Images The Flower Gallery Today
The Flower Gallery has been a thriving business on the Medina square since 1973. It's owner, Anne Bellinder, has led the store into becoming a popular gathering for all floral orders. The Flower Gallery, when established in 1973, was one of the only stores specializing in the sale of flowers and floral designs in the Medina area. In the 1970's, very few grocery stores had floral departments and there were few other shops in the Northeast Ohio area that specialized in the production of floral arrangements. Therefore, the Flower Gallery thrived at the start because of limited competition. Additionally, the shop has always been centrally located in the Medina County area. The Flower Gallery is in an ideal location, because of its prime position on the square, directly In front of parking lots, for easy access. The Flower Gallery is also in one of the most developed communities in Northeast Ohio, which has also led to its strength in business. The many shops that went out of business in the past years on the square had a vast disadvantage when compared to the more modern shops of the Medina area. Prior to many of the main roads being built, Medina was a rural community in the country, and far from large cities. The shops in the square therefore, only sold to local residents, because a travel to Medina would have required a great amount of time on the back roads. However, because of President Eisenhower, national interstates and state routes were established. Medina, is located next to Route 18 and Interstate 71, making the travel to the square a much faster and more convenient trip. Because of Eisenhower, Medina became a bedside community, in which many people began to live and visit because of its easy access through the main roads. Currently, many people drive through the square daily, helping to aid each business, including The Flower Gallery, to grow and help to increase the economic status in the Medina community. The Gallery has been a leading shop in shaping the way the Medina economic and social community has developed. The Flower Gallery has and still promotes other businesses on the square, by promoting their products through the use of their flowers and arrangements. For example, the gallery has worked with bridal and wedding shops, bakeries and cupcake designers, and even pet shops on the square for promotion purposes. The Flower Gallery has also helped sponsor and supply arrangements for many community events and festivals, increasing the community spirit of Medina County. Additionally, the shop has also helped the community by providing fair prices, attracting customers from all economic or social backgrounds, to purchase flowers for a wide variety of needs. The Flower Gallery has not only provided the Medina community with its beautiful floral arrangements and flowers, it has helped promote the very livelihood of the Medina community and economic status of the square.
Image Courtesy of Colin Berger
View File Details Page From Produce to Music
On 30 Public Square, Lobin's took the place of the Square Deal Fruit Market in the early 1940's. Lobin's, owned by Henry Lobin, was a music lesson and instrument sales store. In the basement of the 30 Public Square building, were rows of small cubbies in which the music teachers working at Lobin's would teach their students. Instruments played in orchestra bands were also sold, rented, and leased at the store. Although the public did frequent Lobin's, the store mainly served the purpose of catering to the Medina Community Band, which often played concerts on the square. The Medina Community Band was created during WWII, in the late 1940's, as one of the many city bands created across America to promote the war effort by playing patriotic melodies. Lobin's rented and taught many of the musicians who played in the Medina Community Band. The shop was very popular during WWII, because it's musicians helped to increase war support by playing various patriotic tunes across Medina. The Medina Community Band played around the square and marched in red, white, and blue colors, which further enhanced it's American tunes. In addition to enhancing the war spirit, Lobin's sponsored and funded many of the band events, helping to greatly build up Medina's community. Although Lobin's helped the Medina Community vastly, it eventually left, because Lobin moved his store to the Columbus area. Though The Square Deal Fruit Market and Lobin's seemed to be insignificant, their role in shaping the community in which it is today is crucial. Both of the stores helped to promote the communal spirit of Medina, which revolves around promoting festivities, and organized events to enhance unification. Both stores also promoted an economic spirit of competition, which resulted in a thriving economy for Medina.
Image Courtesy of Teaching and Learning Cleveland: http://csudigitalhumanities.org/exhibits/items/show/4028
View File Details Page From Meat to Produce
The Square Deal Fruit Market was a produce market that took over the S.S. Oatman Meat Market in the 1930's on 30 Public Square. Although little is known about the shop, it is certain that the produce market was in business until 1944 and had a lot of popularity in its early days. The market was opened at the beginning of The Great Depression (very early 1930's). It took the place of The S.S. Oatman Meat Market, which failed because of the Great Depression and westward movement. The produce was boasted to be the most fresh and best in the city, which initially drew crowds in it's starting years. The fruit market catered to all those in the Medina area and luckily was special because of its variety of fruits imported from different areas. The Square Deal Fruit Market had an advantage over the local farmers in Medina, unlike the Oatman meats, because the produce that was sold was often from other areas than Medina, giving it an advantage of carrying special kinds of imported fruits. The main costumers to The Sqaure Deal Fruit Market were a lot of Medina residents. The residents that frequented the store included city dwellers, as well as farmers. The store offered fair prices and catered to a wide variety of people. It also did well in the beginning of the Depression, because the fruit sold was very economical; even poverty strickin residents could afford the produce. However, by 1938, the Square Deal Fruit Market began to slowly lose popularity. Although it carried good produce, the competition in the area was way too fierce. Neighboring The Square Deal Fruit Market were an abundance of grocers carrying fruit products, including: Gensemer's Dry Goods, A&P Grocery, Rickard Bros Grocery, Kroger Grocery, and Tony's Candy Kitchen. Most of these shops led to the eventual downfall of The Square Deal Fruit Market, because of business competition of large chain stores driving out the small family businesses. The fruit market was a prime example of the many small businesses that were driven to bankruptcy because of the large company chains that moved in around them. Additionally, the market initially began to lose it's business in the origins of WWII (Late 1930'S to 1944). Again, the war prompted a great economic cutback to support America's debt. President FDR passed many reform movements and farm acts, which limited the production of crops and fruits produced and shipped across the country. This in turn saved the farmers from over-production, but had bad affects on the produce markets in America. The strict shipping and production of imported fruits led many grocers out of business. Although the Square Deal Fruit Market was short-lived, it still aided the community in promoting competition among businesses.
