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Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Streetscape to offer glimpse of past

By Margie Wuebker

The original Minster Oktoberfest button has been crested in laser-cut pavers as. . .

MINSTER - With the two-year Fourth Street Reconstruction Project nearing completion, local officials are turning their attention to creating a streetscape depicting the community's heritage.
Plans call for the installation of 14 bronze art pieces or engraved pavers for placement at various locations. Coordinating plaques would explain the historic significance of each piece.
The estimated cost is $27,000 to $30,000, according to village administrator Don Harrod. The Minster Service Club, Minster Journeyman's Club, Oktoberfest Committee and Minster Civic Association are supporting the effort with individuals also making donations.
"People will be able to work their way down Fourth Street and see what makes Minster such a great community," Harrod said. "The self-guided tour is almost like a treasure hunt."
One design - the image of the first Oktoberfest button - already is in place at Minster Machine Centennial Park.
"We decided to go ahead while professional bricklayers were in town installing the pavers," he added. "The design should give people an idea of what we are planning."
The button design, worked in laser-cut pavers, depicts a large wooden shoe bearing colorful tulips. It bears a large "1" denoting the first festival held Oct. 4 and 5, 1975.
Harrod said fundraising efforts will continue with plans to install additional pieces in the spring.
Those pieces would include cast bronze coins embedded in the brick pavers near Centennial Park commemorating the village's 1832 origin. Founder Francis Joseph Stallo and six other men acting as agents for a group of 97 German settlers carried $800 in silver coins in a tin box to purchase 640 acres. The Stallostown settlement was divided into 144 lots and the name later was changed to Minster.
Harrod said rustic log benches would be installed near Francis J. Stallo Library at the corner of Fourth and Main streets. It was in this general area that Stallo built his double log cabin of raw tree trunks.
Other additions would include a bronze etched movie poster denoting the location of The Crescent Theatre, which opened in 1933 with a short animated Mutt and Jeff film; a pair of wooden shoes commemorating the history of Wooden Shoe Inn; a bronze plaque depicting an Interurban ticket for the trolley that ran from Lima to Sidney; a horseshoe reminiscent of the Busse & Berning Blacksmith Shop (at the present Minster Police Department site); a tailor's shears carved into the pavers where Garmann's Store once stood; and a post office stamp cancellation carved into a stone panel saluting the village's sesquicentennial in 1982.
Rounding out the designs are a horse-drawn carriage saluting agriculture and the former Minster Farmers Exchange Company (now Trupointe); a train engineer's cap reminiscent of the "Dinky" railroad; bronze ice skates mounted on a German-style fence near the Miami and Erie Canal; embossed tools and hardware engraved in pavers at the former site of Hoying and Westerheide Hardware; and a bronze recipe card recalling the once-popular Kuehner's Bakery.
Harrod explained some streetscape designs would be freestanding while others would be be mounted on building walls or decorative fencing. Each would include a sign explaining the significance.
"The neat thing about this project is that it can be expanded at any point in the future," he said.

Fundraiser tickets on sale:
The Minster Civic Association has launched a fundraiser to benefit the Minster streetscape program.
Members are selling tickets relating to Monday night football games with the winners determined by the first and last digits of the final score. The promotion runs through the New York Jets-Tennessee Titans game on Dec. 17.
A book of tickets is $20 each; all proceeds are earmarked for the streetscape. They are available from any association member, at the village administration building or at Minster Bank.
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