.

It is not clear to me how my dad could work three jobs in one year, but he always was a very hard worker! He definitely spent several years at Medusa Cement, and later as a plumber and a pipe fitter, but in 1950 he did not put in any time at either the cement plant or as a plumber. Though Apex has been out of business for many years, the company provided jobs for hundreds of Sandusky area residents in the 1930's and 1940's. Below is a picture of what remains of the Apex building in 2011.

Charitable giving was always a part of my parents' lives. In 1950 they made contributions to St. Paul's English Lutheran Church, Red Cross, Community Chest, Salvation Army, March of Dimes, Disabled American Veterans, T.B. Seals, and the United Fund. They were able to deduct fees for medical expenses, sales and gas tax, and license fees, including their drivers' licenses and marriage license. Dad was also able to deduct his union dues and the cost of his safety shoes.

The final total of taxes paid by my parents to the United States Internal Revenue Service in 1950 totaled $342.46. While I so enjoyed traveling down the roads my parents traveled on in 1950 to view their former apartment, and see the location of a couple of their former places of employment, I still have so many questions that I wish I had asked them! Though they were saving for a down payment on their first house, did they ever go out to eat or to the movies? Who did they have over for company? I know that they often visited Mom's paternal grandparents, and maternal grandmother, since they lived in the same city. What did Dad do exactly at his three jobs? Who were his pals at work? Though many questions remain, it gave me joy to look at that sixty year old tax return, and think about my parents' hopes and dreams for the future from their first year of married life.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mario and Marilyn Balconi

This beautiful mausoleum at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery honors the memory of Mario Henry Balconi, who died on March 23, 2003, and his wife Marilyn E. Balconi, who died on May 15, 2004. An obituary for for Mario H. Balconi, which appeared in the March 28, 2003 issue of the Toledo Blade, reported that Mario Balconi and his brother Geno were the second generation owners of a family run monument business. Mario and Geno's father, Frank Balconi and his brother, started making memorial monuments in the late 1910's. The business was first known as the Sandusky Monumental Co., and later the name was changed to Balconi Monuments, Inc. (Several members of the Balconi family were connected with the monument business in Sandusky, with at least two different businesses associated with monument making. The historical Sandusky City Directories housed at the Sandusky Library can detail the specific names, dates, and locations of Balconi family members who were monument makers.)

Geno Balconi's obituary, which also appeared in the Toledo Blade, stated that Frank and Carmella moved to the United States from their native Italy while they were still in their twenties. Mario and Geno Balconi took over the family business after the death of their father Frank, with Mario running the office and designing the monuments, and Geno working as the salesman. Mario and Geno Balconi retired in the 1980's, and now the next generations of the Balconi family run the family business, located at the corner of Perkins Avenue and Milan Road in Sandusky, Ohio. Besides making memorial monuments and markers, Balconi's also specializes in granite for use in homes, businesses, and gardens.

You can read Mario and Geno Balconi's obituaries at the Toledo Blade, which is accessible via the Google News Archive. Memorial monuments made by the Balconi family can be seen in cemeteries throughout Sandusky and Erie County.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Flipcard View of Your Blog

While bopping around the blogosphere tonight, I saw the Flipcard View at Southern Graves. It is fabulous! I am still learning...but here is the Flipcard View of the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay:

The url for the Flipcard View is:!/

To see the Flipcard View of your blog, just add this to the end of your blog's url:


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Dorene is from...

Randy at Genea-Musings has given us this mission for tonight's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Write a poem about "Where I'm From" using the template found at the website

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Google Plus or Facebook note.

I am not sure if I completed the task exactly as requested, but here is where I am from:
I am from a place by the bay; from where Toft's ice cream is sold; and cinnamon toast is a favorite treat.
I am from a small house that has been added onto, and often a living room yielding squeals from lively grandkids.
From cottonwood trees, and lily pads in marshes.
I am from hard working Orshoskis and Parkers who loved the land.
From peals of laughter and and a passion for the past.
I am from wearing socks at all times and using Vicks for a cold.
I am from German Lutherans, and Irish Catholics, and shoutin' Methodists.
From a dad who was generous and kind, and a mom who taught us to “kill 'em with kindness.”
I am from scrapbooks, and photo albums, and baby books, and plenty of stories to accompany all.

