Merle Bull's Memories of the Canning Factory
 
 
In the January 2016 newsletter, Merle discussed riding the train in Franklinville. This continues with information about the area around the train station. There was a small store across the street from the train station. They had a small stock of groceries and penny candy. They later owned and operated a diner in Astubula, Ohio where we stopped to visit on one of our trips back to Springfield, Ohio where my grandparents lived. That building is a dwelling today.

Most of the buildings of the canning factory were still standing, but empty. They were still making maple syrup cans until 1934. Ralph Holmes was still working in the office for several years after that.

The buildings gradually disappeared one by one over the years. Today that area is a sad sight of junked cars, abandoned trucks and a dead cat. A brick building did survive to become a cheese factory, then an auction room and finally a car repair shop.

The cement block building that is now a dwelling was built by Maxwell Case for a small manufacturing plant. Max attended R.I.T. then struck out on his own. He obtained a contract making spigots for commercial coffee makers. Neil Hunt worked there with him. He discontinued this to work at Motorola in Arcade. He got promoted and transferred to Chicago. We visited him and had to stay an extra day due to a snowstorm. He was promoted again and moved to Austin, Texas and retired there.

There was a large wood loading dock just south of the station on which farm machinery was unloaded. Someone erected livestock pens in the 1940s. Livestock auctions were a part of this operation but none of this lasted very long. Today there is not a trace of it left.

From Franklin Street down the railroad to Mill Street was a jumble of buildings. William Goss had coal storage buildings along the track for his thriving coal delivery business. There was a store front building in this area. I believe farm supplies could be purchased there.

Mr. Goss and his son Graydon operated a John Deere dealership in a large building on the east side of the street. Hollis Metzger soon took this over.

Between this barn like building and the Agway Farm Supply building there was a building owned by Ed Watkins. He built custom made truck bodies. They were made of wood in those days. They lived on First Avenue but I would have to go down to the shop to collect the 12 cent paper bill. This I did not mind because I would stay there watching work take shape and smell the freshly worked wood.

There was a large last block factory at the end of the street. I believe it finally burned down. The Agway Farm Supply building was originally owned by Bill Goss. That area today is mostly vacant land or piles of sand and highway department buildings and equipment.

I have written what I know about Franklinville in the 1930s and 40s. This is nothing so wonderful. Virginia Fries, Katherine Hawley and Daphne Gena could have done it. I have only written what I am familiar with. (Oh Merrill, I only wish I could let you know how much of our history you have saved because you took the time to write it down. I can only hope that you have inspired others in our community to do the same. Added by Maggie Fredrickson)
 
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