Monthly Archives: November 2015

Smythe Door Preserved

Atty. J. J. Smythe was a figure in the Amherst community for many years.  John Joseph Smythe, of 170 Woodhill Dr. (1889-1966) lived in Amherst most of his life.  An O.S.U. Law School graduate (1912), he started a law practice in Amherst in 1913.  He served as Mayor of Amherst from 1913-16 and 1922-24.  He was believed to be the youngest mayor in Ohio when he began service.  He was Village solicitor for over 20 years and was appointed judge of Lorain County Common Please in 1956.  He was a senior member of the firm Smythe & Muzilla.  In 1939 he was president of the Lorain County Bar Association and chairman of its history committee.  He also served as chairman of the Law Libraries Committee of the State Association and Lorain County Law Library Association.  He was a former Vice President and attorney for the U. S. Automatic Corp. and a former director of A. Nabakowski Co. in Amherst.  Further, he was a manager of the Amherst Water Company for 27 years and served as its secretary.  He was part of the Amherst Hospital Association and many other civic groups.  In 1948 he was president of the newly formed Amherst Planning Commission.

Atty. Smythe advertisement from the 1930s ("Amherst News-Times")

Atty. Smythe advertisement from the 1930s (“Amherst News-Times”)

His law office was located above the bank building (now Cedar Pub) at Church and Park in downtown Amherst, in room 205.  A special thank you to Pam Merthe Kreger and Rick Kreger of Cedar Pub for donating this important door and its frame, including the original transom.  Thanks to Bill Nahorn for making the necessary modifications.  Note mail slot and hand-painted lettering.  This door is not only a local historical item, having been connected to Mr. Smythe, but it is a fine relic of that era’s architectural history for display in the Museum.  November 2015.

The Smythe door, and its frame, now at the New Indian Ridge Museum.

The Smythe door, and its frame, now at the New Indian Ridge Museum

Vermilion River Watershed Document Compiled

Col. Nahorn has worked over the past several weeks researching and compiling a watershed profile and historical overview document on the Vermilion River Watershed.  This 35-page research document is the culmination of the New Indian Ridge Museum’s continuing “expansion into Vermilion’s history,” as highlighted in our last newsletter, posted on this website.

Final preparations are going forward to possibly post the document on this website, but for now we are restricting it as a research document in the Museum’s research library.  The Watershed profile and historical overview is divided into main sections, which include: Introduction; Geology, Geography, and Technical Overview; Native Vegetation; Prehistoric Overview; Early Historic History Overview of Towns; Current Environmental Issues and Recommendations; Conclusion.  The intent of the document is not to provide a completely in-depth history and study of the entire Watershed, but rather it is to present an overview of the Vermilion’s Watershed, its general history, geology, and environment.  The document employs photos of views from the Watershed and copies of Vermilion-related postcards from the Museum’s collection.  November 2015.

Col. Nahorn kayaking down the Vermilion.

Col. Nahorn kayaking down the Vermilion.