Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Post #114 Donates $1000 to the Northwest Ohio Veterans Oral History Project


Julie Mayle, Manuscripts Assistant and Officers of the Auxiliary of the American Legion, John A. Fador Post, Oak Harbor, Ohio

Just as the Northwest Ohio Veterans Oral History Project was getting underway, Jeannie Gloor, Sergeant-at-Arms of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary of Oak Harbor, Ohio, contacted Nan Card at the Hayes Presidential Center. The auxiliary had read about the Hayes Presidential Center's project. They said, " We believe recording and preserving the experiences of veterans is very important and we would like to support this effort."

On behalf of the Ladies Auxiliary American Legion, John A. Fador Post #114, President Kathy Johnson. Vice President Becky Scherf;  First Vice President Liz Smith; and Jeannie Gloor, Sergeant-at-Arms presented Julie Mayle, who heads the project for the Hayes Center, with a check for $1.000! The 73-member auxiliary is deeply devoted to supporting America's veterans who have sacrificed so much on behalf of our nation.

The funds will help cover travel, scanning, copying, and recording costs; expansion of our Veterans Tribute displayed on the wall just outside the Library's research room; archival boxes and folders for storage of donated military documents, letters, and photos; veterans' packets, and educational kits for use by students in future years. Eventually, Julie and Nan hope to use materials for an exhibit at the Hayes Center.  

Jeannie Gloor said, "It is such a great gift to these veterans and their families.. It takes a lot of courage for them to get their story out."

Julie interviews veterans and records their memories. Then, she transcribes the recorded interviews and scans letters, documents, and photographs. Originals are returned to the veteran along with a typed transcription and CD with their scanned documents and photographs. These can be shared with their families. Another copy is kept permanently at the Hayes Center for research in the decades ahead. Lastly, the audio interview and scanned images are placed on Youtube and Historypin.

Card said, "This will be a great help! Julie and I have found it so very rewarding and a privilege to speak with veterans about their experiences. We are deeply grateful to the auxiliary for their thoughtfulness, deep commitment, and generous support!"

If you or someone you know, is a military veteran or is active military and would like to participate, please contact Julie Mayle, Manuscripts Assistant (jmayle@rbhayes.org), or Nan Card, Curator of Manuscripts (ncard@rbhayes.org), at the Hayes Presidential Center, 1/800-998-7737 x239. Julie and Nan would be pleased to arrange an interview at a time and place that is convenient for you. We also would encourage participation of U S citizen civilians who were actively involved in supporting the war efforts - USO workers, defense workers, WAVES, medical volunteers, etc.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

326 Military History Detachment Visits the Hayes Presidential Center





Members of the 326 Military Regiment

Tasked with collecting and preserving U. S. Army history, Captain Nathan Davis, Staff Sergeant Jeff Vanwey, and Sergeant First Class Deane Barnhardt of the 326 Military History Detachment spent time at the Hayes Presidential Center learning about document preservation and conservation from Nan Card, Curator of Manuscripts.



Captain Davis (center) is educated as a historian. Sergeant Vanwey (left) is a photojournalist and Sergeant Barnhardt (right) a broadcast journalist. Currently, their focus is collecting military documents, photographs, soldiers' experiences, and artifacts associated with Operation Iraqi Freedom and operations in Afghanistan. The team also records, photographs, and collects veterans' experiences personally and at Army commemorations, and reunions.

After collecting, recording, and preserving the Army's historical materials, the team forwards it to the U. S. Army Military History Institute at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The collections are then eventually processed and made available for research to historians and members of the U.S. Army.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Jim Robenalt Donates Replica of U.S.S. Michigan to the Hayes Presidential Center

Jim Robenalt of Tiffin, Ohio views his replica of the U.S.S. Michigan now on display as part of the Hayes Presidential Center's new exhibit, Privy to History: Civil War Prison Life Unearthed
Photograph by Julie Mayle

 
The U.S.S. Michigan was the United States Navy's first iron-hulled vessel. She was laid down in 1842 and launched the following year. She operated on the Great Lakes. During the Civil War, she was armed with a 30-pounder Parrott rife, five 20-pounder Parrotts, six 24-pounder smoothbores, and two 12-pounder howitzers. The U.S.S. Michigan provided a level of security against possible invasion by Confederates from the Canadian shores.

Tiffin, Ohio resident built a replica of the U.S.S. Michigan to enhance the Hayes Presidential Center's current exhibit, Privy to History: Civil War Prison Life Unearthed. Through artifacts, documents, letters, diaries, and photographs, the exhibit tells the war time experience of the Confederate officers imprisoned on Lake Erie's Johnson's Island.
 
