Alliance City Directories

Alliance Business Directories
Business Directory Ad

Thanks to some help from the Ohio History Connection, two of our fragile Alliance City Directories are now online and available for full-text searching through Alliance Memory.

The two directories include the oldest directory in our collection, McKee’s Business Directory from 1868, and the 1897-98 Alliance City Directory. The directories include names and addresses of individuals and businesses along with descriptive articles about Alliance and many advertisements that show the businesses of the day.

Results will show the pages where your search terms occur. You can look at the pages individually or in a flip-book format where it looks like you are thumbing through the actual hardbound book. You can zoom in and zoom out to view the pages and download copies or print them out for your future use.

You can these directories and many other Alliance photographs and documents at www.alliancememory.org.

Men with beards

Alliance’s Centennial Celebration

The year was 1950 and Alliance had a party – one that only happens every 100 years – and everyone in town was involved. The Alliance Centennial celebration took place from August 26-September 3, 1950. There were beard-growing contests for the men, a Kangaroo court, beauty contests, and parades. As one advertisement put it, there was “something doing every minute!”

The Miss Alliance contest placed the young ladies in a contest to see who could get the most points by selling tickets to the Centennial Pageant, “Echoes of a Century,” which was so large, it had to be held in the Mount Union Stadium. Nearly 100 ladies competed in the five-week contest to sell tickets to the “gigantic pageant spectacle” that was held for six nights. The winner was Marilyn Thomas with 1,833,312 votes which included 1,306,900 admission ticket votes, 52,535 newspaper votes, 1,200 dance votes, 172,677 bonus votes and 300,000 courtesy votes.

Governor Lausche attended the festivities as did Kay Glenwright DeWitt, who had sung at President Truman’s inauguration. A large balloon parade with horse and cat balloons that were three-stories high snaked its way through Alliance from Mount Union to downtown, a grand parade with 18 bands and scores of floats and marching units participated in the grand parade, and a spirited twirling competition took place at Public Square. Even a 2800 pound birthday cake was baked for the crowd.

Yes, it was a birthday party of mammoth proportions. We are fortunate that Mabel Hartzell compiled a comprehensive scrapbook that is now available online for all to enjoy, 65 years later. See it at http://www.alliancememory.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15190coll1/id/509

Red and Blue online

Red and Blue Online

Issues of Red and Blue, the student newspaper from Alliance High School are now available online! Rodman Public Library collected donated copies over the years and gathered them up this past year to create an online archive of them. The project is supported in part by an award from the Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board, through funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), National Archives and Records Administration.

Book Eye scanner
Book Eye scanner

Rodman Public Library purchased a Book Eye large format scanner in late 2014 to be used for this project and to scan other large items that wouldn’t fit on the library’s letter-sized scanners. The newspaper is placed face-up on the scanner bed and then “photographed” from an overhead camera. A preview of the scan is viewable on a screen attached to the scanner or on a computer screen so that adjustments can be made prior to the scanning.

In all, 209 issues ranging from the 1920s through the 1960s were scanned in the library and then sent to Ohio History Connection for loading onto Ohio Memory. When the images were loaded into Ohio Memory the text of every page was digitized using OCR (optical character recognition). This allows every word on every page to be searched. We are fortunate to have the services of Ohio History Connection available to us for this important preservation work.

Because the newspapers have been digitized, they can now be stored in archival boxes to prevent further deterioration from the elements and physical handling. If you attended Alliance High School, try searching for your name and see what you find. If you have issues that are not included in the online collection, consider donating them to the library so that we may make our collection more complete.

Few People Realize Amount of Development Work and Building Progess in City

Alliance’s “Boom” Period, 1910-1920

An article in the June 30, 1915 Alliance Daily Review highlights many major building projects during the 1910s that helped to spur the development of the city. These include:

  • Housing: bungalows, Geiger housing on Arch Avenue extension, rentals in demand
  • Business: Koch block on Main Street, garages on Prospect Street
  • Municipal: City Hall, Market House, City Hospital, Post Office
  • Masonic Temple
  • Real Estate: Development in the south and west areas of considerable magnitude
  • West Park grading and laying out of streets on the Baugh farm
  • Walter Ellett opening and improving Overlook Road from Union to Rockhill
  • Geiger Brothers grading southeast Alliance
  • Consolidated Realty installed street lighting on Parkway Boulevard and opened up Parkway onto Main Street
  • “Only a short time until Parkway will be opened for travel from Main Street to State Street”
  • Glamorgan Street opened from Rockhill Avenue to Sawburg Road, opening up a large new territory for settlement.
  • Arch Avenue subway under construction in 1915. “Will open up a new avenue of travel through to Main Street and opportunities to developing the north end of town.
Caskey Motor Inn

Pancho’s Corner

When Don Pancho’s Restaurant and Motor Inn was located on the southwest corner of Main Street and Union Avenue it occupied a building that was built ca. 1940. Originally it was occupied by Buckeye Amusement Company and then a series of Buick dealerships from 1948 to 1966. In 1968 it became the Caskey Motor Inn and later the Alliance Motor Inn. Don Pancho’s took occupancy in approximately 1986 and stayed there until 1997. It was demolished in February 1996 for the building of a Rite Aid Drug Store.

See more information about Don Pancho’s restaurant in “Local Restauranteur ‘Pancho’ DeLeon Dies,” The Alliance Review, August 19, 2008, A1, A3.