Don’t miss Pat’s earlier installments exploring Findlay’s history, including the previous segment, “Women Split No Wood in Findlay”.
As a result of the tremendous gas and oil boom in Findlay in the late 1880’s, there was an influx of people coming to Findlay to capitalize on the wealth to be made here. With all these new people coming to town, there was a great need for housing. Unprepared as they were, the housing industry proved to be another boom to Findlay.
The January 1, 1889 Findlay Daily Courier newspaper, gave an account of how many new businesses, schools, factories and houses were built in the past year, and included the names of builders and the costs of the buildings. Sometimes the builder of the house was intending to live in the house, but many were built to sell to newcomers.
The section of the article dedicated to houses read “Findlay is a city of beautiful homes. Many of the residences of the “Brilliant City” are such as would do credit to any American city. About 2,000 residences, ranging in value from $20,000 down have been built within the past 18 months.”
The low cost of the houses was due to the fact that you could make the brick, quarry the rock, burn the lime, dig the sand, saw the lumber, and make the glass, all in Findlay. The homes were built all over the town, and all areas were easily accessible due to the new street railway that had been installed, with the cars being pulled by donkey.
Advertisements read “Findlay has the cheapest and best fuel known. It costs only $3.50 a year for heating a stove or grate, while lights are only five cents per month.” They also extolled the culture, schools, factories, churches, and every other amenity possible to encourage people to settle in the Brilliant City.
There are many opportunities to learn more about the historic homes in Findlay and Hancock County! Hear from one of the home’s owners in this video, see them in-person by taking part in Visit Findlay’s self-guided historic homes walking tour, or enjoy them up close and personal by planning to participate in Hancock Historical Museum’s biannual homes tour!