Main Street - 200 Block South - Tour Stop 4 - Ottawa, Ks.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 38° 36.938 W 095° 16.138
15S E 302456 N 4276566
This tour stop 4 of the Historic Ottawa Tour is located on the Southwest corner of 2nd Street and South Main.
Waymark Code: WMF6ZJ
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 09/02/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 4

Text of the marker:

The panoramic photo reproduced here was taken by J. C. Bandholz in 1909. Panoramas were the rage at the time. The view takes in 100 block south on the left and the 200 block on the right.

The east side of the 200 block was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 due to its unique concentration of 19th century commercial structures. Since that time, the block has suffered the loss of several major buildings. These include the Zellner Building at the northeast corner, the Rohrbaugh building in the center of the block, and the North American Hotel coffee shop towards the south end.

The first building on the northwest corner of 2nd and Main belonged to town founder Issac Kalloch. Its second floor housed the town's first newspaper, the Western Home Journal. The site was then used for the First National Building until the 1960s, and was later called the Lawyers Bldg.

Like many Midwestern downtowns, Ottawa buildings developed with mercantile use on the ground floor and offices upstairs. The lithograph above shows the corner in the late 1860s. The photo to the right shows the same building now dwarfed by the Zellner Building to the north.

Besides clothing stores, the Zellner building also held a number of photographer's shops over the years. A structural failure in the 1980s caused its destruction, the site was replaced with Haley Park.

This small portable shop can be found in several different locations in old photos of Ottawa. Here it is seen on the southwest corner of 2nd and Main, and is called "Bloodgood's Popcorn." It also sold candy.

In Hometown U.S.A., an American Heritage book published in 1975, the authors refer to the Ottawa pictured in the panoramic portrait as "a not inconsiderate town in 1909. A county seat, a producer of soap, flour, furniture and carriages, served by two railroads, it was home to 7,600 people. Planted firmly on the corner of Main and Second was the People's National Bank, with the Dickey and Porter land office upstairs; the elk's head [which marked the local meeting rooms of the Elks Lodge]... had its antlers tipped with light bulbs and must have been a 24-hour attraction. Among the bank's near neighbors were a barbershop, a music store, and a millinery. By all appearances, Ottawa was a town entirely typical of its time and place; buildings more sturdy than architecturally distinguished, the horse comfortably co-existing with the few motorcars in town, and no one outside without a hat."

"Plaza-style" Christmas lighting that outlines the Victorian silhouettes of the downtown buildings was introduced in the 1970s. The prototype was Kansas City's Country Club Plaza.

The intersection of Second and Main, with its four cornerstone buildings, became the center of town. Two banks, First National and Peoples, faced a major hotel, the Ludington House, on the southwest and the Zellner building, a commercial building on the southeast.

An unidentified parade fills the dirt street in 1897. The photo at the left looks southwest.

Franklin County County Convention & Tourism Bureau
Marker Name: Main Street - 200 Block South - Tour Stop 4

Marker Type: Roadside

Marker text:
See long Description.

Marker Location: Franklin

Name of agency setting marker: Other (Please identify in marker text)

Year Marker Placed: Not listed

Official Marker Number: Not listed

Marker Web Address: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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wildernessmama visited Main Street - 200 Block South - Tour Stop 4 - Ottawa, Ks. 04/11/2016 wildernessmama visited it