Heartland Inn & Cafe History:

This historical house was built in 1897 for Frank M. Drew. Drew was famous for his work in the theater. This building later became The Mission Manor and most recently, The Ecclesia Center. The building was damaged by fire, and required more space, so the original structure has been changed.

The current owners, Arlene and Bill Bailey, are preserving this building's historical background by establishing it as the new Heartland Inn & Cafe, and Heartland Antiques and Gifts.

Regional History:

Girard Borough and Lake City Borough abut each other and are surrounded by Girard Township, which was carved out of Elk Creek, Fairview and Springfield Townships in 1832, receiving its name from Stephen Girard, a wealthy Philadelphia industrialist. The present Borough of Girard was incorporated in 1846. The original town was located in the valley on the west side of Elk Creek. It was a thriving village and was the site of one of the Stage Company's "extensive stables and changing place for their teams." However, The Erie Extension Canal was built on the opposite side of Elk Creek, which caused a transfer of business to the present borough site. The Erie Extension Canal, which connected the Ohio River with Lake Erie was in operation from 1844 to 1872, when the aqueduct over Elk Creek collapsed. William Silverthorn and his son, Captain Abraham Silverthorn, were the earliest known settlers in the township, arriving in 1798. By 1850 the census recorded a population of 400 in Girard Borough. By 1900, the population had increased to 2,871. Girard Public Square, commonly known as Wells Park, was a gift from Joseph Wells, one of the land owners when the village was laid out. The Soldiers' Monument in the center of the main street was the first statue dedicated to honor soldiers who fought in the Civil War. It was designed by Leonard Volk, a Chicago sculptor, and was commissioned by Dan Rice at a cost of $6,000. The statue was dedicated on November 1, 1865 with 10,000 people in attendance. Dan Rice chose Girard as his winter residence from 1856-75. He was famous as a clown and circus performer.. Many other circus shows were organized from his example and also wintered in Girard, including Thayer & Noyes, Rice & Forepaugh's, Anderson & Co. and G.R. Spalding & Co. Thomas Nast, an artist from Harper's Weekly, used Dan Rice's feature and costume to create "Brother Jonathan" or -- "UNCLE SAM" who became a symbol of America. Lake City is adjacent to Girard Borough, connected by Rice Avenue, which was opened in the winter of 1867-68, under a plan projected by Dan Rice. The census of 1850 recorded a population of 135 in what was then Miles Grove but by 1900, the population had increased to 2519. Miles Grove was named after Judge Miles and was the site of the area's first Post Office and the Railroad Station. Miles Grove was incorporated as North Girard in 1926 and was renamed Lake City in 1953. The Girard-Lake City Area, so rich in History, is involved in an ongoing restoration and revitalization program, assisted by the Girard-Lake City Chamber of Commerce. Main Street restoration of commercial building and homes, along with installation of "period" street lights and town clock, give the feeling of yesterday with today's convenience. The Girard Town Clock, pictured above, was donated by the Girard-Lake City Chamber of Commerce. The Battles Museum of Rural Life also adds to the flavor of this historic community. The Yellow House, Battles Bank Museum, Universalist Church and The White House, along with the surrounding grounds, are an area treasure waiting to be shared with all visitors and residents of Girard and Lake City.

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