Lost Properties

Historic Perrysburg strives to preserve the memories of significant historical properties that are no longer in existence.

Visitors to the area and site will find a convenient index of lost properties by street address. Each listing also includes images, architectural style, as well as a brief history.

The First Courthouse: 100 West Front Street

 

Perrysburg's earliest buildings were made of abundantly available logs. This is a depiction of the first Wood County courthouse built in 1823 by Daniel Hubbell and Guy Nearing and used as such for 14 years. It was located about 200 feet west of Louisiana Avenue on the south side of West Front Street next door to what was to be the site of the Exchange Hotel, built in the same year.

Logs were of hand-hewn oak 24 by 32 feet in size. Finished lumber was milled in Monclova, and bricks for the chimney were made at Hubbell's brickworks across the river. 

The building had offices on the first floor and the courtroom on the second, reached by an outside stairway not shown in this sketch. A log jail, in use until 1847, was moved here and located behind the courthouse. It was enlarged to include foot-square wall and floor timbers secured by pins.

Windows consisted of mere slits in the logs. All of this construction cost more than the money on hand, so contractors were paid off with town lots valued at $12 each.

The Second Courthouse: Walnut St. and Indiana Ave.

 

Begun in the late 1830s, this 50 by 70-foot brick building was Wood County's second courthouse for 30 years. Of classical Greek Revival design, favored for public buildings, this one featured four large two- story Doric columns in the front and a tower topped with a dome. It was described at the time as "Roman Doric of bascilican [an oblong shape] style" and was built by Loomis Brigham and Jarius Curtis over a period of about six years and at a cost of $20,000. 

In 1872, fire broke out in a cooper's shop a couple of blocks west of Louisiana between Indiana and Third Street.

 

About two acres of ground were covered with barrel staves and other wood combustibles. That was brought under control after the shop and two nearby houses were destroyed, but a steady wind revived the fire overnight and the next morning a nearby barn caught fire, then another dwelling, and embers from those fell on the unoccupied courthouse, which burned to the ground. At that time, not even a hand-pulled fire engine was owned by the village. 

The Townhall: Walnut St. and Indiana Ave.

 

Built in 1872, this classic Victorian building designed by Toledo architects Rumbaugh and Fallis was the product of the fierce rivalry between Perrysburg and Bowling Green to be the county seat. After fire destroyed the abandoned courthouse here in 1872, and while the results of an earlier election on the move were being challenged, citizens quickly raised money to build and offer this building free of charge. It was 101 feet long, 69 feet wide, and had a slate mansard roof and a 65-foot tower. 

A second county vote, whose procedures were also questionable, still favored Bowling Green, so township offices were moved into the ground floor, and the name became Township Hall and later, Town Hall.

The "Beehive": Walnut St. and Indiana Ave.

 

After the top portion of the old Town Hall tower was removed, the building continued to be used by the Perrysburg community. A second-floor auditorium was used for many activities, particularly for teenage dances and the location was known as the “Bee Hive”. 

The Town Hall / Bee Hive looked like this when it was razed in 1963 after the second-story ceiling and rafters collapsed the morning of the day teenagers were scheduled for a Bee Hive dance. It was owned at that time by the city and deemed too frail and costly to restore.

 

Zoar Lutheran Church #2: 314 East Indiana Ave

This was Zoar Lutheran Church’s second church building, erected originally for a German singing group called the Perrysburg Saengerbund. The tower and the steeple were added about 1895. IN 1916, the congregation built the original part of its present brick church on this site and this building was moved across town and cut in half to make two houses at 329 Mulberry.

 

Way Library: Louisiana and Indiana Ave.

Built in 1892 and beginning with an endowment of nearly $30,000 for books and a building from the estate of Willard Vibard Way, this Richardsonian Romanesque building designed by Toledo architects Bacon & Huber, was the first library in Wood County. The massive stone-wall style was of red brick and brown blocks that were hand cut and dressed on site. Interior floors were wooden, and a winding staircase led to the director's office in the tower. Despite a lively campaign to preserve it, the building was determined "too small, too leaky, too drafty, too clammy, and too ugly" to save and was torn down in 1958.

 

It was replaced with a much larger Neo-Colonial Revival style building that was expanded in 2001. 

2nd Schoolhouse: Louisiana between Indiana & 5th

Built in 1849, the first public school building in town was this two-story frame, 60 by 90 feet in size. Albert D. Wright, who was to die in the cholera epidemic 5 years later, was the first superintendent of Union School, with 50 enrolled pupils. Three young women were the first high school graduates.

 

2nd Schoolhouse: Louisiana between Indiana & 5th

In 1868, nearly 20 years after it was built, the original school building structure was enlarged and drastically remodeled to this version with three stories, a new bell tower, and brick outer walls. It had six classrooms, a laboratory, an office, and two recitation rooms. In 1894, the school burned down. Rebuilding began quickly, and classes continued in the Town Hall in the interim.

