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Oct 24

One That Got Away–Seeking Information about Schumm

I mentioned last week that I regularly follow Ebay auctions in search of old postcards from the area. Recently there was a very interesting postcard up for auction–a picture postcard of Schumm, Ohio, as it was about 100 years ago. It was a photo of a large brick building by the railroad tracks that were once on the north end of the village.

I tried to get the postcard, but sadly I was outbid. That was difficult for me because I usually get what I want. šŸ˜‰

More than anything, I wanted the postcard so I could put the photo image here on Karenā€™s Chatt, with the hope of getting some information about that old brick building.

Schumm, Ohio. The area in the background is near the location of the brick building. (2014 photo by Karen)

Schumm, Ohio. The area in the background is near the location of the brick building. (2014 photo by Karen)

I never realized Schumm had a building like that in its downtown area. My mother does not ever remember such a building in Schumm, so it was probably gone by the late 1930s.

The railroad track ran right by the side of the building. On this side of the track was a sign with SCHUMM and on either side of the name SCHUMM was TOLEDO 96 and ST LOUIS 355, the distance both cities are from Schumm.

Schumm Road, which crossed the railroad tracks and went in front of the building, was not paved in the photo. There was a railroad crossing danger sign with LOOK & LISTEN painted on its post. Also in the area near the tracks was a friendly KEEP OFF sign.

I am fairly certain the brick building was south of the train tracks and on the west side of Schumm Road. There was a frame building on the far side of the brick building and a small building to the back. The small building may have been an outhouse or shed.

The building was a two-story brick structure that looks like it was occupied by two businesses. There were four tall windows on the front and probably two doors–what looks like two store-fronts. There were four long windows across the front on the second story. The side of the building was long, east and west, with a bay area in the middle. There were a couple side doors and about a few second story windows on the side.

Since I did not get the postcard I cannot post the image here. But I can direct you to the Ebay auction page and you can still view it by using the link below:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RPPC-REAL-PHOTO-POSTCARD-RAILROAD-CROSSING-SCHUMM-OHIO-VAN-WERT-COUNTY-WILLSHIRE-/371163562329?nma=true&si=AuHGDd8gKeFXtHBvCtX8tkdsqbg%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

When you get to the Ebay page the postcard should be the first thing you see. If not, you may have scroll down a little to see it. You can even zoom in on it in order to see the details. I do not know how long the image will stay on Ebay since the auction is over. So I would advise you look at it now. ASAP.

What was this brick building used for? Were there stores in the building? Perhaps one was a hardware store or a general store. Who built and owned the building? What happened to it and when was it torn down?

Thanks to Wikipedia I found a brief history of the railroad that ran through Schumm years ago. This information gives me an idea of when the building stood in Schumm.

The TStL&W Railroad (Toledo, St. Louis & Western) likely ran through Schumm when the photo was taken. The TStL&W began as the Toledo, Cincinnati, and St. Louis Railroad in 1881 and connected the Ohio towns of Toledo and Cincinnati with St. Louis, Missouri. By 1886 the company dropped Cincinnati and became the Toledo, St. Louis, and Kansas City Railroad. In 1900 the company reorganized again to form the Toledo, St. Louis and Western Railroad, operating 450 miles of line between Toledo and St. Louis. The Clover Leaf, as the TStL&W was also called, became part of the Nickel Plate (New York, Chicago, and St. Louis RR) in 1922 and would eventually became part of the Norfolk Southern RR. [1]

Where the railroad tracks once ran east from Schumm. (2014 photo by Karen)

Where the railroad tracks once ran east from Schumm. (2014 photo by Karen)

The TStL&W Railroad ran east from St. Louis, through several states, through Willshire, Schumm, Dull, Ohio City, and other Ohio towns on its way to Toledo. This is shown on the map below, a portion of a 1914 Ohio railroad map.Ā  [2]

1914 Railroad map of northwest Ohio.

1914 Railroad map of northwest Ohio.

Because the Schumm sign that was located by the railroad tracks indicated the distance Toledo and St. Louis were from the village, I believe the photo was taken during the time of the TStL&W Railroad. And likely taken between 1900 and 1922.

