More Ridgeville Corners Building History Presented
Randy Studer wrote to say the station operated as a “Hi Speed,” not “High Speed” as was reported.
“Hi-Speed Gas was part of Hickok Oil, Toledo, which was in business from 1913 to 1953,” he said.
Ila Rose (Sonnenberg) Storrer had a very close association with the building.
Her father, Alfred Sonnenberg, spent World War II working at the Toledo Tank Depot and Willys Overland.
He took over the gas station in 1947, then moved his family to Ridgeville the following year.
“This was a family-owned business, and all of us worked at the station.
“Mom did the books and would go to Archbold, Wauseon, and Napoleon and pick up parts for Dad. My brothers, Larry and Lyle, worked alongside Dad in the garage.
“When I was old enough to help, I cleaned the bathrooms, swept the floors, filled the pop machine (which held glass bottles by the neck on a slide track) and mowed the grass beside the building.
“I was not allowed to pump gas.
“In the 1950s, a full-service gas station meant that you not only pumped the gas, you checked the oil, the radiator, tire pressure and washed the windshields. Dad made sure I knew how to do these things even if I wasn’t allowed to do it for the customers,” Storrer said.
“Dad was also a member of the fire department. When a call came in, he had flags by the door of the garage. He stopped traffic on Route 6 for the department.
“On the grass lot beside the garage was one of three underground reservoirs that held water for the fire department pumper. He made sure everything was ready.
“He also drove a school bus for many years.
“One of the mainstays of the gas station was the clock above the door. Dad was very adamant in keeping the correct time. Everyone in Ridgeville set their watches by the time on the clock!
“After my brothers joined the Air Force, Dad had several young men work for him at the garage. Some of the names I remember are Merlin Gebers, and Bob and Fritz Freytag. I know there were others.
“Dad was a confidant, mentor, and friend to many young men who spent time at the garage.
“We lived across the street in the house now owned by Sandy Buchhop. Our front porch was a gathering place for many. When men would bring their cars to be serviced, their wives could come along and walk to the house and sit with Mom on the front porch.
“Many socks were ‘darned’ on that front porch!”
Storrer said after her father left the gas station business, he bought a farm, and custom farmed.
“Times change, but the memories of growing up in Ridgeville during the ‘50s are wonderful and priceless!” she said.