Sylvania–Then and Now–5166 MAIN STREET

by Gayleen Gindy
PUBLICATION DATE: April 12, 2021

On the east side of South Main Street, all the existing homes from Brint Road north to the corner of Convent Boulevard were constructed after 1948, except for three. Our subject home, 5166 S. Main St., was built in 1912 and the owners are recorded as follows:

  • 1905 – Andy A. Thorp
  • 1912 – House constructed while owned by Andy Thorp
  • 1916 – Frederick Hartman, Elmer Hartman, G. Roberts, Edith Martin
  • 1916 – Angeline Hartman to Arthur VanGlahn to John and Cora Humphrey to John L. Stadler
  • 1917 – Joseph Hittler
  • 1918 – Joel and Lena LaPoint
  • 1921 – Lena LaPoint
  • 1939 – Gordon LaPointe
  • 1963 – Gordon LaPointe and Josephine Mary LaPointe
  • 1982 – Thomas Gordon LaPointe, David L. LaPointe, Darlene J. LaPointe and Diane M. LaPointe
  • 1985 – Someplace Else Dining Lounge, Inc.
  • 1991 – Tim Lee Godbey
  • 1992 – Barbara L. Wilbert
  • 2009 – Mark A. Nelson
  • 2019 – Julie Frye

This house is 109 years old, and the LaPoint family owned it for 67 of those years. All of the county property records spell the LaPoint name with an “e” at the end, but family records, and the gravestones for Joel and Lena, show that they did not use the “e.” It seems that their son Gordon added the “e” to the end of his last name as an adult and that continued.
In 1905 Andy Thorp purchased the old schoolhouse at 5154 Main St. At that time the property extended to include the property where our subject home was built in 1912. Thorp was a well-known brick mason in the area at the time. Deed records show that between 1916 and 1918 the home was transferred six times, until finally, in 1918, Joel and Lena Lapoint purchased the home.
Joel LaPoint and Helena Labardie were married in 1904 and first rented a farm in Sylvania Township where he worked as a farmer. According to the 1910 census he was 32 years old, Lena was 26 years old and they had two children named Raymond – 5 years old and Gordon – 1-year-old. In 1911 Donald was born, then in 1913 Mary Helen was born, and in September of 1916, Hilda was born. Records indicate that Joel and Lena lived and operated the general store at the corner of Convent Boulevard and Railroad Street from 1916 until 1918. The May 23, 1918, issue of the Sylvania Sentinel said, “The little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joel LaPoint wandered onto the New York Central tracks Wednesday afternoon at about 5 o’clock, and was struck by a fast passenger train going north, and instantly killed. The family lives by the side of the track near the depot and the little girl, aged 20 months, wandered onto the track just as the fast passenger train came along. The child’s skull was crushed causing instant death.” Joel and Lena had purchased our subject home on April 16, 1916 and were probably in the process of moving into their new home about the time of the accident. In September of 1918, when Joel completed his World War I registration card, he was 42 years old, living in Sylvania, employed as a laborer at the Bock Bearing Company on Phillips Avenue in Toledo.
In January of 1920 when the U.S. census was taken and Joel and Lena LaPoint were living in our subject house with their children: Raymond, Gordon, Donald and Mary Helen. On March 10, 1920, while Joel was working on the construction of the Wernert’s Corner Elementary School in Toledo, he was killed when the roof, which was under construction, caved in. It was reported that the roof and one side of the structure collapsed at 1:30 pm and he was buried by the debris. Three workmen started to dig for him but before they could reach him he died.

At the time of Joel’s death, Lena was pregnant and a daughter was born in November of 1920, who she named Rita. In 1921 the house transferred into Lena’s name and the 1930 census listed Lena M. LaPoint living here. She was listed as 46 years old, widowed, and had no occupation. Living at home were Raymond J. – son – 25 years old – employed at a commercial hardware store; Gordon F. – son – 21 years old – employed as a billing clerk for a manufacturing plant; Donald L. – son – 19 years old – employed as a delivery boy for a grocery store; Mary Helen – daughter – 17 years old – attending school; Rita M. – daughter – 9 years old – attending school. The house was valued at $4500.
Lena LaPoint died in September of 1938 and in 1939 the house was sold to her son Gordon LaPoint.
In the 1940 census, Gordon was living in this house. He was 31 years old, single and employed as a truck driver at a gas and oil company. Also living here was his brother Raymond – 35 years old, single and employed as a laborer doing odd jobs, and his sister, Rita – 19 years old, employed as a bookkeeper at a machine shop.
Gordon completed his World War II registration card in 1940 and reported that he was working for Howard Gas & Oil Co. at Main and Monroe streets. His sister Rita was married in August of 1941 and his brother Raymond moved to Toledo. Gordon married Josephine Mary Trompeter in May of 1945. They lived here with their four children until Gordon died in 1969 at the age of 61. His obituary notice said that he was a truck driver for Union Oil Co. for 27 years. Surviving were his wife, Josephine; sons, Thomas and David, both at home; daughters, Diane and Darlene, both at home. Josephine lived here until she died in 1981 at the age of 60. Both are buried in St. Joseph Cemetery.
In 1982 the home was transferred to her four surviving children and they sold it in 1985 to Someplace Else Dining Lounge, Inc. As we all remember that was the name of the restaurant across the street in the Southbriar Shopping complex for many years, started by Steve and Kay Evdemon in 1968. They later sold the business to Tim Godbey and in 1985 he was the restaurant owner when this home was purchased and he owned it through 1992. During most of this time, the directories show that the house was vacant.
In 1992 Barbara Wilbert purchased the home and directories indicate that she lived in the home while she owned it through 2009.
Mark Nelson was the next to purchase the home in 2009. Directories indicate that he lived in this home until 2011 when he purchased the home to the north at 5200 Main St. The 2011 directory shows Mark owning both houses until 2019 when he sold this house to Julie Frye.

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