Archive for the ‘People’ Category

The Zimmerman Family and Olympic Swim Club

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Libby Wetherholt recently gave this presentation about the Zimmerman family to the Clintonville Historical Society, and has kindly agreed to share it with us.

The Zimmerman Family and Olympic Swim Club
by Libby Weatherholt, March 8, 2016

The History of the Olympic Swim Club starts with Orr Samuel Zimmerman. (Photo courtesy of the Upper Arlington Historical Society)

Orr S. Zimmerman was born in Oakwood, Ohio in 1890 but moved to Columbus with his family when he was a child. He was educated in engineering at Ohio University and transferred his interest in mechanics to a career in the family automobile business.

In 1913, Zimmerman married Ethyle Cather, a native of Athens, Ohio. They moved to this house at 645 Dennison. (Photo courtesy of the Franklin County Auditor’s web site, property ID 010-044708 4/27/2014)

By 1916 the Zimmermans had begun building the house below at 1790 Cambridge Boulevard. (Photo courtesy of the Franklin County Auditor’s web site, property ID 070-000571 4/18/2014)

An historical picture can also be found on the Upper Arlington Historical Society web site.

The birth of their sons Robert Orr Zimmerman and Richard S. Zimmerman followed in 1918 and 1922, respectively.

By 1930, Audrey Ethyle Zimmerman had passed away and Orr had married Alice M. Zimmerman. The family had moved to 4497 Olentangy River Road—a house that remained an important part of the family history. (Photo courtesy of the Franklin County Auditor’s web site, property ID 010-006577 3/17/2014)

Zimmerman built the house in 1929 on what was then a 52-acre estate; at the time, Henderson was a country gravel road and Olentangy a narrow two-lane street. The architect was Thomas Tulley. Interior walls were decorated by a New York artist, with beautiful wooded scenes in both the trophy room and the living room. Two Canadian bear cubs, captured on a hunting trip, were raised in a small house on the property. In 1977 the house was a Decorators’ Show House. The house was destroyed in January, 2016.

Mr. Zimmerman had a special interest in outdoor sports, particularly hunting and fishing. Zimmerman’s hunting expedition in the Canadian Rockies with Upper Arlington founder and resident Ben Thompson was detailed in a November 1920 issue of the Norwester, complete with descriptions of the large game seen and hunted by the pair in British Columbia. Zimmerman submitted his own account of the trip to the Norwester, documenting the geography and vegetation of the region. (The Norwester magazine, published November 1917 through March 1922, chronicled early suburban life in the Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights, and Marble Cliff areas.)

Zimmerman also enjoyed pitching horseshoes and playing baseball. In 1920, he served as captain of the Upper Arlington “Lobsters” who battled the rival “Crabs” in the village baseball tournament. Mr. Zimmerman personally donated the “Zimmerman Cup,” the trophy awarded to the winning baseball team. He was also a member of the Upper Arlington Fishing Club and the president of the Upper Arlington Gymnasium Club, which oversaw the organization of indoor sports such as hand ball and volley ball. He was active in the Kiwanis and Athletic Clubs, and served as director of the Columbus Auto Trade Association.

The 1915 City Directory documents that Orr S. Zimmerman and Walter B. Charles owned Ohio Auto Sales Co. at 772-774-776 North High Street.

On June 30, 1941, Thomas Tully and Orr Zimmerman filed for a patent titled Means for producing formed strips of plastic materials, US 2323862 A. The patent was granted on July 6, 1943.

Richard Zimmerman married Dorothy Rupp, his high school sweetheart. They were parents of three children: Lynda, Ric, and Dan

Richard S. Zimmerman and his father, Orr Zimmerman, purchased the Olympic Beach from Frank Hauf in 1938, the same year it was built. The pool remained under ownership by members of the family until it closed in 2014.

Newt Jones, one of Richard’s grandchildren, purchased the Olympic Swim Club from his grandfather for $325,000 in 2002. Richard died shortly after on October 23, 2002 at the age of 81.

In 2014, Columbus Monthly Magazine staff picked Olympic Swim Pool as Columbus’ “best pool for athletes”:

For athletes: Olympic Swim Club
Built in 1938 and originally known as Olympic Beach, the Olympic Swim Club is a Columbus classic. Ohio State divers and swimmers practiced here in the ’70s and ’80s. Even Buckeyes football players would spend their off days at the club. After 76 summers, though, this is the Olympic’s last. “It was a business decision, but a very emotional and very sad one,” says third-generation owner Newt Jones, who has owned the Olympic for the past 13 years. Don’t miss your last chance to dive off the club’s rare 16-foot diving platform and experience a piece of Columbus history firsthand. “We just want people to come out for the last summer and enjoy it,” Jones says.

