Kelleys Island 1877-1884
The fire; the Great Grooves & a mysterious disappearance

(Actually TWO mysterious disappearances!)
by Leslie Korenko

Kelleys Is. 1877-1884 $24.99

Click HERE to view the index.

COURT CASES – Parties…appeared at 1:30 p.m. Defendant demanded subpoena for G P Bristol and James Keatting. Issued same. Mrs Ellen Maxell and Margaret Leyden sworn and gave evidence. Each sworn that Mrs Ellen Kennedy called her, Mr Ellen Maxwell, a bitch and a whore unqualified. Geo. P. Bristol and James Keatting sworn on part of defense and gave evidence [that] neither of the witnesses knew anything about the case. July 1877

TELEPHONES – This instrument is soon destined to supersede the natural tongue as it will sing, play any instrument, or talk. Those who wish to escape a woman’s everlasting jaw will have to move to some other sphere, as a hundred miles or so is nothing now to prevent her scolding you. August 1877

THE ISLAND HOUSE FIRE – Mr Rush saved from $800 to $1000 worth of household goods, billiard table and piano. The store of E. Huntington was saved by the heroic efforts of some 200 or 300 men who worked at times when they were obliged to throw water upon each other to prevent their clothes from burning. The loss of the Island House is the greatest calamity in a pecuniary point of view that has ever befallen the Island. As far as the loss to the owner is concerned, it exceeds that of the Wine Co. cellars last year and the loss to the Island is many times greater. November 1877

THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL – Somebody having read Adam Beecher’s last sermon which declared there is no Hell, he opened a bbl. of Catawba Brandy in the morning and braced the boys up with this during the day instead of beer. Nick Smith was paralyzed before noon and John May had the hydrophobia the last seen of him. Some of the boys from the North side went home bowlegged before night. We didn’t wish to be cross-eyed all our lifetime, nor did we wish to die standing up, so we didn’t tackle any Catawba Brandy on Christmas. December 1877

TOBACCO – Look around you and you will find that those young men who possessed of any degree of self respect and a desire to make the most of themselves are not those who poison their system and deaden their intellect with tobacco. ‘Tobacco is an Indian word – And from the devil it doth proceed – It robs your pocket, steels your clothes – And makes a tobacco box of your nose.’ March 1878

A RARE MILD WINTER – We denizens of the Island hardly know what to say about the winter just past, it certainly never had any back bone. The Golden Eagle has made her regular trips since New Years with few interruptions, vessels have been carrying stone between here and Cleveland, blue-birds and robins have been plenty for two weeks past and it looks as though we would be obliged to take our lemonade hot next summer. March 1880

CROSSING THE ICE – Tuesday, while two young men were crossing the ice from Sandusky to Kelley’s Island in a sleigh, the ice broke, letting the horse into the water. The animal was got out and the young men escaped without getting a bath. Mr J. T. Dwelle came over from Kelley’s this morning with a double team, which is the first double team that has crossed the ice this season. He reports ice from 10-12 thick. January 1884

CROSSING THE ICE – Frank M. Kelley, O. Brown and Henry Elfers, each with a team and sled load of people, left here on Saturday for Kelley’s Island. When about a mile off Marblehead all of the teams broke through the ice, and considerable difficulty was experienced in getting them out. Elfer’s team broke through twice. The other teams then turned back and started across the country for Port Clinton, intending to go from that place to their destination, as the ice was known to be firmer on that route than on the route between this city and the Island. Elfers, however, continued on across the lake. All three of the teams reached their destination. The ice on the lake is so weak that travel with teams between Sandusky and the Island region is extremely hazardous. February 4, 1884

STEAMBOATS – The steamer American Eagle is said to have had rather a narrow escape from sinking on her last trip from this city to the Islands. In consequence of the breaking of something near her stern. The water poured into her so rapidly that she would soon have filled and gone to the bottom had not her load and ballast been rapidly shifted forward so as to raise her stern enough to bring the hole above the surface of the water. This having been done, the hole was plugged up and she proceeded on her way. It is said that a five inch stream of water was pouring into her. She has not been here since the accident occurred, having been laid up immediately on her arrival at Middle Bass that day to undergo a general overhauling. She will probably resume her trips about the first of next month. January 24, 1883

MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE – C. W. Farciot, of the Firm of Farciot & Wehrle, Mysteriously Disappears after Negotiating $40,000 of the Firm’s Paper – Saturday the city was placed in a qui vive of excitement at the rumor that Charles W. Farciot, of the firm of Farciot and Wehrle, wine dealers, had been missing from the city since May 12th, and no tidings heard from him. All kinds of stories were circulated and various rumors flying. The Register has carefully sifted the matter to the bottom, and is enabled this morning as a result of its labors to lay before its readers the entire facts in the case as far as known. June 2, 1884

GLACIAL GROOVES UNCOVERED – Those who are teaching classes in geology or otherwise interested in that study would be interested in visiting the stone quarry on the north side of Kelley’s Island, as the Kelley’s Island Stone & Lime Co. are uncovering some of the most remarkable glacial grooves ever seen there. Mr Bishop, of the firm of Bishop, Forde & Herriman, photographers of Sandusky, was over on the 13th of this month and took some very fine views of these grooves and some fine views of the Island, which I presume he has on exhibition. July 19, 1884

