Reflections: Maceyko synonymous with business in Cardington


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

Each week I use this column to remember a building, event or people who contributed to this community or county’s growth.

With the passing of Steve Maceyko, Jr. last week, I want to publicly acknowledge him and his family, that includes his late parents, for the contributions they have made to the business community in Cardington.

It was 1933 when Steve Maceyko, Sr. arrived in Cardington from Connelsville, Pennsylania, and seeing the potential for a gas station on the east end of the village, he soon developed one. He chose the location on Route 42 (now East Main Street) across from the dam where a deep ravine ran through the property.

Steve was told a mill once stood on that same spot in the early years of the village. The ravine was filled in with rock that Steve hauled from the bridge on State Route 42 north of town.

After leveling the ground, a contractor built the Linco Gas Station and it and a restaurant opened that year. The business thrived. Then in 1942 Gulf Oil Company bought out Linco Gas and the station was sold in 1945.

Steve and his wife, Pearl, then opened the Party Store on South Marion Street and later sold it. It was 1954 when they decided that this was a village with no drive ins, which were becoming very popular eating places across the country.

Steve began construction of a small drive-in custard ice cream stand on the ground adjoining his West Main Street (State Route 42) home, where he and his wife lived with their children, Steve, Jr., Melvin, Geraldine Ann and Tom.

Steve, Sr. completed the building, working basically alone and the business opened June 14, 1954.

They named it after their only daughter, the Jeri-Ann. The business thrived with both locals and travelers passing through the village. Their youngest son, Tom, was the clerk working alongside his parents.

The Drive- In even survived the opening of I-71 in 1961 and in 1962 they sold the business to their oldest son, Steve, Jr. and Tom. As the business proved more and more successful, Steve, Jr., asked his parents to move the two-story frame house, their residence, to the back of the lot for more parking space.

This was completed and six years later, Linda, Steve’s wife replaced Tom as co-owner of of the business. The 1981 tornado struck and destroyed Steve’s and Linda’s home just three blocks south of the drive in, but did little damage to the business itself.

Readers were entranced with Steve’s description of the destruction of his house “where he went with it as it whirled in the air, and then deposited him back on the empty lot with no injuries.”

The Maceykos and their six children worked in the business. As it grew in patronage, a new larger, all brick drive in with a seating capacity was opened as Rainbow 7 on March 17, 1983 and was open year round. The expanded menu now included Pizza.

In 2003 Steve’s niece, daughter of his brother, Melvin, purchased the business and named it Suzi Q’s. This business continues to employ both teens and adults, giving some of them their first jobs. Steve and Linda counted 156 employees during their tenure.

Steve’s brother, Melvin, opened his own CPA office in 1962 and following his death in 1997, the business has been continued by his daughter, Lea Ann.

The Maceykos is a name synonymous with business in Cardington and with unselfish community involvement. We can be grateful that it is being “carried on.” Thank you, Steve, Pearl, Steve, Jr., Tom, Melvin, Suzee and Lea Ann and your families.

50 years ago, March 1968: Don Kelley, head basketball coach at Marietta College and 1952 Cardington High School graduate, spoke at the winter Athletic Sports Banquet at his alma mater.

The first worship service in the sanctuary of the newly completed St. John Lutheran Church (Windfall) was held March 24. The sanctuary had a seating capacity of 350.

The congregation was originally incorporated March 5, 1836. The new church cost approximately $150,000.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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