Monday, January 16, 2017

Morris Link and Link’s Block


Morris Link was born in Baden, Germany, and emigrated to the United States in 1851. After settling in Sandusky, he became involved in the culture of grapes and manufacturing of wine. He also worked for several years as a foreman in the Mad River Railroad warehouse. 

In 1870, Morris Link built the Link Block at the corner of McDonough and Washington Streets in Sandusky. Dr. Ernst von Schulenburg wrote in Sandusky Then and Now, that Link’s Block on Washington Street was a “monument to his [Mr. Link's] spirit of enterprise.” In the 1886 Sanborn map, pictured below, you can see that Link’s Block had a drugstore, grocery and saloon on the street levels of the building, with a public hall on the upper level, and a dining hall in the rear of the structure.


Many social events, political meetings, and dances were held at this site. On July 4, 1873, the Bay City Dancing Club held a Grand Ball at Link’s Hall, with musical entertainment provided by the Great Western Band. Tickets were fifty cents. According to the book Sandusky Then and Nowin 1885 the Sandusky Liederkranz (Sandusky Choral Society) was reorganized and held rehearsals at Link’s Hall. In 1904, a Mr. Rissman and Schaefer served lunch there. Turtle soup was the special of the day on March 26, 1904. A roller skating rink was in operation at Link’s Hall in 1905. In the 1940s and 1950s, several wrestling matches were held there. Below is an advertisement from the October 18, 1952 issue of the Sandusky Register, for a match between Bert Silverman and Frankie Taylor.


A number of businesses have been in operation in Link’s block, including the Towne Tavern and Health Club in the 1960s and 1970s.
            

For a number of years, the State Liquor Store No. 181 was located in the 900 block of West Washington Street. When you pass by the corner of West Washington and McDonough Street, take a moment to reflect on the rich history of that location.


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