DONAHUE HARDWARE

The building at 126 Columbus Avenue was built in 1853 to house the Moss Brothers Bank. Faber and Frank Donahue, who moved their hardware store to this location from the northeast corner of Jackson and Water Streets in 1914, added the brick façade. The original limestone is visible at the side of the building.

A nicely detailed article on this building appears HERE.

The building at 126 Columbus Avenue,  began as a bank building. The Moss Brothers Bank, founded by Augustus H. and Horace Moss, was at this location in the early 1850s.

In 1914, C. Faber and Frank Donahue moved their hardware store from Water Street to what is now 126 Columbus Avenue. Ellie Damm wrote in her book Treaure by the Bay (Western Reserve Historical Society, 1989), that the Donahues added the brick façade to the building as well as the stone carved name “Donahue” under the cornice. You can see the original limestone on  the south side of the Donahue building. Interestingly, Ellie Damm, who was well known for her efforts in local preservation, was a descendant of the founders of Donahue Hardware. In 1920, Lew and Ira Wiles purchased this property, and they ran the Dixie Cafeteria here. If you look closely, you can see the sign for the cafeteria in the picture below and a mural of a baker on the upper right side of the building.

From about 1900 through 1912, J. Frank Donahue was the president of the J.F. Donahue and Company hardware store, located at 735 and 737 Water Street. In the early 1900s, J.F. Donahue and Company sold Tribune and Pathfinder bicycles, and several varieties of paint.

An advertisement in the June 29, 1911 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal stated that the Donahue Hardware Company had the largest selection of lawn hose in the city of Sandusky. At that time, lawn hose sold for ten cents to eighteen cents per foot.

In 1912, J. Frank Donahue left his leadership role at the Donahue Hardware Company, and became president of the Easiest Way Manufacturing Company. For several years, Frank’s brother, C. Faber Donahue, served as the president of the Donahue Hardware Company. The Easiest Way Manufacturing Company made washing machines. The washing machines were sold at the Donahue Hardware store and other locations locally and throughout the U.S.

In January 1921, the Easiest Way Manufacturing Company moved its operations to the northeast corner of Adams and Harrison Street, at the former site of the Diamond Wine Company.

In the article above, which appeared in the January 8, 1921 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal, it was stated that “efficiency, system and workmanship” were the outstanding features of the Easiest Way Manufacturing Company’s new plant.  On June 30, 1930, J. Frank Donahue died from an accidental drowning. He was survived by his wife, the former Caroline Sadler, and three children. He was buried at Oakland Cemetery.

The Donahue Building is on the National Register of Historic Places and the plaque is on the right side of the building.