Two turkey tales about Bay Village

This picture appeared on the cover of The News Saturday Magazine in 1955.

For Thanksgiving, here are two turkey tales about our town.

Powell Turkeys

Thomas Powell of Olean, New York, purchased 80 acres of land, Lot #81, on the west side of Bradley Road from Nehemiah Hubbard. Thomas married Sophia Saddler. In 1850, Thomas built a clapboard house at 576 Bradley Road, which still stands. Thomas and Sophia had three children, Perry, Elisabeth and West.

Perry married Sarah Milner. His children were Isaac Clinton (I.C.), Elvie and Mary. Perry’s son Clinton married Amanda Wuebker. Clinton built a house north of the old Powell house at 562 Bradley Road.

Their son, Roger Powell, raised turkeys. They were “free range” turkeys, meaning they roamed around the farm and were not cooped. Powell’s turkeys were very popular. Most Bay Villagers purchased a fresh Powell turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas in the 1940s and '50s. When the Powell farm was sold, everyone was sad. Where were they going to get their turkey?

I remember the family informing us that the Albright turkey sold at Carr’s Market in Avon Lake was a Powell turkey. I ordered my turkey from Carr’s for many years. I still have directions on how to cook a fresh Albright turkey. When the farm was sold, the land became a development of houses. Clinton Drive and Perry Drive are two of the streets in that development.

The Turkey Caper

The southwest corner of Wolf and Bassett roads passed from the Bassetts to the Aldrichs to Frank Meilander. Frank raised turkeys, grew vegetables, and had a fruit tree orchard. The Januska family lived on Foote Road.

Les Januska, still in high school in the late 1930s, worked a trap line along Porter Creek that ran behind Westerly School, under Bassett Road, along Wolf Road, through Huntington Park to Lake Erie. He trapped muskrat. Every morning before school, Les checked his traps.

One morning before Thanksgiving, while checking the traps, he noticed a car sitting in one of the Meilander farm fields. That was strange, and the car was not familiar. Seeing no one around it, he didn’t think much more about it and headed off to school. Later that same day, Chief of Police John Eaton called the frightened Les out of class to ask him about the car. It seems that Les and his flashlight had interrupted turkey rustlers who ran off. The Meilanders had found the car that morning with its rear seat removed and the back filled with turkeys with their legs bound. The holiday dinners had been saved.

Les grew up, went off to war, returned and became one of Bay Village’s most respected firemen. Westerly School is located on Meilander property.

Correction: In the previous issue, contained incorrect information about the Starke family. The back part of the Henry Winsor house, which was not moved north up Bradley Road with the rest of his house, is part of the August Meilander house and not the Starke house.

kay laughlin

I am the Historian for the Bay Village Historical Society, member and Past President, 1976. Lived in the village since 1936.  I was part of a team that developed the Cahoon farmhouse into Rose Hill Museum in 1973.  I participated by inventoring the Cahoon items and serving as the first Accessions Chairman and as a Docent at the museum for 20 years.  I was part of the committee that brought the Osborn house to Cahoon Memorial Park in 1995 and turned it into a learning center.  Along with my sister, Gay Menning, and the society, we wrote the 'Bay Way of Life' history book in 1974.  When Ginny Peterson asked for my help, I offered my historical pictures and wrote the captions for the Arcadia picture book, 'Bay Village,' published in 2007.  

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Volume 8, Issue 22, Posted 9:47 AM, 11.15.2016