Feature articles in Grandview ThisWeek Newspaper
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August, 2018 - February, 2019

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February, 2018 - August, 2018

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7/25 Grandview Terrace

8/1 GHFD Engine #2 8/8 1918 Maypole Dance 8/15 Grandview West Rail Yard
8/22 Yost's Boulevard Service 8/29 Urlin & Pfeifer Photo Palace 9/5 Grandview Swimming Pool 9/12 Carman Residence
9/19 Rife's Market 1946 9/26 1080 Wyandotte Rd. 10/3 Senator Ted Gray  
  Grandview Terrace
In 1915 William Bott, of the well-known Columbus firm of Bott Brothers, proprietors of a “gentlemen’s establishment” on North High Street (later known as the Clock restaurant), dealers in cigars and liquors, and manufacturers of billiard and pool tables, purchased the 6.5 acre estate of Columbus socialite Cinderella (sometimes spelled Cindrella) Hull Holman, and platted and developed Grand View Terrace. The residence on the Holman estate was what is now 987 Grandview Avenue, the oldest residence ( originally the “Franklin County Poor House”, built in 1832) in this community. The site is bounded on three sides by Grandview Avenue, Goodale Boulevard, and Broadview Avenue, and on the north by Grandview Terrace (entered from Grandview Avenue). Bott subdivided the estate into 15 lots. He built three homes (one for him and his wife Frances) on the three largest lots, which front on Broadview Avenue. A 1916 announcement in the Columbus Dispatch described it in part this way:
“GRAND VIEW TERRACE is Columbus’ highest-class, most exclusive, and smallest addition (there being only a few lots). Located on a beautiful knoll covered with large forest and fruit trees and one hundred feet higher than Goodale Boulevard. All lots sloping on each side to Broadview and Grandview Avenues and Goodale Boulevard. In the center of which is a large spacious park with a beautiful fountain, electrically lighted and fed by an old fashioned windmill. A large pergola faces the park and on each side of fountain and throughout addition are white rose arbors.”
This plat shows the subdivision, with the fountain (lower left inset), with the adjacent rose arbors, and the pergola (upper left) in the fountain park reserve that was designed for the subdivision. The location of the Poor House owned by Cinderella Holman, which she purchased in 1894 after the death of her husband Charles, is in the center of the drawing.
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GHFD Engine #2

In 1881, Frederic Seagrave founded Seagrave and Co. just outside of Detroit, to build ladders that could be used in orchards for accessing the fruit. Local firefighters saw that the ladders and the carts that carried them could be used as firefighting apparatus. Seagrave saw an opportunity, and the Seagrave Corp. was created 10 years later to build the ladders, horse-drawn carriages, and fire hose transports. They relocated to Columbus to a building on West Lane Avenue on the C&O railroad line near the OSU West Campus, but as they grew, the site proved to be too small and the taxes and zoning too restrictive. They moved to a large complex on South High Street just south of the city boundary where they built high-end fire equipment until 1963, when they relocated to Wisconsin. The South High site, recently featured on a season-4 WOSU Columbus Neighborhoods documentary segment titled “Creative Spaces”, was recently purchased by the Fortner Upholstering group of companies.

When a new fire truck was completed and ready for delivery, it was moved to a dock at the side of the factory complex for a “production model shoot”, where a large canvas was hung to provide a uniform backdrop. The top photo shows the 1936 Seagrave ladder truck (production serial number 83300) purchased by Grandview Heights as Engine #2 when it was completed (Grandview Engine #1 was also a Seagrave vehicle, a 1924 Seagrave Suburbanite). In June, Columbus Landmarks hosted an historical event at the site, and Grandview Heights Division of Fire Medic Josh Harris was able to photograph the restored truck in the same spot.

Seagrave had other ties to Grandview Heights: prominent resident and industrialist Julius Stone served as Chairman of the Board, and Lester Stevenson was Sales Manager of Seagrave at the time Engine #2 was purchased. Stevenson and his wife purchased the Bott home on Grandview Terrace in 1934, moving from their house on West First Ave. Another photo of the 1936 ladder truck was featured in a Moment in Time in November of 2016.

