Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Saturday Evening Post Cover by Stevan Dohanos – December 27, 1952

The "Log of Lorain" column in the Lorain Journal of January 13, 1953 included a mention of Lorain artist and illustrator Stevan Dohanos' latest Saturday Evening Post cover.

It noted, "Lorainites were well represented on the cover of the Dec. 27 issue of Saturday Evening Post. Steve Dohanos, a Lorain native, painted the cover. The man carrying pine boughs into the church is also a Lorain native. He is Loyal Theron Lucas.

"Lucas was working summer stock in Connecticut last summer and apparently posed for the picture at Dohanos' studio at Stamford, Conn."

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Loyal T. Lucas was born in Lorain on December 4, 1904. Although his name doesn't seem to be included in the list of successful Lorain-born entertainers, Mr. Lucas enjoyed a fine career in Hollywood, judging by his page on imdb.com. Here is the link.

It looks like he specialized in playing miners and old coots in TV Westerns. These appearances included Have Gun – Will Travel (1961), Tales of Wells Fargo (1962), Death Valley Days (1964), Branded (1965), Wagon Train (1964 & 1965), Gunsmoke (1961 & 1965), and The Virginian (1965).

He also had roles on Bachelor Father (1962), The Addams Family (1965 & 1966) and Quincy M.E. (1980).

Monday, December 11, 2017

Madge's Grand Opening – December 10, 1963

The view on Sunday
Remember when I wrote about the one-story brick building located on the southeast corner of Colorado Avenue (State Route 611) and Abbe Road in Sheffield? Although the building is empty now, a variety of businesses were located there at 5316 Colorado Avenue beginning in the 1950s and into the 1990s.

One of the businesses that called that address home was Madge’s Coffee Shop. Above is its Grand Opening ad that appeared in the Lorain Journal on December 10, 1963, just in time for the holiday season.

“Madge” was Mrs. Magdeline Delgado. As you can see from the ad, Spanish foods were the specialties of the house. I’m sure the food was great (and much better than the canned tamales I buy at the grocery store).

Madge's Coffee Shop’s only listing in Lorain city directories was in the 1964 edition. By the time of the next directory, Chris’ Sub Shop had taken over the space.

Perhaps Madge was just a little ahead of her time, offering authentic Spanish foods to a general public that wasn’t familiar with that type of food – yet.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Pre-Civil War Avon Lake House Vandalized - Dec. 8, 1965

Here’s a sad story from the pages of the December 8, 1965 issue of the Lorain Journal. It’s about an Avon Lake farmhouse that predated the Civil War that was senselessly vandalized a few weeks earlier. As stated in the article above, “A onetime farm house, lived-in before there was an Avon Lake or even a Civil War, is now under the legal axe of quick repair or demolition, courtesy of Thanksgiving week vandals.

“The house, said to have been part of a family history for the past 143 years by owner Mrs. Ruth Bramen, No. 2 Putnam Hill, Greenwich, Conn., is the first house in Avon Lake west of Bay Village on the south side of Walker Road. It is part of a 93 acre estate on the verge of being sold for “around $93,000.” Value of the house itself was never set and may be considered a small fraction of the final price.”

The damage was considerable. According to the article, “Every window was smashed; screens and doors were splintered; mattress springs, mattress and bedding were hurled through upper floor windows; a bag of cement was bashed open and the fine powder combed by breezes through the house; lamps, fixtures and non-bearing walls were broken, ripped or kicked.”

The sad thing is that until the end of the first week of that November, the house had been occupied by tenants, and appeared to be in order. So the vandals worked pretty quickly.

The photos by Bob Cotleur accompanying the full-page article are disturbing, even if it was unlikely that the house would be restored or saved after the sale of the land.

I’m not too familiar with Avon Lake history, but it appears that today the property is part of Walker Road Park, which is co-owned and managed by both Avon Lake and Bay Village. Judging by the views on the Historic Aerial website, the farm house was indeed gone by 1970.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Fireball! December 9, 1965

I often wonder if a meteor is going to clobber the Earth in my lifetime. I don't worry about it too much, but it crosses my mind from time to time.

