Full of Glee

October 10th, 2008

I love the story of the Republican Glee Club. Here it is: It was 1872, shortly after the nomination of Ulysses S. Grant for his second term of President. Some men were enjoying a convivial evening in one of the rear rooms of the Old Ambos Restaurant and Café on South High Street, and discovered that they all liked to sing and all were Republicans. Henry W. Frillman, one of the group, had just returned from Chicago and reported on the activities of a political glee club he heard sing there. The men decided to start a Republican singing and marching club, and called themselves the Grant and Wilson Glee Club. They rehearsed rigorously and became much in demand at rallies around the state. They were even invited to take part in the inaugural festivities in D.C. After the election, the group disbanded but in 1876 reconvened as the Hayes and Wheeler Glee Club. Members participated in four successive campaigns, and participated in state and local campaigns as well. In 1895 they incorporated as “The Republican Glee Club of Columbus Ohio.”

In the late-1920s, they moved their headquarters to 57 Weber Road and remained there until about 2000. The building is now a private residence. (Photo courtesy of Tom Atzberger)

Broadway House No. 1

October 10th, 2008

North Broadway was developed by the Loren and Dennison company in 1897; it was intended to be the place to live, and it was. James Loren originally planned to call it the Oakland Addition, but the post office requested he change the name to avoid confusion with another neighborhood. It had a small railroad depot and post office at North Broadway’s east end at the Big Four Railroad track. This house at 510 North Broadway Street was the first house built in the subdivision. It was built around 1890.  It was sometimes called Acton Place, for reasons I was unable to discover.  By 1894 it was owned by a man named E. Howard Gilkey.  The William W. Daniel family purchased it in 1896, and the house remained in that family’s hands until 1961.  It burned down in 1966. My Clintonville and Beechwold book has a photograph of the original house; this photograph shows the fire. The spot is now occupied by Columbus Speech and Hearing Center.  (Photo from an unnamed newspaper clipping)

The Loren House

October 10th, 2008

I also found a handwritten history that said that this was the first house built on North Broadway and was lived in, or owned by, someone named Loren. I do not recognize the house—do you? (This very poor image was taken from a photocopy of a microfilm.)

According to the 1896-97 city directory, there was also a Jeremiah C. Loren (motorman) living 1 building north of North Broadway on the east side of North High Street.

Mary Rodgers (resident of East North Broadway who has been researching the houses along East North Broadway) believes this is a picture of 625 East North Broadway, a house which was in the Broadway Villa subdivision and which I have written about here. It was lived in by the MacIntosh family.

Broadway House No. 2

October 10th, 2008

East North Broadway was developed by the Loren and Dennison company in 1897; it was designed to be a posh neighborhood, each house on a 1-acre plot of land. It had a small railroad depot and post office at North Broadway’s east end at the Big Four Railroad track. This house at 242 North Broadway Avenue was the second house built in the subdivision. (From Business First magazine)

242 East North Broadway has been renovated beautifully by its present owner. The care with which he has selected materials and kept true to the house’s original design takes my breath away. The house has not always been so lovely. For several years–prior to the present owner–this (to the right) is what it looked like.

On Broadway (…on Broadway)

October 10th, 2008

My book, Clintonville and Beechwold, page 19, shows an image of East North Broadway, looking east toward Indianola Avenue in the late 1800s The large house to the right of the photograph (south side of North Broadway) still exists at 489 East North Broadway (top photo).

The building just to the left of 489 in the photograph still exists as well, as a private residence; it was originally the carriage house of the large house on the south side of North Broadway in the distance (bottom photo). That large house was formerly 625 East North Broadway in the Broadway Villa subdivision.

Evanston Post Office and Depot

October 10th, 2008

In my Clintonville & Beechwold book, I mentioned that there was a post office at the eastern end of North Broadway where it crossed the railroad tracks. It stood on the east side of the tracks near what is now Oakland Park Avenue. The “Evanston” post office was opened on May 22, 1893 and ran until November 23, 1893. The name was changed to North Broadway Post Office around July 6, 1894 and remained open until about September 1902.

The Evanston depot, shown in my book, was located where East North Broadway met the railroad tracks. The depot finally burned down but trains continued to stop upon signal for many years more. There is on old maps a short arc of a street there, called Depot Park Road.

A 1910 map reveals that a man named Charles F. Evans owned the property where the North Broadway depot and post office likely were located, so I assume this is how they got their names.

East North Broadway

October 10th, 2008

According to a 1999 Booster article by Anne Barry, in 1923, East North Broadway was the only paved street north of Fifth Avenue. It was paved with Hallwood Block, and the sidewalks were paved with brick as well. Old maps show a traffic circle at the intersection of East North Broadway and Beech Hill Avenue/Calumet Street, which appears to have been put there for aesthetic reasons. I believe half of this circle remained as late as 1985.

Raison d’être for Broadway

October 10th, 2008

According to a transcript of a WBNS-Radio broadcast salute to Clintonville on May 27, 1959 and reprinted in The Clintonville Historical Society’s January 2009 issue of its newsletter, Clintonville Heritage, Olentangy Park and East North Broadway’s development are linked. The street was supposedly laid out because of the Olentangy Park Theatre:

And one of the grandest streets was laid out because of the Olentangy Park Theatre–it was North Broadway, North Broadway was a lovely, tree-shaded, paved boulevard, when all around was nothing but dusty country roads. There lived famous actors from Broadway like Elsie Janis and Vaughn Blaise…

Read the rest of this entry »

St. James in the Woods

October 10th, 2008

All the literature for St. James Episcopal Church states that it was organized in 1881, and that church members met in local schools before they had their own church building. I admit to being skeptical of that date and believe 1891—when James Loren began developing East North Broadway and donated a lot on Beech Hill Avenue (now called Calumet Street) for the church–is nearer to the mark. Some sundry facts about this, the oldest continually running Clintonville church:
• The original exterior was a Tudor Revival Style. The cornerstone was laid in 1894, and the mission was consecrated in 1896.
• The church was enlarged to a seating capacity of 200 in 1927; that was also when the church building got indoor toilets.
• The original church was traditionally covered with ivy. The ivy growing on the church grew from a shoot brought from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, which in turn got its ivy from somewhere in “old England.”
(Photo courtesy of St. James Episcopal Church)

Who were Loren and Dennison?

October 10th, 2008

James M. Loren (b. 11/30/1849, d. 2/13/1931) was an attorney who loved real estate. He lived at the corner of King Avenue and North High Street (1371 North High Street) from the time of his marriage to Miss Annabel McMillen in 1878, until his death. He was closely identified with the family of former Ohio governor William Dennison, and handled their real estate affairs; he shared a suite of offices with William’s son Herman G. Dennison. Loren laid out, platted, and sold not only East North Broadway but also Dennison Place, Dennison Park, Dennison Summit, and a few other subdivision in northern Columbus and Worthington. Loren’s daughter married Joseph Walter Jeffrey. James Loren’s mausoleum is in Greenlawn Cemetery, lot 41, section 56. For more information you can read his obituary from the Columbus Dispatch Feb 13, 1936, p. 6A, and his biography from Osman Hooper’s 1920 book, History of the City of Columbus, Ohio, pp 453-454.

Herman G Dennison died in 1912 at age 59 in an automobile accident. More information here.

This information came to me courtesy of staff at the Genealogy, History, and Travel Department of the Columbus Metropolitan Library System.

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