Steubenville: Dean Martin Mecca

Dean Martin headshot, singer 1980
AP
Steubenville, Ohio is dwindling, from losses of population, steel industry jobs, and even its title of "sin city" is gone.

But there's one thing no one can ever take away: Steubenville is — and always will be — the proud birthplace of the late, great Dean Martin, or Dino Crochetti, as he was known here. It's one thing they can and do celebrate at the annual Dean Martin festival. People come from all over the world to pay homage to the entertainment legend.

Rose Angelica, devoted keeper of the flame, shows off the historic sites.

"This is Dean Martin's lot where his house was where he was born," she told Sunday Morning correspondent Bill Geist. "We mark that every year for the fans that come in they make their pilgrimage there. They take blades of grass with them and dirt to save from his lot."

"That's Dean Martin's church where he was an altar boy. He was baptized there and he was in the boy scouts they had their meeting there in the church basement," she said. "Troop number 10."

Angelica said Martin's famous song "That's Amore," is the town's "national anthem."

Fans visit Denovo's Dodge dealership. It's a repository of significant Dean Martin photos. One of the photos dates from 1939; it is of Joe Denovo and Dean Martin.

On the wall of Kroger's supermarket, Dean Martin stands two stories tall, but the artist did not include Dean's ubiquitous highball, which was just part of Martin's shtick.

"It actually was apple juice, Martinellis by the way, Angelica said. "Martinellis that's the brand he used."

One of the things that made Martin so special, was that he was the "only entertainer to have a hit record, a hit TV show and a hit movie out all at the same time," Angelica said.

"Not even Elvis did that or Frank Sinatra," she said.