Saturday, March 24, 2012


Hoover Shirts-

The decal on the shirt is a duplicate of the decal that was on each digger as it left the Hoover Manufacturing Company in Avery, Erie County, Ohio. Sizes available are Adult M, L, XL, XXL (add $1 for XXL). Please message or call me if you are interested in purchasing a shirt. Limited quantities are available. The cost is $16 (plus $5.15 shipping, if necessary). Online ordering will be available soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dr. John Wesley Bond and Family

The Bond family is deeply ingrained in the history of both Toledo and Catawba Island primarily due to their willingness to invest in the lives of others. John W. Bond was born on May 8, 1824, in Baltimore, Maryland, to Dr. Thomas and Christiana (Birckhead) Bond. John Bond attended college in Maryland and then trained in the office of a Baltimore physician for several years. In 1852, he moved to Zanesville, Ohio, where, in June of 1854, he married Amanda Buckingham Sturges. In 1856, John and Amanda Bond moved to Keokuk, Iowa, and John opened a practice there.

Feeling an obligation to his country, Dr. Bond joined the 30th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. When mustered on September 23, 1862, this regiment included 967 men. Dr. Bond was appointed their head surgeon. The 30th Iowa Regiment first traveled from Iowa to St. Lois, Missouri, and then to Helena, Arkansas. On December 28 and 29, 1862, the regiment took part in the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, a battle that was part of the campaign to capture the Confederate fortress at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Due to poor conditions, many soldiers, including Dr. Bond, became quite ill. Dr. Bond was forced to resign his post on March 20, 1863 and return to Keokuk, Iowa. After his recovery, Dr. Bond moved his family from Iowa to Toledo, Ohio.

Dr. Bond remained in Toledo the rest of his life and was an active member of the Toledo medical community for nearly half a century. In 1863, he was admitted to the Toledo Medical Association and began practicing medicine in Toledo in 1864. Dr. Bond’s community involvement began in 1868 when he was named a member of the Toledo Board of Health. From 1869 through 1872, Dr. Bond served the city of Toledo as its health officer, and in 1875, he was again appointed a member of the Toledo Board of Health. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Northwestern Ohio Medical College and, in 1876, became the first Chief of Staff at St. Vincent Hospital. In addition, he served as President of St. Vincent’s Medical Board.
Dr. Bond’s service as the first Chief of Staff at St. Vincent’s is evidenced both in records of his practice in Toledo and the development of the hospital. From its humble beginning in 1855 as a two-story frame building run by the Sisters of Charity, St. Vincent Hospital grew steadily to meet the demand of the growing Toledo community. By 1858, a new hospital, standing three stories high, was constructed. The hospital was again expanded in 1861, and more land was purchased during the period from 1863 through 1866, so as to allow for further expansion. By 1866, St. Vincent’s owned 12 acres. In March of 1875, the Sisters of Charity began yet another and more modern expansion of the hospital which was completed in July of 1876. With this expansion, the hospital formed its first medical staff which was composed of distinguished physicians and surgeons from the Toledo area.
Dr. Bond held the position of Chief of Staff or Surgeon in Chief until 1892 when he began losing his eyesight. He eventually became completely blind. Though unable to practice medicine any longer, Dr. Bond remained an active member of the medical community, serving as a consulting physician until a few months prior to his death in January of 1911.

Three children were born to John and Amanda Bond: Maria born in Iowa in 1859, James born in Iowa in 1861, and Amanda born in Toledo in 1864. The Bond family seemingly had a close relationship, with many members of the extended family joining John and Amanda Bond at their home at 2373 Glenwood Avenue in Toledo. The family’s closeness was exemplified when, after losing his eyesight, Dr. Bond’s daughter, Amanda, and niece, Alice Sturges, read to him to keep him informed of pertinent medical discoveries as well as worldly matters and literature.