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1918 Maypole Dance

This 1918 photograph is from the Historical Society's Alleyne Higgs collection. It shows a group of Grandview girls participating in the Maypole dance, which has been a May Day tradition around the world for several centuries. Each dancer holds a different colored ribbon and moves in a circle around the pole. The pattern on the pole is determined by the choreography of the dance. In a simple form, every other girl goes the opposite direction and alternates moving in front or behind the girls coming the other direction (see inset), weaving the ribbons around the pole. A challenge for the dancers is to retrace their steps exactly in order to unwind the ribbons.
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  Grandview West Rail Yard
This late 1940s image is looking east-southeast near the corner of Grandview Avenue and McKinley Road, with the Grandview Avenue bridge just out of view to the left. The bridge crossed the Scioto River where the current overpass at I-670 is located. In the center of the photo is an automobile crossing the tracks in front of the Grandview crossing tower. At the right is the Toledo & Central Ohio Railroad roundhouse, located at the west end of the former Columbus West Yard. Built in 1918, it was a revolutionary design for railroad car and locomotive maintenance and repair. The facility included the roundhouse, a shop building, power plant, coal and oil buildings, cinder conveyors, and a 70,000 gallon water tank for supplying the steam engines. The turntable was 100 feet in diameter, with two tracks leading into it and two tracks leading out, on a heavy duty electric tractor that could orient a locomotive to one of the 20 stalls. The northbound trains, typically comprised of 100-110 cars loaded with coal weighing upwards of 10,000 tons, would leave the yard headed for Toledo, with some trains taking a branch line at Peoria to St. Marys. The Toledo track ran north past Marble Cliff, passing one of the many stone quarries on the line, up past Amlin and Kile to Scottslawn, site of the O.M. Scott complex just south of Marysville, and past the Nestle plant in Marysville. Steam powered trains (before the switch to diesel in the early 1950s) required “helper engines” to make it up the grade out of Grandview; the engines were dropped at a “helper siding” north of Kile, just outside of Amlin. The line continued through Kenton, Findlay, and Bowling Green before terminating at the Stanley Yard in Toledo. Crews would spend the night there at a YMCA dorm before manning a southbound train back to Grandview and Columbus. (Note: Some of the above detail is attributed to a great article by James M. Cavanaugh titled "Toledo & Ohio Central Northbound Trains from Columbus – the 1960s" on the columbusrailroads.com website.)
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  Yost's Boulevard Service
The property at what is now 1407-1421 Grandview Avenue was purchased in 1923 by Arch Yost. Yost built an automotive repair shop, called the Boulevard Service Station (later rename Boulevard Service and Sales). Yost was very active in the Grandview community and donated to the high school sports programs, and was a yearly advertiser in the high school yearbook. His tow truck (inset) was a popular vehicle around the town and was the centerpiece of all of his advertising. In 1988, Phoenix Land Co. bought the building and adjacent auto storage lot to build the Grandview Center (the sign at the right of this photo advertises the coming of the center.) One of the first tenants in the new Grandview Center was Nickleby’s Bookstore and Cafe, which received national recognition as an independent bookstore that combined the idea of selling food in the store. They went out of business in 1995. Alladin’s Eatery and Local Cantina now occupy the Nickleby’s space. The building to the left of Yost’s garage is the building that houses the Tri-Village Post Office.

