–By Gayleen Gindy
In my last article, you were left standing in the parking lot of the shopping complex. Now, move north to the next parcel, which is the facility built in 1946, first for automobile sales and service and then converted into the Haymarket Square shopping complex. In its earliest
days this property had a small single-family house on it where Alexander and Kathryn Russell lived. Alexander Russell died in 1934 and at that time he was serving an elected position on the Sylvania Village Council. By the following year, Mrs. Russell was renting out the house to Lawrence and Sophia Romaker and family, and they were listed living here in the 1940 census.
In 1941, Ernest Schaber began renting the property and started selling automobiles, using the old house on this property as his sales office. You will remember from my last article, Mr. and Mrs. Schaber lived in the house just to the south and he had been operating a sheet metal operation in the barn, which still stands on the back portion of that property today. During the war years, Schaber was mostly limited to selling used vehicles, but after the war he was back to selling new cars. On July 22, 1946, he purchased this property and that same year was granted a building permit to construct a brick and cement block building with a “fire resistant roof” to be used as a public garage and sales room, replacing the old house that sat on the parcel. In September of 1949, Schaber was granted another building permit to add a 70-foot x 45-foot addition to the existing cement block building for his auto sales and repair operation.
Schaber retired his DeSoto-Plymouth car sales franchise in October of 1956, and the Oct. 25, 1956, Sylvania Sentinel-Herald reported that he had rented the complex out to Vincent Devers who would be selling Mercurys here by January of 1957. Schaber died later in 1957 and his wife, Anna, continued renting this commercial building to Vin Devers. By 1961, Devers advertised that they were selling Mercurys, Comets and English Fords. In 1962, Devers purchased three parcels here from the estate of Anna Schaber and, in October of 1963, Vin Devers Inc. was granted a building permit to add a 12-foot by 19-foot cement block addition to the front of his building. Devers sold new and used cars from this property until 1968, when it just became too congested for his growing business and he moved his operation to Monroe Street.
The 1969 Suburban Directory shows the building was vacant. The 1970, 1971 and 1972 directories listed Jaranko Surplus Sales at this location. An advertisement in the Sylvania Sentinel dated Nov. 25, 1970, said: “Santa Says – for the best toy selection at the lowest prices—Try Jaranko First—All types of toys for all ages-girls and boys.”
In July 1973, the property was purchased by Phyllis Paul, wife of builder Eugene Paul. That same month, a building permit was issued to Gene Paul to convert the building into a multiple unit commercial shopping complex with a second story added to a portion of the building where he had offices available for rent. The outside of the building was made to look like an old-fashioned town with boardwalk sidewalks, a saloon, mercantile businesses, offices, a hair salon and a restaurant/ice cream parlor. The 1977 Suburban Directory listed the following occupants in nine units at 5758 Main St.:
Unit No. 1 – Pet Emporium pet shop;
Unit No. 2 – Sylvania General Store decorating accessories;
Unit No. 3 – The Prospector art supplies;
Unit No. 4 – Custard’s Last Stand; Unit
No. 5 – Ambassador World travel bureau; Unit
No. 6 – Sodbuster Saloon and restaurant; Unit
No. 7 – Betty’s Curling Iron; Unit No. 8 – Vacant;
Unit A – James M. Corbley & Associates
Today, the following businesses occupy the complex: Maumee Bay Kitchen & Bath Center, Shear Madness Family Salon, Earth to Oven Bakery, the Sodbuster Bar, Sylvan Meadows Family Therapy and Jem Photography.