It was 1951 and Route 42 was a main highway route for traffic ranging from automobile to heavy trucks. So in June, 1951, The Midway Truck Stop opened at the intersection of Route 42 and State Route 746, five miles south of Cardington.
William Lehrer of Newark, NJ. was the developer whose goal was to offer travelers and truck drivers a place to dine and rest. The truck stop’s main building was a large cement block building that included a large dining room with an open kitchen so diners could see their food prepared. Complete meals were served and there was a soda fountain.
A glassed-in office was on the east side of the structure and on the south side of the dining room was a smaller one for private parties. All were finished in knotty pine. The wide wooden valances concealed radios.
There was also a room for truckers who wished to spend the night or to get a few hours rest. It was furnished in ultra modern style with bunk beds, showers, built in magazine racks and radios and a juke box. The north side of the building was devoted to a mammoth garage with 24 hour service, an oil pit and auto hoist. The parking space which covered two and one half acres was to be blacktopped. Five gasoline pumps were installed.
I remember the Midway Truck Stop. Many of us were late night customers usually following attendance at other events. The heavy traffic on Route 42 offered steady customers, both truck and passenger, to the establishment.
It formally opened June 23, 1951 and a congratulatory ad had the following names and businesses who had helped in its construction: Snyder’s Milling Service; Earl Sockman, Fredericktown; John Miller, general contractor, Cardington; Bill Soulier, plumbing, Mt Gilead; Cardington Lumber Yard, Walter Ruggles, Ashley and Cardington residents Don Clark and Gene Coomer (General assistants from start to finish) The Midway Truck Stop opened June 23, 1951, and offered free coffee and 19-cent banana splits all day.
Sadly when Interstate 71 opened in 1961, traffic on Route 42 diminished which affected the Midway Truck Stop. I have lots of memories of the Mid Way Truck Stop. This story was published in the Morrow County Independent on June 21, 1951.
ITEMS OF INTEREST:
Aug. 5, 1926: Cardington’s traffic dummy on the town square was given a “sky atmosphere” when a green lens was placed on the east and west sides of the dummy. The north and south sides remained red meaning that all traffic approaching from the north or south must stop before crossing the square and all east and west bound traffic had the “go” signal all the time. It was noted Caledonia had the same operation for some time.
February 1949: Sherman and Son Hardware, South Marion Street, advertised the new line of Little Bear Garden tractors.
February 1959: John L. Patterson of Cardington, placed first in the county in the 1959 General Scholarship test for Ohio high school seniors.
February, 1969: Daughters were born to Mr. and Mrs. LaVerne Westbrook, Mr. and Mrs. Robert McClenathan and Mr. and Mrs. Albert A. Page all of Cardington.