Brother Sulpicius, C.F.X. (Nicholas Charles Cross)

Through the generosity of Brother Arcadius Alkonis, C.F.X, an Archivist with the Xaverian Brothers in Danvers, Massachusetts, I have learned a great deal about my great great granduncle, Nicholas Charles Cross, who later became Brother Sulpicius with the Xaverian Brothers. Brother Alkonis provided me with a copy of the Cyrenian No. 11, by Brother Adelbert, C.F.X, which gave a lengthy biography of Nicholas Charles Cross, as well as information about the Xaverian Brothers and the St. John's Prep Cemetery, along with a lovely print taken from a negative of the St. Joseph's College in Bardstown, Kentucky. Having read through these very interesting historical resources, I will share with you what I learned about Nicholas Charles Cross.

Nicholas Charles Cross (sometimes listed as Charles Nicholas Cross) was born on May 10, 1868 to James and Elizabeth (Marshall) Cross in Sandusky, Ohio. He was baptized at Holy Angels Church in Sandusky, having been named for both his grandfathers, Nicholas Marshall and Charles Cross. (Charles Cross served as the first Catholic Mayor of Sandusky, Ohio, from 1853-1856.) Rev. R.A. Sidley was the priest at Holy Angels Church who officiated at the baptism of Charles Nicholas Cross/Nicholas Charles Cross on May 17, 1868.

(Baptism record is from the Ohio, Dioceses of Toledo Catholic Parish Records from Holy Angels Parish, accessed at Family Search.)

As a young man, Charles assisted Rev. Edward Graham in instructing young people with catechism classes at Holy Angels Church. After reading a booklet about becoming a Xaverian Brother, Charles felt the calling to become a teacher with the Xaverian Brothers. Nicholas Charles Cross entered the novitiate of the Xaverian Brothers in Baltimore, Maryland on May 3, 1889, and he received the name of Brother Sulpicius on July 13, 1889. On July 11, 1891, Brother Sulpicius vowed his life to God according to the Rule and Constitutions of the Brothers of St. Francis Xavier.

The first assignment of Brother Sulpicius was at St. Xavier Institute in Louisville, Kentucky, where he stayed until 1902. Throughout his career, Brother Sulpicius was always considered an outstanding religious teacher. Besides teaching classes, Brother Sulpicius met with students for book discussions, and he worked to increase the number of books at the St. Xavier Library. Brother Sulpicius was director of the high school department at Cathedral High School in Wheeling, West Virginia, after which he served as Superintendent of St. Paul Academy in Portsmouth, Virginia. In 1906, Brother Sulpicius was appointed Superior at St. Joseph's in Somerville, Massachusetts. In 1911, Brother Sulpicius became the founding Superior at St. Joseph's College in Bardstown, Kentucky. Besides being the Superior and Director at St. Joseph's College, Brother Sulpicius also directed the boys' choir, and taught math, chemistry, English, and stenography.

During the years 1915-1919, Brother Sulpicius was in ministry at St. Joseph's in Baltimore, Maryland. He then went back to St. Joseph's in Somerville, Massachusetts from 1919-1925. Due to continuing health problems, Brother Sulpicius was given lighter duties at St. Joseph's Juniorate in Peabody, Massachusetts, where he served as Spiritual Director of Postulates. Brother Sulpicius passed away on June 9, 1931, and he was buried at the Xaverian Brothers Cemetery in Danvers, Massachusetts. A summary of the life of Brother Sulpicius appeared in the Xaverian Menology, and it read in part:

Brother Sulpicius had lived in the community for forty-two years, the delight or the despair of all who had dealings with him. He was the non-conformist who did nothing because it was the thing to do. He held unorthodox opinions, and he delighted in silencing if he could, all objectors.

How I wish I could have met this hard-working, devoted man of God, who shared many ancestors with me! Thank you, Brother Alkonis, for providing me with such excellent resources so I could learn more about Nicholas Charles Cross!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Holocaust Survivor: Marian Wojciechowski, 1914-2011

Though I never met Holocaust survivor Marian Wojciechowski, I was very moved by learning of his incredible journey from Poland to the United States. Mr. Wojciechowski served in the Polish Cavalry during World War Two. He was sent to the Auszwich concentration camp, but survived. Eventually Marian Wojciechowski and his wife settled in Toledo, Ohio, where he was active in the Polish Army Veterans Association Post 74, the Polish American Congress, Toledo-Poznan Alliance, and Polish National Alliance. He owned and edited a Polish language publication entitled "Ameryka Echo." He also was once a project administrator at the City of Toledo for relocation projects. In his later years, Marian Wojciechowski moved to Nevada. Marian Wojciechowski passed away on June 5, 2011 in Nevada. He was buried in Toledo, Ohio in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, with military honors. An obituary for
Marian Wojciechowski appeared in the Toledo Blade.