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  Urlin & Pfeifer Photo Palace
This image shows both front and back of a c1885 “cabinet card” portrait of a young girl taken by the Urlin and Pfeifer Photo Palace in Columbus. The cabinet card was a style of photograph which was widely used for photographic portraiture after 1870. It consisted of a thin photograph mounted on a card typically measuring about 4 1⁄4 by 6 1⁄2 inches. It’s use declined in the early 1890s as personal snapshots assumed more popularity. George C. Urlin’s studio, originally called the Mammoth Art Gallery, was founded in 1873 in Columbus and located at 216-218 South High. He partnered with John Pfeiffer, and their studio, located just north of Broad Street on High, was known as the Photo Palace as well as the Mammoth Art Gallery. Urlin moved for two years to Cleveland in 1887, and made a big impact on the Grandview area upon his return. An extraordinary entrepreneur, his other interests included ownership of the Columbus Bicycle Factory and the Columbus Laminated Tube Tire Company. Like many of their peers, Urlin and his wife Alice were also active in the burgeoning local real estate market. By the turn of the century their Suburban Real Estate Company owned three separate Grandview Heights subdivisions including a huge amount of land stretching from Fifth Avenue South to Dublin Road. In addition to donating the land for the library, the Brotherhood of the Rooks home, and McKinley Field, the name of the city is attributed to Alice. Their mansion sat on the hill on Goodale Blvd, and is now the site of the Summit Chase high-rise building. George Urlin died in 1942 at the age of 87, and is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery. (Note: More examples of Urlin and Urlin & Pfeifer cabinet cards can be seen on the cabinetcardgallery.com blog site.)
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  Grandview Swimming Pool
The Grandview Heights Municipal Pool was built in 1932 as a private limited membership pool. Envisioned by architect J. Edgar Outcalt, it was built for the Grandview Swimming Pool Co. The pool was fed by a natural spring, and provided an alternative to the public swimming area at the quarry lake near Dublin Road and Grandview Avenue. It was sold in 1945 to Robert Wasmus who operated it as a private swimming club. The pool was in need of extensive repairs, and he later sold it to the City of Grandview. The city opened it as a community swimming pool in 1978. Mayor Larry Pierce and Congressman Chalmers Wylie together cut the ribbon for the official opening of the public Grandview Heights Municipal Swimming Pool on June 3, 1978. Extensive renovation was completed to the former club house and pool, shown here in an early 1960s photo. The total project cost was $470,000, and Mayor Pierce indicated that it was the biggest single project the city had undertaken at that time. Through Congressman Wylie’s efforts, some funds came from the federal government, and Marble Cliff contributed a small amount in exchange for their residents’ use. While the basic building remained the same as it was in the early 30s, the new shape of the pool with deeper diving area, fresh paint, and a new stainless steel shell gave the now municipally owned pool a new look. In 2014, Grandview began meetings to develop a new pool complex, with estimates of a $6.2M price tag. The old pool was demolished after the 2016 season, and the new pool opened in 2017.
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  James Carman Residence
This home, located at the corner of Ashland Ave. and Merrick Rd. (Glenwood Ave. at the time) in Grandview, was built in 1908 (records also show that it was built in 1910) for James Carman, who was the owner of the Carman Manufacturing Co. and the Carman Spaghetti factory on Goodale Blvd. The home was later extensively remodeled and expanded by the Delaveris family. Carman also served as Grandview’s second mayor from 1912 until 1916. One of the highlights of the exterior of the home was the Colorado red sandstone that covered the first floor, and was also used for the three fireplaces in the living room, dining room, and a third floor room. The home has been on the Historical Society Home Tour two times.
Carman came to Grandview from Barnesville Ohio, and died in 1916 from Bright’s Disease (nephritis). When he arrived, he joined businessman Harry Smith to form the Carman-Smith Company, dealing with wholesale furnishing goods. This company merged with Columbus Merchandise Co., and Carman left to start Carman Manufacturing. They made and sold wholesale tinware, ceiling tiles, and other metal goods. Upon his death, Carman was succeeded as mayor by Claude Siebert.
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  Rife's Market 1946
Charles and Mamie Rife started their small market business at 1417 West Fifth Avenue in 1936. They lived nearby in a small brick house across from Rifes Market (the Grandview Avenue facade is shown here in this 1946 photo). Charles was a truck farmer, and drove around Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana buying produce. The produce was then sold to grocery stores in the area. He started one of the first locally grown foods business in the area, and in 1946 enlarged the store to add a butcher shop selling locally produced meats. The store became noted for buying Blue Ribbon beef winners at the Ohio State Fair, showing them at the store, then selling the meat as one of a few butchers handling Prime Graded beef. The reputation grew and sons Wayne and Paul began helping in the store. Brother Sam and nephew Dick also worked and later took over the business, which was in its final days operated by Mary Kay Rife and her husband, Mike Zimmerman. The store began taking on other products including Hilliard corn from Elfrink Farms, red and blackberry jams from Champaign Berry Farm and candy from Walnut Creek. Rife’s closed in 2014 after 78 years and the building is now the location for Sweet Carrot restaurant.
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  1080 Wyandotte Road
Gustav Stickley was a very famous American furniture manufacturer and designer, a publisher and the chief voice for the American Craftsman and the Mission styles, an extension of the British Arts and Crafts movement. In October 1901, Stickley published the first issue of The Craftsman magazine, an important vehicle for promoting Arts and Crafts philosophy, as well as the products of his furniture factory, within the context of articles, reviews, and advertisements for a range of products of interest to the homemaker. Through the magazine Stickley expressed the importance of humane design in the industrial age, designs that were "utilitarian and organic, using simple materials and construction". A frequent contributor to the magazine was prolific Columbus architect Frank L. Packard, who Stickley called “an artistic architect and a pioneer in the building of dwellings from local materials in harmony with the landscape“.
In 1901, Packard designed the stone house at 1080 Wyandotte Road in Grandview on the knoll overlooking the Scioto River, which for many years was the residence of Mrs. Virginia Palmer. The home was built by Mr. David Gray, President of the Clinton National Bank, ostensibly for his newly married son Eugene and his bride Mabel Sturgeon, who became the owner of the very exclusive high fashion women’s store, Mrs. Eugene Gray’s, on Broad Street near Third Street in downtown Columbus. The architectural design was originally for a home that was planned to be built at 955 Urlin Ave. for Colonel George Freeman, Quartermaster of the Ohio State Arsenal, but it was sold to Gray when Freeman delayed his decision to build. The design was highlighted in an article in the December 1907 issue of The Craftsman that featured Packard and some of his residential designs.
Stickley pointed out that Packard used grey stone that was found nearby in the quarries, but in order to make the house seem more like a natural formation, the stone was not allowed to be cut by the mason. Rather, it was laid much like the “dry-laid” stone in the many fence walls that were found in the region. The mortar was recessed, making the stone stick out in haphazard patterns. This photo of the house was from that 1907 article, and shows the creative stonework approach on the first floor walls, the turret, the outside terrace, and the chimneys.
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  District 3 Senator Ted Gray
Ohio Senator Theadore (Ted) Gray is shown entering the Grandview Heights Fire Department with a Grandview firefighter in front of Engine #3 in this 1973 photo. Gray was elected to the State Senate in 1951 when he was a senior at The Ohio State University. Originally from Piqua, Gray moved to Upper Arlington in 1970 in order to retain his seat in the legislature, because gerrymandering had redrawn the boundaries of his district to exclude his hometown. The reapportioned District 3 included most of Columbus, and portions of Grandview and Marble Cliff. During the last stages of his 43 year career, he suffered from voice loss, and often responded to Senate leadership with a thumbs up or down. He was elected majority leader in 1962, President Pro Temper in 1966, and Finance Chairman during his final term. He retired in 1994. (Image courtesy of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board)
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