Thursday, February 16, 2012

“Geauga in Print – Part Six”


c. 2012 Rod Ice
All rights reserved
(1-12)


Here is yet another look through the time tunnel – an experience yielded by researching the vast library of online newspaper archives. This series has become part of a continuing project at the Icehouse home office.

Sweet echoes of yesterday linger in each yellowed page of print. But strangely, many of these local stories seem to touch on issues still very much in the minds of modern-day Geauga County residents. What follows here are a few examples of how journalists from yesteryear told the tales of their everyday lives:

CLASSIC WINTER WEATHER
The Painesville Telegraph, February 1, 1945


“CHARDON – Many of Geauga county’s schools were closed and traveling was at a minimum here today as vehicles were unable to push through drifts estimated to be from three to four feet deep. A high wind whipped the snow piled high from storms of the last few weeks and drifted so badly that Stanlae Merritt, Geauga county highway superintendent, estimates that 75 per cent of the total 225 miles of highways is blocked. Mr. Merritt, who said that this was the 52nd day since Dec. 11th, that his men had to work to remove snow, stated that the entire equipment of seven plows was in operation. Pointing out that the snow piles up again within a short time, he said that Tuesday at 10 p.m. every road, including side roads, had been cleared. Chardon High School, where pupils from Munson, Claridon, Montville and Hambden attended, was closed, as well as grade schools in Montville, Newbury, Burton, Hambden and Parkman. One of the most heavily traveled roads, Route 44, is said to be clogged with drifts three to four feet in depth. It was reported that many motorists were marooned for several hours and were not able to reach their homes until early this morning. Officials pointed out that they were handicapped by the fact that four of the state highway trucks were out of use. They said that while 17 plows should be working, there were only six and one plow grader as the others lacked parts which it has been impossible to replace. Three plows were working out of Burton, two out of Parkman, one out of Auburn and a plow grader out of Montville. Two were reported stuck north of Chardon on Route 44. At the height of Wednesday night’s storm, Chardon fire department received a call from the C. and S. service station on Water St. but, in a short time, the call was canceled as only a chimney was burning out. Rural mail carriers, who Wednesday were unable to make all their trips, today were unable to make any deliveries.”

ADVANCING TECHNOLOGY
The Painesville Telegraph, November 23, 1938


“CHARDON – Radios to receive state highway patrol broadcasts were being installed this week in all automobiles used by Sheriff Harry O. Hill and his deputies. One radio will be in the sheriff’s office. This was made possible by resolution just passed by county commissioners authorizing the purchase of five police radios for $400. It is the first time the local department ever had police radios. ‘It will make for better police protection,’ commented Sheriff Hill.”

POLITICAL ACTIVISM
The Montreal Gazette, September 4, 1928


“Cleveland, Ohio – Representatives of organized labor from northern Ohio and surrounding territory gathered today at Geauga Lake near here, to hear William Green, president of the American Federation of Labor, sound a call for their active participation in the forthcoming election. Making clear the non-partisan attitude of the Federation itself, Green told his hearers that labor ‘possesses a potential power in the political and economic fields’ which can, if made active and centralized, exercise ‘the balance of power on such decisions as may be made.’ The Federation president urged Labor, as a group, to give most serious consideration to the formation of the next Congress, promising that all available information on the records of Congressional candidates will be gathered and supplied by the Federation’s non-partisan political committee. Extension of the five-day week was characterized as the outstanding accomplishment of Labor in the last year by Mr. Green, who declared that ‘the public mind has accepted the change and placed upon it the stamp of approval.’ Hundreds of thousands of working people have obtained the five-day week, he said, and added that the complete establishment of the plan would continue as one of Labor’s chief objects. Turning to the subject of wages, Mr. Green declared that ‘the theory of low wages and cheap production has been exploded.’ Low wages would be a calamity in America, he said, adding that wages ‘must keep pace with our increased power of production, and must correspond with the requirements of the American standard of living.’ Thousands have been forced into unemployment at varying intervals during the past year, he asserted, and went on to outline the Federation’s plan for relieving such situations by instituting public improvements and the construction of public buildings ‘when unemployment forces itself upon a large number of our citizens.’”

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