Feature articles in Grandview ThisWeek Newspaper
Weekly Moment in Time Column

September, 2004 - February, 2005

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March, 2004 - August, 2004

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Brotherhood of the Rooks 9/8 GHS Football Team 1914 9/15 Municipal Building 9/22 1921 Girls Basketball 9/29
Samuel Prescott Bush home  10/6 Toepfner Mound 10/13 Broadview Hill 10/20 Congregational Church 10/27
The Railroads 11/3 Blanche Field 11/10 The Swimming Hole 11/17 Arlington Gun Club 11/23
The Urlin Mansion 11/30 Salzgaber Farm 12/8 Sells Circus  12/22 Concrete mixer 12/28  
1922 Municipal Building plans 1/5 Sledding 1/12 R.L. Stevenson 1/19 Grandview Cycle 1/26  
Marching Band 2/2 Cenci Bros. Market 2/9 Casparis Castle 2/16 The Merkle Family 2/23  



9/8 Brotherhood of the Rooks

Two unidentified fraternity brothers relax inside the Brotherhood of the Rooks cabin. The cabin (inset, left) was the home of the Garrett Miller family, and was originally located near Cambridge Boulevard and Cardigan Road. It was moved log by log and reconstructed at its current location on Wyandotte Road, where it became the clubhouse of the Rooks, which was a high school fraternity from its inception in 1915 until such organizations were banned in Ohio in 1960. The Rooks used the 18'x20' cabin as a club house until 1920, when the Bronson family, whose son Joe was a Rook, moved and the boys lost the use of the cabin. The group later sold shares in order to raise money for a fraternity house (inset, right, drawn by Bill Arter), which was located at 1347 Elmwood Avenue. Please contact the Historical Society if you can identify the individuals in this photo.

9/15 GHS Football Team - 1914

The 1914 Grandview Heights football team is shown in this photo. Just behind the boys are the railroad tracks that parallel Rt. 33. On the hill in the background are the Charles C. and Mary Jane Price Griswold home on the left (current site of the French Quarter), and the Butler Sheldon mansion directly behind them. The field is now the location of Columbia Gas. The field and adjacent property along this stretch of Rt. 33 was donated to Marble Cliff by Mrs. Griswold for public use, and the village later sold it for development in order to increase the tax base for the community. Mrs. Griswold also donated a significant amount of money to build the YWCA building in downtown Columbus.

(Ed. Note: The players have been identified as - Back row L to R: Herbert Ford, Louis Geer, Hiram Bronson, Alford Bradbury; Middle Row: Julius Stone, Frances Paddock, John Guy; Front Row: Joe Thomas, Robert Page, Elis Rogers, Bradley Skeele)

9/22 Municipal Building

In May of 1923, Grandview Hts. Mayor John Ryder (lower left) proposed a $30,000 bond issue which included $15,000 for a building Ňof brick construction and artistic design, in keeping with the other architecture of the village,Ó to be built in what was then the new community park at Goodale Blvd. and Grandview Avenue. The new building was completed in August of 1924 (upper right). The fire department hired a chief and two firefighters, one of whom lived in the new building.al equipment bay was added (top left aerial photo taken in 1960, looking west toward Grandview Avenue). The new space is the bay under the right two dormers in the photo. In 1963 the building was renovated to add additional office space and room for the police department (the bottom right aerial photo taken in 1963 showing the wraparound addition)

1921 Girls Basketball

The photo above is of the 1921 Grandview High School girls basketball team. Their coach, at the upper left in the photo, was Ira Stanton Jones, who started as the boys football coach in 1919, and was also the athletic director and boys and girls basketball coach. He retired from coaching in 1926, after a successful several years, including coaching both the boys and girls teams to the Franklin County championship in 1922. He married Alleyne Higgs from Lincoln Road, who was the sister of Frank "Dude" Higgs (lower left inset). Dude Higgs was a pilot in the Chinese National Aviation Corporation, and was killed in a plane crash in 1945. Higgs was the model for Dude Hennick, a character in the cartoon strip Terry and the Pirates, drawn by his OSU fraternity brother Milton Caniff. (For more about Higgs, see http://ghmchs.org/Higgs-story.com)