QUARRY WORKERS INJURED IN BLAST – Last Saturday afternoon James Keating, Michael Daly and John Kennedy Jr were badly injured by a blast. They had loaded 11 holes, nine of which were successfully exploded by means of a battery, but the other two failing to respond to the electric spark, they proceeded to drill out the powder. When the work was about half accomplished the drill unfortunately came in contact with the fuse, which ignited and caused the explosion. Keating and Kennedy were seated upon the rock, and both received serious injuries, the former being burned about the face and one hand and also lost a thumb and little finger, while the latter was picked up 25 feet from the scene of the accident with a broken arm and a few bruises. Daly, who was standing between his two unfortunate companions prior to the accident, escaped with a slight cut on his right hand and a partial cremation of his face. He will be able to resume in about a week. Mr Keating will be incapacitated from labor for some time, in fact I doubt whether he will ever be able to do hard work, but Dr. Fann will do his utmost to bring him out all right. The injured men and their families have the sympathy of all. This accident should be a warning to adventuresome quarrymen, as too much caution can not be used in such cases. July 26, 1884

THE ICE BRIDGE – The winter which I dreaded so much on this bleak Island is passing so pleasantly and profitably that I shall almost regret the sharp whistle of the first boat which will announce that it has come to an end. We now have a fine bridge of which Jack Frost has the exclusive patent, spanning Lake Erie and connecting us with the continent. Everyday it is well traveled both by teams and foot passengers, some of them crossing directly to Sandusky instead of by the usual Peninsula route, showing the ice bridge to be in a remarkably good condition. Hay, coal and feed, the latter for man as well as beast, are being brought over in considerable quantities. Many finding the unusually severe winter drawing more heavily on their winter supplies than was anticipated. A few mornings ago the mercury became discouraged and fell to 10 below zero but has since been in better spirits. January 1877

THE TELEGRAPH CABLE – One of our citizens had a load of coal half way over when man and team lost their way in the snowstorm. The man detached the sled and wandered awhile with the horse but soon reached the Island. The coal remained on the ice all night but was easily found and brought in the next morning. Of course mail communication has been good but I cannot say so much for cablegrams. The cable refused to do duty some little time ago and is supposed to have been cut by the ice and to be lying round loose somewhere in the blue waters of Lake Erie, furnishing bait and information to the Finny Tribe. ‘The turtles, the fishes and whales, From River and all through the sea, In glee all wiggling their tails, Cry-Gracious, How wise we shall be.’ January 1877

THE WINTER WEATHER – Bright clear and cold. This seems more like a good old fashion Island winter day than any other this season. High winds, floating ice, no crossing, no mail, no news…Elfers (the mail carrier) made his first trip of the winter over the ice to the Peninsula, returning about 2 p.m. with mail. By Wednesday the weather much warmer than the preceding days. Afternoon we spent in trying to solve how many times we could fall on the ice and how many stars we could count at each fall. The problem was too much for us. It remains a conundrum. January 10 1878

SOLAR ENERGY – Still cloudy. The sun peeped through a small hole in the clouds just to see what we were doing but quickly drew his mantle over his face again. It is said that there are scientists who expect some day to run all our machinery by means of the direct force of the sun and do away with such poor makeshifts as steam etc. A broom with an extraordinarily long handle will then be necessary in order to sweep the clouds up into a corner such days as these. What a delightful time that would be to live in, where science, with the precision of a neat housekeeper, should sweep and dust our skies for us every morning. January 1878

AN ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING – A south sider sends us the following account of an accident. A young man in the country was accidentally shot last night in the abdomen. It seems that he had traded off a shot gun for a revolver and in examining it, suddenly discharged a ball which struck him as above stated. He was not so badly injured, but that he attempted to conceal it from his father. But the next morning the ‘old man’ compelled the youth to show up when it was discovered that he had cut the ball, which lay near the surface, out with a razor. He had in the meantime drank a large quantity of water ‘to see if he leaked.’ Finding that he did not, he quietly settled down to take things easy until he gets well. February 1878

A PLAY – A pantomime, ‘Woman’s Rights.’ In this Miss Lissa Ward personated the strong minded woman, Mr Titus Hamilton the henpecked husband who was obliged to remain at home mending his clothes and caring for the baby which cried in a heartrending manner, while his wife accompanied her friend Miss Hettie Ward to some meeting, probably a Woman Suffrage Convention. The suffering husband, driven to desperation by the crying baby, makes two vain attempts to hang himself, but when nearly choked, his loving wife appears upon the scene, seizes a handy broom and brings him to life with energetic blows upon his shoulders. He hastily crawls under the baby’s cradle to escape the falling blows and the curtain falls upon this scene of domestic peace and tranquility. February 1877

LODGE ITEMS – Persons who borrow the water pail to water horses with will please empty out all that the horses leave before bringing the pail back, as some of the loafers object to drinking after a horse and some horses object to drinking after a lodger. It is just as easy to please the beast as not and not get Mr Bergh after you. March 1877

GILL NET FISHING – Gill net fishing ought not to be allowed on the reefs, for there, white fish are supposed to deposit their spawn. Such gill net fishing is destroying our white fish more than any other mode of fishing. It might seem hard to say to the gill net fishermen, you shall not set your nets on the reefs, but which would be best to sooner or later annihilate the white fishing interest, or stop the smaller part of it? The gill net catches the she fish when she goes to the reefs to deposit her eggs, and if it doesn’t catch the fish, it [the net] is dropped on to the spawn laid and destroys it. April 1878

IN THE COURTS – Civil Case No. 9 – Sarah O’Neill vs. Wm. Maher – The Plaintiff filed her Affidavit and Complaint as follows: Personally appeared before me A. S. Kelley a Justice of the Peace in and for said County. Sarah O’Neil, an unmarried woman resident within said county, made complaint under oath, that she is now pregnant with a child, which if born alive will be a bastard, and that Mr William Maher is, or will be the Father of said child. J. A. Eldred returned the warrant this day indorsed as follows: The within named William Maher could not be found though diligently searched for, within the County of Erie…on this 19th day of January 1878, it is considered by me (all the parties, having left the Island) that this case is forever closed. A. S. Kelley, Justice of the Peace October 1877