Then and Now–5453 Main Street

by Gayleen Gindy

This house, that is over 100 years old, was constructed in 1907 by Charles Rockenstyre as a two-family home that he could rent out. As mentioned in the previous article, his wife, Hattie Bidwell-Rockenstyre, inherited all the land from where Sautter’s Market is today south to the property at 5445 Main Street, where they constructed their home. They sold all their property north of the creek, where Sautter’s Market is today, to the railroad company where the headquarters for a passenger and freight railroad service was established. On their property to the south of the creek Rockenstyre built his first home in 1897 and then built two more homes; one in 1902, which we discussed last time, and this one in 1907.

The owners of this property are recorded as follows:

1888 – Hattie Rockenstyre

1924 – William K. & Gertrude R. Bush

1941 – Gertrude R. Bush

1968 – Berkley R. Bush

1973 – Berkley & Mary Bush

2000 – Berkley Bush

2012 – Helen M. White, Trustee

2012 – Edifice Rex Ltd. And Ohio LLC

The 1910 census listed Ernest and Lena Tolford and their daughter Lulu renting one side of this house, and Mark and Blanche Cosner living in the other unit. By the 1920 census Archie and Helen Collins, with his mother Margaret, were renting one unit and George and Julia Waters, with their daughter Ella, were living in the other unit.

A 1926 Sylvania Post Office delivery listing shows Mrs. George Waters living at 5453 Main St. and A.J. Collins living at 5449 Main St.

By the 1930 census Archie and Helen Collins, with their son Clark, were renting the 5449 Main St. unit and the other unit must have been vacant at the time because this address is not listed. The name Archie Collins brings to mind the records from World War II where it was noted again and again that Collins had volunteered his time to keep the list of the names of the men and women who left Sylvania to serve during this war. A large wooden panel was constructed in downtown Sylvania, where the Edward Jones building is today, and he painted each name on that panel throughout the entire war. Before the war was over two panels had to be added on each side. There were hundreds of names on those panels, with a star next to those that were casualties. For that service he will be remembered in Sylvania forever! His son Clark Collins later served many years on Sylvania City Council, among other public positions in and around the Sylvania area. 

In 1939, Gertrude Bush was issued a building permit by the Village of Sylvania to build a chimney, and demolish a wood shed and back porch at this address.

The 1940 census showed that Pauline Skinner was renting 5449 Main St. with her two sisters Lenore Skinner and Lois Kelley. Joseph and Jane Dunhill were listed living in the 5453 Main St. unit. 

The first Suburban Directory was published in 1957 and that directory shows Stewart M. Deye living at 5449 Main and Mrs. Lora Randall living at 5453 Main St.

The 1958, 1959 and 1960 Suburban Directories continue to show Deye and Randall renting their units and, as of the 1961 directory, Deye was still renting but 5453 Main is listed as vacant.

Stewart Deye is shown living in the 5449 Main Street unit through 1976. After that the tenants changed from year to year, and the list was just too lengthy to include here. I notice currently that the structure appears to be empty.

Leave a Reply