Former Darrowville Post Office needs new home

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published:

Hudson -- A remnant of history may be gone forever if a new home can't be found for what the owner believes at one time was a post office, which has also been used as a book store and more recently for storage.

Chris Bokash, owner of Empire Auto Sales, 5136 Darrow Road in Hudson, would like to expand parking but doesn't want to demolish a structure which is on his property.

"The potential parking area we would like to utilize has a historic building on it that I have tried for months to first sell, then give it away," Bokash said. "A few people wanted it, but they could not afford to move it because they were out of state."

An ad hoc committee in 2007 identified the structure as the Darrowville Post Office, built in 1900, when making recommendations to Council about a proposed development in southern Hudson.

The building is 12-foot, 4.5-inches wide by 20-feet, 4-inches long and one and half stories high. It has wooden siding, a large front window with a wooden sill, and the door also is wood with glass windows. On the back is a double door at the bottom and a loft door, both with the large hinges used for garages.

"It's a cool building to have, but now it's not filling our needs," Bokash said.

The only cost to a potential prospect would be the cost to move it, he said.

"It is quite a unique structure in good shape that could go on someone's property as a kids play house, storage or any number of uses," he said. "If we cannot get someone to take it, we will have to demo it, and I do not ultimately want that."

Along with Jon Ruby of Ruby Auto Group, Bokash operates Hudson Auto Center.

Bokash has been in business for 23 years and said he purchased the property in 1992 from Charles Fischer, who operated an antique bookstore out of the structure for more than 10 years. Fischer put shelves on the walls, which are still in the building.

Bokash said the building has a new roof on it and a coat of paint.

"It's a neat old building with the original door and original glass in it," he said. "Pretty much everything is original."

Bokash said he was hoping one of the local historical societies would take it.

Spring is the deadline for the building to be moved or demolished, he said.

"Something has to happen with it by spring time," he said. "We need to free up that space."

Anyone interested should call Bokash at 330-655-2500.

Darrowville history

An article dated Aug. 11, 1991, in the Stow Sentry described Darrowville as a one-street town from Barlow Road in Hudson to beyond Fishcreek Road in Stow. It wasn't recognized as a town until 1890 when the post office was opened.

Darrowville was known for Darrow's Popcorn, Ritchie's Turkeys and Wheeler's Market.

The C.R. Schaffer Store, the U.S. Post Office and home of Mrs. Fay Davis was on Norton Road (North Town Line Road) and Darrow Road.

"The post office was just a rack of metal cubbyholes in the back of Clinton Schaffer's general store," according to Virginia Ritchie in 1991, who owned Ritchie's Turkey Farm on Darrow Road.

Jane Wheeler Caniglia, who died June 15, 2013, was a descendent of George Darrow, a founding family of Darrowville. George and his brother, Joseph, were the surveyors for the David Hudson party.

When Darrow Road was widened for the Terex Plant in 1958, the tree canopy and several buildings were destroyed.

"When Terex went in and they widened the road, they took the post office," Caniglia said in 1991. "We had to go into Hudson then."

When the post office was closed in 1958 it "destroyed the sense of community" according to Jim Caccoma, archivist at the Hudson Library and Historical Society in 1991.

"When we didn't go to the store every day and see our neighbors, that's when it seemed Darrowville disintegrated," Ritchie said.

In the 1960s, Stow incorporated Darrowville from Fishcreek up to Norton Road and Hudson incorporated Darrowville north of Norton Road up to Barlow Road.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

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