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Thursday, December 13, 1979


PIX #1 - The Cramer house at 420 N. Main Street

PIX #2 - Oldsmobile agency at 304-306 N. Main...way back "then"

PIX #3 - Look at that Sports Olds of yesteryear

PIX #4 - George and Alice Cramer who owned the home many years ago


Several readers said they remembered the shooting incident involved in a man's search here for his father; they also knew the two (un-named) principals in the story, even after 51 years. Lloyd Meredith, father of the son of the victim, appreciated the way the story was handled, according to his letter.


Readers always enjoy stories like the ones about the North Main Street area and usually tell me things they remember or have heard about.

Pay Bowman, at the Kaubisch Memorial Public Library, came across an interesting story in the March 9, 1877, issue of The Fostoria Review, about a fire in that area.

Back then, the building that joined the robbins Marble Works (later the Times) was the location of The Opera Block, owned by Benjamin Leonard. The two buildings were separated by a walk-through area from Perry to Main. The walkway accommodated a side track of the L.E. and L. railroad.

The story goes that the fire started at midnight and was though to be arson. The marble works was saved, but the Opera Block was destroyed. It was feared the L.E. and L. Elevator across the street would be destroyed too, but it was saved.

Fremont fire fighters were called upon by telegram to help fight the fire, and they responded by bringing their steam operated pumper to Fostoria via L.E. and L. railroad, arriving here in about 30 minutes. Fostoria had only a hand-operated pumper.

That building was later rebuilt.


I thought I had possibly erred on one matter pertaining to the building at 317 N. Main. A reader telephoned to say Don Dillon did not have his Pontiac agency there. I contacted Hob Witmore, named in the story, and although he remembered working in that building, he wasn't positive about Dillon having his Pontiac agency there. I then contacted Dewey Dillon, brother of Don Dillon, who is still living in Upper Sandusky. He said his brother's Pontiac agency was in that location and he sold Pontiacs for his brother in 1926-27.

To further substantiate the matter, I again checked a city directory and found Dillon listed in that location. Dillon later moved to a building on West Center Street, then owned by Dr. Reycraft. That building later housed the A and P, and is now Hope Lutheran Church property.


Esther Shaffer resurected many memories after reading the North Main Street story. Her father, Joseph Shaffer, started a plumbing and electrical shop at 309 N. Main St., after leaving the carbon works. Esther thinks it may have been in 1915 or 1916. His business was where the Jenkins Plumbing Shop had been on the street's west side, in an old frame building north of The Times Building.

According to Esther, she and her older brothers George and Robert helped aroung the shop, even though the regular workwes were Rollo Redfern, Jay Cooper, Chester Kamp, a Mr. Hogan and a young boy, Albert Smith, who is living in New Jersey. Smith visited in Fostoria earlier this year and stopped at the Shaffers. He and his sister Ida, and I went to school together at old Whittier School. I had often wondered what happened to Albert. He also visited his old school teacher, Edna Hatfield when he was in town.

An old ledger of Esther's reveals interesting data:

Master eletrician's hourly wage, 85 cents. 190 feet No. 14 wire, $2.37; Cost for wiring J.C. Rodes house, $44.50 Night call to Jesse Warner Packing Co., $1


Jim Fleming resurrected several old pictures from hos memorabilia file about Main Street after the story appeared in print, and they accompany today's article.

Two of them show the location of the Fostoria Automobile Co., the Oldsmobile dealer at 304-306, present location Elks and Professional Building. Old directories failed to identify who operated that car agency. Harry Richards deceased and Fleming's uncle, a salesman for the agency, are shown in both photos; the sport runabout parked outside, and second from right in the interior photo. If any readers can identify the other please contact me.

Observe the car with the top folded down, and the rear view mirros mounted on each of the spare tires on each running board.

Any old car buffs have one of that model Olds?

In the one photo can be seen the W.L. "Bill" Knowles Machine Co. in the rear, and in the extreme rear, the old mill that was on Sandusky Street. It burned down in about 1930.


The third and fourth pictures with today's article show the property at 420 N. Main, known to old-timers as the Cramer house, as it appeared from the time it was built in 1858, until it was slightly altered in more recent years.

George and Alice Cramer, who lived in the property for many years are shown in one picture. He was a bricklayer. Mamie (Cramer) Richards, their daughter, was a school teacher in Fostoria for many years. She now resides at Good Shepherd Home.

The property, now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jim Fleming, has been made into apartments. Fleming is a nephew of Harlan "Red" Richards.

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