Friday, March 23, 2012

The Many Businesses at 4282 E. Lake Road in Sheffield Lake

In that same Lorain Journal from June 1955 that had the article about National Tube, I saw this ad for Oros Sporting Goods. It took me a little while to realize that the address was in Sheffield Lake, my current town. Since I've been living here for almost 13 years, I've become quite interested in local history and that includes long-gone businesses.

How long was the sporting goods store there, and what was there before it? And, what's at that location today? Being a curious type (with time to squander), I headed to my home away from home: the Lorain Public Library.

The earliest city directory that included the 4282 E. Lake Road address was the 1940 edition, which had a filling station and confectionery at that location run by Alf E. Born.

In the 1942 edition, two new names appeared. Now there was a restaurant, operated by Mrs. Gladys M. Palmer, and the filling station was run by Paul Gehrke.

The 1945 edition revealed the name of the restaurant: Sun Spot.

Unfortunately, by the 1947 book, the restaurant and filling station were no longer listed. In their place was  a real estate business run by the aforementioned Mrs. Palmer.

You can see the barber pole outside the space to the left in this photo from the  1955 ad.
In the 1950 and 1952 books, the 4282 E. Lake Road address was now a grocery, run by Mrs. Mary Boinick. But by 1954, the grocery was gone and a barber – John H. Schenker – had moved in.

A barber shop at that location would prove to be the one business that would survive through the years.

The 1955 directory included the same barber, Oros Sporting Goods, and – strangely enough – a tenant. But by 1957, the sporting goods store was gone, leaving the barber and the tenant.

From 1958 to 1960, it would be just the barber. But even he, too, was gone by 1961, when Jordan Realty moved in and a vacant store was also listed at the same address.

The biggest development for that address occurred in the 1962 book: A Lawson Milk store was listed in addition to a new barber (the Sheffield Lake City Barber Shop, run by Frank Black) and the real estate office.

In 1963, an insurance company (Joseph Reiner and Associates) moved in and the real estate office was out.

The 1964 and 1965 had a surprise for me. In addition to the barber and Lawson Milk, the address was shared by my former dentist (now retired): Dr. John Allsop. But by 1966, it was just Lawson Milk and the barber shop again. Another dentist – Clarence Krebs – moved in by the 1968 book.

Since Lawson had just built a new and larger 'party store' across from the Shoreway Shopping Center, the Lawson Milk store at 4282 E. Lake Road disappeared in the 1969 directory, leaving the barber and the dentist.

The 1970's continued with a parade of businesses sharing the address with the barber shop: a beauty salon (Shoreway Beauty Salon) in 1970; a Christian book store (Words and Melodies Christian Book and Gift Store) in 1972; a meat company (SL Meat Company) in 1974.

In the 1976 book, however, the biggest change occurred. The address was completely taken over by Castor's Instant Hot Food, a catering business run by Nicholas Dziama. Dr. Gregory Dziama and his optometry business joined the address in the 1978 book.

Both businesses are still listed at the 4282 E. Lake Road address.

4282 E. Lake Road today
I'm guessing that the Lawson portion of the property was on the right; I've seen similar shaped former Lawson storefronts in Cleveland (see photo at left). I'm also guessing that when Castor's took over the location, they united the two buildings into one, and at some point the optometrist portion was enlarged even more, extending out towards Lake Road.

I could be wrong, but the little portion of the building to the left (shown below) does resemble the building in the Oros ad. Plus, the barber shop business predated and co-existed with the Lawson Milk store, making me think that it's the oldest part of the building.

Does anyone know for sure?

1 comment:

Wireless.Phil said...

I lived in Sheffield Lake from about 58 or 59 till the service called and I remember that building, Castors meals were before the microwave, not terrible, but as bar food, it was ok, just took to long to heat them.

Considering today's fast food, the frozen meals, maybe they were better?
And back then you could still go into a bar and order salty Blind Robins, a dried salty fish sealed in a pack on a cardboard display.

Good luck finding them now!