Transporting the Baby

The newly-born English princess was introduced yesterday in a modern removable car seat, but a photograph of an unknown infant in Antiochiana’s photo collection shows a much more ornamental conveyance (even if its occupant seems dubious).


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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1930s/1940s part 7


Antioch Bookplate design F-431


Although this particular configuration had a very brief life as a bookplate, the American Type Foundry bookshelf printer’s ornament would be used in both universal and custom bookplates, and the quote would become part of one of the best selling bookplates in the company’s history (B-48).

Antioch  Bookplate M-3


Stenzel bookplate design 57

Stenzel 57








M-3: Design credited to Lebert Prether. Ernest Morgan said of this design: ” This is a ‘third generation”’design. It first appeared in the line of Alfred Stenzel, in New York, about 1928, with a white cat sitting on the books and the wording “Concilia et Labore” in the scroll. After we took over the Stenzel line another publisher lifted the design, improving the style a little and substituting an owl for the cat. We lifted it back again, with improvements, substituting the hourglass and putting in new wording written by me.”


Antioch Bookplate design M-5 (alternate)

M-5 (alternate, credited to Lebert Prether)

Antioch Bookplate design M-6


Ernest Morgan notes of M-6: “The original M-6 ‘The Poetry of Earth Is Never Dead’ was drawn by Kenneth Walters, who lived in Clifton back in the early 30’s. It was based on a design published by the Little Company of Lost Angeles. It was the Little Company who pushed us into selling bookplates without names.”

Antioch Bookplate design F-652/M-7 (alternate)

F-652 or M-7 (alternate)

Antioch Bookplate design M-8

M-8 (by Gustav Uhlmann)

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Famous Disaster Sesquicentennial Anniversary

Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the sinking of the steamship Sultana, for which there’s a small Yellow Springs connection, previously blogged here.

This article notes one final mystery about the incident, as well as detailing some of the current works of research.


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Deaton’s Hardware Nail Bins

The “You Know You Are from Yellow Springs When…” Facebook group is a wonderful source of shared local history, particularly fond memories of growing up in Yellow Springs.

Melanie Deaton-Kitchen recently shared this photo of her father with the nail bins in his hardware shop (and we thank her for giving us permission to share it here). Although the modern practice of nail-selling in blister packages or boxes is undoubtedly easier for the business owner to manage and inventory, it can’t compare with the charm and entertainment value of the spinning nail-bins.

Nail bins

Nail Bins at Deaton’s Hardware

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A Brief History of the Bryan Center Tract — Final Part

Special Note: Don’t forget Yellow Springs Historical Society president Dave Neuhardt’s free program on John Bryan the man next Sunday, April 26, at 2:00 p.m. at the Senior Center.

Bryan High School and Community Center

In 1916, perhaps in part as a result of the notoriety the tract gained as a result of the murder, John Bryan presented the 14 acres to the Village of Yellow Springs and Miami Township for school purposes. At the time, it was noted that the lake no longer existed, but that a spring on the site was considered one of the best in the area. In recognition of the gift, the school board determined to name the new school to be built on the site after the donor. Bryan inserted three conditions in his deed: (i) no one was to be barred from attending the school on account of color, (ii) no basement was to be built under the building, and (iii) no religion was to be taught. It would be 12 years, however (1928), before the present building was constructed on the site as a school for the village.

WPA-funded amphitheater 1935/1936

WPA-funded amphitheater 1935/1936

In 1935, the Yellow Springs School Board aggressively sought a grant from the federal government for the improvement of the school grounds, and in late September of that year was awarded $14,487 from the first Congressional appropriation for Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects. The grant covered the cost of labor for the construction of a cinder track on Cemetery Street, tennis courts, 1,800 feet of flagstone walk, a stone bridge, landscaping and an open-air theatre on the site, while the school board was required to contribute $2,481 for materials. The tennis courts (or their modern descendants) and the amphitheater exist today on the tract.

