Relics of the past found in Findlay area

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is another article on Findlay area history adapted from a series written from 1959 to 1974 by the late R.L. Heminger, publisher and editor of The Courier. This is the third of eight articles dealing with evidence of the past that still existed in the community in 1971.

 

For the past two weeks we have been discussing some of the evidences of other days in the local community that still remain to remind us of those times gone by. Their number is rather large, and we will examine some more of them today.

The old Crawford School at the foot of West Crawford Street is an object of much interest. Newcomers are always making inquiry as to its nature and its background. Its rather unusual shape arouses natural curiosity.

The building was erected in 1880 as an elementary school. It served as a school for 36 years. It was abandoned as a school building in 1916, when the present Lincoln elementary school was erected on West Lincoln Street.

When the Crawford building was erected, it was the third structure to be built after the Findlay public schools were organized in the 1850s under a school district program. The Central building on East Sandusky Street had been built in 1868 and the Taylor, north of the Blanchard River, in 1876. The latter stood on the site just north of the north side fire department, across from the railroad tracks. Both the Taylor and the Central are now gone.

The Crawford structure has been utilized for business and commercial purposes since its abandonment as a public school. Now it is part of the Centrex operation.

SOME OF THE old street car tracks over which electric interurban trolleys ran in other days are still existing locally.

The steel rails which were part of the old Western Ohio streetcar line operating in and out of Findlay on Lima Avenue are still under the pavement on that thoroughfare. They were never torn out, as were most of the other streetcar tracks over the city. The tracks are encased in concrete and removal would be a difficult task.

A few rails of the Main Street trolley system yet remain in some places. Most of them went when the city repaved the main thoroughfare some years ago. There were double tracks. They were laid in 1889 when Findlay was experiencing its oil and gas boom. A new bridge had to be built across the Blanchard River to provide for the double tracks. The old one was too narrow.

The tracks on Center Street and Tiffin Avenue where the Toledo, Fostoria and Findlay streetcar line ran were taken up not long after the cars stopped in the 1930s. These tracks were laid only on a stone basis. Residents along the thoroughfares came to city council repeatedly to protest that the heavy streetcars were loosening the plaster in their homes.

FREQUENTLY when a building’s ownership changes hands, the new owner often finds that he has more on his hands than just a structure.

This was the case of J. Lester Thomas, Findlay jeweler, when he bought the “Old White Corner” at the corner of Court and South Main Street. On the third floor of the building he discovered considerable printing equipment.

The offices and plant of the Findlay Courier were once located there, and the equipment which came to Mr. Thomas’ attention had been left there evidently when the newspaper moved to a new location.

It was approximately 100 years ago that the Courier was published from the third floor of the “Old White Corner.” The Courier had been established in 1836. It eventually acquired its own building when it built a structure on East Sandusky Street, just behind the present Niles building on the south side. When the paint at the top of the former Courier building wears thin, one can still see the Courier’s name at the top of the East Sandusky Street structure.

“The Old White Corner” obtained that name many years ago. The corner has housed many businesses, including dry goods stores and financial institutions, among others. Judge John Ewing, who came to Findlay from Pennsylvania in 1833, built the building. The origin of the “White Corner” name remains buried in past records.

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