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From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director
A picture or two can beg more than one story. These pictures of the Germann trucks are behind the library and you can see what is now our annex, but was originally the Germann Bros. Transportation building built in the 1920s.
That big building in between the annex and the library was a livery stable. We came across an article in April of 1949 talking about the building being torn down by Harry Gill. The article states that Jack Atwood first built it, but when you look at some of the 1872 advertisements, Atwood did have his stables there for a little while, but said it was the old Marquiss stand. Partners Atwood & Ronsheim then built a brick structure in 1879 just past where the Trapp & Wilson building is now (which wasn’t built until 1891 as the IOOF Hall, with retail stores on the first floor). Back to the building in the picture. Joe McGregor purchased the business, then in 1881 it was the McGregor & Carr feed and livery stable business. In 1882, McGregor and E. M. Gardner partnered with the monthly stock sales (Stock yard was on Front Street, but can’t find it on the 1884 Sanborn map). The Ripley Bee notes that various owners remodeled the stables. Went through several owners including Tom Thompson, Frank Boyd, A.O. Scholter, finally to partners Henry Kendall and Burch Hawk. In 1925, it no longer was a livery stable. Close to the tear down, it had been used by the Ripley Oil Co. and the Day & Nite Garage for storage. Henry Kendall died in 1925, and in his obituary it mentions he had an invention for a hand tobacco press that had become popular in the last few years.
By 1883, Robert Fulton’s name was attached to a stable that connected to Gardners (annex lot) He was a very well-respected horseman that moved to Ripley from Ireland in the 1840s. Looking at the Sanborn maps, between 1895 and 1904 the Robert Fulton stable became the O.R. & C. Railroad office.
See what a convoluted path a photograph can take you? This was the abbreviated version. One could dig deep on any of the names. Part of this journey started while looking for more information on J.S. Atwood, who, in local papers. was often referred to as Jack Atwood. We’re still collecting information on him, and one of these days we’ll share the latest findings.
We hope you enjoy the historical wanderings this column has taken lately. Fear not, we are still a full service library and we add new books and movies nearly every day, so we welcome you to stop by and browse.