New Bremen’s Gazebo
Located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Main & Monroe Streets is this lovely gazebo. Flower beds and small shrubs surround the structure and lend a pleasing picture to folks traveling through the village of New Bremen. In the background of the lot are trees reminding us of days gone by when the same lot held the Post Office building, with a small park on the east side.
This building was originally built by Charles Boesel (Sr.) as a home (ca. 1860s?). In 1909, it was purchased from the Boesel heirs by J.H. (Henry) Grothaus, who remodeled the building, creating business rooms on the lower floor and offices upstairs. It housed the Post Office, the New Bremen Telephone Exchange and the A.H. Albert Funeral Home. The office rooms upstairs were used by the Village Mayor, the New Bremen Village Council, and by Attorney E.J. Garmhausen.
NEW SERVICE STATION TO OCCUPY
SITE OF OLD GROTHAUS BLOCK
(New Bremen Sun – 9/12/1957)
“The former Grothaus block on the southeast corner of Main & Monroe Streets is being razed. A new service station will be erected at the site in the near future. One of New Bremen’s oldest landmarks, the building housed the Post Office for 43 years, from 7/1/1912-10/3/1955, when it was moved to the northwest corner of Monroe & Washington Streets and is now threatened with removal by the proposed relocation of Route 66.
In February 1954, John Slonkosky and his father-in-law, Urban Wetzel, purchased the Grothaus block from the Grothaus heirs. John Slonkosky operated his photography studio downstairs and made a modern apartment for his family upstairs.
In April 1957, Mr. Slonkosky purchased the Endicott Photography Studio at St. Marys, where he moved all of his equipment. The Slonkosky family moved to Minster following his sale of the building to “the oil company” (Tremarco?/Gulf?). The village offices were transferred to the 1897 Fire Department building on South Washington St.”
SEARCHING FOR MORE INFORMATION
Here are two pictures of the “service station” that was built on the former site of the Grothaus building on the southeast corner of Main & Monroe. It is thought that the first one with the light-colored block siding was put up by the Gulf Oil Company (Tremarco?) around 1957-1958.
In the mid-1960s (about 1967-1968?), the station was purchased from “Tremarco” by Charles Wierwille and Nathan Hirschfeld (“Charna”). The building was turned into the “Frigidaire Quick Clean Center” – a rapid dry-cleaning and self-service laundry facility, with the car wash on the side.
In March 1971, the building was sold to the Standard Oil Company. This second picture showing the “Union 76” sign of Rump’s Service Station across the street looks like it might have been taken towards the end of the building’s existence.
In 1974, the property was sold to James Dicke. The building was used for some time by Crown Controls as a storage facility for oil barrels, after which the buildings were razed and the corner was made into a graveled parking lot.
In the October 1987 issue of The Towpath, Editor Marjorie Lietz introduced the gazebo (shown above) as “something new” and thanked Crown for making this corner “a thing of beauty.”
If anyone has any further information or pictures of these service stations, please let me know.