You never know what you may discover when you are looking for something else. I set out to find my “birthday book” that has a record of family and friends’ birthdays.
Instead, I found a pamphlet titled “Welcome to Delaware, Ohio.” It looked rather old, but interesting. It didn’t take me long to start reading it. Who knows what interesting things I might find out about my favorite subject, “Old Delaware.” Since I am one of those people who always opens a book from the back first, it was there that I found a list of all of the businesses in Delaware that had contributed to making the printing of this publication possible. I couldn’t find the exact date it was published, but it was in the 1970s, which is 50 years ago now!
First, I enjoyed reading the names of familiar places where I would have shopped, but are no longer here. For instance:
• Bennett-Brown Funeral Homes which is now Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center.
• The Delaware County Bank on the corner of Sandusky and Winter is no longer there
• Del Rx Pharmacy Inc. is no longer at the corner of Sandusky and William.
• The First National Bank, where I got my first checking account, no longer exists.
• Grays Shoes is gone.
• Grief Bros. Corp is no longer on Pennsylvania Ave.
• Independent Print Shop Co. is no longer at 9 E. William St.
• New Method Cleaners (they had a new method of cleaning) is gone.
• People’s Store, Inc. (the place that had the best sales) is gone.
• Sullivan’s Western Auto Store (run by Mr. Sullivan and his son, Bill) is gone.
• U.S. Store (that wonderful downtown grocery store that is needed now) is gone.
• Wilson’s, C.J. Of Course (that had the best clothes) is gone.
• L & K Restaurant where everyone wanted a toasted pecan roll, is gone now.
There are a lot more establishments that are gone, but I only listed the ones that were familiar to me.
The second page from the back of the pamphlet is about the “Climate” of Delaware County. It was interesting to quote just one of their sentences. “Past weather records indicate an average year will have 101 clear, 118 partly cloudy and 146 cloudy days, with average mean temperatures of 28 degrees in January and 73 in July.” (Sounds like a great place to live.)
As I leafed forward in the pamphlet, I found a page of pictures of downtown in the 70’=s, and just seeing the signs on the outside of the buildings brought back memories, memories and more memories. They included The Treasure House, The L&K, Peoples Store, The Nectar, First National Bank, and even the words Billiards and Famous Foods. It reminded me of a song from that era titled “Go Downtown.” If you are like me, you remember some of the words of that song, so I looked them up, and here are the first several lines:
“When you’re alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go, Downtown.
When you’ve got worries and all the noise and the hurry seems to help I know, Downtown.
Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city, linger on the sidewalks where the neon signs are pretty.
How can you lose? The lights are much brighter there. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares,
And go Downtown, Things will be great when you’re Downtown, no finer place for sure Downtown, Everything’s waiting for you.”
There are a lot more lines for that song, so if you want to read them, just search “Go Downtown” on your computer. Enjoy.
This pamphlet I just ran across has one small paragraph that I would like to quote that was written in the 1970s, that fits very well for today:
“Right now, Delaware still offers the ‘best of both worlds’ — the quiet of tree-lined streets and familiar faces in business establishments plus the services of a modern city enhanced by convenience of a major city — Columbus — thirty minutes away. Its hundred-year-old brick homes find appreciative owners and diligent restorers, but new homes and apartment complexes are also springing up in many sections of town.”
So, I’m glad I found something I wasn’t expecting to find. Remember this one line: “Go Downtown where all the lights are bright, Downtown waiting for you tonight, Downtown you’re gonna be alright now!!”
Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.