DMA25 - History of our Andover, Ohio Main Complex


This section of our website is devoted mainly to the Early Day History of our Complex and the Neighboring Historic Architecture.

     The photograph below illustrates our Historic Complex as it appeared in the 1890s.  Over the next 120 years, most of the exterior appearance has remained the same, with the exception of a small portion of our Northern building.

     The former Keen Hotel is partially shown to the left of our Complex, now the location of the main branch of the  Andover Bank.  A portion of Dr. P.D. Bishop's Victorian house ( now owned by Dr. Linn Newman ) is partially shown to the right of our Complex.

     The original design and the construction of our Northern building included four sandstone steps leading to the angled front entrance, and a wooden sign on the roof.  In this photograph, the words "L.E. Brayman  M.D.  1891"  are shown carved into this sign.

     Dr. L.E. Brayman was the most prominent and worthy Physician and Surgeon in Ashtabula County in the late 1800s.  His offices were on the front half of the second floor of our Northern building, which he owned from the dates of 1891 to the early part of the 20th Century.  He also owned and operated the Village Pharmacy on the first floor of this building, up until the early part of the 20th Century.

     In 1891, R.A. Black owned our Center building and also our Southern building.  R.A. Black operated his Hardware business, which was named Black & Co., on all three floors of our Center building.  He additionally owned and operated a Dry Goods Store on all three floors of our Southern building, from the dates of 1891 - 1909.


     In the early 1900s, part of the second floor of our Northern building was occupied by the Andover Electric Telephone Co. 

     This next photograph shows some of the intricate original detail and the  rare Terra-Cotta ornamentation still existing on the East exterior of our Complex

     All four of the front windows from Dr. Brayman's second floor Doctor's Office are still in use today, with the words "Eyes Examined" etched in the original wavy glass.  In the 1930s, those offices were occupied by Dr. Edward G. Haas, Doctor of Chiropractic and Eyesight Specialist.


     In the early part of the 1900s, the first floor of our Northern building's  interior floor was removed, together with four exterior sandstone steps.  The interior floor was then re-installed at an elevation closer to the ground level.

     This was necessary to allow Model T Ford Automobiles to enter through the double exterior entrance doors on the first floor, and be on display in the Village's Ford Dealership's showroom, which occupied this space in the first quarter of the 20th century.

1920s - 1970s 
     After the Ford Dealership relocated to a new location on U.S. Route 6 (now the building in which  Charlie's  Auto Parts is located), the U.S. Post Office, as shown in the photograph to the right,  occupied the front half of the first floor of our Northern building for approximately 60 years.

      After the U.S. Post Office moved to a new building in the 1970s on East Main Street (State Route 85), the first floor of our Northern building, at various times, included a Game room, a Variety shop, Charlie's Auto Parts, an Apartment, offices of The Pymatuning Area News and for a short time the Andover Hardware.

1909 - 1982 
     Throughout the years
additional businesses, including medical offices, occupied space on the second floor of our Northern building.  In addition to the businesses, the rear portion of our Northern building included an Apartment.
1915 - 1930s  
     The photograph to the right is a partial view of the front of our 3 building Complex taken in the early part of the 20th Century.

      The first floor of the Southern building was occupied by a Dry Goods Store and the upper floor, for a period of time, was a meeting hall for the American Legion.

     Our Southern building remained as a Dry Goods Store for over 100 years, with the later ones named D.W. Bell Co. and later named The Village Shop.

     After R.A. Black & Co. sold our Center building to J.H. Hipple in 1909, all three floors of our Center building were occupied by R.E. Ward Hardware.
R.E. Ward operated his Hardware business in our Center building from approximately 1909 to approximately 1942.

      When the Andover Village was founded in 1883, R.A. Black was the first elected Treasurer of Andover, Ohio.  He purchased numerous parcels of land together with  his partner D.L. Pellett in the 1880s and 1890s, including the land where our Complex was built in 1891. 


     The photograph to the left is one of the original safes which are still used in our Complex.  This museum quality safe, having hand painted interior and exterior surfaces, and ornamental hardware, was custom made for Black & Co. in 1896 by the National Safe & Lock Co of Cleveland, Ohio.


