What did they used to make? That's the question I always ask. What was it, once?


Historically, it was referred to as the "Pottery Capital of the World" due to the large number of potteries in the city;[ due to changes in the industry, only three remain in the area

Motto: "City of Action." Eleven thousand souls.

When you see something like . . .

. . . you figure that there was a fire. Right? Some calamity took the building but spared the tower, and it stands to this day as a momument.


Originally, the school was located on East 4th Street. This building included a clock tower. Unfortunately, after moving, the school and tower were torn down. A new clock tower and a small adjoining building have since been built on this site. The building houses the East Liverpool High School Alumni Association.

Seems like an awful lot of tower.

It's on the Historic Register, but fat lot of good that seems to do.

If you can't read the carving over the door, it says YMCA. Built in 1913.

Symbols of past prosperity are everywhere. The population peaked at about 25L as late as 1970, but downtown's glories, as usual, were built in the first third of te 20th century.


It wasn't always a museum, of course. It was the Post Ofice, built in 1909. It's a unique design; corner entrances weren't that popular. It's like they wanted to build in a choke-point in case the locals got restless and decided to storm all public buildings.

A ghost ad. The whole wall was covered. I've deduded that the big word is MOORE'S.

Annnnd here's how I deduced it!

The building was originally called "The Emporium." The second-story details are still intact, but it was stupidly scoured on the ground floor, and the windows were given those preposterous shrouds. At the time of this picture, it was a night club.

A pristine Beaux-Art building, ruinated for your legal convenience:

I know that doesn't mean anything, but neither does this.

What kind of clothing? Werelads?

It looks as if it was revealed when something next door went down. Signs don't stay that fresh when lashed by the elements for 60 years.

A handsome upper story, and an empty and bereft first floor:

Looks like a late-30s, early-40s renovation. It's always sad when the facade falls off and you see old, rotten boards. No one cares, it what that says.

Can't quite figure out the bricks on the right side - they're part of the structure, but were they meant to tie it to a building that was once next door?


Trees! That'll bring downtown back. Trees.

The empty boxes held letters, of course - and something about this suggests that the trees went in when the letters had been gone for some time. No store owner would want his sign obscured like this.

Another late-30s/ early-40s renovation:

The glass (or Vitrolite) panels have fallen off, leaving exposed the daubs of glue. Someone's handiwork. Wonder if he was around to see them in the light of day again.


The upper story in so many small towns is another world, a quiet one, an old one, divorced from the bustle and styles of the day . . .

. . . and this division persists long after the bustle subsides for good.

Finally, a bit of Buckaroo Revival: shingles SHINGLES instead of the big broad windows.

Easy terms at Crook's! It's the building in the picture with the missing letters.

You can see what's inside the Crook Building here. It's like going to Pompeii.

More next week; it's a two-entry town.




A humble start to this year's entry. Population: 3,460, give or take a few souls. It has ambition, though: the hotel no doubt made everyone think of the bustling train depot in old Gotham, with its brisk, sophisticated cosmopolitan scene.

It has a Facebook page. One comment: "The rooms are clean upon arrival but not much by way of getting towels and tp on a regular basis if your stay is extended. We ended up having to buy our own. Owners are really friendly though." That counts for more than you might think,

Unhappy brickwork on that green building. But a ghost sign redeems the view:

Owl Cigars. But was it a White Owl? That's what I don't know. Some signs for the White Owl brand said just Owl. If they'd have had modern marketing sensibiilties, they would have had White Owl, Black Owl, and so on, differentiating the flavors.

Barn Owl for the really nasty cheroots.

And what, pray tell, do they sell here?

I have no idea what they're talking about. One guy sitting at a card table with a stack of daily periodicals, waiting for someone to walk by and think "by cracky, I wonder how many they have. I'd like to read a journal from a different city entirely, just to see how many funerals there are for old ladies this week."

That's a lot of turret, Mr. Hetzel.

A Nebraska historical journal says "A majority of the structures are best classified as commercial vernacular. The most prominent, Queen Anne-style building is the Hetzel Block (NH01-044), located on the southeast corner of J Street and Central Avenue. It features an imposing corner tower, carved stonework and an ornate cornice."

And that's a big fat lot of help. Who was Hetzel?

Four buildings? Or one?

The answer can be found in the number of windows.

After all these towns we've explored, you have to admit: this is all too typical. From the rehab to the awning to the paint to the refitted window.


As if a curse had stricken the land.

I have to think there was more to this one, but what remains is spectacular:


The reason for those windows? If you guessed "hall for secret Masonic rites," you're wrong. It was the New Opera House. Again, scant historical information; Auburn seems underwhelmed by its past, or disinclined to share what it knows.

Can't have the Main Streets feature without the OSA, or Obligatory Shingled Awning:

The first-floor windows above the main windows are probably bricked up for good, but the building looks like it could be restored with minimal work.

Providing there was a market for office / residential at the price it would take to fix it up, and I'm guessing there isn't. But that's what they said about Fargo before its renaissance.

The last building in the world you'd expect to house a theater:

It's still in business! The site has a "Save the State" page, though. Uh oh. Turns out it's for a renovation drive. There are no historical photos of the place. There's no history of the place.

I suppose if you needed to know, you'd know, because you lived there. It was originally the Booth - great name for a theater in a state whose capital is named Lincoln - and was renamed the state in 1941, eleven years after it opened.

Finally: The sign version of screen burn-in.

  Love that 9, although I'm sure everyone wondered why they did it backwards.


I believe this old book of biographies has our man:

Previous to his coming to Nebraska Mr. Keedy was for several years engaged in the manufacture of lime at Keedysville. He came west in 1881, locating near what was then called Sheridan, now Auburn, and here he bought one hundred and sixty acres of improved land, upon which he carried on farming until the fall of 1893, when he sold to his sons, and bought two lots in Auburn. Here he built his present residence.

When a young man in Maryland, Mr. Keedy was intiated into the mysteries of Oddfellowship. Politically, he is what is termed an independent, and in religion he also holds independent views, and has never identified himself with any creed.

There has to be a fascinating story about the reason a man named Keedy would leave Keedysville.