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Thursday, July 21, 1983


Pix #1 - LE&W steam engine No.4152 on its stop at Fostoria's station on West North Street. On that day, it appears the train was made up of a baggage car and one passenger car. The water tank for filling the engines can be seen in the background. Photo courtesy of Ken Smith.

Pix #2 - F&F interurban No. 245 on East Tiffin Street just off Main Street, probably waiting for a position on the tracks in front of the station on Main Street, where Bill's Men & Boys Wear is located now. Photo courtesy of Ken Smith.

Pix #3 - The E.H. Retan grocery store on Sandusky Street. Retan is on the right and Chet Slater, a clerk is on the left. Photo courtesy of Mrs. R. Lawrence.

Pix #4 - This is how Ralph Lawrence had the Retan store remodeled when he started the Superette. The door at extreme right of building is where "Red" Boyd had his 5 cent lunchroom. Photo courtesy of Mrs. R. Lawrence.

Pix #5 - Ralph Lawrence pioneered the Superette

Author's Note: This is the second in a series of articles about Sandusky Street. They may not appear in sequence, so do not be alarmed. There was not sufficient space in last week's article to show an LE&W train and F&F interurban: both are with today's article.

A flood of memories of faces, names and houses come to mind as I start this second in the Sandusky Street series. The starting point is where Potter Street intersects.

Sandusky Street is still there, but there have been many changes in faces, names, and houses as the years have rolled by. The tracks for the LE&W and F&F interurban have been removed. The people I knew when I was younger are dead or have moved and many of the houses have deteriorated.

Looking back through old city directories, I discovered things about Sandusky Street I didn't know. For example according to the 1893 directory, the Methodist Episcopal Church had a parsonage on Sandusky - more about this later.


In 1893, the directory also listed the Mumma family as living in the same house where the Foster House restaurant was in recent years. That seems quite a coincidence, since Mumma at one time had a restaurant on Main Street in the Burtscher Block where City Loan & Savings is now.

Edward Mogle, another restaurateur in Fostoria, also lived in the house later. Still later, my uncle, George Hayden and wife Ida lived there too. Uncle George had a restaurant in Fostoria where Chapman's Jewerly is now. At a later period, he operated the first Woolworth store restaurant in Toledo. It seems foreordained that the house was for restaurant people.

The E.C. Munn family also lived in the house at one time but he was a contractor.


Besides the railroad depot and the old mill, there was at one time Bradley Machine & A.S. Co. (C.J. Bradley, proprietor). They came into existance in the early 20's and their first location was 144 Sandusky St. just about where Brewers Radiator and Transmission Service is today.

Their products were automotive accessories including trunks for the rear of cars that were not originally equipped. Later Ed. Shaufelberger became part of the organization and they occupied the building on South Union Street where Atlas is today.

After Bradley left that location Zender Nye & Gase Implement Co. occupied the building.

Later, after the implement company moved to another location, the building was rented by L.J. Fishbaugh as an arena and boxing matches were held there, according to Delbert Shontz, who recalls attending them.

After the arena folded, Fostoria Cartage Co. owned by W.W. Smith, used the building as an office and garage for parking his transport trucks.

In 1939, Cook Carriage Co. moved to the Sandusky Street location (no.144) after its factory on East Center Street was demolished by fire. It continued there until 1947 when again a disastrous firedestoryed the business and building.

In the latter part of the last century and early in this one, the cigar market was a big one and many were made in small home shops. One of those was operated by J.E. Kinnaman, 231 Sandusky St. In Fostoria there were possibly 10 small cigar-rolling shops, in addition to the larger Diesel- Wemmer factory.


A thriving business once located at 220 Sandusky St. in the cememt block building was Ghaster Poster Advertising Co.

The business, headed by S.L. Ghaster and son Carl, was sold a few years ago to a Lima Company after all the Ghaster family who was active in the business either died or retired. C.C. Kinsey, once advertising manager at The Review became sales manager for Ghaster in the 1920s.

At one time, a part of the Ghaster building's first floor was occupied by The Faultless Anchor Co., manufacturers of a device for anchoring telephone poles and other posts in the ground. The second floor of the building is residential apartments.

The oldest tenant in the building is Youngston's Handy repair Shop (Wayne Youngston), with entrance on Fremont Street. Wayne has been restoring and refinishing furniture for 38 years.

I want to mention a few other names of people and where they lived on Sandusky Street, since I'm sure some readers will recall them.