Samuel Prescott Bush home

The original structure of St Raphael's Home for the Aged on Roxbury Road (top left) was the home of Samuel Prescott Bush (bottom left inset), the paternal grandfather of former President George Herbert Walker Bush. Mr. Bush was the president and general manager of Buckeye Steel Castings Company (Buckeye Steel) on Columbus' south side (external and internal views on the right). The home, built in 1908, was sold in 1929 to Detroit socialite Anna Dodge Dillman, the wife of Columbus-born silent film actor Hugh Dillman and widow of Horace Dodge, founder with his brother John of the Dodge Automobile Company. Mrs. Dillman (inset, lower left) was one of the country's wealthiest women in the mid-1920s, and with Horace built the splendid Rose Terrace home in Grosse Pointe Michigan. Mrs. Dillman bought the Bush home for her husband's family to live in, and in the late 1940s sold it to the Carmelite nuns.

Toepfner Mound 10/13

For centuries Indian tribes buried their dead and associated artifacts in large above ground sites, known as "mounds." Two of these mounds were located close to Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff - the Shrum Mound on McKinley near Trabue Road, and the Toepfner Mound, shown in the above photo. This 30 feet high, 165 feet in diameter mound was located near the intersection of Grandview Avenue and Dublin Road (inset upper left), and was the burial site of the Adena Indians. Radiocarbon dating has set the date of the establishment of the mound at 410 BC, and the artifacts have been associated with the early to middle woodland period of archaeology, representing over 85 burials in an estimated 600 year timeframe. The Mound was on the property of landowner W.A. Anderson, who sold it to W.A. Pope in 1888. The land was purchased in 1946 by Studebaker dealer Joseph Toepfner, who attempted to bulldoze the site for a truck repair shop. His attempts were blocked for 7 years by local residents until 1953, when the Ohio Historical Society agreed to excavate it. Dr. Ray Baby supervised the dig, and built a temporary structure over the excavation to keep the weather out (inset upper right). Many artifacts are on display at OHS.

Broadview Hill 10/20

The trolley car tracks ran from downtown Columbus, across the river and down Goodale Boulevard, heading up Broadview Avenue hill, shown above, before turning down First Avenue to Arlington Avenue. This photo, circa 1910, is taken looking north up the hill. The house in the left foreground (1101 Broadview) was built in 1906 by Claude K. Seibert (Grandview mayor, 1915-1919) and was on the most recent Historical Society home tour. Next to the Seibert home is the Frank A. Howell home, and next to it is the Dr. George Frankenberg home (his daughter Marie was married to Mr. Howell). The stone pillars in the foreground frame the drive to the Frank Byers Howell (Frank A. Howell's father) family properties, later developed in 1957 by Anthony Amicon as Broadview Terrace.


Grandview Congregational Church 10/27

The first church in Grandview Heights was a Methodist sunday school building erected in 1892 at 5th and Grandview Avenue. In 1902 the Fifth Avenue Methodist Church (inset) was built on the northwest corner of Fifth and Starr Road (North Star Blvd.). The church was later relocated to Oakland Avenue near First. The Fifth Avenue Church was later used as by an African-American congregation, and now is home to Apple Veterinary. In 1910 the residents of Grandview decided they needed an additional church in the community, and voted to make it a congregational church, not affiliated with any single denomination. Fred Brownlee was the first minister of the Grandview Congregational Church (above, dedicated in 1911), which would later become First Community Church.


The Railroads 11/3

The rails played an important role as the area that is now Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff was opened to settlement. In this photograph, a locomotive of the Pennsylvania railroad travels north at the western edge of Marble Cliff. The Pennsylvania railroad (built in this area in 1868 as the Columbus, Chicago, Indianapolis Central Railroad) had a "flag stop" depot on Grandview Avenue, where the NAPA store is currently located, and later the busy Marble Cliff station, originally called the Scioto Depot, at Fifth Avenue and Dublin Pike (currently the site of Columbia Gas.) The east end of the region was served by the Hocking Valley Railroad (1867), which ran from the Ohio River to Lake Erie (a HVRR locomotive is at the upper left in the inset.) It played a large role in transporting the elephants of the Sells Circus. Next is the #23 (renamed the #12) engine of the Marble Cliff Quarries; the #103 interurban train which ran from downtown to Fishinger Road (the interurban line was built in 1903 and was originally planned to go to Urbana); the upper right is the Arlington car of the trolley system (1901) which came up Broadview Hill and turned down First Avenue.


