NOTICE: This site will go offline July 1st, 2024.
Please contact if you are interested in maintaining this site after July 2024.



User Rating:  / 0
Community Calendar
Social Groups
Web Links


February 5, 1981

Pix #1 -

Pix #2 -

Pix #3 - Nostalgic view of the area, showing Luna Theatre

Pix #4 - Foster Park where band concerts were once held, and where the Stove Fountain was.

The two geographical areas from which Fostoria grew...Rome and Risdon still play an important part in this city's daily life.

Whether it be happenstance, or the result of chronological events, the exact area where Rome began and where the heart of that village's early business was, is today the seat of Fostoria Government and still an important business area.

Today's and next week's article pertain to that area of Main Street from Tiffin to South...where the Foster family after whom Fostoria was named lived and started to build the city, which was described in 1877 as "one of the livest cities of its size in Ohio" with some of the finest redidences in Ohio.

By that time...1877, the population of Fostoria was over 4,000 with six churches, good public school system...and five railroad lines. Gas, oil and industry made Fostoria a "boom-town".

(C.W.) Foster & Snyder Bros. was listed in the 1877 Directory of Fostoria, the earliest one published. Their store, in the Foster Block at southwest corner of Main and Tiffin, provided dry goods, carpets, boots, shows, and clothing.

Foster & Co. Bankers was south of the Foster & Snyder Bros. and just a stone's throw from the C.W. Foster home, where the Municipal Building is today.

The Fostoria Review, with O.J. and J.P. DeWolfe as editors and proprietors was located at the corner of Tiffin and Main as was the Fritcher and Schaufelberger Drug Store.


Standing at the intersection of Main and Tiffin, and looking westward one could see the Charles "Calico" Foster home, on land now part of the Municipal Building site.

With this introduction Potluck presents a backward glance of an interesting period in Fostoria's business district, starting at Main and Tiffin, moving south, the west side of the street only.

Take another look at illustration No. 1 of the Foster Block, then look at Photo #2 and see how it was altered to meet the times. The latter is the way it was at about the turn of the century or shortly thereafter, when Kiebel & Wilson Dry Goods store was in the corner location along with J.B. Fosty. They moved to North Main, later becae the Ahlenius Store, and most recently was The Franklin Store.

The Foster Building was uaed by many businesses and professional people during its lifetime and the following list provides the names of many of them and their locations.


NO. 201 - was the corner and 207 was the smaller building shown in the extreme left of illustration No. 1, which was the location for Foster & Co. Bankers. The other store numbers are progessively from the corner. The directory listing which follow start with the year 1912 and end with the mid 1950's.

NO. 201

Golden Hill Liquor Store (saloon) operated by L.J. Schild; W.E. O'Neal Grocery; Ohio Savings & Loan and also Fancher Insurance Agency; in later years also Carl Smith, Insurance; Fred's Recreation; Peter Clothing Co., the last occupant in that location before the building was demolished.

NO. 203

Economy Clothiers; Inter-City Tea Co.; Binder Shoe Co.; Burger Shoes, occupying the location for 25 years, then moving across the street.

NO. 205

Luna theatre; K.T. Schultze-Fish - Poultry; Reliable Clothing Co.; Ballreich & Son; Superior Auto Supply; People's Credit Clothing; Gene Stahl & Associates; Marten's Custom House Furniture; Robert Green Insurance.

NO 205 1/2

On the upper floors of No. 205 - V.E. Derr; Dr. E.M. Bevard, Dentist; Harriet D. Musser; J.C. Wiseman; Margaret J. Killen; Theo Allenbach; John Simkins; L.O.O.M. Lodge; Peter Kieffer; Dr. F.H. Pennell; Phi Delta Kappa; Dr. M.A. Prudden; Elks Club.

NO. 207

Aldrich & Co. Poolroom; Postal Telegraph & Cable; Fostoria Army and Navy Surplus (Meyer and Harry Schiff); Robinson's Typewriter Service; Stricker's Personal Employment Service; Seneca Radio Corp.; City Income Tax Department.

NO. 207 1/2

Millie Beauty Shop; Bette's School of Dance; Merchant's Credit Bureau.


Some readers will remember how that area of Main Street, shown in Photo #3, looked back then. Note the Luna Theatre sign...where you could see the old silent movies for 5 cents.

That was a great era...we had street cars, automobiles and horsedrawn vehicles too. All three methods of transportation are shown in the photo. South on Main just two blocks was the B&O and Nickle Plate railroads, where you could catch a ride to Chicago, Cleveland, Buffalo, and New York.

The Charles W. Foster home, Photo No. 4, is a view, which I had never seen until recently when Mrs. Charles Ash, Amsden, gave it to me. The photo was taken when it was still used as the Foster residence, and prior to the time when the Security Building was built...and the way it looked when The Daily Review took it over in later years. that's when I carried papers and got my first part and full time job.

Prior to the construction of Fostoria's Municipal Building, that area was Foster Park (see photo) where band concerts wer held and where a fountain, donated by the Stove sisters was located. Too bad it was destroyed and not preserved by city officials for lateruse on the municipal lawn...or for another location.


Now we come to the end of our nostaligic trip for today...and a look at the only building still standing from another era...The Security Building, built and owned by the Balmer family who lived at 214 W. Tiffin st., now owned by Walter Roth, where he conducts Roth Furniture. He had been in that location for 10 years and bought it from Standard Oil in 1970. Standard had considered putting a filling station there at one time.

When the Security Building was erected it looked like it does today. One of the very early tenants was William Hoff Dry Goods in the 219-221 location.

Top of page



Hosted by Noguska Computer Center Serving Fostoria's computer needs since 1973!