Sunday, August 31, 2014


MANSFIELD'S METAMORPHOSIS--
My Old Junior High School; another Poof!


You are looking at the remains (above) of my old, John Simpson Junior High School.  Demolition debris and the smoke stack from the old powerhouse are all that remain.  This view is looking straight East toward Bowman St., along West 4th St.


Here the view is looking generally Northwest through the 4th and Bowman intersection.  I entered Simpson in 1954 from the W. 5th St., grade school--the old one.  A new W 5th St., grade school was constructed while I attended the old one.  The new one still stands but no longer serves as a grade school.

Let me try to recap this:  I started grade school in the "old" W. 5th St., building in the mid 1940s.  Grade school was 6 years in those days.

They finished construction on the new building right next door when I was about half way done with the old one.  We moved into the new one while I was in the 5th grade and they tore the old one down.

From there it was on to Simpson, one block south for most of my junior high school experience.  My family moved to the Madison area (a suburb of Mansfield) when I was in the 9th grade and I tagged along.

I started in the old Madison high school and finished in that same building shortly after a sparkling new addition was done.

Now that I think about it I haven't the foggiest idea where city kids now go to either grade school or junior high. 

Madison kids tend to wind up now out there on Grace St, finishing up via what is now known as a middle school and a high school, of course.

Trying to figure out their grade school alignment today makes my head hurt.


Sunday, August 24, 2014


MANSFIELD'S METAMORPHOSIS--
My Old Madison High School--POOF!


The building from which I was graduated (1958) sat near the base of the Ashland Road hill (background above) from sometime in the early 1900s.  It served its last years as a middle school and was demolished this past Spring.

My classmates will remember there was a new gymnasium and lots of classrooms added to that building while we were there.  They would have been on the left above.  The old football field remains--out of the above photo on the right.

That's the new middle school below.  It is located just east of the corner of McElroy Rd., and Grace St.  Notice the masonary archway in front of the new building.  That was severed from our old high school entrance and installed here as a nice historical portal for the new schoolhouse.

The current high school, of course, is located on Esley Lane; a view of which is being blocked in the lower photo.

Last winter, the students left our old building for their Christmas break and reported back to school in their new building; a pretty nice Christmas present.




Saturday, August 16, 2014


MANSFIELD'S METAMORPHOSIS--

Tappan


On a sullen and stormy day a giant track-hoe gnaws at the remains of the once vibrant Tappan Company as seen above looking south from the intersection of Orange and Newman St's., on Mansfield's north side.

Tappan had its modest beginnings in 1881 when W. J. Tappan formed the Ohio Valley Co., in Bellaire, OH, and manufactured cast iron stoves.  From there Tappan often sold his stoves from the back of a wagon while traveling the Ohio countryside.

A fire destroyed that facility and, needing a better market area, Tappan moved his small company to Mansfield and renamed his business the Eclipse Stove Company.  By 1920 the business was growing and selling stoves in surrounding states.

In Illinois Tappan encountered another "Eclipse Stove Company" and renamed his company The Tappan Stove Company.

Throughout the remainder of the 20th Century Tappan became known for its innovative products.  They introduced the first porcelain stove with an insulated oven in the 1930's.

During World War II the company manufactured a stove with wheels so the military could better feed the troops with the mobile unit.

The company enjoyed its greatest growth in the 1950's with the development of the microwave oven.  Tappan's 1955 microwave was just 24 inches wide and retailed for $1,200.

AB Electrolux, a European manufacturing business, purchased Tappan in 1979.  In 1986 they went on to purchase White Consolidated Industries which manufactured Frigidaire, White-Westinghouse, Gibson and Kelvinator products.

Combined with Tappan the new firm became known as WCI Major Appliance Group.

In 1991 they simply became known as the Frigidaire Company which, headquarted in Dublin, OH, continues to manufacture Tappan stoves.

___________________________
Ref: Ohio History Central  Click!









Wednesday, August 13, 2014


METAMORPHOSIS

Saturday Fogeyisms will introduce a new series that, from time to time, will take a peek at recent or ongoing demolitions around Mansfield that have or are dramatically changing our visual landscape.

