Clintonville’s Fourth of July celebration goes back at least as far as the 1930s, when The Booster and local business association sponsored an annual summer or fall community picnic at Olentangy Amusement Park. (The annual get-together may well be older yet.) Much like today, the early events had pet parades, bike parades, and fireworks. After the amusement park closed, the annual event was held at the Columbus Zoo. And then, when Whetstone Park was dedicated in the early 1950s, the community picnic was moved there and “annualized” to be held on the Fourth of July. The annual community breakfast, originally held for the volunteer workers of the Fourth of July picnic, quickly became another holiday tradition.
In a previous post, I mentioned that Engine House 19 won the Dispatch’s annual holiday decorating content. This house at on East North Broadway won the contest three years in a row. (Photo coourtesy of Judy Kress)
Besides the Orchard and High Street Post office, and the Evanston Post Office, there have been sundry other post offices serving the Clintonville area. This is a cancellation of Homedale’s post office, 1950, located during the 1950s in what would later become part of northern Clintonville. (Photo courtesy of Dave Foust)
In 1954 Nancy Blanchard, a 16-year-old student at Mifflin High School, became the first winner of Maiden of the Roses competition. The pageant, a yearly event held each June at the Park of Roses and sponsored by North Columbus Civitan, was held from 1954 until 1974. Thanks to Nancy and her cousin Joyce Schatz, we have Nancy’s clippings file from that era, and that newspaper articles are linked to the thumbnail images below as PDFs. [Clippings courtesy of Joyce Schatz.]
Chester Nicodemus (1901-1990) was a potter, known for his small clay birds fashioned from variously colored, high-iron-content Ohio clays. Several Clintonville residents showed me some of his birds as well as commemorative plates made for the Clintonville Women’s Club. He made teapots and pitchers, robins, eagles, and other wildlife.
Nicodemus earned a degree from Cleveland Art School in 1923 and then taught art at Dayton Art Institute and Wittenberg College. In 1932 he became dean of Columbus Art School, now known as Columbus College of Art and Design. He later taught at Ohio State University and served as president of the Columbus Art League.
Nicodemus lived and had his studio (Nicodemus Ferro-Stone Ceramics) on Clinton Heights Avenue. There he produced more than 1,000 molds in his basement workshop. He had two home-made kilns in the garage, which also housed a showroom. Nicodemus pieces are known for their translucent glaze highlighting the clay’s red tint and producing russet brown undertones. Upon Nicodemus’ death and at his request, all the molds and glazes were destroyed. (Photo courtesy of Darrell Nicodemus)
On January 21, 1959, Clintonville experienced a 24-hour deluge, with a thaw, that left scores homeless. The flood affected homes from Arcadia to Southington. Newspaper articles of the time state that evacuations were made at the west end of Rosslyn, Kanawha, Westview, from Martindale (on the west side of Olentangy opposite Marburn), and in the vicinity of American Legion Park (today’s Clinton-Como Park) and from countless homes in the path of the swollen and ice-carrying river. Gas and electricity had to be cut off for safety. Several people died. Mayor Sensenbrenner declared a state of emergency in the city of Columbus, and similar action was taken all over the state. [From North High School Polaris, 1959]
The Ohio State School for the Blind was built in the 1950s on land that had previously been a renown golf course, Wyandot Country Club also known as the Elks Country Club. This picture and its caption are from a brochure for the school published in the mid 1950s. (Photo courtesy of the Ohio State School for the Blind)
I love this picture of the Kiwanis Club of Northern Columbus, the oldest service club in the area, with some members of the Jet League, a baseball team the club sponsored. Over the years Kiwanis has held pancake breakfasts, fish fries, garage sales, peanut sales newspaper sales, and hosted a concession trailer for activities at Whetstone Park. They use the funds to sponsor teams, provide scholarships, sponsor the annual Whetstone Park egg hunt, and to contribute to Easter baskets for Children’s Hospital. One of their largest projects was to raise $50,000 for the lodge at Highbanks MetroPark. (Photo courtesy of Kiwanis of North Columbus)