Johnston and Grant

S.E. Johnston started in the coal business about 1890.  The coal yard was located near the railroad track between Park Street and Grove City Pike.

He was formerly a school teacher and taught in Grove City and vicinity for five years. Seeing the opportunity for a business of his own, he began supplying coal to local residents.   The business grew and a few years later A.G. Grant entered into partnership with him and the grain business was added.

After the death of Grant, a son, Jesse R. Grant, took over his father’s interest. Later, added the lines of lumber, building material and supplies, were added to the business offering.

Source:  Lewis Garrison

Mayer Hardware Company

G. J. Mayer was a farmer several years before he came to Grove City in 1916 and entered the grocery business.   After two years, he expanded to include a hardware line and with that began to move away from selling groceries.

His store was located on Broadway and within a short time, he expanded his hardware business to include automobile accessories and the Oliver line of farm implements.  He also sold the Florence automatic oil stove to local consumers.

Source:  Lewis Garrison

Museum Opened In 2009

Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage cut the ribbon and officially opened the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum on Sept. 19, 2009.  The museum was decorated by Linda L. Hale, a society life member, for the Christmas holiday season.  There was a large display of toys from bygone years a display is called Memories of Holidays Past. 

The museum was open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and special late hours Dec. 4 during the Winter Lights event in the Town Center and during the Mistletoe Market and Grove City Holiday Home Tour Dec. 5. 

Bill White, who donated a pump organ to the museum, was there Saturday to play the organ for guests.  The Museum is on the home tour this year and tickets will be available in the building. 

Just a few of the items on display included a large selection of dolls including Snow White in original condition from 1937.  Others include puppets, marionettes, metal and cast-iron toy vehicles, bubble lights, children’s books, turn of the century clothing, hats and a glass exhibit. 

Decorations include holiday trees, large doll house with Christmas lights, holiday china and glassware and festive holiday theme music.

Milk, Ice Delivery Service

Edward and Otto Hensel were engaged in the trucking business hauling milk and supplying ice to homes.  Their business operated in the mid-1920s out of a building at Broadway and Grove City Road.

They collected milk for five different milk companies and two creameries in Columbus. They also handle ice in the area for the City Ice & Fuel Company.

Beside their building, where the Town Center gazebo is today, the Capital City Oil Company was building a new filling station offering gasoline and oil products.  Both Edward and Otto were stockholders in the oil company. Coupled with the business was a battery service that included the Willard, Cole and Exide brands.

Rolla W. White

Before Rolla W. White became a successful Grove City businessman, he spent 13 years as a salesman on the road for Green, Joyce and Company, a wholesaler based in Columbus. 

 When White decided to start in business for himself, he partnered in the retail field with T. J. Boyd.  After four years, White purchased Boyd’s interest and remained as the sole owner. White’s business was known for its large inventory consisting of general dry goods, shoes, rugs, linoleums, bed springs and mattresses. He was also stocked in men’s furnishings.

 In addition to his business, he served as the Grove City fire chief and was one of the charter members of the Masonic Lodge.

Farmers & Merchants Bank

The Farmers & Merchants Bank in the spring of 1903. Among its organizers were Joseph M. Briggs, founder of Briggsdale and Daniel Weygandt.

The bank was capitalized for $25,000 and on June 11, 1903 the name was changed to the First National Bank with Briggs serving as president; R.E. Shover, vice-president; and I. Shaffer, cashier.

The bank was located at the corner of Broadway and Columbus Street, on the side of the original plat of the village of Grove City. The building, which still stands, is a had residential rooms and the Citizen’s telephone exchange on the second floor.

The lower floor housed the bank; the directors’ room was in the rear.  Depositors money was kept in a steel lined vault with a heavy Mosler door. The vault contains a screw safe for the storage of monies and securities. The building was considered fire resistance and was burglar-proof.   Adjoining, and on the south side of the bank, was a single-story frame building used as the Bell and Citizen’s telephone exchange.

Heritage Celebration – 2014

The Encampment, first held in 2000, was replaced with the Heritage Celebration at Century Village in 2014.  The Encampment, started by Louie and Joan Eyerman, had focused for nearly a decade on Civil War and American Revolution reenactors.

When the event originally started it was a two-day activity but was later trimmed to a single day for better planning and management.

A popular part of the event was the hourly afternoon firing of a Civil War cannon.

The Heritage Celebration was first held June 6-7, 2014 from 10 a.m. beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing through 9 p.m.   The event showcased a wide variety of activities including making heritage crafts, music and cooking demonstrations.

 A “Buffalo Bill” reenactor was at the Heritage event to moderate some of the activities throughout the day.  A country music jam session was also held. 

Lutheran Band Performances

Grove City’s three high school bands and their student musicians perform concerts and participation in community events including parades.  But, before high schools had bands, there was another group that entertained the community.

The German Lutheran Band serenaded members at St. John’s Lutheran Church during services and frequently played concerts on the front law n.  They also played concerts at Beulah Park and at Grant’s Grove.  It’s believed that Grant’s Grove was once the area around Windsor Park.  Some of the Lutheran musicians included John Hoelscher, Theodore Jahn, Adam Flach, Ernest Willing, Leonard Noetlich, Henry Feyh, Louis Emde, Fred Willing, Will Graul, William Schaeffing and a Mr. Leuble and Mr. Weber.

Fulton Dresses As Jockey

In 2010, Scott Fulton, a Grove City native who was living in Columbus at the time, dressed in a jockey outfit at Arts in the Alley and began to solicit funds for an Ohio Historical Marker for Beulah Park.   

The Southwest Franklin County Historical Society agreed to work with him allowing funds to be held in a special account in the 501c3 non-profit organization.

Fulton was commended in a letter dated April 13, 2011 for his efforts by Don Walters, the business and community relations officer for the city. 

The historical society obtained permission to place the marker at Beulah Park on property then owned by Penn National.  Jim McKinney, Beulah’s general manager signed an Agreement to place the marker at the thoroughbred racing facility.

When the marker arrived, the Grove City Service Department placed it at a central, highly visible location predetermined location.

After Penn National sold its Beulah Park property, the marker was removed and temporarily located inside the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum.  It will eventually be relocated to Beulah Park area as part of the 2020 redevelopment project.

Grove City’s Water System

Dr. Frank C. Wright was chairman of a committee which investigated water systems in towns of 2,000 population throughout Ohio.   This resulted in a modern and up-to-date water plant for Grove City. 

It was installed at a most opportune time because prices for construction were most favorable priced.  

Two wells 180 feet deep in the lime rock, furnished an abundance of water. The pumping machinery was housed in a concrete building at Windsor Park making it impossible for contamination and with no chance of freezing.

The pumps were electrically driven and automatically controlled.  This kept the 100,000 gallon tank on the elevation of 100 feet full at all times. A 40-horsepower gasoline engine was in place for a back-up in the event of an emergency.

Fire hydrants were throughout the village on practically every street and each had 45 pounds of pressure.  

The plant was financed by a bond issue of $25,000, which carried three-to-one in favor of the system.   The one issue was that the water had heavy iron deposits and didn’t produce the highest quality drinking water.