Commercial Building (Maumee, Ohio)
The Commercial Building is the oldest business building in Lucas County, Ohio. It is located in the city of Maumee.
In 1836, Levi Beebe built the Commercial Building. Initially, several different businesses occupied the structure, including various law firms, several stores, and even the local post office. The building also housed an inn at this time. Several prominent people purportedly stayed at the inn, including future presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Rutherford B. Hayes. Businesses in the Commercial Building flourished during the 1830s and 1840s. The structure was located on the stagecoach route between Detroit, Michigan and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Also, Maumee is located on the Maumee River, and river traffic brought business and guests to the area. Maumee also was the original county seat of Lucas County, bringing people to the community who were engaged in legal matters or in politics. In 1837, the Lucas County Whig Party actually formed in the Commercial Building.
In 1852, the Lucas County seat moved to Toledo. The Maumee economy weakened at this time, but the Commercial Building continued to house various businesses. Purportedly, the structure served as a stop on the Underground Railroad in the years before the American Civil War. During the twentieth century, the building principally functioned as an inn and restaurant. As of this writing, the Commercial Building houses Giannos Restaurant. The Commercial Building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Howe, Henry. Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes. Vol. II. Cincinnati, OH: C.J. Krehbiel & Co., Printers and Binders, 1902.
- Ohio Writers' Project. The Ohio Guide. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1946.