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‘1900-1940’ Category

More Zinn Memorabilia

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Some cool memorabilia from the Zinn Lumber Yard, courtesy of John Clark (great grandson of J. Harvey Zinn).


J. Harvey Zinn & Family

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

J. Harvey Zinn, owner of the Zinn lumber yard, lived in Clintonville and was a civic leader and philanthropist. Mr. Zinn was reported to be an ardent fisherman who followed his favorite sport in practically every part of Canada, as well as in Florida waters. His attractive estate “Edgewater,” was located at 285 Kenworth on the Olentangy River just north of West North Broadway. This estate still exists in Clintonville.

J. Zinn died in 1957. Attached are some obituaries from The Columbus Dispatch and elsewhere.

The Zinns were very active in the North M. E. Church. Though the church is not, technically, in Clintonville, I’ve also posted some information about the church.

[Photos and clippings courtesy of John Clark]

North M.E. Church

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

The North M.E. Church, located at East Ave and Tompkins, has a long history, which–thanks to John Clark, a descendant of the Zinn family–can be found here.

The church was located very close to the Zinn Lumber Yard (and the Zinn family residence), and the church was damaged in that business’ November 1925 fire. Then the church had its own fire in March 1928, which necessitated a complete rebuilding of the church. Scott Caputo at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, was kind to send us this article about the fire.

The church was slowly but surely rebuilt and enlarged and improved. J. H. Zinn paid to have a children’s wing built, dedicated in memory to his two boys (who died in their youth) in April, 1953. The sons in whose memory the wing was built were Clyde Webster Zinn (22 Oct 1895 – 07 Apr 1912) and Walter Curry Zinn (12 Jun 1898 – 30 Jan 1903). What you see here photo of Clyde Webster Zinn (with his sister Lillian Mae Zinn). The family does not have a photo that they are confident of, for Walter. Here is an article about that philanthropic contribution. [Photo courtesy of John Clark]

Around October 1956, North M. E. Church held a celebration of their “oldest members,” by which they meant those members who had belonged to the church at least 50 years. J. H. Zinn and his wife were among them. (See photo to the right.) You can read more about that event here and see some of the other members in the photos below. [Photos and news clippings courtesy of John Clark]



There’s more information about the Zinn family and the Zinn Lumber Yard elsewhere on this web site.

Zinn Lumber Company: Perfection Millwork

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

When I was working on my book, several old-timers remembered the Zinn Lumber Company at the corner of North High and Hudson. At last we have photos! Lauren Clark who is married to John Clark, the great grandson of J. Harvey Zinn, shared some of John’s family photos of the Zinn Lumber Company as well as other items related to J. Harvey Zinn. These show the lumber yard after it was rebuilt in 1926. I’ve tried to arrange the photos in geographic order from the Zinn Lumber Company’s showroom on North High Street, moving eastward along East Hudson Street to East Avenue. [Vintage photos courtesy of John Clark.]


Some additional background information on the yard and the Zinn’s can be found here.

And here are some pix of that intersection today, taken by Terry Miller. Note the North M.E. Church in the background; it was damaged in the Zinn Lumber Yard fire of November 14, 1925, and then had its own fire in 1929.

Fire at Zinn Lumber Yard

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

I’ve previously reported that the Zinn Lumber Yard, located at 19 East Hudson Street, burned down.

It burned down on November 8, 1925, and the fire destroyed the planning mill, storeroom and lumber supply. The fire also damaged several nearby homes and church. The lumber yard was rebuilt in the same location however, and Scott Caputo at the Local History and Genealogy Department of the Columbus Metropolitan Library was kind enough to send me several article about the business. The cause of the fire was not known. [Courtesy of Scott Caputo, Local History and Genealogy Department, Columbus Metropolitan Library]

The photo above shows the “new” showroom [Courtesy of John Clark, by way of his wife Lauren Clark].

Legg Family

Friday, September 15th, 2017


Here are two wonderful pictures of the Legg family. Emma Legg married James Harvey Zinn, born 1 October 1871 Ohio, in 1895. J. Harvey Zinn was the President of the Zinn Lumber Company located at Hudson and North High Streets. Emma and James lived at 285 Kenworth, located on the Olentangy River just north of West North Broadway. (Their house still exists in Clintonville.) [Photos courtesy of John Clark. Thanks also to his wife Lauren for sending them to me.]

For more information on the Leggs see here;
For more information on the Zinns see here;
and/or listen to Robert Ohaver’s oral history.

128 Crestview

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Isn’t it wonderful when you discover that your old house holds a treasure trove of old artifacts from previous owners!? Matt Earley recently found some very old documents in his attic from the original residents of his home at 128 Crestview Rd.

Probably the most interesting thing is this handwritten will directive from the original owner of the home, J.W. Montague. It was written in pencil, and found under a vent pipe in the attic of the house.

The Earleys also found several items from the family who rented the home during the 1930s and early 1940s, the H. R. Townsend Family. The home was a rental during this time period. Matt has spoken with a member of the family of he Townsend family, and she said that the Townsends lived in the home during the school year, but then moved back to a farm they owned near Hamilton, Ohio during the summer months. The gentleman, Horace Raymond (H.R.) Townsend, had been principal of the Hamilton High School until he assumed the full-time position of commissioner of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA, which is currently located in Clintonville at 4080 Roselea Place, Columbus, OH 43214). He was the first commissioner of the organization, and held that post from 1925 until his death in 1944.

