Then and Now–5457 Main Street

by Gayleen Gindy

Now that we have visited the beautiful arch railroad bridge on South Main Street, we will head south and finish up the structures that are at least 100 years old along the west side of Main Street, up to Brint Road. The first house past the creek was constructed in 1902 by Charles Rockenstyre. He and his wife Hattie had already built a home for themselves at 5445 Main St. in 1897 on a large parcel of land which she had inherited from her parents, the Bidwells. They had a considerable amount of land left and in 1900 they sold, to the Toledo & Western Railway Company, all the land where Sautter’s Market is located today. The railroad established their headquarters there for the passenger railroad service they soon provided through Sylvania.

Our subject house was constructed by Rockenstyre with the idea that the railroad company was going to need rentals where their officials and their families could live. Five years later in 1907 he constructed another two-family home to the south of this home, which he also used as rentals.
The owners of our subject home are recorded as follows:

  • 1888 – Hattie Rockenstyre
  • 1902 – This house was constructed
  • 1907 – William K. & Gertrude Bush
  • 1928 – George & Nicholas J. Poulos
  • 1934 – Nicholas J. Poulos
  • 1939 – Henry F. Riek
  • 1948 – Alfonso A. & Cecelia DeReinoso
  • 1948 – Louie E. Edinger
  • 1953 – Jacob P. & Florence C. Edinger
  • 1994 – Florence C. Edinger
  • 1995 – Vicki L. Edinger
  • 2003 to current – Ediface Rex, LLC

In 1907 the Rockenstyres transferred this home to their daughter and son-in-law, William and Gertrude Bush. Records show they were renting this home out in the 1910 and 1920 census, and then in 1928 they sold the home to George and Nicholas Poulos. The brothers came to the United States from Greece. Census records show that George came in 1904 and Nicholas in 1910. George is shown operating a confectionary store while Nicholas was the owner of a restaurant, both in downtown Sylvania. Soon after they also went into the house-building business, and established a new subdivision in Sylvania known as Sylvania Gardens. They built Roosevelt Court and Woodrow Drive off Erie Street.

A building permit was issued to George Poulos in January of 1928 to build a 14 foot wide by 8-foot deep garage on the Main St. parcel.

The 1930 census shows that they were renting out rooms in the home to those listed as “boarders.” The boarders were Harry J. Poulos – single – 40 years old and brother of George and Nicholas; Isadore Attardi – widowed – 50 years old – from Sicily; and Anthony Portle – single – 34 years old – from Sicily.

In 1934, George Poulos sold his half ownership of the house to Nicholas. He continued to own it and rent it out for five more years. He sold the home in 1939 to Henry Riek. In the 1940 census Riek was renting the home to Clara Trompeter – 43 years old – divorced – employed as a book repairer on a WPA project. Living with her was her daughter – 19 years old – working as a clerk at a shoe repair shop. They were renting the home for $20 per month.
Riek owned the home from 1939 until 1948. He was a newspaper engraver for the Toledo News-Bee and then a proprietor of a garage in Toledo. He and his wife Agatha lived at 2402 Meadowood in Toledo while he owned this home. The 1940 census shows he was a photoengraver at his own company known as the Standard Engraving Company.

In 1948 the home transferred into the name of Alfonso and Cecelia DeReinoso, and on the same date transferred to Louis E. Edinger. He owned the home from 1848 until 1953. Edinger had worked for 30 years at Medusa Cement Company in Sylvania Township and lived on Sylvania Avenue with his large family before retiring and moving to this home. In April of 1951 he obtained a building permit to build a new 14 x 20-foot garage, which he was building himself at a cost of $600.

In 1953 he sold this home to his son Jacob. His obituary notice said he lived in the Swanton Nursing home in Swanton, Ohio until he passed away in December of 1957. His survivors were listed as follows: daughters, Mrs. Erma Postlewait, Mrs. Edna Hudanski, and sons Jacob, Woodrow, Gerald, Elwood and Urban Edinger.
Jacob and his wife Florene Edinger lived in this home until he died in 1993 and she died in 1995. They were issued a building permit by the City of Sylvania in September of 1964 to enclose the front porch and Edinger was listed as the builder. The owner of the property to the south, Gertrude Bush, supplied a letter at that time stating that she had no objections to this improvement.

Jacob Edinger’s obituary notice in 1993 said he had been a delivery man for the Trilby Farm Dairy and then a cutter-grinder for the Spicer Mfg-Dana Corp. for 11 years, retiring in 1973. He was survived by his wife Florene; daughters, Debbie Polrier, Vickie Edinger and Laura Thorsby; and son, Richard Edinger.
In 1995, after Florene passed away, the home transferred to their daughter Vicki Edinger. She owned it for the next eight years and sold it in 2003 to the current owners. 

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