Sunday, April 27, 2014
Euterpean Hall was on the third floor of the Phoenix block on the north side of Water Street, east of Columbus Avenue. The Phoenix building (#2 in the drawing below) was just to the east of the Post, Lewis and Radcliffe building, now home to the Water Street Bar and Grille. Leroy Hinkey provided us with a a key to this stereograph image, which was created by Sandusky photographer A.C. Platt in the 1870s.
You can see the top floor of the Phoenix Block, containing Euterpean Hall, in this aerial view of Sandusky, from the latter part of the nineteenth century.
The Phoenix building was built in 1849. It was named because it “rose from the ashes” of an earlier building that had burned. The name of the Euterpean Hall came from Euterpe, one of the daughters of the Roman god Jupiter. She was a muse who presided over music. Euterpean Hall was capable of seating 600 people. The hall was used for music, dancing and lectures. On December 16, 1854, the famous nineteenth-century reformer Horace Greeley gave a lecture there. The Sandusky Register of December 18, 1854 stated about Mr. Greeley’s lecture, “ The speaker appeared in his usual spirits and delivered his sound and suggestive lecture in his usual way. Mr. G. makes no pretentions to oratory, but in his sterling thought, philosophical analysis of character and keen insight in principles of action, he affords the hearer much food for after reflection.” In 1855 P.T. Barnum appeared at the Euterpean Hall.
Several different businesses found their home in the Phoenix building through the years, including the American Express Company and the R.B. and C.B. Wilcox Company, which stored carpets in the upper levels. See Ellie Damm’s book, Treasure by the Bay, to read more about the Phoenix building and several other historic buildings in Sandusky. In her book, Mrs. Damm points out that many early commercial buildings in Sandusky were built from native limestone, showing the thrift and practicality of the early residents of Sandusky.