Exchange Hotel, ca. 1840-1860. Image courtesy of Barbara Wendt

 Colt's Steamboat Hotel - Erie County Ohio Historical Society

The Civista Bank parking lot at the Southeast corner of East Water Street and Wayne Street was the location of Colt’s Exchange Hotel where Charles Dickens stayed when he visited Sandusky in 1842. The hotel was used as a hospital for cholera victims in the epidemic of 1849.

Over the years the hotel has had many names, including the St. Lawrence Hotel, the Porter House, and the Wayne. The St. Lawrence appears in the upper left corner of this drawing.

Sandusky Waterfront - Erie County Ohio Historical Society

This line drawing of the Sandusky waterfront, ca. 1850, shows the location of the St. Lawrence Hotel. Image courtesy of Sandusky Library Archives Research Center

June 29, 1844 (Sandusky Clarion) – Colt’s Exchange Hotel by R. E. Colt (formerly the Ohio Hotel) corner Wayne and Water Streets.

December 8, 1870 – Lake House – First class House, corner Wayne and Water streets, Sandusky, Ohio. J. D. Bourne Proprietor.

The building was gutted by fire in 1977 and razed in 1985.Civista Bank - Erie County Ohio Historical Society

Civista Bank (shown here), formerly known as Citizens Bank until 2015, was founded in Sandusky in 1884 and was located in the Feick Building from 1924 until it moved to its current location. It is the only bank headquartered in Sandusky and is currently the 18th largest bank in the State of Ohio.


It is often difficult to pin down precisely where an address is located. Several small buildings with different addresses might come down, larger ones carrying one address might go up, and there was no East or West Water Street – simply Water Street. So here are some of the more interesting businesses that once found a home on this street.

Squeak-Squeak – Within a space of two squares on Water Street and Columbus Ave., there are something less than five dozen hanging sign-boards, all suspended on rusty hinges and all addicted to the most harrowing, ear-destroying, soul-sickening, saw-filling, ‘creak, creak’ that was ever heard.  Whenever the wind rises, as it did to-day, those signs begin to sway tediously backward and forward, and set up their chorus of squeak, squeak; each individual sign having a shriek peculiar to itself and each one sounding worse then all the others combined. Will our Common Council relieve us?

1868 – Fay & Arnold, wholesale and retail Druggists. Dealers in Paints, Oils, Varnishes, Glass and Putty, Artists’ Materials, brushes of all kinds, perfumery and toilet articles. Havana Cigars. 152 Water St., Sandusky O.

 March 8, 1861 – Thirty Dollars will buy one of West and Wilson’s Family Sewing Machines to which the First Premium was awarded at the Ohio State Fair held in Sandusky, September 1848. Unequaled for Speed, Beauty, Durability of Stitch and Economy of Price. W. V. Latham, Agent. 154 Water Street

May 5, 1862 – The latest improvement of the day – Colby’s Clothes-Wringer. The high price of cotton has induced the proprietor to offer the public a very useful article in many respects: saving time, cotton and sore hands; also makes washing day pleasant, which all good husbands will appreciate. Call at Adams Fay’s Drug Store and see the machine work. 152 Water St.

February 13, 1863 – Adams & Fay – are the General Agents for the State of Ohio for Prof. Humphrey’s Specific Medicines, where all Local Agents throughout the State will be supplied with Specific Medicines at the same rate as heretofore from the New York Office. All receipts given by new Agents will be found at Adams & Fay and will be settled by them.

152 Water St.

December 17, 1873 – Canaries and other singing birds suitable for holiday presents for sale at Math. G. Bock’s Shaving Saloon on Water Street.

January 15, 1878 – George Peters, Water Street, Restaurant & Billiard Rooms. Oysters in Every Style. Warm Meals at all hours. Ladies Parlor Up Stairs.