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Alliance's Freedom Trail Walk
Item 6 of 14
The northeast corner of E. Main Street and Mechanic Avenue was the site of the first of three depot locations on the Lake Erie, Alliance & Wheeling (LEA&W) rail line in the 1880s and 1890s. This lot later became the home of Temple of Economy, Shafer Building and the Owl Grill, and today's Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce.

  • In the 1920s and 1930s, two other buildings occupied the space where the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce is today at 210 E. Main Street, as seen in this 1929 photograph.
  • The Owl Grill located in the Shafer Building on the northeast corner of Main Street and Mechanic Avenue. The Shafer Building was built in 1901.
  • The Temple of Economy occupied the northeast corner of E. Main Street and Mechanic Avenue. The store's building was moved into the middle of Mechanic Avenue while the Shafer Block was built in 1899. The store would then relocate into the new building. The Owl Grill later occupied this building.

Now the home of the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce and its parking lot, the northeast corner of E. Main Street and Mechanic Avenue was the site of the first of three depot locations on the rail line. Later, this lot would be the home of Temple of Economy, Shafer Building and the Owl Grill, and today's Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce.

In the 1880s and 1890s there was a one- and two-story rectangular depot on the front corner of this lot. According to historic Alliance maps, the first depot was a separate building on the front half of the lot. About 1897 the depot moved across Main Street to the southeast corner of E. Main Street and Mechanic Avenue, and the old depot became the location of a store called the Temple of Economy, a restaurant, a cigar factory, and some residential units.

The old building here was soon moved off the lot to make way for a new building, the Fogg or Shafer Building, which was built about 1901; this building’s most famous tenant over the years was the probably the Owl Grill, a bar and restaurant known for its coney sauce. The Owl Grill lasted into the 1980s, and the building was taken down in the early 1990s. The building had a twin tower feature that made it very recognizable in old photographs. The Chamber building, which sits on the next lot to the east, was built in 1965.

Alliance, Oct. 1888 - sheet #1, Ohio Web Library - Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. Accessed August 11th 2020. https://proxy.oplin.org:2313/viewer?id=1257.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://www.alliancememory.org/digital/collection/places/id/1702/rec/1

https://www.alliancememory.org/digital/collection/places/id/930/rec/1

https://www.alliancememory.org/digital/collection/places/id/176/rec/2