J. E. Monk, Shipbuilder

According to the 1880 U.S. Census, John E. Monk was born in New York State in 1836. In 1880 he was single, living in Sandusky, Ohio, and his occupation was listed as "ship builder." THE HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, stated about Mr. Monk:

"J. E. Monk, some thirteen years ago, established a ship yard at the north end of Meigs street, on the bay. Mr. Monk was a practical builder, having worked as long for others in the city prior to the establishment of his present enterprise as he has since for himself. Some fine work has been turned out in This yard, and a great deal of general repairing is being done all the time ; fifteen or twenty men are kept at work most of the season. The steamers Ferris and Hayes, the barge Norma, the tug Mystic, the General Burnside, Silver Spray, L. L. Rawson, Rolland and other boats, well known at Sandusky, were built by Mr. Monk at this yard."

The Sandusky Maritime Museum refers to J. E. Monk as Sandusky's "premier shipbuilder." At BGSU's database entitled the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes you can see a list of ships built by J. E. Monk by entering the name Monk in the "builder" field." A list of ships built by J. E. Monk is retrieved; the database provides information about each ship, including specifications, images, and a brief history of the vessels. Two ships built by J. E. Monk are featured on the Ohio Memory Online Scrapbook, the steamer R. B. Hayes and the B.F. Ferris. Files pertaining to the estate of John E. Monk as well information about his business's inventory and appraisals records can be found in the Sandusky, Ohio Shipping Personnel Collection at the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center. John E. Monk died in July of 1896, and is buried in Oakland Cemetery.

Pictured below is a portion of a page from the 1886 Sanborn Map (available through the OPLIN network) which contains a diagram of J. E. Monk's shipyard.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Marie Brehm, 1924 Vice Presidential Candidate

Marie C. Brehm was the first legally qualified female candidate to run for vice president of the United States. In 1924, she ran on the Prohibition Party ticket with Herman P. Faris. For several years Marie was active in the W.C.T.U. promoting temperance. According to a New York Times article from January 22, 1926, Marie Brehm had been appointed by President Woodrow Wilson as a delegate to the World Anti-Alcohol Congress in Milan, Italy in 1913.

On January 1, 1926, Marie Brehm was injured in California when a grandstand collapsed during the Rose Bowl Parade. She died on January 21, 1926, as a result of her injuries. She was buried in between the graves of her parents at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

(Note: While Marie Brehm's tombstone states that she died in 1925, all other sources indicate that she died in 1926.)

Miss Brehm's death was reported in Sandusky newspapers, as well as in Time Magazine, and the New York Times. Marie Brehm was named to Erie County's "Gallery of Achievers" in April of 2011. You can hear a podcast about Marie Brehm by visiting the Multimedia portion of the Follett House Museum page at the website of the Sandusky Library. The podcast about Marie Brehm is the third item in the listing of podcasts.

While you are visiting the Multimedia selections, see the recently added book about Sandusky entitled SANDUSKY OF TO-DAY. The book, published in 1888, may be downloaded for your viewing pleasure.

J.V. Nickolai, Victim of Cholera

J.V. Nickolai was also known as John Valentin Nicolai. As often is the case with individuals of German descent, there are often discrepancies in spellings of both their first and last names. This brief biographical sketch of Mr. Nickolai/Nicolai in HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich:

Valentin Nicolai was born in Saxonia in 1806 and emigrated in 1834. He worked at his trade, that of carpenter, for many years with Peter Gilcher and F. R. Rheinheimer. In 1837 he was married to Elizabeth Schmidt ; of their six children four are now living : Frederick, residing in Tiffin ; Ezra, also a resident of Tiffin ; Johannes, residing in Cincinnati, and Christine Scheer, of Michigan. Mr. Nicolai died of the cholera in the epidemic of 1849.

Valentin Nickolai/Nicolai succumbed to cholera on July 20, 1849, at the age of 44 years, 3 months, and 25 days. He was buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Hundreds of individuals died in Sandusky during the cholera epidemic of 1849. A marker found at the Cholera Cemetery, which served as a mass burial location for hundreds of cholera victims, honors the memory of both the cholera victims, as well as those who came to their aid.

Note: A GAR marker is found near the tombstone of J.V. Nickolai, however this is most likely an error, since GAR members were Civil War Veterans. Mr. Nickolai died several years before the outbreak of the Civil War.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mrs. Paulina Schweneken

Mrs. Paulina Schweneken died on July 12, 1892. She was buried at Oakland Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. An obituary from the July 14, 1892 issue of the Sandusky Register stated simply that the funeral of the late Mrs. Paulina Schwineke was to be held at the family residence at the corner of Harrison and Sandusky Streets in Sandusky on July 14, 1892.