March 1864, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles ordered the Michigan to "prepare for active service as soon as the ice will permit." That fall John Yates Beall and 20 Confederates launched their secret plan to free Confederate officers incarcerated at the Union prison on Johnson's Island. The Confederates seized the Philo Parsons and captured and burned the Island Queen, but Commander Carter discovered the plot before Beall could reach Johnson's Island on the Philo Parsons. Beall reluctantly gave up the plan to free the prisoners and fled to Windsor, Ontario where he stripped and burned the vessel.
 
In 1905, the Michigan's name was changed to the U.S.S. Wolverine.  She was turned over to the Pennsylvania Naval Militia, which she served for 11 years making training cruises in the summer for the Naval Reserve. It was the Wolverine who towed the brig USS Niagara from port to port during the 1913 centennial celebration of Perry's Victory on Lake Erie during the War of 1812. In 1927, the Wolverine was pushed up on  Misery Bay at the Presque Isle State Park. After fundraising for her preservation failed, she was sold for scrap. However, her prow was donated and today, after restoration, she resides at the Erie Maritime Museum.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Look Back to Memorial Day Sandusky County, 1987



Memorial Day
Sandusky County Ohio
1987
This Memorial Day, we once again remember and honor those who have sacrificed so that we might continue to enjoy America's freedoms. A look back  shows Boy Scouts Randy Witte (top) and Ben Everett (below) with Tom Klyne (reading names) and Charlie Nopper placing the American flag on each veteran's grave at the West Union Cemetery in Gibsonburg, Ohio, May 26, 1987.  These photographs are part of the Fremont News Messenger photographs donated to the Hayes Presidential Center.


Memorial Day
Sandusky County Ohio
1987

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Octagon


The Octagon

 

 
Jacob's Folly
East Norwich, Columbus, Ohio
Photograph by Dr. Thomas Langlois
1946


Dr. Thomas Langlois was an Ohio State University professor who served as director of the Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie’s Gibraltar Island for more than two decades. Much of his research, photographs, and published works are today located at the Hayes Presidential Center. A quick glance at the collection reveals that the late Dr. Langlois had many interests far beyond his research of Lake Erie. One of them was octagonal structures. During the1940s, he took pictures of many of these unusual buildings throughout his travels in the U.S. and Canada.
 
It was President Thomas Jefferson who first designed the octagonal house, but it was Orson Squire Fowler who popularized it some 30 years later. Fowler was better known for his phrenology research, the “science” of reading a person’s character by studying the bumps on an individual’s head. Today, phrenology seems strange beyond belief, but Fowler lectured, wrote, and published extensively on the subject from his New York offices.

He became interested in architecture when he decided to design his own home. It wasn’t long before he grew fascinated with the octagon, claiming it was superior to other forms of architecture in lighting, heating, and ventilation. He soon published plans for octagonal cottages and homes that used scrap lumber and gravel for walls. Fowler believed the octagonal home was more in accord with nature, economical, and healthier to live and work in than other buildings.

In 1958, the Columbus Dispatch Magazine” featured an article with 17 Ohio octagonal structures that Dr. Langlois had photographed and researched. It wasn’t long before readers wrote the magazine to tell about other octagons. Within weeks, six more structures were documented. Today, some 53 Ohio octagonals have been identified. While some have been  demolished, others have deteriorated. Many have been lovingly preserved. There were barns, schools, and courthouses. Of Ohio’s 88 counties, Ashtabula features the most. Many of its early residents were from New York, the state where more octagons exist than any other.  

Researchers across the U. S. have worked to create a website (www.octagon.bobandanna.com). Organized by state, they have included articles, drawings, and photographs of octagonals as well as round and hexagon structures. No doubt many Ohioans will recognize or recall some of the octagons that appear on the site. 
I was pleased to make some of Dr. Langlois’ photos available for the Ohio portion of the site. One is featured above. It is his 1946 black and white print of a 20th century octagon built by William Jacobs on E. Norwich in Columbus. Jacobs called his octagon an “experiment” in ventilation without using windows. Others called it “Jacobs Folly.” It featured an early form of air conditioning and a roof and floor made of concrete with a tunnel underneath. After spending nearly $40,000, the walls still “sweat” continuously and heating costs were exorbitant. Jacobs finally sold it in 1937 for $4500. The new owner added a second story and divided it into apartments. Finally, in the late 60s, it was
demolished.

Below are several more of Dr. Langlois' photographs of octagonal structures.