We start this series with the ongoing demolition of the Tappan Co., which we encountered recently.

Our next offering in this series most likely will be the old Madison High School building near the bottom of Ashland Road hill.

We hope you domestic as well as foreign expatriates enjoy our offering of this little trip down memory lane.  

Friday, August 8, 2014


MICHIGAN POTPOURRI--



This is the very busy channel under the Mackinaw Bridge connecting Michigan's Upper Penninsula (distant) and Lower Penninsula in the top photo.  Sue (below) logs a geocache we found on the North side of the bridge.  The cache container and log were found inside the camouflaged sack in her hand, hidden in the foilage behind her. 



A soggy but busy day at The Whitefish Point, Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum




A picture-postcard view on an overlook along the south side of Whitefish Bay, UP, Michigan (above) and the Point Iriquois Light Station, (below) originally built in 1870 along the same shore line, and Sue (next below) looking toward the distant Whitefish Bay over a vast area with no evidence of civilization visible just west of the Bay Mills Indian Reservation.







Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Mackinaw City, Michigan

Saturday, August 2, 2014




BRONNERS--
Frankenmuth, Michigan

...where Christmas is celebrated every business day throughout the year in a town that has transformed itself into "Little Bavaria" around this celebrated bastion of Yuletide sensations.  It is the World's largest Christmas store featuring more than 50,000 "trims and gifts".

To get some idea of just how big this store is Click here to see the store's directory of 15 sections of glittering goodies that would even amaze Santa.

Click here for a peek at their on-line catalog that is 64 pages stuffed full of Christmas stuff.

That's Sue above on the right at the "Cat:" section.  Yup, every imaginable Christmas ornament for your feline friend.  And, to top that, you can have your selection personalized in the store's section #8 which is chock-full of artists ready to letter or decorate your selection, quickly and free.

She even found a section of Sports ornaments designed to celebrate every athletic event known to mankind.

If you stopped your meandering to investigate every section of this colossal store you would miss your dinner, tomorrow's breakfast and a lunch or two.

It's a floor to two-story ceiling emporium of deck-the-halls glitter and tinsel that would burden even Santa's most energetic team of reindeer trying to haul the goodies of an enthusiastic shopper.

My eyes began to roll in and out of focus as we concluded our visit; Sue checking out and me propped against a nearby pillar, attempting to keep my evident fatigue from creeping into my final composition:






Saturday, July 26, 2014


LAKE SUPERIOR--
Graveyard of the Great Lakes



Stand at the end of this observation deck, look to the North-northwest and 17 miles out in 535 feet of water you will be looking across the site of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

This Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point notes, "Deceivingly beautiful, Lake Superior's unrelenting fury has earned the reputation of being the most treacherous of the Great Lakes".


All 29 crew members of the Fitzgerald lost their lives on that November 10, 1975 in the violence of one of Superior's boiling storms.  They are memorialized here along with the 30,000 other men, women and children lost to shipwreck on the Great Lakes.

The museum grounds also contain the Whitefish Point Light Station, built in 1849 (right).  It has "...illuminated these dangerous waters for mariners continuously since."

Another terrific feature of the museum is the beautifully restored Surfboat House which contains an oar-propelled life-saving boat of its day (below) and a beach wagon containing all the then modern apparatus to rescue folks stranded on a ship stuck in the near, off-shore shallows.

The wagon featured a small, brass cannon which could fire a projectile, with a messenger line attached, across the top of the vessel in distress where able bodied survivors could use the delivered line to pull an even heavier line across the open water and secure it.

A breeches-buoy then could travel back and forth from the ship to shore, hauling one person at a time to safety.  They would be secured in the buoy, dangling from the heavy line with a pulley as the buoy was hauled back and forth--sometimes dipping the survivor into a crashing wave depending on the mood of the surf.


More than 240 shipwrecks are known to have happened in Whitefish Bay and the approach waters of Lake Superior; in that area known as "The Graveyard of the Great Lakes".