Sylvania–Then and Now: 9821 Sylvania-Metamora Road

by Gayleen Gindy

Allen Road is the dividing line between Sylvania Township and Richfield Township, so at this point we cross the road to the south side of Sylvania-Metamora. Between Allen and Centennial Road there are only three homes left that are over 100 years old. Those will be the subjects of my next three articles. The first house is across from the old T & W Allen Junction sub-station building, and is an old farmhouse that is listed as being constructed in 1865, the year the Civil War ended! Real estate records show the following owners over the years:

  • 1865 – Warren D. Moore
  • 1871 – Henry J. Sharp
  • 1924 – Clyde T. and Floyd E. Sharp
  • 1937 – Lester R. and Alice A. Marsh
  • 1954 – Lester R. Marsh
  • 1977 – Benjamin F. and Martha K. Marsh
  • 1984 – Neil Paul and Laura Gail Frankenhauser
  • 1986 to current – Greg C. and Karroll E. Fisher

In 1865 Warren D. Moore purchased this 80- acre parcel, and he probably built this home. Moore was a Civil War veteran who had just returned to Sylvania after serving with the 130th Infantry Regiment, Company G, in which he was commissioned a Captain. It appears he resided in the downtown district of Sylvania on Maplewood Avenue while owning this property, and he sold this farm house to Henry Sharp in 1871.
Henry Sharp and Ella Metcalf were married in 1876. They had seven children, with two dying young. By the 1880 census they are found living in this home and listed as follows: Henry Sharp – 30 years old – farmer; Ella Sharp – wife – 26 years old – keeping house; Floyd Sharp – son – 2 years old; Roy Sharp – son – 1 year old; Wallace Kanaval – servant – 26 years old.
Ella Sharp wrote a letter in February of 1880, while living here, that survives today. She wrote that they had an open winter (very little snow cover) and the roads had been almost impassable. She said as soon as the road would get a little dry the rain would come again. She also wrote “you inquired after Henry’s health. He seems well and tough, but as you say, is working himself to death.”

The 1890 census was destroyed by a fire, but the 1900 census shows five children were living at home and they owned 120 acres now. They were listed in the census as follows: Henry J. Sharp – 49 years old – farmer – owned farm free of mortgage; Ella Sharp – wife – 46 years old – married 24 years – seven children born – five children still living; Floyd E. Sharp – son – 23 years old – farm laborer; Roy D. Sharp – 21 years – farm laborer; Mabel E. Sharp – daughter – 17 years – attending school; Clyde T. Sharp – son – 14 years – attending school; Cleon H. Sharp – son – 9 years – attending school.
In 1901 the Toledo & Western Railway laid their electric railway tracks right in front of Sharp’s property. Directly across the street is where the railway established a track that curved and went into Michigan. A passenger depot was built here, and this area became known as “Allen Junction.” The circa 1920 photo shows when the old T & W Railway ran through this corner and shows Sharp’s house in the distance.
The Sharp’s son Roy died in 1900, at just 21 years old, and their son Floyd married in 1901 and built a home on 40 acres to the east of this property. Three of their children were married in 1911: Clyde, Mabel and Cleon. Clyde and his wife Flossie appear to have lived with his father and mother in this house. Son Cleon and his wife moved to Arizona.
The Sharp family was still listed living here in the 1910 census as follows: Henry Sharp – 60 years old – farmer; Ella – wife – 56 years old – married 34 years – seven children born – four children still alive; Mabel – daughter – 27 years; and Clyde Sharp – son – 24 years old – farm laborer at home.
Then, Henry’s wife Ella died in 1913, his daughter Mabel Bartley died in 1914 and son Cleon died in Arizona in 1919.
By the 1920 census Clyde and Flossie were listed renting the home from his father, who was living with them. Clyde was 33 years old; Flossie was 28 years old; and living at home were their children: Mervin M. Sharp – son – 7 years old; Lynn Sharp – son – 6 years old; Olin Sharp – son – 4 years old; and Mabel E. Sharp – daughter – 5 months old. Henry Sharp, father, was listed as 70 years old and widowed.
In 1924 Henry transferred the home and 80 acres to his only two surviving children, Clyde and Floyd Sharp. Henry passed away in 1925, and by the 1930 census Clyde and his family were living in Scottsdale, Ariz. and Floyd and his family were living in Loraine County, Ohio, and this home was being rented out. The 1930 census does not list addresses in the rural areas of the township, so I am unable to determine who was renting the home.
In 1937 the two Sharp brothers sold this home and farmland to Lester and Alice (Smith) Marsh. As mentioned in a previous article, they had been renting the home on the NE corner of Sylvania-Metamora and Mitchaw roads before they purchased this home. By the 1940 census they were living in this home and were listed as follows: Lester Marsh – 38 years – two years of college, farmer; Alice Marsh – wife – 36 years – one year of college; Benjamin Marsh – son – 13 years – attending school.
Alice Marsh died at age 49 years in 1953. Lester continued to own this home, but in
1958 he purchased the home at 5105 Willow Glen in Sylvania Township with his second wife
helma. So, from 1958 until 1977 he
rented out this home.
In 1977 Lester split off a 1.39 acre parcel, containing the farm house, and transferred it to his son Benjamin Marsh. Lester died in 1978 and his obituary said he was survived by his wife, Thelma; daughter, Mrs. Marianne Otto; son, Benjamin F; stepson, Richard Houston; sister, Mrs. Bernice Marsh, and brother, Lawrence.
Benjamin Marsh and his wife Martha acquired the home in 1977 and owned it for seven years. Marsh was a well-known attorney throughout Lucas County, and he rented the home out while they owned it. They sold to the Frankenhausers in 1984. Neil Frankenhauser was an award-winning Toledo area artist whose works were exhibited throughout the United States. Locally he painted two large wall murals at the Toledo Zoo, along with many more accomplishments. They only owned the home for two years before selling to the Fishers in 1988 who still own it today after 32 years. Directories indicate that they have lived in the home during this time.

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