Some dreams do come true

By Rich Tarrant Every now and then, I dream of those years: Riding my bicycle up down the streets of town with a newspaper bag over my neck filled to the top. It was so long ago. This was a time when newspapers; weeklies and dailies were still a primary source of news. In theContinue reading “Some dreams do come true”

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Take time to visit Vermilion’s “Rubberneck” park

By Rich Tarrant There’s a reason many local folks refer to it as “Rubberneck” Park – and if you look close you can actually see why in this photo. The official name for it is “Exchange Place”. That’s because, a billion [an exaggeration of course] years ago Exchange Street was ostensibly supposed to run toContinue reading “Take time to visit Vermilion’s “Rubberneck” park”

At a certain age, you don’t know these things

By Rich Tarrant “I live upon a raft of words. / My compass is the wind / And the changing tides of time / My friend.” When I recently came across an article, which appeared in The Vermilion News on July 19, 1917, I became curious about the person who authored it. It is aContinue reading “At a certain age, you don’t know these things”

It is a good thing I don’t wear socks while working

By Rich Tarrant Though I’ve been retired for about a decade I think the only thing that has really changed is that I don’t receive a paycheck for my time. Now, that’s not really a complaint. It’s just an observation. The compensation for doing what I do (i.e. slogging through history) is very rewarding: TheContinue reading “It is a good thing I don’t wear socks while working”

A tale of city lots staked above soldiers’ graves

By Rich Tarrant “And city lots are staked for sale, / Above our soldiers’ graves.” – I have for a long while admired the poetry American poet Walt Whitman. Some years ago I had a nice biography of him that I have since lost. But I remember bits and pieces of it. One of theContinue reading “A tale of city lots staked above soldiers’ graves”

A song, a prayer and a grawlix: it was never just a church to many

By Rich Tarrant On what appears to have been a chilly autumn Sunday morning in the 1930s my grandfather paused for a moment and took the accompanying photograph. And while these shadows were frozen some years before my time began on earth the scene seen is where I spent a good deal of time inContinue reading “A song, a prayer and a grawlix: it was never just a church to many”

Louis “Cloudy” Noel: gone but certainly not forgotten

By Rich Tarrant I am aware of the existence of only three tokens like the one pictured with this essay. The first was one owned by Vermilionite Irvin G. Howell (1906–1997) that was apparently misplaced during a local history celebration. A person walking along the beach near Linwood Park found the second token. Vermilionite JohnContinue reading “Louis “Cloudy” Noel: gone but certainly not forgotten”

Looking back on a sad goodbye to Crystal Beach and a lasting memory

By Rich Tarrant A jillion years ago – when I was young – I loved the fact that there was a soda pop factory in our town. When “they” burned it to the ground back in the 1950s – as the late great newsman Walter Cronkite might have put it – “I was there.” IContinue reading “Looking back on a sad goodbye to Crystal Beach and a lasting memory”

If you ever wondered about Vermilion’s cannons…

By Rich Tarrant The photograph accompanying the column this week was taken by a young man named John Bernard “Bernie” Gribble during the summer of 1941.  Gribble was 16 years old at the time. Although I have no concrete evidence to prove it, the photo was very likely taken by the young man in anContinue reading “If you ever wondered about Vermilion’s cannons…”

Vermilion history summed up in a collection of lists

By Rich Tarrant According to a report published by the Ohio Department of Health Division of Vital Statistics; Estimated Population of Counties, Cities and Villages in Ohio, the population of the Village of Vermilion in Erie County Ohio as of the first day in July 1961 was a whopping 3, 507 persons. It also listsContinue reading “Vermilion history summed up in a collection of lists”