101 Louisiana Avenue

The J.A. Hall Building

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The J.A. Hall Building:

 

The building above is included in this series, not for its architectural merit, but for its location. It sits on the southeast corner of our busiest intersection, Louisiana Avenue and Front Street, probably the first or second most historically important commercial location in Perrysburg (the Centennial Block on the opposite corner being the rival - see description at right.)

Who built what kind of original building on this site is obscured by time, but on April 4, 1845, a building here burned to the ground during a windy evening despite the frantic efforts of a bucket brigade and the help of Maumee citizen volunteers.

According to the newspaper accounts, the building was owned by Captain David Wilkinson, the nephew of Captain Jacob Wilkinson, once of the settlement of Orleans of the North just upriver from what was to become Perrysburg.

Jacob Wilkinson commanded a schooner that transported the remaining garrison and equipment from Fort Meigs to Detroit when the government abandoned the fort at the end of the War of 1812.

building

101 Louisiana Avenue

With him was 15-year-old David, who was to become the captain of a series of river and lake vessels until his retirement in 1852. By then he apparently was a man of some substance, living at what is now 502 West Front in what was described as "one of the two finest places on the road." (That house also was lost to fire).

In 1848, fire again visited what could have been (records are vague) the southeast corner of Louisiana's first block, and again the local newspaper attributed the ownership to David Wilkinson.

One of the known occupants in the building at the time of the 1845 fire was the J. A. Hall & Co. store. Records show that J. Augustus Hall owned the site, at least in 1852, and the following year our newspaper reported that "J. A. Hall moved to his splendid new front store on the corner of Front and Louisiana." If correct, that would suggest him as the likely builder of the present structure.

Speaking of which, it is considered by some as Commercial Italianate in style and is of brick long hidden by aluminum siding. It is believed that the present angled entrance at the corner was a later creation but that the store front columns may be original.

Interestingly, over the years several drug stores are said to have been located near or on this corner: possibly Taylor & Miller Drugs, and D. O. Travis Pharmacy and the Leon Hayward Pharmacy. And yet the corner directly across the street has long been known as "drug store corner." Long-time residents will remember this building to have also once housed a bar, an earlier and present floral shop (Fall 2006), and other businesses.

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