Sadly, James Bond died at the age of 2 in 1863. Maria Bond never married and died in Toledo in June of 1887 at the age of 28. After 32 years of marriage, Amanda Sturges Bond died in Toledo in August of 1887. Dr. Bond’s daughter, Amanda, never married, but remained at home until after her father’s death. Thereafter, she made her home on Catawba Island.

For many years, Amanda Bond was associated with the International Order of the King's Daughters and Sons. This order, founded in New York City on January 13, 1886 by Margaret Bottome, comprised a three-fold program of religion, education, and philanthropy to train its members for Christian Service. The organization supported ministries for the elderly, handicapped, and underprivileged. Between 1900 and 1940, the Ohio Branch of the International Order of the King's Daughters and Sons sponsored students, mostly women and girls, to summer educational camps at the Rock Ledge Inn which is located on Sand Road on Catawba Island. Likely, it was Amanda’s association with the King's Daughters and Sons that prompted her to purchase several properties near the Rock Ledge Inn in the early 1900's. In 1907, the Silver Cross Circle of the King's Daughters of Bowling Green, Ohio was organized by Mrs. Hulbert Rogers, a friend of Amanda. This chapter supported the work of the Ohio Branch of the King's Daughters and Sons at the Rock Ledge Inn, and Amanda was appointed to supervise activities there.

Around 1920, Amanda Bond built the house located at 2766 Sand Road on Catawba Island and named it Linden Lodge. Amanda made her residence at another home on her property, the Rock Ledge Farm, likely intending Linden Lodge to serve solely as housing for extra people associated with the Rock Ledge Inn. Amanda’s tie to the International Order of the King's Daughters and Sons was strong throughout the remainder of her life.

Though Amanda sold the property that contained both her residence and Linden Lodge (currently known as the Five Bells Inn Bed and Breakfast) to her cousins, Louis and Anita Dole of Bath, Maine, in 1948, she remained at her residence until her health prevented her from living alone. She died at the age of 89 in June of 1953 in a convalescent home in Toledo. She was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Zanesville, Ohio, in her family plot there.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pied Piper Ice Cream in Huron, Ohio

A small town just is not the same without a local ice cream stand. The Pied Piper in Huron, Ohio, has a long history and a big following. Here is its story that I published in the March 8, 2012, issue of Huron Hometown News: Pied Piper to Open March 14 Despite the crazy weather and the lack of a true winter, one thing residents of Huron can always count on as a harbinger of spring is the opening of Pied Piper. The official opening for 2012 is only a few days away and preparations are underway! The Pied Piper has been a fixture in Huron since 1952 when it was opened by Ellsworth and Helen Piper. According to Sheila Ehrhardt, the Pipers operated the Dairy Bar, a full-service restaurant that was located on Main Street in Huron. Ice cream was a big seller at the restaurant, and the children often followed Mr. Piper over to the ice cream cooler in mass to make their selection. Hence, Mr. Piper was frequently compared to the legendary Pied Piper. Thus, the name, Pied Piper, seemed fitting for the Piper’s new ice cream stand which they built at the corner of Cleveland Road and Huron Street. The Piper’s operated the Pied Piper for a few years before selling it to Carl Wechter. This was a fitting match since the Wechter family had long been in the dairy business. The Pied Piper has been in the Wechter family ever since. For the past approximately ten years, the Pied has been owned by Chris and Kelly Wechter. According to Chris Wechter, visitors to the Pied will not see any big changes this year, but all of the favorites will be back. So, if you are dreaming of a Nut Dip or a Turtle Sundae or even just a small cone with a face, you will not have long to wait!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ice Harvesting on the Huron River

One hundred years ago, the village of Huron, Ohio, was bustling with fisherman. These fishermen relied on the ice harvest each winter to provide them with enough ice to store their catch throughout the fishing season. In February of 1912, the Huron River (Huron, OH) had 19 inches of ice, and it was still thickening. What a contrast to the 0 inches of ice we have had in 2012!