Old Post Office - Erie County Ohio Historical Society

The old Post Office (horse & buggies), ca. 1880s. Image courtesy of Sandusky Library Archives Research Center

Old Post Office & Gray Drug - Erie County Ohio Historical Society

The post office is on the corner, the tall buiding on the right is the Old City Hall and Fire Station.

Although mail service began in Sandusky in 1820, no official post office building existed in the community until 1854 when the U.S. Treasury Department purchased the corner of Columbus Avenue and West Market Street. Construction of a post office and customs building was completed here in 1857, and it was a three-story structure with an entrance on Columbus Avenue. The post office also utilized another structure on West Market Street for storing its wagons and horses that was commonly referred to as the post office annex.

1878 – Sitting Around at the Post Office
Sitting Around – They are sitting around upon barrels and chairs,
Discussing their own and their neighbor’s affairs.
And the look of content that is seen on each face,
Seems to say, ‘I have found my appropriate place.’ – Sitting around
     In barrooms and groceries calmly they sit,
     And serenely chew tobacco and spit;
     While the stories they tell and the jokes that they crack,
     Show their hearts have grown hard and undoubtedly black. – Sitting around
The ‘sitter around’ is a man of no means,
And his face wouldn’t pass for a quart of white beans.
Yet he somehow or other contrives to exist,
And is frequently seen with a drink in his fist. – While sitting around.
     The Loungers they toil not nor yet do they spin,
     Unless it be yarns while drinking their gin, [No alcohol at the Lodge however]      They are people of leisure not often ‘tis true,
     They allude to the work they’re intending to do. – While sitting around.
They’ve a habit of talking about other men’s wives.
As they whittle up sticks with their horn-handled knives.
They’re a scaly old set and wherever you go,
You will find them in groups or strung out in a row – Sitting around

January 20, 1873 – There are two lady clerks at the Postoffice. They do their work as well as the other gender.

November 16, 1862 – Important to the public! I still continue to make those elegant setts of Artificial Teeth on Vulcanite Base. I warrant each sett to be a Perfect fit, natural in color and expression, and elegant in finish. No sett failing in any one of these important requisites, will be allowed to leave the office. My patrons shall have a truly good article at a fair price. All operations on the natural teeth performed with my best knowledge and skill. Office directly opposite the Post Office, No. 40, upstairs. D. E. J. Waye.

January 20, 1874 – In all cases or diseases of sickness in Horses, Cattle or Dogs, apply to J. Barton, Veterinary Surgeon, Sandusky Ohio. Office at W. B. Smith’s Jr. Livery Stable, residence at 146 Market St., who will treat them most scientifically at a very reasonable charge. Accounts rendered the first of every month.

By the 1920s growth in the city required the construction of a larger post office downtown, and this building was demolished in 1928 after the new post office’s completion. That new Post Office building is now the home of the Merry-Go-Round museum.

The corner was then redeveloped with a two-story commercial building that for many years was the home of Gray Drug which not only featured retail space and a pharmacy but also a cafeteria.

In August of 1974, J.C. Penney announced its plans to open a new store at the planned Sandusky Mall, and its downtown store closed when the mall store opened in the late 1970s. After the closure of J.C. Penney its building remained vacant, and in December 1981 the Sandusky city government agreed to purchase both the former Penney’s building as well as the Gray Drug building for one dollar. The city additionally purchased the Graham-Ritter Building in 1984.