Rosie’s Place: Remembering Rosie, Part 2

Apr 16, 2024 | Featured, Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

BY SHERI TRUSTY

The story, “Rosie’s Place: the end of an unwanted era,” that ran in the Feb. 22 Beacon, stirred memories across Ottawa County and beyond. Beacon Editor Sheri Trusty spoke with several locals about their memories of growing up in the shadow of Rose Pasco’s brothel. In part two of “Rosie’s Place: Remembering Rosie,” Trusty shares more of those stories.

Reggie Langford

It’s a bit of an oxymoron – and to Rosie’s credit – that her reputation spread far beyond Ottawa County, and yet she kept a lowkey profile in town. When Reggie Langford of Catawba was moving his family from Delaware, Ohio, to Port Clinton in 1974, his uncle commented that he was “moving to Rosie’s hometown.”

“I had no clue what he was talking about until I moved here,” Langford said.

Langford occasionally visited a local restaurant that Rosie owned, although he didn’t realize she was Rosie Pasco.

“She would come in and at times, she’d sit down beside me at the counter and chat. Then she would pay for my meal,” he said. “I thought she was a nice lady, not knowing who she was.”

Rev. John Meachen

Back in the 1960s, Rev. John Meachen, now of Wisconsin, was part of the Luther League in Port Clinton. Each Christmas season, members of the league would go caroling at the homes of shut-ins. One year, two carloads of male high school carolers discussed “who Jesus would really want us to visit and share the joy of the season.”

“Mary Magdalene and Rosie’s became intriguing possibilities,” Meachen said.

Most high school boys knew about the bell hose Rosie installed in the driveway to announce visitors.

“Full of evangelistic fervor, our two cars of Lutheran ‘missionaries’ drove over the hose that summoned three girls and Rosie herself to the back porch. Before we were told to leave, we started singing,” Meachen said. “Never had ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Joy to the World’ been sung with such gusto. When we finished, the girls applauded, and Rosie came down, thanked us, and handed us a twenty-dollar bill.”

The boys brought the money back to their pastor.

“I don’t know what I remember most. Was it the look of joy on the faces of the women on the back porch as we sang to them, or was it the look of terror on the face of our pastor when we gave him a twenty-dollar bill and told him where it came from? It was a Christmas we will never forget.”

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