The “Then” circa 1920 photo (#A1826) is of the West Liberty Railroad Depot located on the west end of Columbus Street. The depot was for the Big Four Railroad. Note the signs on the depot for the America Express Co. and National Express Co., shipping agents.
This depot burned and was replaced in 1926 by a depot located next to the tracks just south of where state Route 245 passes under the railroad. This depot was built as a part of the Big Four’s expansion project, which involved adding an additional track and moving the route to the west edge of the village. This project extended from the north edge of Clark County to Bellefontaine and involved elevating tracks above Miami, Gwynne, Pindar and Light streets in Urbana.
The “Now” 2019 photo is of the Big Four depot after it was moved in 1992 and subsequently refurbished and expanded to become Marie’s Candy Store.
The “Then” photo (#0291) of Mercy Memorial Hospital, 904 Scioto St., Urbana, was taken on Dec. 6, 1950. A meeting at the Urbana Country Club on Nov. 29, 1944, marked the beginning of the Mercy Memorial Hospital Association. At this meeting local business and civic leaders discussed the need for a hospital. Monsignor R. Marcellus Wagner, superintendent of the Catholic hospitals in the Cincinnati Diocese, also attended.
After a successful fundraising campaign, a 73-acre parcel of land at the east end of Scioto Street was purchased. Wartime shortages of building materials delayed construction. An initial open house was held September 1951. The hospital began with 50 inpatient beds; another 50 inpatient beds were added in 1959.
Related photos in CCHS archives are A338, A1669, A2088 (#9), a 1971 aerial photo. Information source: 2001 Supplement to the Urbana Daily Citizen.
The “Now” photo, taken from the same perspective, highlights the new $800,000 front entrance of Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital. The new entrance was completed December 2019. Mercy also invested $3 million in building renovations and service expansion in 2017.
Looking Back at Champaign County
The Champaign County Historical Society strives to highlight historical people, places and events throughout Champaign County. If you have photos of historical significance that you believe would be of interest to Champaign Countians, please Contact Us.