BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — From bootleggers and entrepreneurs to prisoners of war and the Sisters of Notre Dame, I Hear Tell, Too! provides insight into those who have called the Whitehouse area home over the years.
“We didn’t need to ferret out stories … they wrote themselves. Some stories we didn’t know until we started research on the book. We want to get this down on paper before these people are gone,” said Craig Nilsson, log house curator for the Whitehouse Historical Society, which published the book.
On Saturday, September 12, WHS members will sell copies of the new book at the log home at the corner of Shepler and Lenderson streets in Whitehouse from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
I Hear Tell, Too! is the follow-up to the 2018 book I Hear Tell and contains 16 stories about local landmarks, people and events.
The saying “I hear tell” is how longtime WHS member Bud Bauman would introduce stories during his tours of historic downtown Whitehouse, said WHS member Susan Muenzer.
“Bud and so many people have stories we thought would be good to share before people forget,” Muenzer said.
Among the longtime residents profiled are Norma Weckerly Ruehle and Carlton Bucher.
Norma earned a B.A. in business and lived and worked in California during World War II before embarking on a 36-year career with Owens-Illinois. She traveled around the world with her husband, Roy, and kept copious journals, said Kathy Dollman, who along with Muenzer interviewed Ruehle before she died at age 102 in March.
Carlton Lee Bucher grew up helping on the family farm, attending Whitehouse School before shipping out with the Army during World War II, serving in France and Germany. Upon his return, Bucher launched what would be a 37-year career in banking, including as vice president of Ohio Citizens Bank in charge of the Whitehouse branch. His son, Jeff Bucher, shared memories of growing up in Whitehouse in the 1960s.
Joe Dollman Sr. reminisced about the dozens of bootleggers who made liquor to sell during the Prohibition era. Even Joe’s family made and sold booze from their Ramm Road home but were fortunate not to get caught by the “dry dicks” – cops who looked for homemade stills.
Brothers Larry and Rick Lucachek shared their memories of working at their family’s Sinclair gas station on Waterville Street.
Lee Dunnett, who recently passed away, was a life member and former trustee for the Progressive Fishing Assoc-iation (PFA) and shared the history of the Schadel Road club, including a dispute between the Women’s Auxiliary and the PFA trustees after the auxiliary used $2,200 they raised to install playground equipment. Trustees decided to disband the auxiliary and, as a result, a Toledo Blade headline an-nounced, “Domestic Discord Invades Kitchen of Progres-sive Fisherman’s Club.”
Sister Rita Marie Schroeder shared a history written by Sisters Mary Charleen Hug and Mary Valerie Schneider about the founding of the Lial Renewal Center and Lial Catholic School – named for Lisette Kuhling (the Li) and Aldegonda Wolbring (the Al), who emigrated to the Toledo area in the 1870s.
For 40 years, Louann Artiaga has known the family of Louis D’Amore, one of a group of nine POWs from Italy who served at the Rossford Ordnance Depot during World War II. During his rare time off work, Louis looked for Italian names in the phone book and found another D’Amore family living on Eber Road. The family, including daughters Rose and Grace, visited Louis weekly and, when the war was over, Rose and Louis married and settled next door.
Artiaga also wrote about area veterans who were killed in action or died during service. While their names are listed on the wall at Veterans Memorial Park, Artiaga said she wanted to tell more of the story.
“I thought our younger generation needed to know more about the types of sacrifices they made and how they died,” she said.
One Whitehouse locale that doesn’t get its own story in I Hear Tell, Too! is the quarry – a destination spot for all ages to cool off in the summer. Instead, the quarry is intertwined in the memories of many stories, Muenzer said.
“It would be hard to write one story about the quarry because it’s in so many people’s memories,” Muenzer said.
Milt Schalow and his dad, William Schalow, photographed at the quarry in the 1950s, are featured on the book’s cover.
“I’m giving out autographs,” Milt joked.
Milt and his siblings learned to swim at the quarry, which was packed every summer.
“We had a lot of adventures there – it was something,” he said.
Milt’s brother and his friends would dive into the deep water to find beer that people left there for chilling. The parking lot was rutted and many a muffler was ripped off. Milt told a story of a relative who accidentally drove his car off one of the cliffs.
“He called for a wrecker. His sister worked the switchboard, so by the time he got home, everyone in Swanton knew what happened,” he said.
I Hear Tell, Too! is available for sale at Whitehouse Motors and the Village Hall for $20.00. Copies can also be mailed for the cost of the book and postage. For information, contact Muenzer at (419) 392-1729 or Kathy Dollman at (419) 877-0755.