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1977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989

OLD CHURCH SITES FOUND
Thursday June 3, 1982


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Pix #1 - This photo, left out of the post office article several weeks ago, was among other collected by Robert Mcfadden, a deceased postmaster. It was taken November 1, 1932, when the old buildings where the post office is now were being demolished. It shows the YMCA on right and Hoyt Seed Company on left (now gone too). Someday when the YMCA building program is completed, today's article will be just a memory.

Author's Note: The Grace United Church of Christ story was intended to be concluded last week, but the quantity of photos and copy overran the available space. That circumstance coupled with the amount of Feedback which developed from the article dictated additional space to conclude the article this week.

HELPFUL COMMITTEES FOR NEW CHURCH

When the new Grace United Church of Christ was constructed in 1967-68, members of the congregation who were involved in various phases of the building program were:

Steering Committee - Henry Spooner, chairman; Mrs. Robert Slosser, Richard Last, Mrs. Arthur Gamertsfelder, Gerald Fling. Self Study - Mrs. Joanne Ellis, general chairman; steering and site selection - Mrs. Robert Slosser, Mrs. Robert Hill, Mrs. Tony Lucadello, William boyd, Glen Williams, Richard Myers; Building Committee - Robert Hill, chairman, Anna Coons, Barbara Banks, Louise Manecke, Paul Hiser; Furnishings and Equipment - Robert Hill, Paul Hiser, Louise Manecke, Barbara Banks, Anna Coons, Richard Beers, Russell Blose, Lawrence Hade, Margaret Masters, Herald Thompson.

Your author had never had a complete tour of the building until recently when collecting data for this article. The building layout is unique. The sanctuary is in the center of the structure. Sunday school rooms, fellowship hall, offices and other meeting rooms surround the sanctuary.

Since many readers save these historical articles, it is important to preserve for posterity those pastory who guided the destiny of the early Reformed Church from 1879 to the present.

PASTORS

A. Casselman 1879-83
John D. Neff 1883-90
Isaac Sites 1890-91
J.A. Ketrow 1892-93
W.A. Tussing 1894-93
E.F. Weller 1893-97
J.S. Keppel 1898-99
F.E. Zechiel 1900-07
G.C. Baumgartel 1907-11
O.G. King 1911-15
J.S. Freeman 1916-20
E.D. Fager 1921-29
A.C. Fisher 1930-33
H.E. Settlage 1933-39
Stanley Fritz 1939-51
W.D. Keeler 1952-57
E.H. Klingel 1958-62
C.A. Folk 1962-68
Gary Hodges 1968-72
J.W. Garner 1972

ABOUT OLD CHURCH

The building that served the congregation as their church home for so many years at Poplar and South Streets has been changed. Recently as your author drove by it he clanced up at the belfry where the old bell once summoned worshippers on Sunday. The bell is now mounted on a brick platform in front of the new church, shown in a photo.

The eletronic chimes once used at the old church, were moved to the new church and used, but no longer are in operating condition.

After the building was no longer used by the congregation as a church, it was eventually purchased by the local theater group.

The stained glass windows are still in place, but covered by wood panels on the outside as a precaution against vandalism. Attempts are being made to seal the windows, but without success, according to Browning Payne of the Footlighters.

ITEMS PRESERVED

Some of the furniture from the old church is still in use in the present one. And, many items of memorabilia were purchased by church members as keep sakes.

Earl Peters, deceased, because of his long membership in the church, purchased many items from the old church for the two log houses which served as museums on his property on Ohio 18. The log houses were his ancestors' first homes south of Fostoria when they moved to this area in the early 1800's.

Mrs. Richard (Pat) Danner, Perry Street, has an antique cherry cupboard which was in the old church.

If space permitted, the old church records contain lists of earyl members whose descendents are still active in the church and have contributed greatly to the growth and development of Fostoria. All are worthy of note. Perhaps they could be included with a Feedback column later.

FEEDBACK: READER REPORTS

The two installments about that 100-year old church brought many comments and telephone calls to report various items.

One of those calls was from Gertrude Kassing, 648 Poplar St. She reported that she was baptized in Olive Chapel by the Rev. F.E. Zechiel on July 2, 1903, when she was three years old. She still has the aged certificate.

She knows the location where the church was, and we drove out to see it at the intersection of township roads 84 and 47. Trees shown in the photo of the church are still standing. When the church was abandoned the building was moved to the Catherine Harrison farm nearby and is still there, being used as a farm building.

Miss Kassing is well acquainted with that area of Seneca County, having grown up there on her parents' farm, the first house south of Olive Chapel.

Mrs. Roy Myers, 4143 U.S. 23 North, also telephoned to report that she was baptized at Olive Chapel in 1901. by Zechiel. Also, Myers great-grandmother, who was born Rebecca Hampshire, later to be married Danil Swope in Morgan County, Ohio, where they both lived. They then moved to this area and lived close to the old church in the Harrison house. Mrs. Swope had her funeral service conducted at Olive Chapel in 1868, one year after it was built. Mrs. Myers has her great-grandmother's baptismal certificate dated 1813.

Deliah Rinebold, 11728 W. Seneca CR, 18, telephoned to say that a friend who did not want her name in print, living southwest of Fostoria in Hancock County, telephoned her to report that she knew the exact location of the Zion Reformed Church named in the first article.

In the article I said the Zion Church was in Hancock County, Section 11, Range 12, but the exact location was unknown.

Later, I got in touch with "the friend" and she pinpointed the church's location. Drive past the Country Club on West Independence Road to the first crossroad, which is now Township Road 218, formerly known as Zeller Road, then turn right. The Gerald Heinze residence is the next house on the left. Across the road is land now owned by the Country Club, which was formerly the Moots farm. I am told that in the lightly wooded area on the right side of 218 the Zion Reformed Church was located.

I was told that even after the old church was demolished, but the foundation remaining, the old church members would gather at the site for picnics and reminisce about the earlier days.

When the second installment of the article appeared, Mrs. Rinebold reported she was the Sunday school teacher of all of the Sons-of-the-Church except Carl Bormuth, and she is naturally proud of having been their teacher.

Mrs. Ora Wade, West Fremont Street, telephoned to report that she attended the Grace Reformed Church, built in 1879, and located on West North Street. According to her, 85 years ago when she was five years old, she sang a solo in that church. In our conversation, she recalled the beauty of the interior of that church. She said the rope to ring the church bell was just inside the front entrance. She believes the church was one lot further east than was reported in the article.

Mrs. Wade said she enjoyed the spread of pictures in The Review Times special Streetscape edition May 22. In the photo showing the A. Weaver Store in The First National Bank building, her foster father Mr. Miller was in that photo, the third from the right.

She said seeing the photo of the Peter Clothing Co. store at Tiffin and Main streets, reminded her that Ora Wade had his first office location in an upstairs location of that building, and she was his secretary, which was before their marriage.

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