323 West Second Street

The Fitzgerald House

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The Fitzgerald House:

 

This modest frame house, Gothic Revival in style, was built at 323 West Second Street around 1875. It is believed to have been built for Perrysburg merchant Michael Fitzgerald, an Irish immigrant who settled in Wood County in 1848.

The L-shaped building's most distinguishing feature is the steep front gable with decorated vergeboards (sometimes called bargeboards) and the dropped or downturning finial at the peak. The front porch has multi-sided posts and the siding is over original clapboard.

house

323 West Second Street

Unusual small three-pane ribbon windows just above the porch roof and the east side of the house are sources of light low on the second floor. A one-story addition has been made in the rear.

Michael Fitzgerald was born in 1825 in County Tipperary. Some sources suggest that he descended from Lord Edward Fitzgerald who is famous in Irish history. In any case, he operated a grocery store on Louisiana Avenue.

In 1874 his place of business was one of the targets of the town's Women's Temperance Band. As was often common then, his grocery store also sold liquor from an adjoining saloon. According to the Journal, some 63 ladies marched sternly down Louisiana Avenue one morning holding devotional exercises and exhorting saloonkeepers to cease their traffic. Fitzgerald is said to have closed his doors to them, suggesting that the church was the place for them to do their praying. The next day the determined ladies placed a pair of pickets at the entrance to each saloon in town and Mr. Fitzgerald tossed the chairs they were sitting on into the dusty street. A month later one irate lady, still on the warpath, smashed windows in the place with her bare hands.

Matters eventually calmed down and Mike Fitzgerald enjoyed many years as a respected Perrysburg businessman and member of St. Rose Catholic Church.

He died at age 67 in 1892. In 1902 his business building, owned by his heirs, burned to the ground. It then housed the E. R. Trombla undertaking establishment.

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