Monday, April 8, 2013
Nonetheless, the integrity with which these structures were built and the quality of the craftsmanship is often unparalleled in today’s world. If you own an older house or building or are simply interested in the preservation of historic structures, you can gain valuable information by attending the upcoming Building Doctor Clinic in Vermilion. The Ohio Historical Society’s Building Doctors are specifically trained to teach those who own historic structures how to recognize and solve some of the most common problems associated with maintaining those structures and how to make informed decisions about repairs and improvements.
According to the Ohio Historical Society’s web site, “Each Building Doctor clinic begins with a free seminar on topics like peeling paint and failing plaster, wet basements, deteriorating masonry, windows, wood issues, and bringing buildings built before 1955 up to date without sacrificing historic integrity. On the following day, the Building Doctors make the rounds of ailing buildings within five miles of the city center where the seminar is held to examine problems and prescribe cures.” The site visits are free, but only about 10 inspections will be performed. Hence, it is imperative that interested parties register for the seminar and then make an appointment with the Building Doctor for a site visit. The Building Doctors will visit any pre-1955 building including schools, churches, factories, stores, offices, farm buildings, and homes.
The Building Doctors only give six programs per year. On April 11, they will be visiting Vermilion and presenting their program at the Ritter Public Library at 7:00 PM. Site visits will take place on Friday, April 12 from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Registration for the seminar and the site visits is can be completed online at www.ohpo.org/gis/BDindex.htm or by calling 1-800-499-2470. The Building Doctor Program is being co-sponsored by Main Street Vermilion, Inc. and the Sandusky/Erie County Community Foundation. Further information about the program in Vermilion should be directed to Linda Tallitsch at 440-963-0772. If you cannot attend the program in Vermilion, the Building Doctors will be visiting Port Clinton in September. Alternately, the Building Doctors will make a ‘Virtual Site Visit’ if you have one or two technical questions that you would like to ask. Questions should be directed to the Building Doctors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Here is the link to an article that I wrote for the Huron Hometown News. In the article, I provide an overview of who St. Patrick and St. Joseph were and why and how their feast days are celebrated. I hope you enjoy this article! Link: http://huronhometownnews.com/news/around-town/1146-st-patrick-and-st-joseph
Monday, March 11, 2013
The July 19, 1836 edition of the Norwalk Reflector details the near completion of Fairbanks Church's second ship of the season, the DeWitt Clinton. As previously stated, Captain Fairbanks Church was a prolific ship builder in Huron, Ohio, in the late 1820s and 1830s. Further information on the eventual fate of the DeWitt Clinton, can be found here:http://images.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/28054/data
Here is a great article on the fate of another ship built by Fairbanks Church, the Great Western: http://www.examiner.com/article/the-burning-of-the-great-western
Thursday, March 7, 2013
|Mouth of the Huron River|
The rapidly increasing business of this place begins to arrest the attention of our own citizens, as well as travellers and emigrants, who feel an interest in the settlement of Huron County. Since the Steam Boat Sheldon Thompson was built at this port in 1830, it has been noted as one of the best places for ship building on the western Lakes. Since which, the following large Schooners have been built and fitted out at this place, viz. the Marengo, launched in June, 1831- burthen 105 tons;- the Austerlitz, launched in April, 1832- burthern 131 tons, built by Capt. Church and owned by O. Newberry, Esq. of Detroit;- the Prince Eugene, launched in May, 1832- burthern 101 tons, built by Capt. Parsons, and owned by Mr. T. Jackson of Huron;- the Buffalo, launched in May, 1832- burthern 161 tons;- and a new Schooner, now on the stocks, which will be launched about the 20th June- burthern 130 tons;- the two last vessels owned by Messrs. Standart & Hamilton of Milan, and built by Capt. Church. They are all built of the best materials and after the most approved models, and by first rate ship builders;- any country may well be proud of either of them.The above mentioned vessels, together with the well know Lady of the Lakes, Louisa Jenkins, Cincinnati, Mary of Milan, Eclipse, and a number of small vessels, too numberous to mention, are owned at this port and Milan, and employed in exporting produce to Detroit and the upper Lakes, as well as to Buffalo and Oswego; and in return bringing merchandize and emigrants from Buffalo;- give to the Port of Huron a name abroad and at home of increasing importance. It is a well known fact, that this place began its date as a port in 1824; at which time waggons were frequently driven across the mouth of the river on a sand bar, which obstructed the waters of the Huron, and caused them to set back in the low lands of the adjoining country, occasioning innumerable and complicated diseases. These evils the fostering hand of Government not only removed, but converted the harbor into one of the best and safest on the Lake, by extending piers a quarter of a mile into the Lake, preventing sand from washing into the channel. To the country generally it is of vast importance, as good roads lead to Milan, and from that village to all surrounding country. The merchants of Milan and Huron have gone into competition with those of Sandusky city in vending salkt, and purchasing produce, which has reduced the price of the former, and advanced the latter to unreasonable rates. The farmers feel the effects of this competition to a great extent; many of whom are rapidly increasing in wealth.
