Sunday, January 6

The Old Farmers Exchange

I wrote this in 2007 I think,  and sent it out in an email to family members who might remember the old feed store in the town where we grew up. I was asked about this just a couple days ago and asked if I would post it on this blog.
So here it is:

The Old Grove City Farmers Exchange

While in a committee meeting this morning I got news that the silos for the Grove City Farmers Exchange were going to be torn down. I decided to stop and get a couple photos. There were quite a few other people there, a small crowd even.  There were older people who remember how Grove City used to be, farmers, shop owners, neighbors, even people sitting in lawn chairs, all had come to watch and a few others like me taking photos.

The silo was being razed to make way for more commercial / office space.
It will probably not be long before they bulldoze the old Farmers Exchange building.
I feel sad about that, seems an end to a time when Grove City was a quaint little country town, very rural.

I remember the trips with my father to the Farmers Exchange when I was little to purchase sweet corn seed. The seed had the pink stuff (I now know is poison) on it to keep the bugs from eating it, and we would buy the ponies feed and straw there too sometimes.

I remember pushing open the worn old heavy wooden door, and dad would order the seeds he needed at the counter where they would write it up on a invoice pad.

Usually while my father was doing that I would wonder over to look at the new horse saddles and bridles on display, and then make my way over to the bins to pick up large handfuls of beans or seeds and let them run slowly through my fingers.

The silo has been there, along with the feed store for years, according to the book Images of America, Grove City:

"The grain elevators were built close to the site of William Breck's original gristmill on Broadway.  They were constructed shortly after a fire claimed the local Gregg and Shafer Grove City Flour Mill in 1921.  During the 1920s and 1930s the exchange was one of the top producers in the state.  The concrete elevators had a capacity of over 21,000 bushels of grain. For 86 years the elevators served as a symbol for Grove City's agricultural prosperity until they were razed in 2007"

The bins and barrels stocked with all different kinds of seeds and onion sets were one of my favorite things in the Farmers Exchange. That and the uneven old wood floors, the stairway going to the second floor, blocked with a rope across it, the loading docks where there always seemed to be a farmer with his old truck waiting to pick up sacks of corn or bales of straw.  There were sometimes other men there, like my father, with a back yard garden, buying seeds and onion sets or standing around talking with all the other men.
Some days Dad would stop at Cotton's, the little Diner on the corner of Broadway and Grove City Road where we would have breakfast. That too is long gone; in its place is the New City Administration Building.

As one person said at the committee meeting "its progress". Yes I know.

Update 2013:

The old Farmers Exchange has not been completely torn down.  Instead, it was refurbished and made into shops housing a scrapbooking store, home decor shop, and a hair salon to name a few.  The old wooden floors are still there and the remodeling that was done maintained the integrity of the building. 

I now go to the local Tractor Supply for my feed and farm supplies, but it's just not the same.


Brief History of Grove City, Ohio



Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Wow, what an amazing story and love the photos! Really enjoyed reading this sis.

Lana Gregory Hollenback said...

I to remember it and also have a Certificate of 1 stock in the company that belonged to my dad and mom. Worth $25.00 back then.

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Wow, wonder if the Southwest Historical Society in Grove City would be interested in seeing the certificate? A little part of history!

Anonymous said...

Would it be possible to get a copy of your stock certificate and also permission to include your photographs and comments in the archives at the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society? Please contact me at

pigsaspets said...

I just saw this again. I'll scan both sides and email it to you if you'd like.

Carole Haenszel said...

I'm looking for an old picture of Grove City lumber yard that was located by the railroad tracks. Let me know if you have one or where I can get a copy.