The following item comes from Shirley Hyatt’s Clintonville History web site:

Will You Swim in Pure Water? I love this ad for Olympic Beach in 1939. “Of interest to the ‘bathers’ of Northern Columbus is the care and precaution the management of the Olympic Pool is taking so that our families may swim in perfectly safe water, free from impurities and its dangers…“ Shortly after the pool was built, the Olympic Amusement Corporation, headed by Orr Zimmerman, assumed ownership of the pool. For many years the O.S.U. swimming and diving teams practiced there and many contestants for the summer Olympics came from all over the United States to train at the pool. Several national championships have been held there. Early on, only male lifeguards worked at the pool.

Here, someone does a kamikaze dive off the tallest tower. (Photos courtesy of the Zimmerman family)

One of the early reasons for Olympic Pool’s notoriety and draw was its double platform diving board and its dive pool. The double platform survived into the 1990s, at which time the higher platform was removed.

The following images are from the Olympic Swim Club’s Facebook page.

Dallas Dupre

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Dallas Dupre, whose son still lives in Greater Columbus, was a landscape architect. He had an office located on the west side of North High Street near Weber Road (3073 North High Street), and is reputed to have been the founder of the early roadside park system throughout the U.S. The Dupre family lived in old Beechwold.

Elks Country Club

Friday, September 26th, 2008

I loved the story of Lawrence Huber (1893-1958) and his wife Eunice Louise Dougherty (1900-1986). Lawrence had applied for a job at the Elks Country Club. They told him they wanted the incumbent to be married, so he asked his girlfriend Eunice to marry him. She accepted and they married in 1922–and remained married the rest of thier lives.

Huber, under the direction of Donald Ross, helped to construct the Elks Country Club golf course, which was located north of Morse Road and east of High Street to Indianola Road. Huber eventually took over the position of groundskeeper when the course opened the following year. Lawrence and Eunice, and their three children, lived in a residence on the Elks Country Club property while Lawrence was employed there. Huber was extremely innovative, and invented equipment as needed to cultivate and care for the greens. (Photo courtesy of Betty Huber)

Zinn’s Lumber Yard

Friday, September 26th, 2008

In 1892 at the age of 21, Mr. J. Harvey Zinn opened the lumber company at 2556 North High Street in partnership with Mr. S. M. Coe. Four years later he bought out Mr. Coe’s interest and built up the largest lumber yard in the city, both from the standpoint of size and from the amount of business done per year. This is a picture of Zinn’s Lumber Yard and workers. In November 1924 the Zinn Lumber Company caught fire and burned to a loss of $141,000. It was the largest fire in the city for that year. In 1931 Zinn was made vice-president of the Northern Savings Bank located at 2619 North High Street, and soon was promoted to President. Zinn divided his time between the two businesses.

As Bob Ohaver’s oral history explains, Zinn owned land along the Olentangy River from North Broadway to Kenworth Road, and in 1926 he built a residence at 285 Kenworth Road.

Zinn was one of the 4 people who cut the ribbon when the North Broadway bridge was dedicated in 1939.

Clintonville Woman’s Club

Friday, September 26th, 2008

On February 4, 1939, six Clintonville ladies met at the house of Mrs. Frank Hiatt to discuss the need for a cultural, charitable, and civic group in Clintonville. The women were Mrs. Walter H. Ives, Mrs. Herman O. Williams, Mrs. Frank Hiatt, Mrs. Russell Kennett, Mrs. Harry Mesloh, and Mrs. Rand P. Hollenback. Each woman made a list of representatives of all the local organizations and churches, and recruited them. The result was a list of 40 charter members. Their objective was “to encourage wholesome community life, to promote acquaintance among women of varied interests; and to secure cooperation in social, educational, civic, and welfare work in Clintonville.” They met in small groups, rotating the meetings between member’s houses. They also had 18 special interest groups. The annual dues were $3, $1 of which was set aside to build a club house. They achieved that goal through the generosity of the Kiwanis Club, which in 1951 gave the women’s club land on which to build at 3951 North High Street. Ground was broken in 1964, and in 1965 the building was dedicated. The club is still vibrant and the clubhouse can be rented special events. (Photo courtesy of the Kerchner family)

Bolon Diaries

Friday, September 26th, 2008

The diaries of M. Gladys Bolon Cooper written from age 40, in 1939, until her death in 1989, are held by Ohio State University archives and have been transcribed and posted to the web. The writer was a Clintonville resident.

Indian Springs Golf Course Trophy

Friday, September 26th, 2008

indian-springs-golfAs the author of a book on the History of Clintonville, I often get fun calls from people who own a tiny bit of Clintonville history and want a bit more. This morning was one of those days. Ian Crowe called me from Utah. He’d purchased a trophy at a local estate sale, and was wondering where the trophy was from and who won it.

The trophy was for an Indian Springs Golf Club, in 1931. Could it be Clintonville’s own Indian Springs Golf Club?