I would love to hear from anyone who knows anything about this brick building that once stood in Schumm.

Even though I did not get the photo postcard, it could still turn out to be a source of information about Schumm.

 

[1] Toledo, St. Louis and Western Railroad, Wikipedia.org, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo,_St._Louis_and_Western_Railroad : accessed 22 October 2014).
[2] Ohio Public Utilities Commission 1914 Railroad Map of Ohio, Rails and Trails.com (http://www.railsandtrails.com/Maps/OhioRRCommission/1914/index.html : accessed 24 October 2014).

13 comments

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  1. Sondra Samples

    When I first saw this postcard listed for sale on ebay, I thought it was probably a different Schumm, not in Ohio, but I guess your research on the distance posted from Schumm to Toledo and St. Louis being accurate blows that theory. Was’t the saw mill in about that same location? It is certainly strange that there has never been any previous memory or mention of this type of building being in Schumm in local history recordings or verbal communications.

    1. Karen

      I thought the same thing at first! Buildings like that, from that time period, are still standing in towns today. What happened to this building? Was there a fire perhaps? I believe the sawmill was farther south and on the east side of Schumm Road. In about the middle of town there is a little street called “Sawmill Road” that has a street sign and it goes to the east. I assume the sawmill was down that street. The railroad tracks were at the north end of town, pretty much at the edge of town. We think this building was on the southwest corner.

  2. Sondra Samples

    Karen, I have found a contact for you…….Mary Ann Salway told me that there is still evidence of the building foundation when they dig in the garden on the north side of the house, next to the old railroad track location. She believes that farmers would drop off their cream there for pickup and believes it was probably a general store. She does not know what happened to the building, since it was gone before her memory. You may contact her at 419 495 2048.

    1. Karen

      Thank you so much for this information. I will follow up on it. So interesting to learn that some of the foundation is still there. Thanks, Sondra!

  3. Tom Reichard

    I am 90% sure this was my great-grandfather George Weinman’s general store. My grand-father Carl worked there as well. My Mom and I were just talking about it when your Schumm posting appeared a few months ago. I remember as a child playing on/near the foundation of this building. We were always on the lookout for trains as it was close to the tracks.

    I am going to confirm all this with my Mom this weekend and will report back with an update.

    1. Karen

      I wondered about that, but figured Weinman’s store was farther south and on the east. Maybe that store was after this one. It looks like the brick building was very close to the tracks and it must have been something in its day. The next time I am in Van Wert I will check the deed books, too. Please let me know if you learn any more. Thanks, Tom!

  4. Colleen Schlickman

    Tom you are real close, my grandpa used to tell how the gypsies would come around periodically and rob him, by hiding merchandise in their clothes.

  5. Tom Reichard

    My Mom (Betty Weinman) authenticated this picture and confirmed that this building was in fact where George Weinman (her grandfather) had his general store. Her Dad (Carl Weinman) ran a huckster truck out of there that that is how he met his wife Esther (Dull) Weinman. She does not recall what happened to the building that caused it to be razed. Nor does she remember Schumm Road being a dirt road which indicates the picture was taken prior to 1929 (her year of birth).
    She remembers that Gola Corey (who worked at the saw mill) and his wife lived in the rear of the building at one time.

    1. Karen

      Thank you and your mom for solving the mystery of the brick building and for providing the additional information. I would imagine George ran the post office out of that building, too. It looked like quite a nice building back then.

  6. Jacob Hortenstine

    was there a depot at Schumm there was a passing siding researching the Clover Leaf railroad thanks Jacob

    1. Karen

      According to the Schumm history, the Schumms had an agreement with the Clover Leaf Railroad that trains would stop at Schumm when flagged and take on and drop off passengers. I do not believe there was a depot at Schumm, but I am not sure about that. Maybe someone knows for sure.

      1. Doug Salway

        Karen, to the best of my knowledge there was never a depot in Schumm. I do remember the mention of the Schumms having an agreement with the Clover Leaf to stop when flagged. Other business entities served by the railroad were the elevator and the sawmill.

        1. Karen

          Thanks for the additional information. Every bit helps to piece the past together.

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