Blanche Field 11/10

Before there were any Arthur Murray studios, Grandview Heights had its own dance instructor extraordinaire named Blanche Field Holmes (inset upper left c. 1922). Blanche was born in Grandview Heights in 1901. When she graduated from high school in 1919 she was already well established as a dancer and local dramatic artist. Blanche graduated from the prestigious Louis H. Chalif Normal School of Dancing in New York City which was one of the earliest schools in the U.S. to instruct teachers in dance. The class photo (inset lower right) shows Blanche and classmates circa 1920. Blanche built a home and studio at 1714 First Avenue (above) where she continued to teach dance and conduct kindergarten classes until 1955. She retired to Florida and passed away in 1990.


The Swimming Hole 11/17

The area between Goodale and Dublin Road, south of the railroad tracks and several blocks east of Grandview Avenue was a quarry, or gravel pit in the early 1900s. In 1921, a group of Grandview boys and their parents built a small wood structure at the bottom of the pit on the southwest edge of the man-made lake, and created Grandview's first public swimming area. They brought in sand to make a beach and built access stairs from Avondale along the boundaries of the Waterman and Northcraft properties. According to the 1921 Norwester "...regulation bathing suits of some variety are required." Franz Stone dives in the left image, and the Glass family (Glass Plumbing) swims in the lower right. Margaret White is seen in the center of the upper right photo with some unidentified boys. Grandview friends of Margaret relax in the sand covering the abandoned railroad trunk line that was used to transport gravel and stone from the quarry in the center photo.


The Arlington Gun Club 11/23

A group of sportsmen prepare for a round of trap shooting, while another group awaits a turn, at the Columbus (Arlington) Gun Club. This structure was designed in 1905 by J Upton Gribben, a noted Columbus architect and former protege of Frank Packard. It served as the center of social activity for prominent citizens of the area, as skeet shooting was a national passion during this time.The Gun Club was located on the north side of Fifth Avenue between Arlington Avenue and Cambridge Blvd. until the Northwest Boulevard Company began the development of the Country Club District in 1915, which was the first development in what would become Upper Arlington. At that time the Club moved to a new building on the north side of King Avenue at Andover. The Club was the site of the Grand American Handicap Trap Shoot in 1908, and attracted famous shooters like Annie Oakley (top inset) and John Philip Sousa (bottom inset). It is reported in the book History of Upper Arlington that an all wood motordrome, for use in racing motorcycles, was located on the Gun Club property. The building (front view in upper left inset) was used as the field office for the Northwest Boulevard Company after the club moved, and the Armstrong family, some of the earliest UA residents, lived in the second floor rooms.


The Urlin Mansion 11/30

The home of George Urlin, one of earliest residents of the Grandview area, was located on the hill near Goodale Boulevard. It was razed to provide the site of the current Summit Chase tower. Mr. Urlin and several other early pioneers purchased the land on the bluff above what would become Goodale Boulevard with the intent of establishing a small community. He lived in a small farmhouse on the land while his mansion was constructed. When he moved into the new home, he allowed a small group of horseback riders to use the farmhouse for a new club they established, called the Bit and Bridle Club. The members of this club later founded the Arlington Country Club, later called the Aladdin Country Club, in Marble Cliff. Mr. Urlin and his colleagues laid out the plans for what would ultimately become Grandview Heights. This view of the home, with the carriage house and water tower and windmill behind it, is of the west entrance, looking to the east from a small rise near what is now the road named after him, Urlin Avenue.


