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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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        A party celebrating the release of a local history book written by Lou Hebert, of Genoa, is scheduled for Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Gathering Volumes Bookstore, 196 E. South Boundary St., Perrysburg.

        Though titled, Hidden History of Toledo, Hebert’s book offers a look at events and people – and a horse and dogs – from Northwest Ohio who have largely faded from memory but in their time made headlines or entered into the folk lore of their communities.

        “Some of the stories I have written about in columns. I updated them and fleshed them out a little more and included newer photos or illustrations if they were available. Others are ones I have done a lot of research on but haven’t written about yet,” Hebert said in a phone interview.

        June MacCloy, who passed away in 2005, epitomized the glamour era of 1920s and 30s Hollywood and Broadway.

        Born in 1909, the graduate of Scott High School worked with such notables as Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Groucho Marx and Vincent Minnelli.

        “She definitely had the Hollywood look and was actually a really good singer but had a deep, almost male contralto type voice,” Hebert said. “Some thought that might be why she didn’t make it even bigger. She did a lot of impersonations of male singers at the time because of her voice.”

        A story of more recent times, The Clock that Never Stopped, features the former Round the Clock brothel/restaurant that operated on Woodville Road near the border of Ottawa and Wood counties.

        Drive along the stretch of Woodville Road between Northwood and Genoa in the late 1940s and early 50s and you would pass several roadhouses, a couple illegal gambling establishments, a few truckstops with slot machines and an amusement park, Forest Park that was falling into disrepair, Hebert writes.

        “Vice did not take a holiday on Woodville Road. So why not add to the menu of options? That’s exactly what Lillian Pasco did, as she and (husband) Michael transformed the grill they bought into the Round the Clock,” he writes.

        The Clock, as it was known, funded a lifestyle for Lillian that included a home near Elmore and a small mansion in Arizona until federal agents raided the operation in 1970. She and others were convicted on several charges, including tax evasion, gambling, bribery and others. The Ottawa County sheriff and a former sheriff were convicted on bribery-related charges.

        Hebert offers some personal insight into the operation. As a teenaged delivery boy for a Genoa grocery store, he would on occasion make deliveries to The Clock.

        “It was always difficult for me to believe that the local law enforcement agencies didn’t know what was going on there, when as a 16-year-old, I knew, as did everybody else,” he writes.

        The book also provides the history of the man for whom Prentice Park in East Toledo is named.

        Frederick Prentice was born in 1822 and became a major industrialist in the Midwest by purchasing sandstone quarries when a building boom was starting.

        There is some doubt about where Prentice is buried. A family plot at Willow Cemetery in the City of Oregon includes his parents, daughter and first two wives. There is a marker for Prentice but Hebert says the general consensus is that Prentice is buried in New York not far from the Hudson River where he had a home.

        Some others featured in Hidden History of Toledo include two dogs.

        “Owney,” described as a scruffy Irish-Scottish terrier, was featured in many newspapers in the late 1800s for riding in rail cars hauling mail bags and became a national celebrity. In 2011, his image was put on a postal stamp.

        “Laddie Boy” was an Airedale given to President Warren G. Harding as an inauguration gift in 1921 by Caswell Kennels in Toledo.

        Hebert opens his book with the story of the horse, Cresceus, owned by George Ketcham. A trotter, Cresceus was called the “Monarch of the Mile.”

        Other stories cover Frank Burt, a well-known theater owner; Jack Miller, of Fremont, who gained fame as an aviator; Ben Stone, the first black in Ohio to become a small-town police chief in Luckey; Charles Roth, a Toledo police officer and symphony conductor and more.

        For information about the book visit arcadiapublishing.com.

            

       

 

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