Friday, February 20, 2015

Overmyer-Zechman-Ball Automobile Company

Have you ever seen an old sign on a building that doesn't relate to what is in the building today, and wondered about the origin of the sign? There is a building like that on Washington Street with a story to tell. 

The Overmyer-Zechman-Ball Company opened its doors in Sandusky in January of 1926. The January 30, 1926 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that the Overmyer-Zechman-Ball Company, along with Hilt and Auxter, were considered “ultra modern” garages. The large brick garage buildings were located in the 700 block of West Washington Street, between Lawrence and Fulton. The Overmyer-Zechman-Ball Company sold and serviced Dodge Brothers cars and Graham Brothers trucks. Hilt and Auxter were the agents for Buick and Maron motor cars. Both garages had large showrooms that faced Washington Street. The buildings were designed and constructed under the direction of Sandusky architects Millott and Parker, and the general contractor was Steinle and Wolf, from Fremont. M.J. Callan and son did the excavating and cement work, and Klein Structural Irons Works of Bellevue furnished the steel structural iron. Many other local businesses had a part in the new building.

In 1931, Overmyer-Zechman-Ball Company displayed automobiles at the Sandusky Auto Dealers eleventh annual automobile show, held at 1014 Hancock Street on February 6 to 8.

According to Sandusky city directories, by 1932, the Overmyer-Zechman-Ball Company had become the Overmyer Ball Company, and Smith Motor Sales was in the building formerly occupied by Hilt and Auxter. In the first half of the twentieth century, the automotive industry changed rapidly. In the early 1950s, Overmyer-McCullough, Inc. was selling Dodge and Plymouth vehicles at 709 W. Washington Street, and by 1960, there was no longer a business in operation in Sandusky that included the Overmyer name. A variety of different companies have been in business at 709 W. Washington Street through the years. 

Visit the Sandusky Library to learn about historic businesses in Sandusky by browsing through several decades of Sandusky city directories.

1 comment:

Ed Daniel said...

I remember being the showroom, used car lot, and repair shop of the Smith Motors Buick dealership in the 1940's and early 50's. One of my classmates and neighborhood buddy, was Dave Link, whose Father, Frank Link, was manager of the dealership. Dave and I would sometimes walk from St. Mary's School down to Smith Motors for a ride home with Mr. Link. Mr. Link's wife Amelia was related to the Fisher family of Norwalk, of the Fisher Brothers branch of General Motors. Occasionally our neighborhood was treated to the sight of a chauffuered car driving up to the Link's home on Marlboro Street, for a visit by Mrs. link's Fisher cousins. David Link, in his adult life, become Dean of the Notre Dame Law School. After his wife Barbara died, David became an ordained Catholic priest, and he currently ministers to prisoners in the state prison in Gary Indiana.