ENGLEWOOD — Shoppers at the Englewood Meijer store through the years may remember seeing four large historic photos on the walls at the front of the store near the checkout lanes and produce counters, and in the back near the employee break room.
Two of the photos are school related: one shows students and teachers standing in front of Star School (at the corner of Garber and Old Salem roads), and the second shows a 1925-26 class at Randolph Grade School. The remaining two photos show interior views of the Farmers and Merchants Bank (once located at the corner of National Road and Main Street in Englewood), and Fetters barbershop in Englewood.
During recent remodeling of the Meijer store, management removed the photos from the walls. Several shoppers took notice. A few wanted the photos for themselves, while others alerted Randolph Township Historical Society (RTHS).
On July 6 the Historical Society sent a letter to the store manager suggesting that the photos be donated to RTHS if they were not going to be used in the remodeled store. The charitable donation was finalized several weeks later, when corporate officers said the photos could not be given to any individuals but had to go to a local nonprofit organization.
At first the Society’s board of directors was not sure there was enough space for such large photos at the RTHS History Center, nor if anyone nearby had the expertise to hang them. A call to Randy Hartman of Vital Signs, who constructed the signs for the history center when it opened in 2008, resulted in his stopping by the museum. Hartman said he would have no trouble hanging the photos, mounted on ¼ inch thick Masonite, on the upper walls of the main exhibit room. He generously offered to do the task for free. After picking up the photos at Meijer, and in between his other jobs, Hartman worked on attaching hangers to the backs of the photos. He came to the Center on November 9 to put them in place (see photo).
Members of the Society thank both Meijer and Hartman for their part in helping preserve these historic photos and making them available for the public to view and enjoy again at the RTHS History Center. Area residents who want to see the photos in their new home can visit the History Center during regular visitors’ hours from 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays through November 28. Visitors’ hours will not resume again until April 2016, but the museum is open other times over the winter months by appointment by calling 832-1858.
Reach the Randolph Township Historical Society at (937) 832-1858. The History Center is located at 114 Valleyview Dr., Englewood or visit the website www.rths.org.