124-124 Louisiana Avenue

The Phoenix Block

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The Phoenix Block:

 

One of the oldest and best known downtown Perrysburg business buildings is the Federal Revival-style one presently occupied by Mills Hardware at 124-128 Louisiana. It was built for Joseph Creps in the mid- or late 1830s as his Eagle Hotel, later called the Baird House, and when he sold it, the Franklin House.

Very little is known about Joseph Creps other that he came to Perrysburg in 1833 and from 1834 until 1845 was a licensed tavern keeper. It is said that when he arrived there were only 23 homes and cabins here and he took over an old building on the flats at the foot of Fort Meigs which had been used for cleaning and washing fish. It is supposed to have been only the third building erected in the area. It is believed that Creps died in 1854 at age 74.In 1858 the old hotel was remodeled for a general business building and it became known as the Phoenix Block. In 1871 it was divided down the middle by an interior wall and from that time on it has been occupied by many businesses -- more than 60 years alone by Kazmaier's Grocery.

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124-128 Louisiana Avenue

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The Phoenix Block ca. 1830

Other occupants before the turn of the century included William L. Crook, agricultural implements; A. R. Champney and Charles Wright, drug store; Peck and Hamilton Hardware; O. P. Hopkins, furniture and undertaking; W. K. Willis & Bros., furniture store; J. F. Raab, grocery; L. B. Holly & Company, grocery; Jacob Davis Hardware; and assorted doctors, dentists, lawyers, real estate agents and millinery shops in the upstairs area.

Kazmaier's occupied the south side of the building in 1903, with Neiderhouse Meat Market on the north side. Mills Hardware took over the entire grocery section in 1963 after Allen Kazmaier, Sr. built its present building on East Second Street at the corner of Elm Street.

The Phoenix building offers a good example of one of the problems faced with our once swampy area. Because of the general drainage problems years ago, cellars were not practical so it was wise to construct the floor of the first level above the ground level. In the present building a ramp replaced steps that were once used from the sidewalk.

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