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Thursday August 4, 1983


Pix #1 - This building served as grocery, meat market, restaurant and saloon, the last being the Godfather Club. When photo was taken, it was Fuhr's Grocery, later Sendelbach's. In the photo on the left is Jim Orth, who ran the meat market, and Otto Cro (right), clerk in the grocery. Photo courtesy of Lucille Hemrick.

Pix #2 - The R.C. Caples propery in the background, last occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Mergentahler, prior to being purchased by the First Church of the Nazarine.

Pix #3 - Godfather Club's appearance before demolition.

Pix #4 - This house, once burned in 1981. Photo Fisher property

Pix #5 - The building shown here was originally the Hocking Valley Hotel. Later it was Johnson's Restaurant. O'Brien's Cafe and maybe a saloon. Marvin Reynolds bought the building in 1943 and started a plumbing business, as the photo indicates. Mr. Reynolds was standing in the front door when the photo was taken.

Pix #6 - A view of the Sandusky Street area east of the Chessie System tracks on the south side of the street. Area marked "A" is where the Godfather Club once stood. Area marked "B" is where the CHV & T Railway once had a hotel for its employees and where Reynolds Plumbing started in business. All of that area exclusive of houses in right of photo now belongs to the First Church of the Nazarine.

Former Fostorians coming back to town to refresh their memories about streets landmarks, people, etc., would be surprises if they started down Sandusky Street, east of the railroads.

The first surprise utterance might be "Where's the building that once housed the grocery and meat market?" Standing there in amazement with mouth agape and looking eastward, they would see a great, wide open space and then, they would see a large brick building which wasn't there as they remembered it.

Yes, there have been many changes in that block of Sandusky Street and todays article will account for the past and present, so that readers may send copies to friends no longer living there.

One of the photos with today's article shows the building that housed the grocery and meat market, about 75 years ago, as it appeared just before being torn down. For a number of years prior to demolition, the old buildings, owner operated the Godfather Club.

In 1982, The First Church of the Nazarine with Rev. Tom Hoppe, pastor, took another step in property acquisition by purchasing and demolishing the old building. In so doing, an eyesore was eliminated and space is now available for developing additional parking space for the church.

Another photo, looking east, shows where the demolished building once stood and the church in the background.

Readers may say, "The Godfather Club" isn't the way I remember the old grocery and meat market. Another photo which shows the store when the name of Fuhr's Grocery may ring a bell with some readers. Some may remember the store as Sendelbaugh's, still others as Turner's or maybe Sparks.

That building also housed the C&O Restaurant during one period of time, operated by two owners - Clyde Miller and "Shorty" Yeager.

Apparently, the first grocery store there was started by Mrs. Adam (May) Fuhr in 1915 or 1916, her husband being deceased at that time. The Fuhrs lived at 213 E. Fremont St.

William Sendelbach, father of "Am" residing at 534 N. Main St., managed the Fuhr store for his wife's mother. Later, Sendelbaugh bought the store from her and continued it at the same location. Later in a new building constructed further east on Sandusky St., he started another store which will be discussed later in the article.

Looking east on the one photo toward the church building readers will see a point of land (marked B) with an alley on the right. In that point of land, there once was a two-story building which in earlier days was the CHV & T. Ry hotel. According to charles "Bus" Snyder, 525 Sandusky St. (a lifelong resident), the hotel with its eight rooms on the second floor, was used by railroad employees when they had to layover in Fostoria.

Later in that same building is where Reynolds Plumbing got its start in Fostoria in 1943 and stayed there about 10 years when they built their new place of business in 1953. Mr. and Mrs. (Marvin and Goldie) Reynolds lived in the upstairs.

The area marked "A" in the photo is where the Godfather Club stood.

Another old landmark which former residents returning to town for a visit would miss on Sandusky St. is the old Fisher home. The most recent owner was the First Church of the Nazarine who made it into a two family rental property. Children playing with matches started a fire in the building which destroyed it beyond repair.

The old house sat on land which was known as the James Fisher addition to Fostoria in 1855. When the house was built is not known, but it would certainly be 100 years old if standing today. Joe Gehring, 612 Cherry St. said his mother always referred to the Fisher property as the Doctor Hale property. Perhaps he lived there before the Fishers. In going through old abstracts, I discovered Dr. Hale's name therein as owner of land in the area.

Elmer E. Fisher and his wife May, were living in that house in 1893, according to a directory published that year, as was W.H. Fitzsimmons. Fisher and Fitzsimmons were jewelers on Main Street in the same location were Kaminsky Bros. Jewelry store is today. May Fisher had a millinery store on one side of the room.

I do not remember Fitzsimmons. He may have been deceased when I was a boy, but Elmer and May Fisher are recalled so well. Both were good friends of my uncle Frank Babcock, a well-known barber on Main Street.

Time and man changes the appearance of many things. Such is the case with the area where the First Church of the Nazarine is now. Several of the accompanying photos are proof of some of those changes.

Before the Nazarine Church was built on its present site in 1955-56, the land was the location of an old brick house shown in the photo with the automobile in the foreground. But, long before that house was built there it was government land during President Jacksons time, when Hannah Boyer bought 161 acres in that area in 1833. Others to buy portions of the 161 acres at later dates were the Fishers, Isaac Bricker, James M. Patterson, and R.C. Caples in 1859.

The Caples family came to this area in 1832 when there was only the villages of Rome and Risdon. R.C. Caples studied medicine under Dr. Marcus in Risdon and later graduated from the Geneva Medical College, Geneva N.Y.

It was in 1871 that the R.C. Caples addition was layed out which included all of the land bounded on the north by Sandusky Street (which was then known as Plank Road), on the east side by Caples Street (on the west sides now the C&O A tracks) and on the south side by McDougal Street. When the Caples house was built on the land is inknown.

Prior to the time that The First Church of the Nazarine purchased the Caples property it was owned by Harry Mergenthaler. In addition to living in the Caples house, he also has a car repair business on part of the property (to be continued)


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