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 a…

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: The…

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 the…

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 John…

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 an…

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 lists…

Local families and the history of cheese in Vermilion

By Rich Tarrant Not that many of the photographs that appear in this column aren’t artifacts – but these are special. Vermilionite Barbara Ruggles donated the Bauman family portrait along with several other items to the Vermilion History Museum a bit over four years ago. It’s a beautiful portrait of Vermilion’s Bauman and Leadrach families…