From The Sunbury News, August 11, 2016:

Because You Asked . . . .

At the Cross Roads  - The Boyer Hotel

By Polly Horn, Curator of the Myers Inn Museum

Two early foot trails crossed at the intersection of Granville and Columbus Streets which made it the most popular corner. One was followed by Moses Byxbe when he led the early settlers to Berkshire in 1804. This trail came through Zanesville, to Newark (founded in 1802) where the prehistoric Hopewell people lived from 100 B.C. to 500 A.D. through the future Granville (platted in 1805), and then through the future Sunbury. Byxbe had Azariah Root who traveled with him survey the best route back to Granville which later became Route 47 then 37

The Walhonding Indian Trail1 came north from a salt lick near the Olentangy in Columbus to Galena then northeast to Sunbury and on to Mt. Vernon, then Wooster which eventually became CCC. Indians followed this routes so traders set up stores along the trails. As the settlers came the foot paths which became wagon trails by usage.

Baskin's 1880 "History of Delaware County and Ohio" speaks of a Mr. Whitmore from Worthington had a brick store located in Sunbury about a year before the town was founded. "He occupied a small brick house which stood on the spot where now stands the residence of Joseph Letts. He sold goods for a short time only, when he engaged in another enterprise, and was succeeded by Benjamin Webb, who opened up the first regular business in the place. He occupied a room on the corner of Columbus and Granville streets and built a house near it. The two have since been united by inclosing the space between them and tearing down partitions and it is now used as a hotel."2

I have not found a Joseph Letts but rather a Joel and his brother Reed Letts but neither owned that lot. Joel was across Columbus Street and had Lots 58 (where Sunbury Municipal building is today) and 65 south of 58.

Remember the "History of Delaware County and Ohio" published by O. L. Baskin & Co.,  is a vanity book. The writers did not come to a town and do research but rather they talked to those living and recorded the folklore version of the local history and added that to the Ohio history they already had. Then they sold biographical space to anyone who wished to be in the book and would include photos for a fee. When Marilyn Crider of the Delaware County Historical Society was discussing the index they did for the book in 1973, I mentioned my original copy was missing pages. She explained they were left out when someone did not pay. As long as you remember this, errors and omissions are better than no history at all.

William Myers had purchased large tracts of land which show no Whitmore so perhaps he was a squatter. William and his wife Betsey Myers paid taxes on land and cattle but no house so the brick house must have been gone before Sunbury was platted in 1816. I believe William was surveying Lot 59 to build a house when he got a fever and died in 1824.

Benjamin L. Webb bought Lots 59, 61, 62, and 63 from William Myers’ estate in 1829. Webb was appointed Postmaster for Sunbury from June 1829 until January 1833. The same year he sold Lot 62 to Francis Johner who in turn sold it to Hezekiah Rogers.

Baskins may be right about Webb constructing the original buildings on the lot. We know he owned the lots 25 years until he sold Lot 59, 61, 63 to William J. Cullen in 1850 who in turn sold them to George Boyer the same year and George became an inn keeper. George died the next year and his children, John and Henry, sold the lots to Samuel S. Torrence in 1853. Samuel lived with widow Eliza Torrence in 1860. Samuel married Sarah E. Boyer (probably George's daughter) in December 1852. Samuel and Sarah ran the hotel for 7 years then sold it to George’s widow Elizabeth Boyer in 1860.

Civil War flag bearer Corporal George B. Torrence was the son of Moses and Elizabeth Torrence. He was decapitated leading his unit in the Battle of Fredricksburg, December 12, 1862, and is buried there. However he has a monument in Sunbury Memorial Park with George B. and Elizabeth Boyer and 11year old Lizzie Torrence. Delaware G.A.R. Post 60 was named for him. Thanks to John Quist, more about Torrence3 is on this website at GAR-Torrence

The building was known as Mrs. E. Boyers Hotel on the 1866 map. She continued to run it until 1868 when she sold it to Almond Stark who then sold it to Sidney and Jane Culver who sold it to James Pace all in 1868. Nine years later George Grist bought it then James Smith bought the property from the Grist estate in 1882. This was as far as the Mendenhall Deed Mill in the Delaware County Historical Society tracks the ownership.

The photo of the Stock Sale in the 1896 "Picturesque Sunbury" is the first photo I have of the Boyer Hotel on Columbus Street at Granville Street.  Across the street is the Myers Inn.  Eventually both big buildings in the photo were owned by Hopkins men but that’s a story for another time.
The older north part of the building was removed to put a store on the lot which became a gasoline station where Gene Sparks and his brother Jim ran a full service Sohio.  Eventually Gene had a Citgo station and his wife sold clothing in the front of the building

For years there was a exterior door on the second floor which connected to the other building. The remaining south part of the building has been a rental over fifty years.


Right half of building removed and enclosed porch
along the side - 1966

 Meeker's Sohio in Big Walnut  High SchoolYear Book - 1950

Gene Sparks Citgo Station and Garage in 1999

In the News in 1978.  Second floor door connecting buildings shows on north side between east and middle window.


. . . . And Now You Know

 1 Wilcox, Frank N. Ohio Indian Trails. Gates Press, 1934, pages 34, 147-149

 2. History of Delaware County and Ohio.  O. L. Baskin and Co., Historical Publishers, Chicago,
     1880, pages 443-444.

 3.  Quist, John.  G.A.R. Posts in Delaware County and their Namesakes.    

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