Saturday, November 18, 2023

Lewis and Dwelle, Grocers


From the 1870s through the 1890s, the Lewis and Dwelle grocery store did business at the northeast corner of East Water Street and Columbus Avenue. In 1873 the address was 158 Water Street. By 1880 the street number had changed to 643 Water Street. The proprietors of the store were Lucius W. Lewis and Benjamin F. Dwelle. You can see the building in this 1876 image below, which was taken during the Independence Day celebration in downtown Sandusky. At this time, A.C. Platt had his photographic studio in the upper level of the building.

You can see the location of the grocery store at 643 Water Street in this view from an 1886 Sanborn Map. Railroad Street is now known as Shoreline Drive.

After the death of Lucius W. Lewis in 1889, his son W.L. Lewis took over his father's role in the grocery store. In 1895 the business was known as  Post, Lewis, Radcliffe & Dwelle. By 1896, W.L. Lewis was the sole proprietor. After his retirement, Benjamin Dwelle moved to Port Clinton, where he died in 1903 at age 85.

In Treasure by the Bay, Ellie Damm wrote that this spot was one of the prime locations for commercial property in Sandusky, because people congregated in the square nearby to meet trains or boats. The original building featured a rounded dormer along the roof line, and had a façade that was built in the Romanesque style. The building today has been substantially altered from its original form. From 1919 through the 1950s, the Moose Lodge was at this location. A multi-page advertisement in the October 20, 1938 issue of the Sandusky Register invited area residents to the newly renovated Moose Lodge. The building, which is now 101 East Water Street, is presently occupied by the Landmark Kitchen & Bar.

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