 

Octagon Home
Chatham, Medina County, Ohio
 by Dr. Thomas H. Langlois
1947
 
 
Octagon Home
Pleasant Home Road, Wayne County, Ohio
by Dr. Thomas Langlois
1947
 

 

 
Octagon Home
Richfield, Summit County, Ohio
by Dr. Thomas Langlois
1947
 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Jacob Kuebeler and the Kuebeler Monument at Oakland Cemetery


Erecting the Kuebeler Monument
Oakland Cemetery
Sandusky, Ohio
1907
Charles E. Frohman Collection


When Jacob Kuebeler passed away in the spring of 1904 at his home in Sandusky, Ohio, the local paper heralded the millionaire as its wealthiest citizen. Indeed, he was! Jacob Kuebeler had gained his wealth through years of hard work. One of sixteen children, Kuebeler was born in Herigen Hessen, Nassau, Germany in 1838. At the age of 22, left his homeland, arriving in Sandusky just before the Civil War. The following year, he married Christina Zimmerman. They were the parents of two daughters.

For the next four years he toiled in a Sandusky brewery. After spending a short time in Akron at the Oberholz Brewery, Jacob returned to Sandusky. With his brother August, he founded a small brewery in Sandusky. It was known as Jacob Kuebeler and Company. Only 20 barrels could be produced each day, but Kuebeler’s product was an immediate favorite. Kuebeler had only a single horse and wagon to make deliveries.

                                                                         

Jacob Kuebeler and John Stang
Courtesy of Sandusky History



The business grew and in 1893, stock was issued under the name Kuebeler Brewing and Malting Company. Three years later, Jacob Kuebeler’s brewery merged with the Stang Brewery with Jacob Kuebeler as its president. The Kuebeler brewery was one of the largest businesses in the city and later became part of the Cleveland and Sandusky Brewing Company.

                                                                           


Kuebeler also invested in local enterprises. Among them were the Cedar Point Pleasure Resort Company, Diamond Wine Company, Oak Harbor National Bank, Gilchrist Transportation, and others. Kuebeler’s brewery and businesses were responsible for much of the local employment.

According to the Sandusky Register, more than 3,000 people paid their respects at the Kuebeler home. The funeral cortege was a half mile long. It seemed only fitting that this great brewer and businessman should have a monument worthy of his accomplishments. To that end, Joseph Carabelli, the successful Italian sculptor and stone cutter of Cleveland was commissioned to create an appropriate marker for Jacob Kuebeler’s gravesite at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. Sandusky’s cemetery was typical of the park-like cemeteries of the Victorian era that flourished after the Civil War and spread rapidly throughout Ohio

Carabelli, designed monuments for all of Cleveland’s most prestigious families, including that of John D. Rockefeller. For Kuebeler, Carabelli created a magnificent obelisk that weighed 80 tons and was 48 feet high, twice the height of any monument in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

Above is a rare image produced from a glass plate negative in the Charles E. Frohman Collection. Taken in September 1907, the picture features Joseph Carabelli himself. He and his workmen were about to hoist the Kuebeler obelisk atop the sections that make up the base of the monument. Carabelli, wearing a vest, is pictured standing near the obelisk. Today, Carabelli’s work on the Kuebeler lot still remains the tallest monument in Oakland Cemetery.Below is a photo taken by local commercial photographer Ernst Niebergall.




Kuebeler Monument
Photograph by Ernst Niebergall
Charles E. Frohman Collection

Sunday, May 11, 2014

National Museum of the Great Lakes: A Must See!

Hayes Center Communications and Marketing Director Nancy Kleinhenz and Nan Card, Curator of Manuscripts, with Ohio Magazine staff  at Destination Toledo  (Convention and Visitors Bureau) event held at the new National Museum of the Great Lakes. 



Last November, my blog post featured a fundraiser to support the National Museum of the Great Lakes located at 1701 Front St. (right off 280) on the Maumee River. Well, in late April, it became a reality. 
 
This past week, Hayes Center Communications and Marketing Director Nancy Kleinhenz and I had an opportunity to visit. It's a must see! The Great Lakes Historical Society can certainly be proud of its accomplishment. Both educational and entertaining, the museum emphasizes the important role the Great Lakes has played throughout our nation's history to the present day.  Designed by Hilferty of Athens, Ohio, its  48 interactive exhibits make use of photographs, artifacts, ships' logs, and documents of the Great Lakes Historical Society.  The videos, photos, and artifacts that make up the displays capture the interest of visitors of all ages.(I wanted to spend more time writing messages in Morse Code!). 
 

 
The museum ship S. S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker, once the largest freighter on the Great Lakes, was recently docked just behind the museum. It's impressive!