Sylvania –Then and Now: 5774 North Main Street

–by Gayleen Gindy

Looking Back

We are now moving north to our next property, which is the southeast corner of Main and Erie streets. At this corner there is a two-story residential home, which is currently being used as a commercial retail gift shop known as Angela’s Angels and Antiques, owned and operated by Angela Christensen. Angela is also the person that first contacted me about doing these history articles.

Property deed records show that on April 29, 1904 Bernard F. and Anna Morrisse purchased this property, and the house was constructed that same year. The 1910 census shows the Morrisses living in the house. He was listed as 52 years old and his occupation was listed as none – own income. She was listed as 52 years old and according to this census record they were married in 1895. Living with them was Bernard’s brother, Herman Morrisse, 41 years old, occupation – sailor of a passenger boat.

At the 1920 census, they were still listed living in this house, and this census shows that they owned the home free from mortgage. He was 61 years old and his occupation was “assistant caretaker – undertaking.” She was 62 years old. Still living in the home was Bernard’s brother, Herman Morrisse, who was 51 years old and listed as single. His occupation was recorded as “captain of steamboat.”

The 1930 census shows that Bernard and Anna were still living in the house, now valued at $5,000. They were both listed as 72 years old. He was listed as a “salesman at a hardware store.” Anna Morrisse passed away in the home on Aug. 12, 1931 and was buried in Toledo Memorial Park Cemetery. Bernard continued to live in the house. Old-timers of Sylvania say that while the Morrisses lived here there were big black walnut trees that lined the Erie Street side of the house.

In April of 1935, Bernard was granted a building permit to move an accessory building on the property to a new location and remodel it for a garage. Then in April of 1937, a building permit was issued to hire Wayne Roberts to re-roof the house. On Sept. 25, 1939, Bernard Morrisse passed away.

The house was sold to Julia Billau and the 1940 census shows her living here. She was listed as 64 years old and a widow. She had a boarder living in the house by the name of George Hasty who was 66 years old, single, and retired.  The house transferred into Julia’s name on May 7, 1941, and then on June 19, 1942, she transferred the house to her son, Ross Billau. She died on Nov. 7, 1942, at the age of 68 years. She was listed as the widow of Henry J. Billau.

Ross Billau owned the house until he passed away March 24, 1975, and then the house transferred to his wife Jessie on Feb. 18, 1976. Ross Billau’s obituary notice said that he had been living at 5774 Main St. and was a partner in the former William T. Phillips Co., seed and farm supply firm for 38 years, prior to his retirement in 1959. His widow, Jessie, sold the house in 1977.

On Sept. 9, 1977, Dr. Jack Boyd and his wife, Gretchen, purchased the building, and after some interior remodeling, Dr. Boyd is listed as occupying the home as a dental office, according to the 1978 Suburban Directory.  Subsequent directories listed Jack T. Boyd Incorporated – dentists.

In September of 1995, Dr. Boyd had the areas of the old front porch boxed in, and he completely sided the structure with a vinyl siding and a new roof was installed.

In a letter to his patients dated July 25, 2000, Dr. Boyd announced that he and Susan Mack were retiring and that after almost a year of working closely with Dr. Todd Schultz, he was turning the business over to him.  Dr. Schultz continued to rent the building from Dr. Boyd through 2004. On July 21, 2004, as the structure celebrated its 100th birthday, Dr. Boyd sold the building to Mark and Angela Christensen.  They immediately obtained a building permit from the city of Sylvania, which allowed them to add a handicapped ramp and remove some interior walls in order to remodel the building for a gift shop. It would be called Angela’s Angels & Antiques. They explained that the business was created after the loss of their son, Nick, who was killed in an auto accident in 2001 at the age of 19. They made the decision that, in honor of their son, they would turn this seemingly negative event into something positive where they could help others.

Angela’s husband, Mark Christensen, passed away in September of 2009 at the young age of 51, and she has continued the business since that time. In addition to the retail store, psychic readers and spiritual mediums work with clients on the second floor.