The Mainville Wall as told to Patchwork by Harold Harzel
Interviewed by Amanda Dragon & Megan Ziller in the spring of 2001
Harold Hartzel has lived next to the Mainville wall for many years. He has early memories of the building, and knows a lot about it. Including how old the building is. He is the previous and current owner of the building. He knows why the building was torn down and all the complications that go along with why they left one wall standing.
The Mainville Wall was one of the first buildings in Mainville. It was built back in the late 1800s. It was originally used to stable the horses of the people who stayed in the Mainville Hotel, which is now as the Keyser’s Cafe. It was used as stables for awhile, but then it was turned into a store where groceries and tools were sold. The new owners Mary and Daniel Arnold, wanted to rebuild on the property when they bought it, but instead of going through the hassle of the new building codes and restrictions, they left one wall standing so it would be considered a building structure.
PATCHWORK: What was the original purpose of the building?
HARTZEL: The building was a store as far as I know.
PATCHWORK: Do you know how long it took to build the building?
HARTZEL: No, I imagine they had regular carpenters in those days. They worked pretty well, and that was a big building.
PATCHWORK: Do you know anyone who used to work in the building?
HARTZEL: No, I don’t think so.
PATCHWORK: Do you have any specific memories of the building?
HARTZEL: I moved to Mainville in 1935. I lived down where Grasma’s Place is now. We’d come over here and go up there for popsicles. I had to be about thirteen then, and every time he’d come over we would go up to the store, and he’d buy two, three, four popsicles, but they were only a nickel apiece then. That’s one vivid thing I remember, and as you walked in the store to the right was the ice cream parlor, and that was always quite a place at night, because people would come to get ice cream or just chat.
PATCHWORK: When was the building torn down?
HARTZEL: This year.
PATCHWORK: Why was all but one wall torn down?
HARTZEL: Sam Bredbenner owned my farm here and it was no more than 30 years ago, that he owned everything around the hillside and back to the school. I bought the big field back to the Sunday school and also 300 acres across Black Creek. He had to bring that over with horses and wagons and he came up from the back over here and he would come up along the stream like this and he’d come up over here to his barn. Well, Glance Bauman, he was wise guy and one day he fenced us off so he couldn’t come up around this way to the barn. He had to come way down around here up by the Sunday school. I don’t know what made him do it, but Sam vowed he’d get him for putting up that fence, and it wasn’t too long after that until they terrified Bauman out and Sam bought all the buildings and the land he had for spite. The stone wall over here, which is a part of it, was left standing. So they wouldn’t have to get another permit, but that wasn’t the true reason. Everybody that asked me,” what’s that wall over there,” I said, “That’s Mainville’s first drive in theater.”
PATCHWORK: Do you know what it was used for before it was a store?
HARTZEL: Nope, I don’t know. As far as I know, it has always been a store.
PATCHWORK: Thank you.