We tend to think of the use of prefabricated buildings for temporary quarters a new idea, but it seems to be as old as our township schools. I have found pictures of old World War I military barracks, and also portable voting booths, used for schools all over Clintonville. Our Lady of Peace used both types of buildings. Glenmont Elementary School began life as a cluster of portable schools. Clinton Elementary School handled overcrowding with temporary buildings. Shown here are some portable voting booths at the old tile factory along Arcadia (where North High School presently stands). (Photo courtesy of Wallie Palmer)
Mathias Armbruster was born in Wurtenburg Germany in 1839 and came to the U.S.A. in 1858. He operated Armbruster Scenic Studios in Columbus—he painted scenic theatrical stage sets. Armbruster purchased the area around what is now known as Walhalla Ravine, and converted Clinton Chapel at 3100 North High Street into his private residence. His son Albert’s house was just north of Mathias’ home, where the parking lot for Southwick-Good-Fortkamp funeral home now is. Mathias eventually sold most of the acreage to a real estate developer, and helped name the streets after his beloved Wagner Ring Operas.
Mathias died in Columbus in 1920. Here he is shown looking west from the cupola on his roof. (Photo courtesy of Leeann Faust)
In the center, a view of High Street taken from Armbruster’s cupola; Olentangy Park is in the background. (Photo courtesy of Leeann Faust)
The photo on the right shows Albert Armbruster’s house. (Photo courtesy of Leeann Faust)
The building at 3100 North High Street, originally Clinton Chapel and presently a funeral home, was converted into a residence in the late 1800s by Mathias Armbruster. Leeann Faust’s mother–a descendent of Armbruster–sketched out “before and after” floor plans for 3100 North High Street, from memory. “Before” represents the floor plan when Mathias Armbruster lived there. “After” is the floor plan as modified by subsequent resident Uncle Jack Sullivan ca. 1920. The second floor was converted into apartments. I’m including both Leeann’s mother’s first draft, and her “cleaned up” versions.
These are the floor plans after Jack Sullivan modified the residence. The 2nd story had been converted into apartments and aren’t shown here.
(Photos courtesy of Leeann Faust.)
You can search this site for “3100 North High Street” or “Armbruster” for more pictures of this building.
Leeann Faust gave me some additional images of the Mathias Armbruster home at 3100 North High Street.
(Photos courtesy of Leeann Faust.)
This church is not in Clintonville, but because it is so close to Clintonville I could not resist including North Congregational Church located at East Blake and East Avenues, on this website. The photograph was taken in 1900. (Photo courtesy of Judy Cohen)
This is a wonderful picture of the house that still stands at 253 Crestview. Despite what has been scribbled on the photo, the picture was probably taken around 1908 when the house is estimated to have been built. The people in the photo are standing on the east side of the house; the front is to the right (the side with the dormer). You can click on the image to enlarge it; there is something behind the house looks like a cemetery but is more likely an orchard which would have been in the vicinity of Kelso and Calumet. (Courtesy of Chris Althof)
Northwest corner of Duncan and High Street, 1921. (Photocopy courtesy of Frank Jones.)
I tell the story of Virginia Walcutt Gay in my book, Clintonville and Beechwold. She was born May 9, 1831, and passed away on May 8, 1914. Mrs. Gay was a member of a Columbus pioneer family–daughter of John Macey and Muriel Brodrick Walcutt–and a sister of General C. C. Walcutt, once Columbus mayor. Her husband, Harvey D. Gay, died in 1878. This is Virginia’s private mausoleum at Greenlawn cemetery, section 32, lot no. 35.
First of all, in case you are wondering, there is currently no 218 Jason Avenue or 218 W. Pacemont. Pacemont Avenue was originally called Jason Avenue. The area where the orphanage stands was outside of the Columbus City limits in 1910 & 1920, during many of the years when it operated as an orphanage. When the western end of Jason/Pacemont was added as the “the Aldrich’s Riverside addition,” the house numbers were adjusted to compensate for all the new lots. The current address is 56 West Pacemont.
The boarding house/orphanage/nursery was run by Judiah & Mary Ella Throps (sometimes spelled Throp or Throop). Judiah was born in 1844, served in the Civil War, and died in 1913. (His occupation was listed as “Painter” and also, in 1910, as “Nursery.” Mary Ella was born in 1865, and died in 1933. (Her occupation was listed as “Housekeeper” and occasionally “Nurse”.) Both are buried in Union Cemetery.
According to the 1910 Census, the Throps had one 7 year old son living with them (son Ernest Throps). Mary was at the time 45 years old. They also had 12 young boarders living with them, all under the age of 6 and many just babies.
By the 1920 Census, Judiah had passed away. The 1920 census states that Mary (by this time, age 55) had 3 children living with in her household: Earnest Throps (age 16); William Throps (age 9), Mabel Leonard (a servant, age 29) and Glendus Leonard (age 5, listed as a boarder). (I can’t help wondering whether there were additional boarders, not listed by the census taker.)
By the 1930 Census, Mary was 64. By this time she had quite a few extra living companions: William Throps (son, age 19), Richard Throps (adopted son, age 4), Helen Gatewood (servant, age 22), Jeanne Paden (8), Oswin Poletzie (7), Shirley Poletzie (3), Elva Waton (18), Marie Obrien (6), Charles Jordan (6), Mick Tudor (3), Virginia Adkins (2), and Algie Donaldson (2).
This research was conducted by Scott Caputo of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main branch, Geneaology, History, & Travel Desk. We are so glad he discovered this history. Scott had a library client who knew that their grandmother had a child out of wedlock in 1910. The grandmother had put the infant in an “orphanage” located at 218 Jason Avenue, where he died shortly afterward. The infant was Harry White and is included in the 1910 census in a list of around a dozen “boarders” at this address. All are under 5 years old.