Apparently Ian had called quite a few golf clubs by the same name, until he found my web site.

I referred the question to Scott Caputo at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. His research can be found here. He learned that the golf course did exist in 1931–Indian Springs Golf Club was listed in the telephone directory as early as 1929, and had been issued a building permit for a new clubhouse in 1931. He learned that there was a Norman I. Blanchard living on 385 Wyandotte, just 3-1/2 miles from the course. According to census records, Norman would have been about 23 or 24 at the time of the tournament.


So, the trophy is extremely likely to have come from the Clintonville golf course.

When I exclaimed that the trophy was really a martini shaker, I was informed that this was a very common form of golf trophy back then.

Great job, Scott!

Flora Ohaver

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

Flora Ohaver was one of the oldest residents of West North Broadway, and so she was selected to be one of 4 people to cut the ribbon dedicating the new Broadway bridge on December 1, 1939. She and her husband built their house at 263 West North Broadway in 1908. Her nephew Bob returned to live at this address on West North Broadway as well; his oral history is located on this web site. Bob passed away in June 2009.

Robert Ohaver (1937-2009)

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

Robert Ohaver (b. 1920) lived most of his life in Clintonville and on West North Broadway. He had many stories of old Clintonville to share with us. On September 12, 2003, several community members (Ann and Alan Woods, Barbara Hotchkiss, Nancy Kuhel) interviewed him and preserved the conversation on tape. Now you, too, can listen to Mr. Ohaver’s oral history.

Sadly, Bob Ohaver passed away on June 11, 2009. You can find his obituary here. There is another small entry about his aunt on this web site here.

Bob mother was Laura Ohaver and his father was Walter Harvey Ohaver. Bob also had an older brother named Jack Ohaver who lived in Clintonville at 116 E. Dunedin with his wife Clara Ohaver. Clara passed away May 24, 1993, and Jack passed away on June 14, 2000. Jack and Clara had two daughters. Sue Bowman was born May 8, 1940; she passed away January 4, 2000. Sandra Urban born July 30, 1945. [This family information came to me from Jack’s granddaughter and Sandy’s daughter, Lisa Adkins. Thanks, Lisa!]

Some technical notes about these recordings: each file is about 30 minutes long. You can use this player to listen to any of the segments listed below, or by clicking on the links below.

This text will be replaced by the flash music player.


Track 1. Brief Ohaver biography; origins of his family moving to West North Broadway; his World War II years; Clinton Theatre; businesses and homes at the interesection of North Broadway and North High Streets; drugstores and candy stores in Clintonville; the house behind 3391 North High Street; Dispatch carrier’s substation; Olentangy Park; the streetcar storage barn at Arcadia.

Track 2. Olentangy Park cont’d; street fair at North Broadway and High to celebrate Clinton Theatre, the opening of Clinton School pedestrain subway, and the paving of North High Street after a new sewer line had been installed; the Olentangy River; 3 canoe clubs; development of West North Broadway (“the Broadway Extension”) and the Scott farm; development of the area along the adjoining river bank; the Herron [spelling uncertain]/Zinn home at 285 West Kenworth; Bill Moose AKA “Indian Bill”; Chief Leatherlips.
Note: the “Dr. John Scott” is William H. Scott, president of OSU 1883-1895. See my book, page 17, for a photo of his house.

Track 3. Chief Leatherlips cont’d; house at 273 Erie Road and excavation of nearby gravel pit; the Fuller farm/Whetstone Park; rambling through the woods; Indian Springs golf course; Bill Moose AKA “Indian Bill”; Olentangy Park; North Columbus including the Ramlow Building; Picadilly Theatre; streetcars and interurbans.

Track 4. Southwick funeral home; Joy Hunt home; Graceland Shopper’s Mart and Patrick Murnan; Clinton Theatre; the Great Depression; Ohaver family; Brighton Road development; Ohaver’s WWII and postwar years.

Track 5. Ohaver’s return to Columbus from California in 1962; bombing of the Clinton Theatre in the 1930s.

Jones Upholstery Store

Friday, September 19th, 2008

The North Columbus Kroger location at 2579 North High Street became Jone’s Upholstery business. Charles M. Jones moved here in 1943 while his son W. Frank Jones was overseas serving in WWII. When Frank came home in 1946, he worked as a partner with his father until his father’s death. (Charles and Frank are the son and grandson of C. F. Jones.) This photograph was taken in 1945.

Frank continued the business until 1977 when Neocacia Masonic Lodge (which occupied the 2nd story of the building) sold the building. This photo was taken in 1951.

In 1947, here are: Jenny Mocabee, Charles M. Jones, Frank Jones, Ray Bennett, Dick Schaeffer, Bob Hill.

66 East Duncan Street, a house owned by Frank Jones, owner of Jones Upholstery. This house has since been torn down. (Photos courtesy of Frank Jones.)