     The estate of R.E. Ward sold his Hardware business to William Albert Smith in 1942.  William Smith changed the name of his Hardware business to the Smith Hardware and later to the Andover Hardware, Inc. 
     Three generations of the Smith family continued to operate the Center Building of our Complex as a Hardware Store for more than 60 years, until the entire three building Complex, and a separate warehouse building to the rear of our Main Complex, were purchased by David Michael Architectural LLC in 2005.

     The photograph to the right, is a partial view of the R.E. Ward Hardware store,  and a partial view of our Northern building.  In 1911, our Northern building, was occupied by the Village Pharmacy, which included a Soda Parlor.

     The Village Pharmacy occupied the first floor of our Northern building until the Village's Ford Dealership was established and occupied this space.

1930s - 1940s

    The photo to the left is a partial interior view of the center Hardware building of our Complex  as it appeared sometime in the first half of the 20th Century.       

     It is not known who the two gentlemen are.  If anyone has further information we would appreciate hearing from you.


The Andover Electric Telephone Co. which was incorporated in 1900, had
its headquarters on part of the 2nd floor of the Northern building of our Complex, which at that time was owned and occupied by Dr. L.E. Brayman, where he had his Medical offices and his downtown Apartment.  The  Executive  Offices of  David Michael Architectural LLC will be located
in this location.  . 

     In 1910 J.H. Hipple purchased 38 shares of The Andover Electric Telephone Co. Stock for a total price of $25,000, as shown on the certificate photographed at the right.

     This was the year following his purchase of the Center Building of our Main Complex and additional land from R.A. Black for $6,200.

     In 1945 the Standard Oil Company of Cleveland, Ohio granted easement rights to William A. Smith (owner of the Smith Hardware)  to allow access to a plot of land allowing for the construction of a Warehouse building. 
     Soon after, an approximate 5000 square foot high quality Warehouse building was constructed of concrete block on this plot of land.

                                                                   Our quality building, as shown to the left, includes a heavy gauge steel roof supported by interior clear span steel roof joists, glazed steel casement windows, two large overhead entrance doors, a walk in man door, an approximate 16' clear ceiling height, a concrete floor, and an interior mezzanine.
     The appearance and the condition of our building have remained, more or less, unchanged for the past 65 years.  Our quality building is where we will be operating our Antiques & Cycle Shoppe. 

     The following photographs illustrate a variety of early photographs taken in the Village of Andover, Ohio from approximately the 1870s to approximately 1915.


     The photograph to the right shows our Complex, the former Andover Bank building, and a few other buildings on the West side of the Andover Square, in the early 1900s.


     The brick buildings were built the year after the Great Fire of 1890, and were built of solid brick and sandstone construction, and not of the traditional and common brick veneer construction. This extraordinary construction of the exterior and interior walls included numerous courses of bricks totaling an overall thickness of up to 20".

    This rare method of brick building construction required an extensive amount of bricks which were produced at a brick - farm operated by Everett Holcomb.  Holcomb's brick farm was located approximately three quarters of a mile south of Andover, Ohio on State Route 7S.


     The photograph to the left illustrates one of the historic Victorian residences built in Andover, Ohio in the late 1800s.

     This particular one was built in the late 1890s and is located, on State Route 7, a few hundred feet North from the Andover Public Square, and from our Complex. A similar one is located just to the rear of our Complex on U.S. Route 6. 

     Both of these Victorian Masterpieces are still being used today as private residences.


    The photograph to the right illustrates the Andover, Ohio Railroad Depot as it appeared in the 1870s.  The Depot was located approximately one block east of our Complex on State Route 85.

     The railroad brought the early growth and prosperity to Andover, Ohio. In the 1870s,  the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway built a branch line which ran from Ashtabula, Ohio to Youngstown, Ohio, linking the steel industrial section at Pittsburgh, Pa. and the oil fields of Oil City, Pa., with the Lake Erie Ports in Ashtabula County, Ohio.


     Andover, Ohio was a main junction and an important stop for all trains traveling through Ohio. By 1909, additional tracks were laid connecting Andover, Ohio to Dorset, Ohio, and by this time there were 14 passenger trains per day stopping in Andover, Ohio.

1850s - Early 1900s

     The photograph to the left is of the former mid-19th Century (1850s) Keen Hotel ( later called the Andover House ), which was located just south of our Complex and which provided accommodations and hospitality for the train passengers and others from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s.     

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