The changing face of Dundee's main street
DUNDEE—Over the last two years, the Dundee business district has slowly started to look a little different.
New stores have opened up during the summer. The most recent is Wise Guys Pizza opening next to the Presbyterian church. As part of the Our Town RoCKS program, the Crocodile Mercantile also recently opened, giving a venue to to sell musical equipment and local crafts.
Volunteers also helped put up planters with trees in them earlier this summer.
Some existing business have made a few changes over the last few years. Most recent is work being done to the Dundee Family Fun Center.
Just a few buildings down from there, the Sugarcreek gas station at the four corners became a Wilson Farms. After many years of shopping at Giles’ ShurFine, residents now make the same trip to Martini’s ShurFine. Water Street Pharmacy now sports vintage windows and doors, giving it the feel it had around 50 years ago.
Like any village, Dundee has shown drastic changes over the years since the village was started. For Dundee’s first 100 years, many of those changes were precipitated by a number of fires that destroyed whole sections of the village. A look back at the last 200 years of Dundee is the historical society’s current exhibit.
This showcase gives people a chance to see what changes Dundee has undergone, and not just most recently. The Dundee Area Historical Society Executive Director Pam Miller said the fires that ended up helping shape the village include ones in 1859, 1860, 1861, 1894, 1899 and 1914. She explained that by the 20th century, the main structures on Water and Main Street were established, basically as they are today.
Miller said some changes included the modernizing, at the time, of storefronts. She said that in the 1950s and 1960s, storefronts went from having smaller windows to the large display ones most have now. Water Street Pharmacy returned its look to what it was before this change.
By the 1970s, Miller said Dundee had started on a “downward spiral.” Even now, Dundee doesn’t have all the businesses Miller said the village had up to that point; two hardware stores, two drug stores, places to shop for clothing, jewelry, etc.
“There used to be a lot more,” said Miller. However, she added that maybe now, if recent changes are any indication, Dundee is back on an upward spiral.