Anyway, back on December 9, 1965 – 52 years ago this week – something fiery did indeed fall out of the sky and hit some Lorain County terra firma. It was said to be a fireball, part of a meteorite that apparently was seen over a seven-state area and possibly California. But even now, there is some debate as to what it was that everyone saw, both in the sky and on the ground.

Here's the original story as reported, written by Charles Gray, as it appeared on the front page of the Lorain Journal the next day.
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So what was it? According to this report in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, it was – as originally thought – a meteorite.
Or was it possibly some kind of spy craft, as described in this account published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the 50th anniversary of the event?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Lorain Country Club Clubhouse Burns – Dec. 6, 1954

On this day back in 1954, fire swept through the Lorain Country Club building on W. Lake Road (U. S. Route 6). It was located on the north side of the highway, just east of the undercut and opposite the Pueblo.

According to the article below, which ran on the front page of the Lorain Journal on December 7, 1954, the building had been used as the clubhouse until the golf course was abandoned in the early 1940s. Prior to the fire, the former clubhouse had been used as a tavern and residence.

Here's a closeup view of the photo.

On page 13 of the same edition of the Journal was this photo and caption (below). Sorry it’s so dark.
I have more material about the early days of the Lorain Country Club that I will have to organize and post one of these days (years).

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Grand Opening of Faroh’s Candy Center – Dec. 5, 1952

Back on December 5, 1952 – 65 years ago today – Faroh’s Candies was celebrating the Grand Opening of its new facility on Henderson Drive in Lorain.

The full-page ad above ran on that day in the Lorain Journal.

I’ve featured Faroh’s ads on this blog many times: Valentine’s Day ads; a 1962 Easter ad; a 1963 Christmas ad; a 1964 Father’s Day ad; a 1970s Easter ad.

Faroh’s enjoyed many decades at the Henderson Drive location, along with several satellite stores.

The Henderson Drive facility eventually closed (after the Henderson Bridge was closed for months while it was being repaired). The distinctive building has housed various companies since then, including a nightclub and, currently, an auto dealership. Here’s a view of the building this past weekend.

Back in late 2009, Faroh’s returned to Downtown Lorain with a new store at 657 Broadway.

Today, Faroh’s retail store has a new home at 300 Broadway in the City Center Building where the old driver’s license bureau was located. As the company explained to me in an email, "Spectrum Consulting Services and Spectrum Resource Center & School are opening a new manufacturing plant to produce the Faroh's Candy line which will be located on 5th Street in Lorain.

"Tom Faroh is Spectrum's consultant to ensure that the integrity of the chocolate making stays true to the original recipes. With the new collaboration between Faroh and Spectrum, it is expected that the Faroh's brand will not only remain available, it will be relaunched for nationwide sales.”

Monday, December 4, 2017

Lorain Telephone Company Exchange Names

Back on November 13, I posted a Lorain Telephone Company ad from November 1956 (shown at left).

The ad presented a suggestion for remembering the new phone numbers made up of two letters and five numbers. The suggestion was to add a mental pause before the last four numbers.

The example used in the ad was WOodland 1 - 9120.

I remarked that our two-letter prefix was AVenue.

My old Masson School classmate Mike Kozlowski remembered seeing ATlantic on his phone, which brought up a good question as to how the Lorain Telephone Company assigned these word prefixes.

So I went back to the Lorain Public Library to review some telephone books for the answer.

It appears that those little phone company buildings that are still seen around Lorain and the surrounding communities were associated with a specific telephone exchange.

Here’s the map that appeared on the front of the 1956 phone book, showing all of the various exchanges.
I think it would have been cool to have ‘Yukon’ as an exchange – as opposed to the more humdrum ‘Avenue.’
The 1956 book included a smaller map inside explaining how exchange areas could have five different exchanges (like Lorain) or just one (like Vermilion). I guess it was a geographic thing.
A post I did on a November 1963 Lorain Telephone Company ad included a map showing the various exchanges and their buildings.
By 1968, the various exchange names were dropped and replaced by their corresponding numbers. Here’s the map from that 1968 edition.
Looking back, I think those old exchange names had a quaint charm to them. Sometimes one could be dramatic as well, (such as the use of one in the title of the 1948 movie, Call Northside 777).

The passing of those telephone exchange names is one of those cultural changes, along with the elimination of home milk delivery, that helped signal the beginning of the modern era.