East Liverpool Historical Society

This article originally appeared in the The Review on Monday, September 3, 2007. It is reprinted here by permission of The Review and Glenn Waight Sept. 18, 1923 to July 07, 2008

Not the oldest community in the immediate Tri-State Area (Georgetown and Wellsville had a head start), East Liverpool contains the greatest number of large buildings dating back to the 19th Century.

Decay, fire, parking needs and “progress” in the form of the four-lane Freeway have taken many early 1800s homes and business sites from the scene, particularly along Second Street, heart of the early town.

The demise of the former Homer Laughlin home on Broadway reminds me of the broad range of brick and stone structures still in the downtown, remarkable examples of varied architectural styles, many Victorian.

Nineteen buildings are listed on the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Registry of Historic Places, while some 90 others are on the Ohio Inventory of Historic Places.

Arriving in town from Routes 11 or 7, one is greeted by the 1904 engineering classic Newell Bridge, while a welcome is beamed toward Routes 30/39 by the 1895 Central School clock in the high school alumni tower.

Probably the oldest downtown structure is the original Odd Fellows Lodge building, a two-story yellow brick at East Fifth and Washington (1874).

Among others dating back 100 or more years are:

C. C. Thompson House of Walnut Street, “National Historic Landmark” Victorian manse built in 1876 by the pottery magnate.

Smith & Philllps Building at 4th and Washington, built around 1880 by famed composer Will Thompson for his music store (new antique mall).

Potters National Bank, Broadway and 4th, built in 1882 (now Smith’s Auto).

Dr. George Ikirt home, West Sixth Street, and Jackson, built of red brick in 1885-86 by the physician, newspaper owner, Congressman.

St. Aloysius Catholic Church built of brick in 1887, with cast concrete facing placed sometime before 1913.

William Surles House, Third Street, brick residence built in 1892 by Civil War hem, city postmaster.

George Goodwin House, 5th and Jackson, brick home built in late 1890s by pottery president, now Bartolovich home.

James Goodwin House, Broadway, built in late 1890s by another Goodwin pottery brother, now Masonic Lodge.

On the Diamond — the turret-topped Thompson Building, 6th and St. Clair (1880s); Meredith Building (circa 1890) and two others on the east side of Market (circa 1890); triangular building 604 Dresden (1880s).

East Fifth Street — Brookes Building southwest corner at Market (circa 1890); Laughlin Building southeast corner at Market (1880-90s); Crook Building (first stage 1890s); Golding Block, southwest corner of Washington (circa 1880).

The first section of the Travelers Hotel, “The Landora,” on Crook Alley (built in 1899).

Goodwin-Baggott pottery on Second St., kiln and shop built in the mid-l9th Century.

OAR Civil War chapel at Riverview Cemetery, built around 1888.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, stone edifice built in 1900 on site of city’s first church.

Other downtown landmarks include Carnegie Library (1901-02), Home Savings at Broadway and Washington (1905), McCrory Building at 5th and Diamond (1905), IOOF Temple of West 6th Street (1907), former Salvation Army Citadel, 3rd Street, (1908-09), Little Building (1910), Milligan Building of 5th Street (1910), YMCA (1913), Elks Lodge (1916), Holtz Hall of Fame (1923), National City Bank (1924), Mary Patterson Memorial (1924).

These are more than aged wood, weather-beaten bricks and worn mortar. They bring fond memories for older people, memories which in turn stir thoughts of other familiar facades now gone.

In mind’s eye they see along Fourth St. the ornate Ceramic Theater, the tall-steepled First Presbyterian Church and Heddleston’s grocery store; the Thompson Hotel on 3rd, the former Review building on Washington, the white B.C. Simms house at Broadway and 4th, and quaint Thompson Place overlooking the former Chester Bridge.

That was the East Liverpool of the distant past, along with the almost forgotten potteries such as KT & K, Dresden and others. Much of yesteryear’s city remains, and deserves more than architectural interest, sentimental attention and tourist promotion.

It warrants respect for qualities not much found in later bland and boringly similar communities of our region. And the cityscape offers a continuing valuable lesson.

Glenn Waight


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