This Week In Toledo History

By: 
Lou Hebert

February 18-24
February 18
1883 - Floodwaters damage numerous buildings along the riverfront in downtown Toledo.
1918 - Record low temperature reported in Bowling Green at -22 degrees.
1927 - Harvard Elementary School in South Toledo is dedicated. The castle-like structure is one of Toledo’s most expensive schools and because of its unique design is mocked as the “Castle on the Maumee.”
1959 - Fire blazes through several buildings in Curtice, triggering evacuations and the labor of 100 volunteer firemen to fight the flames. Losses totaled more than $300,000.
1971 - Federal Court Judge Don Young rules that conditions at Lucas County Jail are sub-human, and that prisoners’ constitutional rights to humane treatment are being violated.
1989 - Coast Guard rescues 175 fishermen from ice floes on Lake Erie.

February 19
1897 - Lakeshore grain elevator on the Maumee riverfront burns in a spectacular wind-swept inferno.
1923 - A doctor and nurse die when their car plunges through the lake ice near Put-in-Bay as they are on a medical run to another island.
1943 - Eighty-six dogs from Toledo leave for duty in World War II as part of the Dogs for Defense project. Almost all the dogs return after war is over.
1953 - A fire in a house on Mayo Street in Toledo takes the lives of two children and Toledo fireman Don Timiney.
1954 - University of Toledo basketball team defeats Ohio University, 71- 66, to win its first Mid-American Conference title.

February 20
1919 - Auditorium Bowling Center smolders after fire that destroys this popular sports center in Toledo.
1919 - The great booze rush descends on Toledo liquor and beer stores as Michigan residents cross state line by the thousands to buy beer before supplies run out in “dry” Michigan. Dixie Highway between Toledo and Monroe is reported to be littered with broken down cars.
1921 – Escaped Toledo Post Office robber Joe Urbaytis and several gang members are captured near Chicago on a westbound train.
1946 - Safety Director Maurice Meyer outlaws charitable bingo games in Toledo.
1948 - Large ammonia tank explodes at Page Dairy in Toledo on Knapp Street. More than 25 people are injured.

February 21
1901 - The “Toledo Steam” an early automobile built by the American Bicycle Company of Toledo being advertised in national publications for the price of $1,000.
1912 - Major blizzard hits Toledo area, stopping street cars and shutting down businesses.
1941 - It is reported that a Scott High School senior has lost his lawsuit in Common Pleas Court against a teacher who slapped him across the face for “impudence.”
2007 - Toledo Police Detective Keith Dressel shot and killed by young teenage suspect in North Toledo. The first Toledo officer killed in the line of duty in over 35 years.

February 22
1867 - Bowling Green Sentinel begins publication.
1886 - Dedication of the Soldiers Memorial Hall (now demolished) in downtown Toledo, built to honor all Civil War veterans.
1907 - Plans are announced that Home Furniture will open a store in 400 block of Summit Street. The store operated in that location until the 1970s.
1953 - Perrysburg Schools reopen after flu epidemic sickens hundreds of students and teachers for a week.
1973 - U.S. Supreme Court decides the final boundary line between Ohio and Michigan in a dispute over Turtle Island in Maumee Bay. This finally settles the Ohio-Michigan War of 1835.

February 23
1896 - The Toledo Pastor's Union demands that the police department enforce the closing of theaters on Sundays.
1905 - Six jail inmates in Toledo, five women and one man, are judged to be insane and sent to the asylum on Detroit Avenue.
1916 - Walbridge Park greenhouse gardeners are reporting their crop of bananas is starting to ripen. With temperatures in the greenhouse between 70 and 100 degrees, the gardeners expect to have about three bunches that will soon be ready to eat.

1925 - Albert Turner, a workman on the new Ft. Meigs Hotel on St. Clair Street falls 150 feet down an elevator shaft – and survives. Turner says he thought when he fell “he was a dead man” but then woke up. His worst injury was a bruise on his right hip.
1927 - Eight inmates escape from the Toledo Workhouse after using saws to cut their way out. The workhouse farm had been under heavy criticism for overcrowding and poor conditions.

February 24
1900 - Tragedy claims life of Toledo hotel owner, Dennis McGee, who falls to his death down the elevator shaft of his Burnett House hotel.
1915 - Toledo fireman John Kaintz dies while he is en-route to fire that was reported at Wabash Railroad roundhouse.
1926 - The Women's Bureau of the Toledo Police Department begins operations to handle cases of missing women and other policing issues involving women.
1938 - Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” opens at the Pantheon Theater in downtown Toledo to much fanfare.
1947 - Five children are killed in car accident on Woodville Road near Genoa while they were being driven to a school in Toledo by their teacher.
1962 - Jeep reports that it is now exporting Toledo-made vehicles to 21 overseas countries.
1995 - The USS Toledo submarine is commissioned at Norfolk, Virginia.

Lou's Notes: Thanks to my former government teacher and basketball coach at Genoa, Dave Hitchen, who sent me a great photo of Genoa's first gymnasium. It was located at 5th and Main Street, on the Northeast corner, where the Vine's gas station would later occupy the spot. Would love to have been a witness to some of those games. And thanks to all who have commented on the Forest Park story.

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