Carroll’s Yesteryears

22 September 1991

Research finds coffee shop answers

by Joe Getty

Last week, we looked at historical documentation prepared by the historical society staff about the stone industrial building on Liberty Street that formerly housed B’s Coffee Shoppe and Dining Room. We revealed that the oral tradition of the building being constructed in 1881 for the B.F. Shriver Canning Company was inaccurate. Instead, it was built to house the metal foundry and machine shops of Elijah Wagoner and George W. Matthews.

On March 28, 1867, Wagoner and Matthews mortgaged the property to Joshua Yingling, Edward Lynch and David Fowble for $8,000. The lien also covered the foundry equipment. Wagoner and Matthews had formed a partnership for the foundry and machine shop operations. We researched the American Sentinel during 1866-67, but the local newspapers at that time provided only a few local items and there was no reference to the property.

On January 16, 1875, Matthews sold his interest to Wagoner for $4,350 and he withdrew from the partnership (Carroll County Land Records 44/433). His name appears in the 1880s newspaper advertisements as the owner of a business that dealt in real estate.

Wagoner renegotiated the mortgage on January 29, 1875, to the same mortgages and at the same amount, $8,000 (Carroll County Real Estate Mortgages, Liber 8, Folio 356). In 1878, Wagoner defaulted on the mortgage. The newspapers advertised the sale of his equipment in October and his real property and improvements in November. A trustee’s sale of the “machinery, engines, patterns of a great variety, castings at the extensive foundry and machine shop of E. Wagoner” was advertised for Oct. 29. The sale bill provides a list of machinery, equipment and other miscellaneous items relative to the foundry.

The sale bill describing the real property to be sold includes several parcels of land. It describes the three lots fronting 180 feet on Liberty Street: “These three last named lots lay contiguous to each other. The improvements on the second and third parcels consists of a newly and substantially built Two-story STONE BUILDING, 65×30 feet wide with Engine and Boiler House attached, all covered with slate roof…”

This sale bill also describes another parcel of land fronting 60 feet on Liberty Street and running back to the railroad: “The improvements thereon consist of a large and newly built two-story Frame warehouse 45 feet front and running back 80 feet. This building has been erected within the last two years, and is so arranged as to be adapted to any public business; and is the same lot of land which was conveyed to Wagoner & Matthews by Jesse Reifsnider and other by deed dated March 25, 1867” (Carroll County Land Records 34/147). This is most likely he building which is referenced in the newspaper local items of 1875.

The foundry property was bought from the trustees by Edward H. Shriver. The 1881 newspapers contain his advertisements note that Shriver is “successor to E. Wagoner” and “Having purchased most of the Patterns from E. Wagoner, parts of his make of implements can be supplied at short notice.”

Edward H. Shriver sold the property to the B.F. Shriver Canning Company of Westminster on April 4, 1881. (Carroll County Land Records 54/522). The property included “the engine, boiler and line shafting, now annexed to the said buildings.” The B.F. Shriver Canning Company sold the property to Farmers’ Supply Company on June 5, 1917 (Carroll County Land Records 131/5).

Farmers’ Supply Company had been founded in 1913. Their storeroom for agricultural implements and supplies was across the street from the stone building on the east side of Liberty Street. A circa 1920 photograph of motorcycles on Liberty Street shows the storefront of the Farmers’ Supply Building and the stone building with a sign indicating that it housed the United Machinery Company. The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from 1918 also indicate that the United Machinery Company ran a machine shop in the stone building.

In this manner, we have identified the outline of industrial heritage at the stone building at 14 Liberty Street. Additional information could be compiled from other sources such as the 1870 Federal Census of Manufacturing, the Carroll County Equity Court records and references in the local newspaper, The Democratic Advocate. Genealogical resources to study the people involved with this property, such as Elijah Wagoner and George W. Matthews, might also provide additional insights at this property.

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Historical Society of Carroll County

Photo caption: A photograph of Liberty Street taken about 1920 shows the B’s Coffee Shoppe building, right, which at the time housed the machine shop and offices of the United Machinery Company.