The school served the community well for many years, although in 1963, the high school moved to a new building on a campus on the west side of the village. Following completion of the Morgan building on the same site in 1970 for the intermediate (junior high) school, the village administration relocated to the former school building. The building was later renovated to also include a community center.

1896 map showing the tract

1896 map showing the tract

For Part 1 of this series see here, and for Part 2 see here.

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Looking Back at Center Stage — 1979-1980

YSCSLogo-CollageImages below taken from original program covers (a full set of programs can be found at the Antiochiana archives).

To the continuing presentations of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and traditional dramas (both classical and modern), Center Stage in 1979 and 1980 introduced visiting performances (The Great American Mime Experiment and the first theatrical presentation based on Midwestern folk oral tradition written by Jeffrey Hooper).


Village Showcase…An Evening of Shakespeare/The Boor/Solstice/Voices from the Town

February 9-10, 1979 — a collection of dramatic excerpts by various village talents.

And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little

And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little

April 20-22 and 27-29, 1979 by Paul Zindel, directed by James J. Cain.


The Great American Mime Experiment/You Don’t Say





July 20-22, 26-29 and August 2-5, 1979 by Gilbert & Sullivan, directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by Chuck Riesz


Two Gentlemen of Verona

Two Gentlemen of Verona

September 21-23 and 27-30, 1979 by William Shakespeare, direct by James J. CainTwoGents_03



The Hot L Baltimore

The Hot L Baltimore

October 26-28 and November 1-4, 1979 by Lanford Wilson, directed by Jerry BoswellHotLBalt



Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls

November 30 and December 1-2, 6-9, 1979 by Frank Loesser, Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by Beverly Logan


Whistlestop (Little Miami Theater Works)

February 29 and March 1-2, 6-9, 1980 by Jeffrey Hooper



May 9-11, 16-18, 1980 by David Storey, directed by Jean Hooper

The Pajama Game

The Pajama Game

June 26-29 and July 3-6, 1980 by Richard Adler, Jerry Ross, George Abbott and Richard Bissell; directed by Jerry Boswell with musical direction by Suzanne Grote



August 15-17, 21-24 and 28-31, 1980 by Gilbert and Sullivan, directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by Ruth Bent

The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia

The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia

Magnolia_01October 10-12, 17-19, 1980 by Preston Jones, directed by Jean Hooper


The Dark at the Top of the Stairs

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs

DarkStairs_02November 7-9, 13-16, 1980 by William Inge, directed by James J. Cain

My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady

December 5-7, 11-14 and 18-21, 1980 by Frank Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner, directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by Chris DiSimio


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Program on April 26: Yellow Springs Original—John Bryan of Ohio.

Yellow Springs Historical Society program


John Bryan High School, the Bryan Community Center, John Bryan State Park, Bryan Park Road — the name of the man who may well have been Yellow Springs’ most original eccentric is still with us nearly 100 years after his death.

Poet, fabulist, industrialist, inventor, farmer, political theorist, philanthropist, self-promoter, atheist, eligible bachelor and millionaire, wealthy John Bryan took Yellow Springs by storm when he moved here in the 1890’s. For over 20 years, stories about his latest ideas and exploits filled local, regional and even national newspapers. When the press didn’t cover him, he was known to buy advertising space on the front page of prominent newspapers to have a soapbox for his views, and he was still creating controversy among Ohio’s elected officials, even years after his death.

Dave Neuhardt, President of the Yellow Springs Historical Society, will tell the story of John Bryan, the man, at 2:00 on Sunday, April 26 at 2:00 pm in the Great Room of the Senior Citizens Center. The program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1930s/1940s part 6

Another group of designs whose origins have been lost over the years, and of which only the German shepherd (F-429) lasted as long as ten years in the catalogs.

Note that F-428 was also listed as M-12, but is described here as “alternative” because that design number was also assigned more durably to the Cullen Rapp design shown earlier in this  post. Again, the reasons for duplicate numbering (which shows up in several other bookplate of this era) have been lost as documentation was discarded in periodic fits of commercial housekeeping.