The town of Huron, in a great measure, owes it flattering prospects to the enterprising citizens of Milan; through whose influence and exertions appropriations were made for the improvement of the harbor. The village of Milan is well situated for trade, and by its connection with Huron by the Huron River, which is navigable up within three miles of Milan, together with its healthy location, will soon become a place of extensive business. It is in contemplation to connect the two villages, at the head of navigation, by a canal, which will no doubt ere long be carried into effect. A daily line of Steam Boats, from Buffalo to Detroit, now call at Huron, both on their upward and downward passage, landing and receiving passengers, freight, & c. A daily line o f Stages has also been recently established, running from Huron through Milan, Norwalk, Mount Vernon, to Columbus. The large amount of business already brought to the Lake, by this route, exceeds the expectations of its most sanguine friends.
Note: The Milan Canal, which was completed in 1839, brought a period of prosperity to Milan. The Canal linked Milan to the Huron River and, subsequently, Lake Erie. Ships traveled along the three-mile canal, and then proceeded to the Huron River and eventually traveled another seven miles to Lake Erie through the town of Huron. Farmers could bring their grain, hogs, and other goods to market in Milan and save a day’s travel time over less than ideal roads. Farmers from a 70-80 mile radius to the south, east, and west took advantage of Milan’s Canal. In its heyday, 600-700 wagons arrived in Milan per day, and as many as 20 sailing vessels were loaded with upwards of 35,000 bushels of grain. The population of Milan surged from around 280 residents in 1824 to 500 in 1840 to 1,500 in 1850. Ultimately, the Milan Canal resulted in a major decline in the shipbuilding and exports from Huron.
Friday, February 22, 2013
The mid to late 1830s was a period of great prosperity in Milan’s history. Construction on the Milan Canal began in 1832 and was completed in 1839. The Canal linked Milan to the Huron River and, subsequently, Lake Erie. Ships traveled along the three-mile canal, and then proceeded to the Huron River and eventually traveled another seven miles to Lake Erie through the town of Huron. Thus, farmers could bring their grain, hogs, and other goods to market in Milan and save a day’s travel time over less than ideal roads. Farmers from a 70-80 mile radius to the south, east, and west took advantage of Milan’s Canal. In its heyday, 600-700 wagons arrived in Milan per day, and as many as 20 sailing vessels were loaded with upwards of 35,000 bushels of grain. The population of Milan surged from around 280 residents in 1824 to 500 in 1840 to 1,500 in 1850. All of this activity in Milan allowed for a variety of businesses to flourish.
One of the businesses that was created due to the increased number of visitors to Milan was the Squier Inn and Tavern which was constructed east of Milan by Whitney Squier. Though no evidence in the form of newspaper ads or articles or other stories in written histories concerning the Squier’s Inn could be located, Milan historian, Wallace B. White, discussed the inn on several occasions during a 1976 interview that was transcribed by Ruth Vogt. In speaking of the dance floor at the Squier’s Inn, Wallace stated “The dance floor in there is said to have been built so it was springy, and sprang. Also on the dance floor, they had tracks so that the partitions could be pulled up to make the bedrooms, or pulled back again to make the dance floor.” The Squier’s Inn was apparently a popular stop for farmers hauling large loads and especially for those farmers who were driving herds of hogs. The Squier family owned a large property and likely had corrals for the hogs. According to Wallace “…hogs were quite a commodity. This old Inn (Squier’s), over there, the drovers used to stop there. The drovers would come in at night, feed the hogs salt and water them hard, so it would increase their weight when they sold them down here (in town).”
Whitney kept the Inn with the help of his unmarried daughters. With the sheer number of wagons arriving in Milan each day and the large number of hogs being driven to Milan, Whitney was able to prosper. As evidence of Whitney’s prosperity, on the 1850 census he stated that his real estate was valued at $11,000 which roughly corresponds to $323,000 today. However, the prosperity of Milan soon began to diminish, first due to an outbreak of cholera in 1851. The town tried to limit the number of visitors, especially to the taverns, because they feared the visitors were bringing cholera with them. But, the biggest blow to Milan’s economy came with the expansion of the railroad in 1854. The railroad made transportation of goods much easier and cheaper for farmers who lived in remote areas. Hence, the Milan Canal was no longer a necessary means of transport. Though only traces of the Milan Canal can be found, the Squier's Inn still stands as a testimony to the once prosperous period in Milan's history.