Sylvania Then & Now – 5814 Summit Street

Gayleen Gindy

This house, built in 1897, was owned by Mary Albring. Henry and Mary Albring purchased a 4.28 acre parcel along the east side of Summit Street and between the North Branch of the Ottawa River, in 1885. He died in 1887 and it transferred to Mary. Then in 1904 Mary transferred the property to her grandson, Henry Briggs. On that acreage Briggs platted a subdivision he called Briggs Place, consisting of five lots, which the village council officials approved in 1905. Over time those original lots were split into smaller lots. Our subject house ended up on the north half of Lot No. 1.

In 1905 Briggs sold this parcel and the house to Nicholas Willinger. He was a builder in Sylvania for many years, and built several homes in the Briggs Place subdivision. Old directories show him living at 5820 Summit St., so while he owned this house through 1920, he must have rented it out. In 1914 records show that a detached garage was built on the property.

In 1920 Henry and Martha Wopper purchased the house, but only owned it for three years. They sold it in 1923 to Edson and Louise Breese. Edson died in 1926 and the home transferred to Louise.

The following classified ad appeared in the Sylvania Sentinel on Feb. 23, 1928: “FOR SALE – a modern 6-room home, in splendid repair, furnace, full basement, garage, lot size 50 x 250. A real bargain for quick sale. Mrs. Breese, 5814 Summit Street, Sylvania.”

On Aug. 30, 1928 the house was purchased by Charles and Cora Souder. The Souders were living at 6623 Erie St., and from 1928 through 1947, while the Souder family owned the house, they rented it out. The Jan. 2, 1929 Sentinel listed the following: “FOR RENT – Rooms in modern home, for ladies or gentlemen. Inquire 5814 Summit St.”

The 1930 census shows Lora S. Randall renting the house. She was listed as 33 years old – widowed – employed as a stenographer at a church. Living with her were her two sons, James S. Randall – 7 years old, and Richard P. Randall – 3 years old.

The 1940 census shows George and Lula Schroeder renting this house for $25 per month. George was 71 years old and retired. Lula was 70 years old and their daughter Helen – 44 years old – single – was employed as an English teacher at the public school.

1941 – Charles and Lucille
Quinnell wedding

Wilma Souder, the daughter of Charles and Cora, sold the house in 1947. A classified advertisement in the newspaper dated Jan. 2, 1947 read: “FOR SALE – 5814 Summit St., 6-room, well constructed house, full basement, hot air heat, 1-car garage, large lot. Inquire at C. Souder, 6623 Erie Street.”

On Jan. 28,1947 Charles and Lucille Quinnell purchased this home. They owned it from 1947 through 1997, when it transferred to their daughters Carol and Lynn, after going through Probate Court.

Charles and Lucille were married in May 1941 at the Sylvania Community Church on Summit Street. Full and complete details were described in the Sylvania Sentinel and started out by saying: “One of the loveliest of early summer weddings occurred on Sunday afternoon at the Sylvania Community Church . . .”

An article in the July 3,1947 issue of the Sylvania Sentinel reported the following, “When Lynn Margaret was born to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Quinnell on June 1 she inherited eight grandparents. She also represents the fifth generation on her maternal side of the family. Beside the grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. E. Park Kahle and Mrs. and Mrs. H.C. Quinnell, there are great-grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Wiley of Adrian, Mich. and Mrs. E. Quinnell of Margate, England. The baby’s great-great grandmother is Mrs. Mary Wiley, also of Adrian, who is 96 years of age. The young Quinnell family will soon be residing in their new home at 5814 Summit Street.”

In the 1950 census Charles and Lucille are listed living here. He was 29 years old and employed as a printer in the newspaper business. Lucille was 28 years old and their daughter Lynn was 2 years old.

In August of 1956 Charles Quinnell obtained a building permit to remove and enlarge the rear porch by six feet.
It appears that Charles and Lucille lived in this home through 1973, and then his married daughter Lynn Williamson, according to the directories, is listed living here through 1977. It has been rented out from 1978 to now to a long list of people.

Charles Quinnell was an amazing man. He grew up on Summit Street where his father and mother published Sylvania’s weekly newspaper for many years, and where he worked throughout his childhood. He graduated from Burnham High School in 1938, and his wife Lucille Kahle graduated in 1939. He played trumpet in the high school band and played with the music group known as the Sylvan Serenaders. Charles and Lucille were married in 1941, just before he entered the Navy during World War II. His wife was by his side through it all. His trumpet came in handy at this time when he entered the Navy and was stationed aboard the USS Lake Champlain, an aircraft carrier that cruised the Atlantic and Mediterranean. He served as the buglemaster of the 12th regiment in the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. During that time he kept a scrapbook of hundreds of fellow soldiers he had photographed. This scrapbook was donated by the Quinnells to the Heritage Sylvania group and is one of their treasured items in their archives.

Charles served on the Sylvania Township Volunteer Fire Department starting in 1948. He was later promoted to captain, then first assistant chief, before retiring in 1973 with 25 years of volunteer service to the community. He also worked full-time with the Toledo Blade for 37 years, retiring in 1983. Quinnell found time to become well-known for his music, entertaining at many area events with his dance band known as “The Jack Paul Combo.” And, as if that wasn’t enough, he got his pilot’s license and was an active member of the Blissfield, Mich. Flight Club, as well as owning a horse. According to interviews in the Toledo Blade in 1964, his daughter Lynn was fascinated with flying while daughter Carol liked to ride their horse Sandy.

Charles Quinnell died in 1991 and his wife Lucille died in 1997. Today the home is still in the Quinnell family name and is a rental property.

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