Salzgaber's Truck Farm 12/8

One of the original homes in the Grandview area was the farmhouse built by the Salzgaber family. Their truck farm was located on the east side of Grandview Avenue, and produced vegetables that were sold at Columbus farmers' markets, including the North Market, Central Market, and a local farmers' market on Grandview Avenue. The farm was sold to King Thompson's Northwest Boulevard Company in 1916 for his new subdivisions. The Salzgabers relocated to Lane Avenue across from the current Lane Avenue Shopping Center, where they continued their farming business. This 1912 photo shows the farmhouse, currently the Tri Village Studio photographic studio on the corner of First, and members of the Salzgaber family and some of their farmhands standing in a field, which would now be right in the center of First Avenue. The inset shows Charles Salzgaber with a load of produce on his truck.


The Sells Circus  12/22

Approximately 1000 acres bounded by the Olentangy River on the east, between Fifth Avenue and King Avenue, were part of the original Hamlet of Marble Cliff, and was the unincorporated area called Sellsville. It was the winter home for the internationally known Sells Brothers Circus, which later was merged with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. Known for their collection of elephants, the Sells Circus used railroad cars to transport the assets, rather than wagons, and at their peak used 47 custom railroad cars. One of the 3 brothers, Peter Sells (at the left in the lower left inset) was the "front man" for the circus and built a mansion, designed by Frank Packard (upper right inset) at the edge of Goodale Park on Dennison Avenue. As the front man for the circus, he travelled extensively, and discovered that in his absence his wife Mary had several affairs, including one with Billy Bott (middle right inset), one of the owners of the Clock Restaurant downtown and a Grandview resident (his home was on Broadview in what is now the Grandview Terrace.) The Sells' divorce proceedings in 1900 was one of the most spell-binding events of the year.


Stepanian's Concrete Mixer   12/28

In 1916, Grandview resident Stephan Stepanian (top left) developed the plans for a revolutionary piece of equipment, designed to carry concrete from the plant to the job site, and keep it mixed en route. His design (actual patent drawing, bottom) for the first motor-truck concrete mixer has resulted in his designation as the father of the ready-mix concrete industry. Stepanian moved to Grandview in 1906 and resided on Glenn Avenue near Bluff. He was the President of the Marble Cliff Quarries and the Central Ohio Concrete Company, and later founded Arrow Concrete. He filed for a patent for the design, but was rejected because the patent office didn't think a truck could support the weight of the mixer nor have the mechanical components integrated with those of the truck. He did finally receive a patent in 1920, and the first trucks based on his ideas were built in the late 20s (top right).


1922 Municipal Building design

Because of the rate of growth in Grandview and Marble Cliff around 1922 and the resulting number of added fire runs, the City of Columbus (who had been providing fire service to the villages) had begun charging Grandview for service, and later cancelled all service. This prompted the village leaders to begin discussions of a local fire department, which would require equipment and a building to house it. A new municipal building (above) was planned to provide space for the fire department, village government offices, the library, police offices and a jail, and space for all of the community organizations that couldn’t be accommodated in other local buildings. The plans included a gymnasium, a billiard room and a 5 lane bowling alley. The proposal was controversial and was never put on the ballot, primarily because of the priority needs of the schools, and the new high school which was built the next year. A much scaled down police and fire building was proposed and built in 1923.


Sledding in Grandview

Sledding has always been a popular winter activity in Grandview Heights. The composite photo above shows a cartoon drawing from a 1928 Community News paper (above left) and former Grandview Mayor Wyman's assistant preparing to push him down the hill from the Municipal Building into the park named for him. At the lower left is a circa 1903 photo showing residents sledding on the Grandview Avenue hill toward Goodale Blvd. at the bottom. The children of the Merkle family (former residents of the convent house) sled down the hill behind the current OLV church in the center photo. Other popular hills were the Utopia Drive (now Woodhill Drive) hill, Broadview Avenue, and hills from residences along the Goodale ridge. Sledding wasn't always restricted to snowy hills, as shown in the lower right, with cardboard boxes lining the Wyman Woods hill in this 1970s photo.


Robert Louis Stevenson School

Students at Robert Louis Stevenson School at the corner of First Avenue and Oxley Road participate in the raising of the flag donated by the Daughters of Veterans of the Civil War in this 1928 photograph. The district purchased the land in 1924, and opened the school (for 1st and 2nd grades) with a 2 room portable building that was originally on the high school site during its construction. Named by the children, R.L. Stevenson School was built in 1926 and initially had 12 rooms (the middle section of the building in the inset 1932 photo). Four rooms were added to each end of the building in 1930, and an annex was built behind it in 1971 to house the kindergarten.


