Rosie’s Place: the end of an unwanted era

Feb 20, 2024 | Featured, Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

In recent years, the former Rosie’s Place became an eyesore on Buckeye Boulevard. (Photo by Sue Conroy)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

Earlier this month, one of Port Clinton’s most notorious buildings was razed. Rosie’s Place, where men once sought the paid affections of women of the night – or the afternoon, as the need arose – was destroyed, marking the end of an era that once brought unwanted, wide recognition to the city.

In his book, “An Immigrant Family History,” the late Casimir “Ki” Jadwisiak said Rosie Pasco started her side business with fellow employees in the fields of the sugar beet factory in Fremont in the early 1930s. She found the work more profitable than hoeing sugar beets, Jadwisiak said.

Rosie found a more permanent location for her business at the corner of Buckeye Boulevard and East State Road in Port Clinton. Brief interludes in small rooms gained Rosie’s a big-world reputation. While Jadwisiak served overseas in the Marines during World War II, he heard Rosie’s name more than once. While he was disembarking from a troop ship one day in the South Pacific, a fellow soldier called out to him asking, “Hey, Ohio, is Rosie’s still open?” He was asked the same question in Guam and later in Los Angeles.

When Jadwisiak joined the Vita-Plate Battery Corp. in 1951, Rosie’s business was still thriving. Jadwisiak found it reprehensible that Rosie’s Place was allowed to flourish in his hometown full of good families with young children, so when two federal agents asked him to help put a stop to Rosie’s enterprise, he agreed.

A backhoe razes the building that once housed the infamous Rosie’s Place. (Photo by Sue Conroy)

“An Immigrant Family History” tells the tale of Rosie’s demise, which included threats to his family, the blind-eye policy of local authorities, bribed witnesses and a final judgment that put Rosie out of business for good.

Now, even her building is gone.

Sue Conroy, who owns Hair Quarters at 332 Buckeye Blvd. next door to the now-razed Rosie’s Place, is glad it is.

“We have always appreciated the interesting history of Rosie’s and her giving ways. However, it’s been a tough go having our business located next door,” Conroy said. “It’s been an eyesore for so long. We are a very successful business, so yes, we are very glad to have the old girl torn down.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Beacon Editor Sheri Trusty is working on a follow-up story on Rosie’s Place that highlights local’s memories of Rosie and her business. Anyone wishing to share a story about Rosie can email Sheri at editor@thebeacon.net.

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