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 seventh of eight articles dealing with evidences of the past that still existed in the community in 1971.
There are still more evidences of bygone days within the local community. Today we will list a number that have been more fully described on previous pages of the newspaper and in this column from time to time, although they have never been brought together under a single heading.
Next week the series, which has been running for the last six weeks now, will come to a close with a look at what remains of some of old installations here that came about during the boom days. Foundations of a few old plants and some other evidences of other days remain to be observed, recalling the times when Findlay was experiencing the effects of its gas and oil discoveries.
Here are some reminders of olden days, which still exist, locally.
1. The cement sidewalks at Riverside Park, with their embedded advertisements, placed there when the park was not very old in the first two decades of the present century. They have “weathered” well and continue to draw quite a bit of attention from park visitors.
2. The switching connection of the old belt line railroad just before the old Carey railroad line crosses South Blanchard Street. Via this switch, railroad cars entered and left the belt line which provided freight service to and from many Findlay factories located north of the Blanchard River on each side of North Main Street. The switch is rust-encrusted now.
3. The old reservoir adjacent to Riverside Park. This was constructed to provide an auxiliary water supply in event of a big fire in the city, when the old waterworks pumping station was located at what is now the Tell Taylor memorial site.
4. The county’s first courthouse, now located at 819 Park St. in Findlay. This is the oldest Findlay building. It was built in 1833 at the southwest corner of South Main Street and West Crawford Street. It is now a dwelling.
5. The old cisterns which are uncovered every once in a while especially in the downtown area. They were fire cisterns, intended to supply water for fire fighting purposes before the local waterworks was built. The last one to be found was on the St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church property when an improvement program was under way a few years ago at South Main and Lima Street, also.
6. The Johnny Appleseed nursery at Mount Blanchard. This is located on River Street, just off the main thoroughfare of the village and close to the Blanchard River. Two lots were bought by Johnny Appleseed (in his real name of John Chapman) for nursery purposes, and the deeds registered at the Hancock County courthouse in the 1830s. The lots are vacant today.
7. The right of way marker of the old belt line railroad along Crystal Avenue. It is a concrete post and bears the letters “C.C.C.&St L” on the side. The letters stood for Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and St. Louis railroad line, which owned the belt line property. The marker is just over a fence along Crystal Avenue just before the Melrose Avenue intersection. There are a few other similar markers further north along the old railroad’s right of way, but they are in areas that are hard to approach.
8. The Blanchard Avenue dwelling which was the Paxon Elementary School at one time long ago. The Paxon accommodated an overflow from the Huber building further west on Blanchard. The Huber, now housing the school administrative headquarters, bears the name “Blanchard Street School” over its entrance, but has always been known as the “Huber.” The dwelling which served as the Paxon school stands at 2140 Blanchard Ave.
9. The stone abutment which stands in the Blanchard River just west of the Blanchard River Bridge, as a reminder that it supported the bridge which once spanned the waterway there and provided the means by which trains of the old belt line railroad could cross the river.