Rosie’s Place: Remembering Rosie, Part 3

Apr 23, 2024 | Featured, Around Ottawa County | 1 comment

BY SHERI TRUSTY

Rose Pasco made a place for herself in Ottawa County history.

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. Editor Sheri Trusty spoke with several locals about their memories of growing up in the shadow of Rose Pasco’s brothel. In the final segment of the series, “Rosie’s Place: Remembering Rosie,” Trusty shares more of those stories.

Lauren Lieske

For a time when Lauren Lieske of Port Clinton was a young boy of about ten, his great-grandmother lived with family on State Route 105 between Elmore and Woodville. Rosie had another brothel next door, he said.

“They brought in all the executives on the weekends,” Lieske said. “They had a pond in the back, and the girls and guys would go swimming naked.”

The family’s farm was located down a long lane in sight of the pond. The pond was surrounded by a fence, Lieske said, that wasn’t high enough to obstruct the view from a horse.

“When my grandfather’s brother-in-law hauled hay back there, he would sit high on the horse and could see the pond,” Lieske said.

He said Rosie’s financial generosity in the community encouraged authorities to turn a blind eye to her business.

“She helped the community a whole lot,” Lieske said. “I know she got a lot of breaks, but she also helped the community.”

David Kolhoff

David Kolhoff was born in Port Clinton in 1950, and during his childhood, his father, Norman Kolhoff, owned the Red & White grocery store on Second Street and then managed Wally’s Food Town.

“I believe that I was aware of Rosie’s growing up, and I think that my dad delivered groceries to her place, even though I don’t have a vivid memory of Rosie’s Place as a preteen,” Kolhoff said. “After leaving Port Clinton and graduating high school in Fremont, I worked for Coca-Cola out of Sandusky for a few years. I went a couple of times with the driver who did the Port Clinton route, and we stopped at Rosie’s.”

At the time, Kolhoff was a young man with limited life experience.

“I was thrilled. On the side of the house was a door which led into a breakroom for Rosie’s workers. There would be five or six women outside in the yard or in the breakroom in their negligees,” Kolhoff said. “They were friendly and chatty as I brought in the pop. I loved that stop.”

Many local residents have said that Rosie enforced a strict rule that customers had to be at least 21.

“Since this was in 1969–1971 timeframe, you could argue that Rosie was more moral than Uncle Sam, who was more than willing to consider me for the draft and the war in Vietnam,” Kolhoff said.

For all the immorality Rosie spread across Ottawa County, she also spread generosity.

“I understand that most in the community did not object to Rosie’s Place because she was a good businesswoman who did business locally and who gave generously to the church and other charities, even though I don’t have any direct knowledge of that part of Rosie’s behavior,” Kolhoff said. “I am not presuming to argue that Rosie’s Place was good for the women workers or the male customers, but I am saying that we should not be too quick to judge and condemn. Maybe what Rosie did was worthwhile. It’s not clear to me one way or the other.”

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1 Comment

  1. Scott Gresser

    Another great article, thanks.

    Reply

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