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October 5, 1978


PIX #1 - No. 1: Early Perry Street gardner gardeners

PIX #2 - No. 2: Perry Street House, a hotel

PIX #3 - No. 3: The site of today's library

PIX #4 - No. 4: The site of today's library

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Today we continue our journey down Perry Street to see the change made through the years.)

When I was a boy, and for some years after high school, there was a one-story frame house on the northeast corner of Perry at Fremont. I do not know who all had lived there, but at that period of my life Mrs. Alta Hearst Greene and her two sons "Bud" and "Babe" resided there. That house was demolished when the Sunoco gasoline station was built on the site.

Photo No. One (provided by Julie Di Cesare) was taken from the present site of the Kaubisch Library, when it was just a vacant lot. In the foreground of the picture, reading left to right, are Helen Botto, later to become Mrs. Boulboulle; Florence Botto, later to become Mrs. Weimerskirch; Frank Di Cesare; Mr. Botto, builder and original owner of Botto block, at corner of North and Main; Angelo Di Cesare, brother of Frank and father of Julie.

Minnie Wade, a long-time resident of Fostoria, says an old rag-picker who used to go about town picking up whatever he could to salvage and sell, had a little shanty on the site...the building in the extreme right of the photo may be it.

The two-story frame house shown in the photo no. one was next to the corner. A partial view of the Perry Street House is also shown...a hotel that was a landmark for many years, during a time when Fostoria must have had six or eight hotels. (That's another story). The house was occupied by a couple generations of the George W. Might family, then later purchased and occupied by the Pete Tsantle family who also acquired the old hotel property.

When the old hotel and house were demolished, Jim Tsantles, son of Pete, operated a used car lot on the site for awhile and eventually The Commercial Bank purchased all of the land where the new bank was built.

A complete view of Perry Street House is shown in Photo No. Two.

The whole east side of Perry Street from Fremont to High was known as the "McDonel Block" in earlier days, according to W. H. "Bill" Ellis, who obtained the information from Myra Ebersole...her family were pioneer settlers in Fostoria. More about her next week.

North of the old Perry Street House was a house occupied by Ellen "Grandma" McDonel at 222 Perry. It was purchased by a Mr. Sommers, a local painting contractor who later disposed of it to the Commercial Bank, to become a part of their site for the new bank.

Next to Ellen McDonel's house, at 230 Perry, lived her son J.W. McDonel in the house which still stands. He was connected with the electric interurban business in Fostoria and also operated the McDonel Clothing Store with his brother James, who resided in the next house north at 236, on the corner. Bill Ellis Jr. purchased the corner property in 1928 and still resides there. Bill is the son of Ellis the tailor, deceased for many years, who is credited with teaching many Fostoria youth the finer points of basketball. Many of Ellis' proteges later became high school stars and went on to have winning pro teams.

According to Ellis, as related by Myra Ebersole, deceased many years, the site of the present library was one time a livery stable. In later years, the Hale building was constructed on the site. Photo No. Three shows the rear of that building. Information is not easily available as to when the Hale Building was constructed, or for what purpose. According to one old directory, tenants at one time were Geo. M. Fink, electrical supplies; Buckeye Plating Works; Greer Shoe Repair Shop...and perhaps others at various times.

Presumably the Hale Building was demolished in about 1916 to make way for the McLean Library, as it was originally known. (The library is still another story for later).

For those who can't remember, Photo No. Four shows the original library.

Wood Street was unimproved then, as can be noted by Photo No. Three.

Next week we will continue our travel through the past years, looking at Perry Street from High to Elm.

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