With the help of the Department of German Studies from the University of Cincinnati, I was able to learn the English translation of the inscription on Paulina's tombstone.

In English the inscription reads:

A faithful mother's heart
has stopped beating.
All of your pains have been allayed,
and your laments have been silenced.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Adam Heyder, Fisherman

According to the 1900 U.S. Census for Erie County, Ohio, Adam Heyder was born in Germany in 1857. He came to the U.S. in 1858. Adam Heyder's marriage record, accessed at Family Search Labs, listed his name as Henry Adam Heyder. His parents' names were Ernest Heyder and Mary Ann Goodsite, and his bride was Frida Kuebler. Frida was also born in Germany. Adam Heyder died in Sandusky, Ohio on July 18, 1929. His death certificate indicated that his occupation was fisherman, and that by 1929 he and his wife had divorced. An article in the July 28, 1929 issue of the Sandusky Register featured an article about Adam Heyder with the headline: "Like Marine Museum is Home of Recluse, Recently Found Dead." Adam's niece from Indiana, Emma Horton, inspected her uncle's home at 914 Hancock Street in Sandusky. Old boats, engines, pumps, nets, oars, and propellers and many other marine related items were found in and outside the Heyder home, There were rumors that the items may have been valued at $40,000 or more, but in the final inventory, the property was valued at $2,000 and personal property at $375.

Adam Heyder was buried at Oakland Cemetery. His tombstone stated simply, Born in Germany, Died in Sandusky, O. Adam Heyder kept to himself, but he had a deep interest in boats, engines, and all things related to fishing.

(Image credit: )

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: Aunt Bertie as a Young Mother

Recently my cousin Debbie scanned and emailed me this lovely family photo of my dad's sister Alberta, her first husband Luther Gantz, Sr., and their infant son named Luther Gantz, Jr. Alberta Orshoski was born on October 20, 1926, and she passed away on February 19, 1997. A previous blog post discussed my Aunt Bertie's many roles, as a Deputy Police Woman and co-owner of the Log Cabin Inn Restaurant. In the picture above, taken about 1945, Aunt Bertie's first husband Lute was still serving in the U.S. Navy during World War Two. Luther Gantz, Sr. passed away in Illinois in 1981. Bertie and Lute divorced, and both re-married.

Sadly, the baby in the photo, Lutie, passed away on October 5, 2010, at the age of 65. Lutie was an electrical engineer, and was very interested in computers and ham radio. He also was an EMT and a fire fighter for several years. An obituary for Luther "Lutie" Gantz appeared in the Sandusky Register.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Water

The prompt for Week 29 of 52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy, by Amy Coffin of We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is: Water

Do you have any memories of the sea or another body of water? Did you live there or just visit? What did you do there? You can also describe a body of water by which you live or visit in the present day.

Living near a body of water has been an important of my life, since I grew in Bay View, and now reside in Bay Bridge, both located on Sandusky Bay. The bay used to provide fish to eat for my dad's side of the family for many decades. The water also was a source of recreation in both the summer and the winter months! Growing up, we used to ice skate and take sled rides on the frozen bay.

In the summer, we often visited East Harbor State Park for swimming and picnics.

Great Grandma Irene and Grandma and Grandpa Parker rode the G.A. Boeckling over Sandusky Bay countless times on their way to and from Cedar Point.

Pictured below is Gram Irene with my uncle Steen Thomas Parker aboard the steamer G.A. Boeckling.

The Marblehead Lighthouse is my favorite spot on the entire planet! Just last night, we saw the almost full moon shining brightly on Lake Erie. The waves were ferocious, the breeze was refreshing, and the lights of Cedar Point were sparkling.

When my husband and I resided briefly in Galion, Ohio, long ago, we really missed the cool breezes and lovely sunsets made possible by living near Sandusky Bay. Water is essential to life itself, and it has always been important to me, no matter what the season.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ernst Niebergall, Photographer

Following his death in 1954, Ernst Niebergall was buried in Section 12-B of Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. German born Ernst Niebergall lived in Sandusky, Ohio from 1908 until his death in 1954. Mr. Niebergall took thousands of photographs of Sandusky and the region, primarily between 1909 and 1915.

Local historian Charles E. Frohman preserved the negatives and photographs of Ernst Niebergall, and donated the collection to the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center. An excellent article about Mr. Niebergall is found in the April 2004 edition of the “Paper Trail,” available online at the Hayes Presidential Center’s web site. As is mentioned in the “Paper Trail,” many of the photographs of Ernst Niebergall are available online at “Lake Erie’s Yesterdays.”

An image of a camera appears above Mr. Niebergall's name on his tombstone.