25 Years Ago: July 31-August 6, 1991
Troy — After 33 years as one of Troy’s meeting and dining places, it was announced today (August 1st) the ‘Helen of Troy’ restaurant inside the Imperial House motel on W. Main St. was closed on July 27th, and will remain closed. Amerihost, the owner of the motel, stated the company was planning a new, modern restaurant for the location and would announce a decision in 60-90 days. (Columnist’s Note: The Trojan Motor Inn, as it was originally named, along with its fine restaurant, the Helen of Troy, opened in the spring of 1958. The Helen of Troy quickly became the fine dining establishment of the city during its early years. In later years, it was still a favorite meeting spot for many of Troy’s organizations and non-profit groups. In the transition period, Amerihost also changed the Imperial House into a Days Inn motel and created a restaurant which was called ‘The Whistle Stop.’ It did not meet with success and by 1994, a new establishment called ‘Seasons’ was the restaurant, but it seemed to be more short-lived than the previous one. In 1995, Rueben Pelayo brought El Sombrero to Troy and located in the Days Inn. Unfortunately, in November, 1996, a fire gutted the hotel and restaurant. Reuben moved his good food and business to Piqua until the current location, north of Troy, became available. The Days Inn was later razed, the property sold and the current Goodwill store was constructed on the site.)
50 Years Ago: July 31-August 6, 1966
Bethel Township — When the Holiday on Ice show begins its 1966 season tonight in Knoxville, Tennessee, a recent Bethel High School graduate, Andrea Martin, and Nancy DeHays of Dayton, will both be on the front line of the show. The ladies have been rehearsing with the program since July 1st. Both young ladies are members of the Troy Skating Club.
Tipp City — A partially completed 4-unit apartment complex on W. Main St, just west of Hyatt St. was a total loss in a blaze last night (Aug. 2nd). The conflagration had almost engulfed the building with flames shooting 100 ft. into the sky before the fire department was called. Assistant fire chief Clarence Drewing stated the men were in a meeting when they were first notified, and he noted that by the time the trucks were enroute the fire was visible from across town. Although the department was able to bring the blaze under control within an hour they were unable to get close to the building because of the ditches which ran along the property for the laying out of new sewer lines. The property is owned by Tipp City builder Nelson Borchers and was the fourth of nine planned units.
75 Years Ago: July 31-August 6, 1941
Mr. & Mrs. Gerald Fox are getting ready to occupy their new residence in Edgehill. The brick bungalow was moved in February from its original site, where the new Hobart Brothers office complex is being erected, and relocated to Westgate Rd. Today, they are busy finishing the purchase of the home formerly owned by Mr. & Mrs. Charles Rehmert, but more recently by Hobart Brothers.
Tipp City — The Tip Top Canning Co. is just about ready to begin operations when the area tomato harvest is ripe. Approximately, 100 farmers from Christiansburg to Brookville supply tomatoes for the company. A larger yield is expected this year, but the prices are also higher. Tomatoes cost about $11 per ton last season, but will be about $14 per ton this year. In addition, canned goods are approximately 15 percent more expensive than last year. Full production should be underway on August 20th or 21st and the concern is expected to handle roughly 1,800 tons of tomatoes this season. Tip Top will hire about 100 women and 35 to 40 men for the season.
Update — A few weeks ago, I included in this column the following: “Miami County’s Popular Drive-In — “The Snack Shack” — Home of the Dixie Toasted Sandwiches. Where there is real meaning in the “out” of eating out. North of Troy on Route 25.” R. Grob of Troy was kind enough to share some information with me in a recent letter. “It seems like yesterday it was the place to go for a good lunch. That was about 1939. It was a little white building … just a few miles south of Piqua on 25-A.” The letter continues, “I am told it was built and run by a minister and his wife. They did it to secure funds to send their children to college.” Apparently, a ‘special sauce’ that was used on the sandwiches was made in the home kitchen. With the new information, I was able to do a little more searching and did indeed find the initial advertisement of ‘The Snack-Shack,’ which opened on May 21, 1938, 1-mile south of the Piqua Municipal Light Plant. It was promoted as a new concept in eating … a place where you drive up and the attendants come to your vehicle. It was managed by Dick Seifried, formally an insurance agent in Piqua. Among the initial offerings were: “DixieToasted Sandwiches” and “Toasted Tender Red Hots.” Thank you to R. Grob of Troy for sharing your memories of this little business.
Patrick D. Kennedy is archivist at the Troy-Miami County Public Library’s Local History Library, 100 W. Main St., Troy. He may be contacted by calling (937) 335-4082 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org