Monday, May 23, 2011

Sheffield Lake Businesses of Long Ago: the Family Inn

Although I live in Sheffield Lake, unfortunately I don't do a lot of blog posts about it – mainly because it is difficult to come up with interesting historical items relating to the city. That's why when Dennis Lamont brought this postcard to my attention (it's currently on Ebay), I knew it would make a nice topic.

The postcard shows the Family Inn, and it looks like a nice friendly little roadside restaurant. I don't see any address on the building in the photo, so I had to rely on the city directories to try and figure out where it is.

The first listing of the Family Inn by name in the city directory was 1955, with the owner being Mrs. Erma Sidway. The address was 5128 E. Lake Road.

Working backwards, the earliest listing of a restaurant at that address was 1940. (Lorain has no 1938 or 1939 books.) There was no restaurant name listed, but it was the same owner – so I'm assuming it was the same business.

The Family Inn continued to show up in the city directory until 1967, when it disappeared. For the next two years, Gladys' Pizza was at that address. Then in 1970 the address was vacant, and it disappeared entirely from the listing in the 1972 book.

If the postcard above does indeed show 5128 E. Lake Road, then that would put it across the street from the Erie Shore Apartments, on the south side of U.S. Route 6. (See the orange marker on the Bing map below.)

If the building was torn down around 1971, I would have expected to see a vacant lot in the photo, not a heavily tree'd area. So I guess it's impossible to know exactly where this place was located.

Here's hoping one of my Sheffield Lake readers remembers this place, and will leave a comment!


Ken said...

40 years is long enough for nature to reclaim a little spot like that. I like the place-- it looks like the kind of place Dean Jagger or Jimmy Stewart would have stopped for a bowl of chili.

ge13031 said...

I agree Ken. The trees I planted 40 years ago are red oaks 15" in diameter and close to 60 feet tall ....of course I coulda, shoulda, planted black walnut! Amazing the vacant land along there!

Anonymous said...

That's exactly where the building was (on your map). It actually sat back sorta in the woods. When it was Glady's Pizza the building had big round pizza circles on it.
Glady's was only there a short time, there was some sort of tragic accident with her children (car accident maybe?) and she left. I bet there's some foundation still back there.