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Historical photo show 100 years ago header

100 Years Ago

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Wagner Hotel - 1877

The Fifth-Third Bank now stands on what was once the site of the Wagner Hotel at 101 South Ohio Avenue. A long, one-story tavern was built as early as 1830, called Hailman House (named after its owner). This structure was incorporated into the Wagner House [Hotel], at ground-level facing the courthouse square.

Other businesses located at this site included "The Farmers Hotel," "The Thorne Hotel," and "The Burnett House." In the 1860s, this building was purchased from Mr. Amann by Mathias Wagner for a nominal sum. In 1863, he then built it into a three-story building and twice extended the western wing on Poplar Street.

The Wagner House [Hotel] served as the center of hospitality and social activity in Sidney for more than a century. It was advertised as a ‘first-class hotel’ that included a ballroom on the top floor. The hotel became famous for a roaring fireplace, a hot toddy, and pleasant conversation. A 1916 King’s Official Route Guide lists an advertisement for the Hotel Wagner, "60 rooms on the American Plan at $2, $2.50 and $3, Phone No. 52, E.W. Smith, Proprietor."

Eventually, however, this once grand hotel fell into decay while the city inhabitants hoped for a modern hotel to replace the ‘old relic’. Their wish was never realized. The 110 year old hotel was razed in 1973 to make way for the First Federal Savings and Loan building.  The corner lot houses the bank, its drive-thru and parking facilities.

'Downtown' segment written in October, 1998 by Sherrie Casad-Lodge 


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