(The following was written by Harold Windsor and is reprinted from “Reflections II”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
Seeing the need of better materials from which to build homes, Breck established a brick plant on a tract of ground just east of the present Lutheran Church in 1850. There he manufactured brick and built the first brick house in Grove City proper which contain nearly 20 rooms, on the northwest corner of Broadway and Park, where Graeter’s Ice Cream now stands. Many remember the old landmark, for it was later used for many purposes, such as Home for Aged, Woodland Hotel, which was its original name, Breck intending to use the building on a large scale for a hotel and home. It was also used as a post office by Armand Van Sciver and later a residence. The building was dismantled in 1922.
In the same year Breck also built a sawmill, and from the lumber cut in his mill and brick from the brick kilns some of the early homes of Grove City were built. These houses were erected mostly by William Sibray, a brick mason and plasterer who came here with Breck and George Weygandt, a carpenter who also accompanied the town’s founder to Jackson Township. These two mechanics were augmented by others, such as Samuel Lippert, a painter and glass fitter; and G. W. Orders, a laborer.
About 1852 Randolph Higgy settled in Grove City and purchased the general store of Breck and operated it for a number of years. He was also postmaster of the town. Breck then built a storeroom on a site just in the rear of the present First National Bank building where he also operated a general mercantile business until a few years before his death in 1864.
(The continuation of this story in the next blog entry.)