Apparently, there are a few people out there reading the column, and last week’s offering tweaked a few memories and a couple unhappy responses. The Miami Valley Sunday News online edition had several people respond and offer feedback on what things they missed from Miami County’s past.
The most popular responses online concerned people missing the Strawberry Festival Parade and would like to see it revived. Several of the individuals mentioning the parade also added that they missed the festival being on the levee.
The festival being held downtown has certainly made it easier for those with maneuverability concerns to get around. But, as someone pointed out, it sure seems a lot more crowded in the streets.
In relation to the festival, a couple other people commented that they are sad the bed races are no longer a part of the celebration. Perhaps David Fong, Melanie Yingst and the Troy Daily News team winning the bed races (was it two years?) led the committee to be concerned about a dynasty and shut it down.
Other places mentioned that people are sad about not being around any longer are the Dairy Queen in Troy, Pauline’s Tea Room, Aunt Pat’s Doughnuts, Hallmark store, The Spot in Piqua and others.
Betty Hopper of Tipp City mentioned that she and her husband enjoyed meeting friends once-a-week at Tipp O’ The Town Restaurant, at the junction of I-75 and W. Main St. in Tipp City. The restaurant was opened in 1988 by the Paul Loubier family and quickly became a popular eating place for many in the area. The restaurant closed on December 31, 2017 when Paul Loubier retired.
In the mid-1960’s, an Aunt Jemima’s Pancake House was opened in the structure. Later, the Calico Kitchen and Ye Old Family Inn restaurants occupied the building, before Cindy’s Restaurant operated there for a short time prior to Mr. Loubier’s diner, which lasted longer than all the others combined.
The Mohr Farms also was mentioned by Mrs. Hopper. She stated that Wilma Mohr had a little drive-up window where you could pick up the nicest cuts of meat, including roasts, bacon, summer sausage, fresh chicken, etc., as well as farm fresh eggs, oats and many other food items. J.C. and Wilma Mohr owned close to 1,000 acres in Monroe Township.
Last week I failed to mention the wonderful Independence Day celebrations I remember when I was growing up in Troy. The day began with a wonderful parade, which at the time came along Ridge Ave. In my recollection, it was similar to what the late Strawberry Festival Parade was to more recent generations. There always were several bands, lots of horses, cars, baton twirlers, fire and police vehicles, and many other participants.
In the afternoon of July 4, there was the Optimist Club’s Soap Box Derby races near Hobart Corporation. The races had started in the 1960’s as the Opti-Derby, but the name was changed after they had grown and fulfilled the requirements of the official Soap Box Derby Association. The races were always fun to watch and even had a little excitement from time-to-time.
In 1976, I got my chance to build a derby car with much help from Rob Evans, later a Troy Athletic Hall of Fame athlete, and I even won two heats before losing to the young man who later went to Akron as the Troy Boys’ Champion.
In the evening of July 4th, many of us would gather in Troy Memorial Stadium to watch the fireworks show after dark. Sometimes there were “ground displays,” which were set off in the east end zone, but the large rockets, “screamers” and such were ignited from across the road from somewhere in the Market Street Fields complex.
I know there were other events during the celebration of the day, but those were the big three that I remember enjoying in my youth.
Thank you for sharing your memories and I trust you have enjoyed reading about some of mine, as well as other people’s recollections of Miami County of the past.
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