I had a hunch that there would be an interesting variety of businesses located there through the years. But I was wrong. Since the very beginning, the building was associated with the automobile business.
The earliest listing for 1803 Broadway was in the 1926 Lorain City Directory. The Colgan Motor Sales Company was at that address.
The company distributed Studebakers. (You can see in the above photo where the Studebaker logo would have been mounted, right under the brick arch.) By 1929, the Erskine (a brand produced by Studebaker) was added. But by 1933, however, it was Studebakers and Packards.
|1933 City Directory Ad|
By 1940, the company was selling Studebakers, Cadillacs and the LaSalle brand.
Strangely, the company disappeared in the 1942 book – and was replaced at that address by Atkinson & Williams automotive dealers. But Colgan was back in the 1945 book when Atkinson & Williams moved to 1735 Broadway.
Colgan Motor Sales remained at the 1803 address until 1959 – when it was replaced by another dealer, Denton Cadillac. But Denton wasn't in there very long; it was gone by 1961, when the building went vacant.
In 1964, however, the city directory listed Hageman Auto Parts at the 1803 Broadway address and they would remain there for a while.
Here's their Lorain phone book ad from 1968, featuring the long-necked, bespectacled cartoon mascot that we usually associate with Forest City Auto Parts.
|1968 Lorain Phone Book ad|
|1974 Lorain Phone Book ad|