May 27, 2017

Signs of the Time

Main Street in Delphos may have changed through the years, but a visit to the Canal Commission museum can bring back some memories of what “used to be.” One of our more popular items is signs from stores. Among those we have are the Coffee Cup, Stallkamps Drugs, and the Corner Hardware.

The Coffee Cup, on the southeast corner of Second and Main, was part of the Phelan Hotel during its last few years before being bought by Lehmann’s for a furniture store in 1959. Prior to that the restaurant was the Point Sandwich Shop from 1941 to 1955. The name was changed when Bob and Alice Bonifas, owners of NuMaud’s Restaurant on 5th Street, bought the business and hired Gerald Hedrick to manage it.

Our Stallkamp’s Drugs sign was used from 1960 to 1989 when the drug store moved across the street from 201 to 228 North Main, the former home of the Shoe Box and before that, People’s Bank. In fact, Ted Stallkamp used the bank vault as his pharmacy. Stallkamp’s was one of three drug stores on Main Street that had soda fountains at one time, but their time was limited. Soda fountains began to disappear in the 1960s.

Technically not a sign, but rather a side panel for a pick-up truck, the Corner Hardware , earlier known as Gemke Brothers and Busch, was located on the southeast corner of Main and Third streets. It was owned by Henry and Frank Gemke and Charles Busch from 1896 until 1946 when they sold the business to Harold Fausnaught. Harold operated it until 1959 when he sold it to Tri-County Plumbing, Heating, and Hardware. It remained open for a short time as merchandise was moved to Tri-County’s Second Street location. By 1962 the building had been razed and the site was part of the Commercial Bank’s drive-thru window.

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