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A Journey Through, Toledo 105 Years Ago

Historical book

In 1912 the Internet did not exist. You could not quickly look up the address of a business, and there certainly was no GPS to help you navigate your way there. Finding your desired destination took a little more time, persistence and patience.

The 47th Year Polks Toledo Directory For the Year, Commencing July 1912 is a history buff’s playground. Rich with language that is entirely different from how we communicate today, the directory features advertisements like “The West-Crescent Fuel Co.- Coal and Coke”, “Newton’s Horse and Dog Hospital”, “Toledo Conservatory of Music- The Old Established School”, and “Faber’s Self-Filling Fountain Pen”. Home phone numbers were no more than four digits long. 

The Citizen’s Safe Deposit and Trust Company offered municipal railroad and corporation bonds and safe deposit boxes were offered to rent for the low price of $3.00 per year. There is a listing section featured within the book called the Toledo Street and Avenue Guide-And Directory of Householders, in which current downtown Toledo property owners could potentially look up their address, and see who resided in their building back in 1912.

Other interesting facts within the book include:

-City government offices were located in the Valentine Building.
-Trinity Episcopal Church (Adams and St. Clair) had service times of 7am, 11am and 7:30pm on Sundays. Reverends were: Rev. George Gunnell and Rev. J.M. Hunter.
-St. Patrick’s Church on Avondale had service times of 7am, 8:45am, and 10am on Sundays. Pastors were: Rev. James P. McCloskey and Rev. Joseph S. Elder, assistant Pastor.
-The Convention Bureau of Toledo Commerce Club was organized March of 1912 and located in the Nicholas Building.
Toledo had a canoe club, checkers club, and camera club in 1912.
1403 Jefferson Ave was home to a Jefferson Hospital.
Toledo Stone and Glass Company was located in the Ohio Building and had capital of $100,000.
Current day downtown was part of the “Sixth Ward”.

The edition contains 92,336 individual names and it is estimated that the population of Greater Toledo was 230,840 at the time.

This amazing piece of Toledo history was found inside of the attic of a home in the Old West End, and serves as the perfect time machine to give us a glimpse of what our city was like 105 years ago.

Downtown Toledo

The Downtown Toledo Improvement District is a 501(c) (3) special assessment district created by downtown property owners to provide benefits within a defined 40-block area. DTID furnishes enhanced maintenance, safety, marketing and economic development services above and beyond those provided by the City and County.

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Toledo, OH 43604

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