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by Nancy Meiring 

    Where is it you go when you go shopping?  Do you go IN TO town, like I would go IN TO Toledo to shop at Savers or Goodwill or any other store or to a restaurant? Or do you go OUT TO like when I go out to Swanton, Delta or Wauseon shopping at Family Dollar, or Walmart or Odd Lots, when I am OUT that way? Until this year we have had to go clear out to Wauseon to go to Walmart now Walmart is coming to Toledo. Some won't shop at Walmart because they are non-union.  In Swanton there is Foodtown, Family Dollar and some nice restaurants like Dave's Cookin' or Charlies on Airport at 64.  Delta is Dollar General and they have a new grocery store there. 

    Going UPTOWN is what my best friend Pat calls going to Swanton when she shops or has to go to the post office to drop  off her Avon order or to Super Value and Family Dollar or Rite Aid.

    Going DOWNTOWN is going to Downtown Toledo , which to Pat is anywhere in Toledo and to me is Downtown where the new Fifth-Third stadium is at or the Paramount Theatre for the Arts or the Convention Center, and about my next article "Going DOWNTOWN" when I was Younger.

by Nancy Garner Meiring 

Last week I went down to the New Little Professor Book Store on Airport Hwy next to Farmer Jacks, I found these two real neat books written by William D. Speck.  One is TOLEDO A History of Architecture  1835-1890 and the second one is from 1890  to 1914.  I am halfway through the first one which is way before my birth date of 1830s, well actually both of them are but some of the buildings still exist from both books.  They inspired me to write about Going downtown Toledo when I was a kid.

When I was little meaning about 55 years ago, my GARNER grandparents, Quinton and Lillie BRUNKHORST Garner would pick me up and we would go downtown to Toledo.  They both loved to go to Tiedtke's which was the most popular department store in Toledo at the time and a meeting place for a lot of Toledos families.  Grandpa liked the cheese department, and then he would go to the lunchroom which Grandma and I shopped in the ladies department. 

When I started high school at Edward Drummond Libbey High, my Mom was working at The Toledo Edison as a draftsman, in the Madison Building on Madison Avenue.  Her older sister Mary worked at Owens Illinois on the 15th floor as Comptroller. Don't ask me what that is, I still don't know.  Anyway, I could get on the bus from Libbey on Western Avenue, which is extension of Airport Highway, and go down to see Mom, I was allowed to go down once a week and mess around till she got off work at 5:00 pm.  I would go up to her floor and let her know I was downtown plus get some money to shop with, a couple dollars.  Then off I would go down Superior Street.  

On the way to Kresge's Five and Dime there was a little store that sold neat oriental import gifts. I always loved to go in there and look around. The owners were very nice and greeted me every time I would go in  to visit the store. Then off to Kresge's  at Superior and Adams or Woolworth's in the next block, I was not allowed to go any further till after Mom got off work.  Sometimes I would before I would go shopping I would go across Madison to the little restaurant and have an ice cream sundae. They made the best sundaes downtown.  

After work Mom and I would go to Linck's cafeteria then over to the Lion Store on St Clair Street. or down to LaSalle and Kochs that ran from the Spitzer Arcade on Madison to Adams Street. I loved both of them. A couple times Mom would take me down to the Toledo Public Library to get some books to read or for homework. That was a 4 block walk down to Michigan.  The streets in downtown Toledo running north and south were named after the 5 Great Lakes except for Summit which was by the Maumee River, were St. Clair, Superior, Erie, Huron, Michigan and the ones running east and west were named after Presidents, Washington Jefferson Madison, Adams and Jackson.

After Dad got off work at the EPM Company, Mom and I would  meet him and go to the movies at the Paramount or rhe Pantheon, or the Valentine, or Mom and I would go together.  There were times when Mom and I would walk all the way down Madison on our way to the library and stop in and eat at Grace E. Smiths. Now that was a treat.

When I was in High School, my brother, Donald Jr.  was attending the University of Toledo and he was very busy with sports and his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. so we didn't do much with him as a family, till after he and his sweetheart Marcia Bruggeman were married. 

I will always remember my trips downtown with Mom.  Now there is some new revitalization going on down there. They built the New Fifth Third Stadium for our Toledo Mud Hens baseball team which last year was the first year for it. There is the Old New Toledo Outdoor Market place and some new stores near by. The Spaghetti Warehouse, The Repertoire Theatre and the new Valentine Theatre. In my last article I had put that the Paramount was the revitalized theatre on St. Claire Street but I believe it is the Valentine that they redid like it used to be like. There are some new Hotels and Toledo COSI running on Summit street to Water by the Maumee River.

The Toledo Lucas County Library finished last fall, their new additions and change to the main branch and especially the new Local History and Genealogy room.  It is so beautiful to walk around and through and see the new changes.  Maybe next article I will take  you on a tour of the new facility, especially the new Local History and Genealogy rooms. In this area the Local History and Genealogy rooms to me are second to Ft Wayne which is second to the Mormon library in Salt Lake City.

Now in the past several decades you can stop at any corner downtown and get on a bus and ride around downtown without paying, for the trolley car which is fun to ride in the summer time.

If you had ancestors who lived in Toledo or owned shops downtown you got to buy those books I mentioned earlier in this article.  Or if you used to lived in Toledo you will remember these places I mention. 


I was born and raised in Toledo with a short time in Wooster Ohio which I have no recollection since I was even younger than the time I started this article. Attended Beverly, Glann, Harvard, and Glendale Elementary, Libbey from 1953 to 1956. Graduated from Rogers High School in 1957. I am married to Robert Meiring and have 3 sons, and 6 grandchildren and 3 lovely daughter-in-laws.

I am a host in the Golden Gate Genealogy Forum AOL Keyword: ROOTS.  The chats I work in are Monday 10:00 pm  Great Lakes States in Ancestral Digs room with HOSTGFSBud.  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9 to 10 am I am in MUGS & HUGS Family Chat in Ancestral Digs room, Tuesday and Thursday with HOST GFS Mikki and on Wednesday with HOST GFS Loni Tuesday night at 10:00  to 11:00 pm. I am in  Beginners with  HOST GFS BARB.  I also serve as president of Holland-Springfield Spencer Historical Society.

MUGS & HUGS are my Newsletters that I send every weekday.  MUGS HOME COMPANION is my morning newsletter of genealogy goodies from all 50 states. I joined all 50 state, all 88 Ohio county, 15 Pennsylvania and 10 Southern Michigan mailing lists at  to have some nice articles to put the newsletter. 

In the evening I send out HUGS HOME COMPANION. Which is  clean, respectful, non-war, non-political, all copy-pasted and no forwards, with recipes, recall lists, from Chicken Soup for the Soul, good clean jokes.  Now these are archived online at  MUGS HOME COMPANION 



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