- Local Guide
MINSTER — The Minster Historical Society celebrated the 100th birthday of two Fourth Street buildings Saturday with a new program.
The first installment of “A Look at Yesterday in Minster” focused on the Kramer Building and the Crescent Theater, both of which were built in 1912. Minster Historical Museum Curator Mary Oldiges said members of the historical society, which encourages the preservation of the older buildings in Minster, researched the history of the two downtown buildings.
“The history of the two buildings was really interesting to research,” Oldiges told The Evening Leader. “You get to watch the progression and see them go through five generations. It’s nice to see them still in use today.”
Pictures and text documenting the history of the two buildings were on display for area residents to explore and reminisce.
Frantz Joseph Stallo was the first owner of lot 37, one of 144 lots in his collection. He built a log cabin on the lot. In 1912, Mr. Haverbeck owned and lived on the land, and room was made for the Kramer Company building to be constructed. Kramer Company held its grand opening on March 15, 1913, and sold dry goods and groceries on the east side of the building and hardware on the west side of the building.
Throughout its history, the Kramer Building was also home to N.H. Grogean Supply Store, Minster Furniture and Midmark Corporation of Minster before the village of Minster purchased the building for the F.J. Stallo Memorial Library in 1975.
At the time, the library occupied the east side of the building, while professional offices occupied the west side of the building. In 2004, the building underwent a major renovation, combining the two sides to give the library more space.
For 5 cents a week, Minster residents could join the Crescent Club, a group of young men who met in a South Main Street room. In 1903, the Crescent Club purchased a North Main Street building before purchasing a movie projector in 1907 and showing movies to the public at the Columbia Opera House.
On Dec. 8, 1912, the Crescent Theater opened and showed a variety of movies in its history and was also home to a slew of barber shops, including Alex T. Frey’s Barber Shop, Fred Schmieder’s Barber Shop and Donauer’s Barber Shop.
“This is nice that people can come in this building that they haven’t seen in 40 years,” Oldiges said of the Crescent Theater.
Oldiges said she enjoyed putting together the exhibit.
“It’s neat to see all the changes over time,” she said.
Throughout the morning, visitors could enjoy a piece of birthday cake at the library and had a chance to win a selection of door prizes at the theater.
Oldiges noted the Minster Historical Society is currently seeking artifacts and pictures for its Fourth Street exhibit, and anyone with pictures or artifacts they are willing to put on display can contact Oldiges at 419-628-3164.
For more information about future historical society events, visit MinsterHistoricalSoceity.com.