Antioch bookplate F-424 or M-30

F-424 or M-30

Antioch bookplate F-426


Antioch bookplate F-427_M-31

F-427 or M-31

Antioch bookplate F-428 or M-12 (alternative)

F-428 or alternative M-12

Antioch bookplate F-429


Antioch bookplate F-430




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A Brief History of the Bryan Center Tract — Part 2

Note: If you are at all curious about the details of John Bryan’s life you won’t want to miss the next free program to be given by the Yellow Springs Historical Society (more details to follow):


The first part of the Bryan tract history can be found here, and further details of the Denman Duncan murder have previously been posted here and here.

Yellow Springs House


1855 view of Yellow Springs House with Elisha Mill’s original home clearly visible.

In the mid-1830’s, Elisha Mills, who had developed the hotel at the Yellow Springs into a nationally advertised summer resort and then transferred that property to his son William, built a new house adjacent to the ford on the site of today’s Bryan Center. After William Mills sold the Yellow Springs to William Neff of Cincinnati in 1841, Elisha expanded his home above the crossing of the creek into a hotel that became known as the Yellow Springs House, which operated under various owners for approximately 50 years, thus outlasting by a quarter of a century the hotel at the Springs. The hotel included a separate building directly overlooking the creek which contained a row of small attached cottages.

In 1891, the Yellow Springs House was purchased by a company formed by J. H. Little, which reportedly spent $20,000 to remodel the place into a modern 100 room hotel.

View of old alignment of the Springfield Pike (US 68) and the Yellow Springs House, with end of cottages visible.

View of old alignment of the Springfield Pike (US 68) and the Yellow Springs House, with end of cottages visible.

In 1893, the hotel was sold to local grocer E. E. Clark, who the following year built a dam on the creek below the crossing to create a lake for the enjoyment of those staying at his hotel. It may have been at this same time that a complex of pools and falls in the creek below the hotel were also built. Nevertheless, these efforts were not enough to save the hotel, and it was subsequently sold to H. C. Weakley, who converted the structure into a Methodist Home for the Aged. That use also did not last long, ending in 1902 when the building burnt to the ground due to hoses on the local fire department’s hand pumped engine being unable to reach the fire from the nearest hydrant on Dayton Street.

Denman Duncan Murder

Following the 1902 fire, the tract was purchased by wealthy eccentric John Bryan, the owner of Riverside Farm (today’s John Bryan State Park).

Cottages on the Yellow Springs House grounds

Cottages where Duncan murder occurred and stonework along Yellow Springs Creek.

The cottages along the creek had survived the fire and it was there, in 1915, that one of Yellow Springs’ most notorious murders occurred when one of the residents of the cottages, Lewis Haines, killed another resident, Denman Duncan (a former Antioch College student and son of prominent Antioch professor and trustee Amos Duncan) Haines, who believed that Duncan was giving “undue attentions” to Haines’ wife Maude, killed Duncan with a hatchet, which he then tossed into the creek.

Another view of cottages and creek (taken from stone bridge on Springfield Pike) also showing one of the pools along the creek.

Another view of cottages and creek (taken from stone bridge on Springfield Pike) also showing one of the pools along the creek.

Yellow Springs author Harold Igo claimed in an article that appeared in the Yellow Springs News in 1n 1943 that, as a result of the murder, “on a dark night, if you stood on the culvert on the Springfield road and looked down the creek you might see an occasional gleam of light from Duncan’s phosphorescent ferns” (another part of the story).

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Unknown Women

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, here are a few photographs with no identifying details of women in Yellow Springs’ past. If anyone can provide their names and stories, please let us know.

From a scrapbook at the Yellow Springs Senior Center

From a scrapbook at the Yellow Springs Senior Center

unidentified_woman_mink Unidentified-women

From the Welch family

From the Welch family

From the Carr collection

From the Carr collection

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