No. 153 - The F.E. McClellen family lived there in 1915; 1922, the O.B. Hummel family, he was a streetcar motorman; 1930 George L. Dible, a steel worker; 1936 E. Grace Worst; today its F.M. Harden.

No. 157 - 1893, Mr. and Mrs. A.O. Crone, a clerk at Peter Clothing Co.; later followed by Jacob Lafer; 1918-22, the Boyer family with sons Dewey and Kenneth, both good athletes. Dewey went on to become a coach at Marion High School and turned out some good football and basketball teams. Mrs. S. Sterheim also lived there for many years and I believe she raised a grandson Ned.


No. 161 - This location was the Methodist parsonage, mentioned earlier. That was before my time, but when the Emanuel Stahl famile lived there, it was a beautiful well-kept home inside and out. It had an attractive entry hall leading from the front entrance with a very nice stairway leading to the second floor. I recall it from the time I carried The Review to customers on that street. Today it a two-family rental property.

The Stahl's had a daughter, Ethel, who later in life married Mr. Prine. Prine staged newspaper circulation campaigns.

In later years Mr. and Mrs. Ross Stouffer and family lived at No. 161. Mr. Stouffer was a truck driver. They had a son, Park. Many readers will remember Mrs. Stouffer as a very religious woman.


The James H. Williams family lived at No. 205 for many years. williams was the brother of Mrs. Emanuel Stahl, who lived next door.

In the process of researching and putting together this article, I recalled Elvira Williams as the daughter of the family living at No. 205. I also recalled that Elvira and Ruth Rees of East Park were friends and had Elvira as a guest in her home on occasions.

Little did I know that Elvira and Virgil Rees were cousins by marriage. Out of a conversation with Mrs. Rees came unexpected information about those two families who lived side by side and the whereabouts of Elvira, who graduated from Fostoria High School in 1925.

this squib about No. 205 can only be shortened and concluded by reporting that originally it was a frame building, not brick as it is today. At one time it was not joined by the Fostoer House restaurant. Originally it was used by the father of James Williams as a woodworking shop to make finished materials for many of the early houses in Fostoria. Later it was remodeled to serve as their home.

James H. Williams resident at 205, worked for the American Express Co, back in the period when there were horsedrawn vehicles.

One of these days I may give a full report on the interesting Williams-Stahl families. In the meantime, old friends of Elvira can reach her by writing A.R. Williams, 230 N. Main St., Swanton, OH 43558.

No. 144 - 1893, Harry Glancy and wife. He was a hack driver.

No. 164 - J.L. Bigler residence salesman and later machinist. I am told that house was very nice many years ago.

No. 202 - Residence of Joel Hale, well-known person of Fostoria many years ago. House later occupied by his son Park, and family.

No. 210 - Fostoria Sign Co., H.G. Deane proprietor.

No. 219 - 1915-30 W.J. Bair and family; later Henry P. Zuern.

No. 223 - Helen E. Boday, residence

No. 225 - 1936 William H. Souder residence.

No. 227 - 1915, G.W. Cooper residence; 1922 J.H. Gard; 1930 Paul L. Williams; 1936 Nicholas D. Calmes.


Now we come to a place on Sandusky Street that will be familiar to readers young and old since it has been the site of a grocery store for 70 or more years up to the present.

The one photo with today's article shows the grocery when it was owned by E.H.Retan, who probably started it in that location prior to 1909, since he is listed in the 1909-10 city directory. Prior to entering the grocery business, Retan and a Mr. Rowles had a horseshoeing business at 133 E. Center St.

Retan sold the store to U.C. McDole, who was listed in the 1915 directory as the owner. He operated the store there for many years and finally retired to live in Alabama.

The store stood vacant for a time, until Ralph W. Lawrence bought it. He made major repairs and alterations to the building and then opened the grocery, calling it Superette, the name which it bears today.

According to Mrs. Lawrence, the store became a family operation. Mrs. Lawrence's son Jack Ganway worked at the store when he was going to school and up to his graduation in 1945. After being discharged from the service, he worked there again until joining Porcelain Products Co., Port Clinton, where he is still employed. The Lawrence family operated Superette for 20 years.

A room in the east end of the building housed a restaurant during the Depression years, operated by "Red" Boyd and his wife. Readers may recall it because everything was 5 cents, including sandwiches, soup, pie, etc.

The Superette was finally sold to Wayne Zimmerman who had it a number of years. He sold it to Joe Frias, the present owner. (to be continued)



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