Grandview Cycle

Grandview Cycle began as a small bicycle repair shop in the basement of Bob Hexter's home, and later moved to a storefront (currently a hair styling salon) on the North side of First Avenue across from the Grandview Library. Bob's son "Heck" joined him in the business and began repairing lawn mowers, and they moved the business across the street. They later became a Schwinn Bicycle and Lawn Boy mower dealer. This new store (inset lower left) was adjacent to the Library, which bought and razed the building for the Library expansion. At that time Grandview Cycle moved to the Northeast corner of Fifth and Fairview. The large photo above shows Bob Hexter's teenage daughter Susi (now Susi Fodor) in the company delivery truck in front of the old Outdoors Store marine supply and repair business in the Masonic Building on the Northwest corner of First and Grandview Avenue, across the street from the Hexter family home. The lower right inset is a photo of Bob and his wife Hazel on their bicycle-built-for-two in the 1949 Memorial Day parade.


1944 Grandview High School Marching Band

In 1942 funding was obtained to buy uniforms for the Grandview High School band and the marching band was organized, with Mr. Paul Holcomb as director. The inset photo shows the concert band posing with Mr. Holcomb in their new uniforms that year. Two years later, the larger photograph shows the Grandview Heights Marching Band on the front lawn of the High School. The 13-member 1944 band has grown to a group that now involves nearly 1/3 of the entire high school student body, with 130 members in 2004, with Kie Watkins as director. Notice the gate to the football field in the background, which was torn down in the late 1990s with the addition of the current parking lot, and reconstructed as a monument after lobbying by the community and alumni groups.


Cenci Bros. Market

This Italianate building, with its balustraded balcony above the entrance, was typical of a popular Victorian architectural style of the late 19th century. The building, located on the southeast corner of Fifth and Glenn Avenues was built in 1923 by brothers Nick and Patsy Cenci, and housed their renowned grocery and restaurant. The second floor of the building was a luxurious rental apartment with rich woodwork and Italian-craftsmen carved stone mantels. The first floor was the grocery, and the basement featured a soda-fountain, a lunch room, and the baking facilities. The market was closed in the 1950s, and the building is now the Peking Dynasty restaurant. The Cenci families were very active in the founding of the Our Lady of Victory Church in Marble Cliff.

Casparis Castle

Sylvio Casparis (shown in caricature in the inset) was one of the pioneer residents of Marble Cliff, originally building what was later the convent at Our Lady of Victory Church as his home. He was the founder of the Casparis Stone Company in 1892, which merged with three other companies to become the Marble Cliff Quarries in 1913. In 1908 he purchased 5 acres in what was the Price/Griswold development called Arlington Place and contracted famous architect Frank Packard to design his Scottish-castle influenced home shown above. The 18 inch thick walls enclose a beautiful three-story home with 11 fireplaces and a double wide staircase, and connects to a two-story servants quarters. The five-story tower to the left is attached to the carriage house, and was used by Casparis to check on the work in the quarries, which could be seen from the upper floor. The first floor of the tower was a stable. The property was redeveloped and is now 10 Arlington Place (the Casparis plat was numbered 10 in the original Price property subdivision.)


The Merkle Family

William J. and Ada Boyle Merkle were the third owners of the former Our Lady of Victory convent house at 1539 Roxbury, which was torn down in 2004. Mr. Merkle was the owner of a series of Merkle's shops (founded by his father) which operated in railroad terminals throughout the midwest. Mrs. Merkle was a Cincinatti debutante whose father was secretary to Ohio Governor and U.S. President William McKinley. The Merkles lived with their three daughters and three sons and at least two servants in the house from 1910 to 1922. In the compilation above (clockwise) are William Merkle; Ada Boyle Merkle; one of the sons and two daughters in the Merkle car, which they shipped to Palm Beach on a flatbed railroad car each spring; two daughters in a donkey cart on the Roxbury property; daughter Jessie on her favorite horse; the family water tower, which stood in what is now the OLV parking lot; and a young Ada Boyle.



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