H.R.’s initials written on the inside of one of the attic walls:

Here is a 1939 Newspaper blurb about an event H.R. Townsend and his wife were hosting at 128 Crestview (“Entertain College Club”, 3rd column).

And, here is a 1936 article about their daughter Esther and her activities (“The Daily Grist”, Column 2).

Here are some Hamilton High School yearbook pages from 1925, the last year Townsend was principal:


And a spread of the dedication to H.R. in the yearbook, along with his photo:

This was a photograph randomly inserted into one of the pages of the aforementioned yearbook. The Earleys are not sure who it is, but have confirmed that it is not Mrs. Townsend:

A children’s poetry book found in the attic:

The Earleys found some of their daughters’ (Elizabeth’s and possibly Esther’s) schoolwork in their attic as well, and you can see those here. (I sure hope no one finds my school work 75 years later!)

Matt has done extensive research on the history of the home and its owners, and has spoken with most of the previous owners or their extended families. He is still looking for any photographs of the home from before the 1980s (about the oldest he has been given to date). The King family (of Nancy King fame) was the longest resident of the home, but Matt has not yet obtained any photos of the home from when they lived in it (1957-1979). If anyone happens to stumble upon anything older than that around 1985 at some point, Matt would be very interested in seeing it.

J. Harvey Zinn & his “Innocent Lamb” Lillian

Monday, July 10th, 2017

The Zinn Lumberyard is always interesting; many people I met while researching my book remember it, yet I have never seen pictures of it. James Wells, long-time resident of the Olde North Columbus community has an abiding interest in it and has shared a couple items about the Zinns.

The first is a business card for Mr. Zinn when he ran for the school board in 1921. We’re not sure if he won or not, but it would be interesting to find those records. Don’t you love the directive, “Investigation of my Personal and Business Record Invited.”

The second is Mr. Zinn’s daughter Lillian’s graduation photo from North High school in 1920. She was described as an “innocent lamb in a cruel world.”

You’ll find more information on the Zinns here.

By the way, James says he is “always interested in anything to do with J.H. Zinn and would appreciate any info about him and his family (or related subjects like his lumberyard, the North United Methodist church, where the family members were life-long attendees) or the Herron/Thornton families who lived across Tompkins street from the Zinn’s.

[Thanks for sharing these images, James!]

2950 North High, formerly Crestview Market

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Crestview Market, the Asian/International grocery store that was for many years located at the corner of Crestview and North High Street, recently closed and the building’s owners, Gahanna-based craft brewer Kindred Beer, is looking for a lessee. As part of the building’s renovation, workers removed some of the facade, and I was surprised to see that it used to be an auto dealership.

The picture below is the Crestview Market as it appeared in August 2007 (courtesy of Google Streetview), before the building was painted blue.

Nick Taggart of the Local History and Genealogy Department of the Columbus Metropolitan Library sent me the following information:

The history of the building at the corner of Crestview and North High looks to be quite varied. It has a history of auto sales businesses, under various names for various years. The earliest year I could find it in the Columbus City Directories was 1926 and at that time, the address was listed as 2952-2954. Here are the listings for the auto related businesses:

1926 – Tetlow Motor Sales Co.
1927 – Lindimore Motor Sales Co.
1928 – Hi-Crestview Garage
1929 – Vacant
1930 – VanHorns Motor Sales
1931 – Allen K Bentine auto pntr
1933 – Rufus B. Hay auto repr and Perl Mitchell auto repr
1936 – Orsborn Motors Inc. (the address was 2952-2958 and yes, it was “Orsborn” not “Osborn)
1937 – Same listing but it was spelled “Osborn)
1938 – Orsborn-Baynes Inc. auto (yes, it returned to the “Orsborn” spelling)
1939 – Vacant
1940 – Curtis B. Brown auto repair and Harley J. Arnold auto bodies (the address was just 2952)
1941 through 1945 – Curtis B. Brown auto repair

The auto-related businesses appear to have ceased at this point.

1946 through 1967 – Elephant Lumber Stores
1970 – Six different businesses are listed at this address and for the first time, it shows the 2950 address

I only spot-checked years after this; here is what I found:

1975 – Psychic Science Institute Science of Mind Center
First Church of Religious Science
1978 – Call Dean Inc. int. design school
Psychic Science Institute
1985 – Grid Publishing
1986 – Grid Publishing
1989 – Crestview Market (the first year I find it listed in the City Directory at this address)

By the way, I found an article from a March 1, 1989 NeighborNews (accessible through the electronic edition of the Columbus Dispatch database in the Library’s Reference databases), that mentions Crestview Market’s move to the 2950 location. It reads: “Crestview Market relocated to a larger store in January, just a few blocks from its original location. Mei-Yu Yang Ting, who owns the store with her husband, Jui-I Ting, said the new location, at 2950 N. High St., is 1 1/2 times larger than the original at Crestview Road and Calumet Street.”

A big thanks to Nick and to the Columbus Metropolitan Library!

[Update: see also my subsequent post showing the Elephant Lumber Yard signage, on the side of this building.

We’re Going to the Zoo Zoo Zoo…

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

A great picture of the (Beechwold) zoo and partial image of the plat of Zooland, the subdivision on the west side of North High Street. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Steamships in the Olentangy! I guess the zoo picture was mostly, well, aspirational. Rumor has it that the Zooland housing lots were developed to raise funds for the zoo. You can read more about the zoo on my web site here. [Image courtesy of Wendy Bayer]