Richfield Collar Shop

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This is an interesting building. Almost nothing is known about its original use, or its original name.

 It stood just south of the intersection of Streetsboro Rd. and Broadview Rd. in then Richfield Twp. The only known picture of the building is a pen and ink drawing held in the archives of the Richfield Historical Society. In the drawing, which is of the front of the building, you can see the right hand side of the business sign that reads “Collar Shop”. Either the picture’s left side was cut off, or the painter only drew a partial view of the building. But clearly, originally the sign had something written before “Collar”. When cars came into use, several Richfield blacksmith shops, harness shops and the collar shop went out of business. The Peter Allen Harness Shop building became the home of the Richfield Telephone Company and the collar shop building, located beside the harness shop, became the phone company’s storage shed. The upstairs of the harness shop was rented out to various families. There was no indoor pumbing at that time so an “indoor” outhouse was put in the collar shop/storage shed. Russ English’s family (Russ, who was later one of Richfield’s most distinguished fire chiefs, was 3 years old at the time) lived upstairs during that period. Russ remembers the walk down the stairs, out the door, across the “alley” and in the “shed” door, in order to make use of the properties convenience. Russ remembers the winters being a particularly good time of year for this journey. . (Note: Part of the original “out” house door can still be seen inside the building in the south-west corner.)

In the 1950’s, both buildings were removed from the center of town in order to make way for the construction of Young’s Pharmacy (which later became Van’s Pharmacy). The harness shop was torn down and the collar shop was moved by Allan Eastwood to his property on Southern Rd. He then converted the building into a one car garage by removing the person door and window and putting on side hinged garage doors We have debated long and hard whether we should return the building to its original man door and window, or leave the garage doors as is. The new doors are a part of the building. The original door/window is the building’s first look.

The collar shop/storage shed/car garage remained in use at the Eastwood’s, often to store one of Allen’s Model A’s, until the family donated the building to the museum in 2008. The building was moved to the museum in one piece by backing a large trailer in the double door opening and jacking the building up and hanging it from the trailer with about 6 inches of ground clearance. It was then towed to the museum by tractor, just clearing the overhead phone and electric lines by about 6″. The Richfield Police provided kind escort (with only a few minor and short lived traffic disruptions).

In the summer of ’10, a foundation was built and new floor boards and joists sawn in the museum’s sawmill. The building was then jacked and slide onto its new base, using come-alongs and tractor jacks. It has now been returned to its original use as the museum’s collar shop. It also contains rope making equipment and display and broom making machines and equipment.

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