The Louisiana School: Indiana Ave and Louisiana

There was a time when, upon approaching Perrysburg, one of the first things you saw from a distance was the imposing 80-foot tower of the old Louisiana Avenue School, a handsome local landmark and certainly the most dominant structure on the avenue for nearly 60 years.

The public school system here goes back to 1849 when voters first passed a $1,600 bond issue for construction of Perrysburg Union School. It, too, was located near where the present school stands between East Indiana and Fifth Street. Despite being a frame building that was, it is said, often used between terms by tramps and transients, it survived for 20 years until it was enlarged and bricked over. But in the early morning hours of May 24, 1894, a fire destroyed the building.

The local paper headlined the disaster "A smoldering Ruin! The Dear Old School-house!" In the same breath it said that it was never a suitable building for school, that "its long stairs (to the third floor) have been the cause of death of many a young lady who might be a healthy and happy woman today," and that its bad lighting was the reason a great number of people in town were wearing spectacles. (Perhaps the editor must have still been sore over a bad grade at one time.)

With Perrysburg's students of all ages suddenly without classrooms, the old Town Hall (built as a courthouse) and the former Perrysburg Journal Building on Front Street were immediately pressed into service. Six months later voters approved a $20,000 bond issue, and together with $10,000 collected from insurance, built the building pictured above.

Local architect Arthur Hitchcock of the Toledo firm of Bacon and Huber, which also designed the original Way Library building, drew up plans for a three-story Richardsonian Romanesque building of contrasting red and yellow bricks. Typical of that architectural style, and certainly the commanding features, were the massive square and pointed bell tower that rose from a three-sided bay to the left of the main entrance, and the rounded arch doorway. The large open belfry is said to have offered an unmatched view of the village and countryside. A more slender brick chimney, nearly as high, graced the rear of the building.

The school comprised 10 rooms (comfortably seating 50 students each, according to authorities, but could squeeze in 60 by crowding a little), and was expected to serve the estimated 700 school-age youth of the district for at least five years.

Some dissident voters claimed the building was too fancy. Why should it have a large third-floor auditorium with opera-style seating, they asked. The answer was that the steep hipped roof, with pointed corners, itself added a full story and a half. If the space was going to be there, what better place for an auditorium that was needed in town anyway.

The place was heated by coal-fired hot air furnaces, had oil-soaked flooring and for years depended on water from a well located about half way to the street. Every room was supplied with a bucket and a dipper.

The building served for both grade and high school until 1916 when, because some primary students were again being taught in the Town Hall, taxpayers voted for a $40,000 two-story high school wing in the rear. Filled to capacity again by 1929, school voters passed a $225,000 bond levy for a new high school building to the east on Elm Street (designed by the firm of Britsch and Munger). Completed in 1931, it was joined to the older building in 1957 when the connecting corridor on the Indiana side and the gym were built.

Following World War II, Perrysburg began feeling growing pains. By this time the old original Louisiana Avenue structure was out of use due to being condemned as being unsafe by the state. However, to accommodate bulging classrooms, $125,000 was approved in 1953 to renovate it. In 1954 the shaky bell tower, from which scampish students often delighted in hanging signs and banners, was dismantled, the high roof and auditorium replaced with the present flat roof, the double central stairway with solid oak banisters replaced by a single stairway, and new heating, plumbing, lighting, flooring and toilets installed.

It was a major overhaul but it preserved a going facility on about the same spot where formal public education began in this community 146 years earlier.

After serving for many years as Commodore Junior High School, the building complex was closed in 2002 as an educational facility after a new high school was built on Roachton Road and the Junior High moved to the old high school on East South Boundary.

C.A. Hoffman Grocery and Restaurant: 113-115 Louisiana

This undated photograph shows the hardware store built by Brown & Hunt in 1865, owners of a local foundry of that name, perhaps as a retail outlet for items they made such as cast iron plows, kettles, and stoves. The next owner was Bostwick & Tyler who later moved to Toledo to start the wholesale firm of Bostwick, Braun & Co., one of Toledo's oldest existing firms. It was typical of frame downtown buildings of that time, with living quarters upstairs. The front entrance shows a display of produce, fruit, baskets and tubs, and sacked grain or flour. 

 

 In 1889, Christopher A. Hoffman bought the building from German immigrant John Schwind, and in 1891, he sold the saloon and restaurant section to his father but continued running the grocery business. They put in steel roofing and a pressed steel ceiling and installed a private water system fed by a well and elevated tank. The building burned down in 1901, and the site is now occupied by the Amon Building. 

Michael Hayes Property: River Rd near the Monument

The homesteads of Michael, Tim, and Tom Hayes. They purhased the land of Fort Meigs in the mid 1800's and are know as caretakers of the land until it was purchased to establish the state park.

This photograph shows the Hayes property in relation to the monument (before it became Fort Meigs State Park).

