Many changes on South Broadway Avenue


A view of South Broadway Avenue.
By : 
Mary Jo Dathe
Glimpses of Yesteryear
We plan to post some old photos of Broadway Avenue, seen in the accompanying photo as "South Main Street."  One notes the Farmers Store, now known as the Community Center.  At the top of the building we see "Rafferty & Week Co." and then many lovely picture windows.  One of these is labeled Farmers Store; another Dry Goods; Clothing; and at the right a fine buggy.  I wonder who can remember the “loft” where change was tendered! 
At right beyond the Farmers Store is the garage (which Herman Lundby moved from Ostrander) and it appears to have a tall facade, like three stories high! — and two neat automobiles next to it.  Across the river is G.J. Schell's shop - horseshoeing (now in another building) now the abandoned "alternate school" with a tree growing in its doorway!
Interesting story:  Mr. Schell decided to get rid of a cat who was stealing food put out for his chickens.  He borrowed a double-barreled shotgun from Mr. D. Hendershot who worked for him in the shop.  Lo and behold, he was found early morning with a grievous  head wound, and dead.  Apparently the gun discharged accidentally; he left survivors wife, Rose, and a daughter, Ora DeGroodt. Mr. Schell was a 54-year-old man, had served on the City Council, and was respected in the community.  The building came down at some point. 
Across the street to the left on the corner, is the Henry Kruegel woodworking shop.  It was later divided in half, moved to the east, and oriented north/south.  There was a big white house on the corner (corner now empty) where Mrs. Kruegel was rescued in the flood.  The Leo Kruegels were at one time living there; Henry Kruegel employed a housekeeper at one time after his wife died, then the son and his wife moved in. I remember stopping to pay my gas bill there on the porch, before they moved to Pleasant Avenue.
We note the big planter in the intersection; how would that fit today? Note the wonderful arched bridges that crossed the creek. On this side of Spring Valley Creek (and the railroad track) there were several businesses — one with its big gas pump on the sidewalk.  In my youth, my dad hauled eggs for Clete Collins from Spring Valley to some place in Iowa, and in this building there were three ladies who “candled eggs” - the eggs were held up to a bright light to make sure they were fresh and did not contain a baby chick!
At the left one can see the library, built in 1904 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie.  The initial grant was for $7,800 but the builders could not meet the goal, and Mr. Carnegie granted an additional $1,000 with the city providing the lot and the local tax to cover expenses.  You will see the "dome" on the city library; still in place, and causing leakage to this day.  (I'm told that, but you can check with City Hall, which is now ensconced in the former library.)
Above the skyline you can see the Molstad School with its peaked bell tower, and the water tower that was installed in 1911; finally brought down in 1993 when the new was built east of the hospital.
Such changes...and you may be surprised to see more changes!   
 

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