A slice of South Side history walked through our door at the Meeting Haus last week, and the house files and Fischer Archives are richer as a result.

A slice of South Side history walked through our door at the Meeting Haus last week, and the house files and Fischer Archives are richer as a result.

Susie Lehman called up operations manager Russ Arledge a few weeks back and said she wanted to bring her uncle, Carl Meyers, down to Columbus from his Westerville home.

Carl's life crisscrosses South Side history from his birth in 1925 inside the house still standing at 575 Siebert St., to his boyhood home at 101 E. Sycamore St., to his sale in 1962 of his mother's home at 708 City Park Ave.

Susie, Carl and another niece, Sharon Lehman, showed up at the Meeting Haus after touring German Village and the South Side, swapping memories and snapping pictures. They brought with them a copy of every family photo they could directly link to German Village so we could archive them. What a gift!

For Russ and me, the greater gift was in the stories they shared about German Village and about their lives. Carl went to Stewart School, with teachers he remembers like it was yesterday, including Mrs. Shiner and Mrs. Hayes. He recalls sneaking out through Stewart's old wooden fence to fetch mushrooms from the Whittier Street dump and take them home for his mother to fry up for lunch. He remembers crossing the street with classmates to Schiller Park to play games during the school day and to conduct bake sales with their mothers in support of the school on weekends. Carl had a $5 annual membership to the YWCA, the current site of Snap Fitness.

Carl went off to the Navy at age 17 and served in Europe before being shipped off to Asia, where he served until the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When he returned stateside, he owed the Navy several months of service, and the day he received his walking papers to go on home was one of the happiest of his life, he said.

Shortly after he returned to Columbus and married his wife (they just celebrated 65 years together), his father and mother moved to 708 City Park Ave. Sharon recalls visiting her grandparents there from her parents' home on the Hilltop, and she couldn't wait to run around the corner and play in Schiller Park on weekend afternoons or to attend a "bean dinner" at the park.

The other side of Sharon's family also is rooted deeply in the South Side. Sharon's grandparents owned Long's Confectionery, which sold meat and had a soda counter. That building was at Third Street and Whittier, where another confectioner - Winan's Chocolates - does business today.

In 1962, Carl's mother, Evelyn Meyers, died. Carl was then in charge of the sale of the home at 708 City Park Ave. He recalls the house being on the market for a long time before he was finally offered $12,000 for the home, which the house files describe as "a vernacular-style home built in 1877 as a single-family residence and made of rubble limestone foundation with bond brick walls."

According to the Franklin County Auditor's website, Ralph Long (elected to the GVS board of trustees on June 5, 1966, according to the Das Schreiben GVS newsletters) bought the place. Four years later, the home was a stop on the seventh annual Haus und Garten Tour.

The Columbus Dispatch reported in 1966 that the home had undergone extensive restoration after Long bought it. "As with many of the renovated houses," the Dispatch said, "this one produced some architectural surprises as work progressed. For one thing, a fireplace was discovered behind one of the kitchen's plastered walls."

It isn't every day that a family with so much history and so much memory of German Village walks in our door. But we would love if it were every day. Help us put the call out: If you know a family with roots in the village or with photos of the neighborhood, please share my contact information. Have them call the Meeting Haus at (614) 221-8888 or email todorov@germanvillage.com.

Shiloh Todorov is director of the German Village Society.