The Adam Hazel Farmhouse: Five Points Rd

This nostalgic photograph shows what a typical area farmhouse and front yard looked like ca. 1850. It was the home of German-born Adam Hazel and was originally a log house sitting on a dry spot in the Black Swamp south of town, although by that time the swamp was being slowly drained. The picture was probably taken by an itinerant photographer before home cameras were common.

The Bowers Hospital: 247 East Second Street

 

Now a vacant lot on the northwest corner, this modest building built ca. 1895 sat on this spot as a small private hospital first owned and operated by Canadian-born Dr. Isaac S. Bowers, who also served as Perrysburg's mayor in 1888 - 1889 and as a member of the school board. 

The exact year this structure was built is unknown, but it was known as the Tyler residence in about 1911. Quite possibly the wing on the left was an addition.

Over its 40-year existence under different ownership, it became Community Hospital, then later Perrysburg Hospital. 

The building was razed in 1965.

The Grace Evangelical Church: 331 East Second Street

 

Built in 1846 by Jacob Hufford (spelled “Hoffert” on his tombstone in the small cemetery at the corner of Avenue Road and Wyandot Place) from timber harvested from his own property, this building holds the record for unbroken longevity as a Perrysburg house of worship. 

Now the Maranantha Chapel of the Pentecostal Church of God, it began as Grace Evangelical Church. Various rooms and extensions have been added over the years. The original denomination united with the Methodist Church and built the larger Grace United Methodist Church on East Boundary in 1959.

 

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1899

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2008

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1910

2007

The Getz House, Store & Saloon: 115 West Front St.

 

Built ca. 1865, this brick structure eventually became an integral part of what is commonly known as the old Rheinfrank Hospital, but it originally looked like this when it was the home, grocery, and saloon of the George Getz family. 

The L-shaped house was built just above Perrysburg's then warehouses, mills and river shipping docks and was both the residence and business place of the Getz family. In the rear is a one and a half-story extension that may have housed the Getz Grocery and Saloon, a not an uncommon combination a century or more ago.

Later Getz offered the public a seasonal ice cream parlor and oyster bar.

George Getz was born in 1830 and, along with his father and brother Frederick, was among a company of 72 Bavarians from near Munich, Germany, who immigrated and landed at Perrysburg on June 11, 1852. In 1861 he was among those incorporating the St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church congregation which the same year bought the Universalist Church, located across the street to the west of the present St. Rose building, for worship. 

Getz was also one of the signers of the resolution pledging to build a new court house here in 1872. That did not result as intended in getting the county seat returned here, but it did give the village and township the old Town Hall which was a popular landmark until 1963 when it was torn down. Upon his retirement, he lived with a daughter in Toledo until his death at age 77, in 1907.

Getz was among a colony of Bavarians who came here in 1852. In 1897, Dr. John H. Rheinfrank had his architect son, George, add a wing and convert the building into a hospital.

 

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John Hollister House: 125 East Front Street

 

In 1823, John Hollister, an early and prominent settler, chose the property directly east of the foot of Louisiana Avenue for his house, which for years was a showplace of the northwestern Ohio frontier. While it preceded the Second Empire style, it has its most common similarity, the distinctive mansard roof with dormer windows. A tall cupola with three windows originally topped the roof, and a wide porch in the rear offered a fine view of the river.

 Hollister was a forwarding and commission merchant, the owner of a line of steamboats, a judge, a postmaster, a mayor, and a member of the Ohio legislature. Presidential candidate William H. Harrison addressed a crowd in front of the residence in 1840, and over the years well into the 20th century, the place saw visitors such as Daniel Webster, William McKinley, Warren Harding, and Nicholas Longworth. 

In 1940, fire destroyed the then 117-year-old house while the owners were out of town.

They quickly set about to replace it with a similar Second Empire design. The above photograph, date unknown, shows changes made over time in the Hollister house before it burned.

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The Edward Ford House: 28523 East River Road

 

At one time, sitting far back from a formal entrance off the East River Road, this manor house occupied the estate called Graystone  built in 1927 for Mrs. Edward Ford.

The house is of Tudor or Jacobethan Revival style and was designed by Toledo architects Mills, Rhines, Bellman & Nordhoff. 

The style was popular in this country from the late 1800s through the 1930s.

It emphasizes gabled roofs, elaborate chimneys, and the familiar half- timbering, which mimics medieval in-filled timber framing.

The Tudor entrance is set within a gabled projection with a bowed bay window, and on the right side at ground level are narrow stone-mullioned leaded glass windows. 

Like others along this part of the East River Road, the rear of this house offered an excellent view of the river. 

Carrie Ross Ford, a Zanesville, Ohio, native for whom the city of Rossford was named,  was the widow of Edward Ford, founder of what became Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company (later Pilkington Glass Company and then Nippon Sheet Glass, Inc.).

The home was demolished in 2008.

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