Also destroyed in the fire was the 1852 two-story frame structure on this site, built by John Watson, which he operated as grocery and restaurant until his death in 1872.
Mr. Watson, born a slave in Virginia, came to Oberlin to obtain an education for his children. He was successful and well known in Oberlin, having spent 85 days in jail for participation in the Oberlin-Wellington rescue. He is fourth from the right in this photo of the Rescue defendants.
After the fire, Bonsor Brothers of Lorain built this new Queen Anne style building.