Image Courtesy of Cleveland Memory:http://www.clevelandmemory.org/copyright/
View File Details Page A Flower Shop or a Meat Marketz
The S.S. Oatman Meat Market
Lyman Oatman was born on January eighth 1813, in Rutland County, Vermont. In the early 1830's, Oatman travelled to the Northeast Ohio area to farm and profit on his cattle and livestock. After establishing himself in the Medina farm community, Oatman opened the Oatman Meat Market on 30 Public Square in 1872. However, Lyman Oatman died April ninth 1881, leaving his wife, Sally Bean and eight children. The children began to work to thrive in business, and rented several locations on the South Court Street side of the square. The Oatman children also opened a tin and tool shop, Oatman's Hardware, neighboring the meat market their father had once run. However, it was Lyman Oatman's eldest son, Simeon, who took over the meat market, renaming it S.S. Oatman's (Jr.) Meat Market. The meat market was the most well known of the Oatman shops because it thrived on the square for many decades. The reason being, because it was ideally one of the only markets specializing in top quality meat at its time on the Medina square. The market attracted many residents and towns' people because of its location and its ability to offer the best cuts of meat in town. The market primarily catered to the Medina residents that did not live on a farm and could not raise their own livestock. Basically those who lived in the city, most often frequented the shop, because the Medina city residents did not have anywhere to grow cattle or livestock. Medina city life was primarily very crowded, with limited space for any raising of livestock. This directly forced the city residents of Medina to rely upon the Oatman Meat Market for their means of survival and food.
The reason that the S.S. Oatman Meat Market went out of business is unidentified. However, many different reasons affecting the markets customers may have contributed. For one, Medina was a very rural community and there were hundreds of farms bordering the square. As Medina's population grew from a small community to that of a larger status in the early 1900's, a major transformation occurred. People began to branch out and live farther from the square in order to create space for the dramatically increasing population that America as an entirety was experiencing. Because these residents moved away from the city and began to live on farms, they in turn most likely began to produce their own forms of meat, rather than buying it from a local market. Additionally, the neighboring store to the S.S. Oatman Meat Market was called the Whipple and Sipher Grocery Store, which moved into the square in 1901. The Grocery drove out many other grocers on the square, perhaps the S.S. Oatman Meat Market. Because The Whipple and Sipher Grocery Store also sold meats and other products which were similar to the Oatman meats sold next door, this most likely drove the market out of business because of the grocer's massive popularity. Additionally, around the time of 1905 and 1906, multiple meat inspection acts and sanitary meat condition bills were passed, due to the famous Upton Sinclair novel, The Jungle. The novel chronicled the poor conditions that many meat markets prepared their meats in, prompting the government to pass The Meat Inspection Act of 1906 and The Pure Food and Drug Administration. These acts placed heavy laws on the meat manufacturing industry. These laws caused many small meat markets, like Oatman's, out of business because of their strict penalties and innovative laws regarding the packaging of meat. Also, America experienced World War One. During the span of WWI, (America's involvement from 1917-1919), President Woodrow Wilson and the federal government put many restrictions on the production of shipping of many food products. This included the shipping of meats, in order to save the country's national budget. This greatly decreased the amount of cattle sold and produced for these markets, which could have directly harmed the S.S. Oatman Meat Shop. Also during WWI, America's wages were also decreased in order to accomidate the rising debt that the country was enduring. This in turn forced many to save their money and not splurge on the top quality meats offered at meat markets. Lastly, America also experienced the tragedy of the Great Depression, which spanned from 1929 to the end of WWII (1945). In the depression, many were left homeless, jobless, and poverty stricken. Many people could not afford the special meats sold at Oatman's, resulting in a dramatic decrease in business. People began to cut back on buying meat products, and instead relied on cheaper foods for survival. Also, The Great Depression forced many of Medina's citizens westward in search of new jobs. The city had become over-crowded and as scarce as jobs were, many Medinans needed to find farm labor work in the west to survive. This directly resulted in a loss of costumers on Medina's square, meaning a loss of business for the shops, like Oatman's.
Although the S.S. Oatman Meat Market closed, it played a huge role in the social and economic aspects of the Medina Community. The meat market and the other Oatman shops that were on the square brought about a spark of unification to the Medina community as a whole. The Oatman brother's shops created a wave of commercial spirit which brought about a capitalistic mindset, spurring other shops to compete against their neighbors to form the very basis of the Medina market square, as it stands today. In addition to creating a sound economy, the Oatman brother's shops were instrumental in creating a cohesive community in which Medina residents relied on one another for their livelihood. The Medina residents seemed to work together to build a strong and thriving community in which everyone helped one another to meet their basic needs. The S.S. Oatman Meat Market further contributed to the strong communal ties by providing its residents affordable and quality meat.
Image Courtesy of Arcadia Publishing
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