The Old Poland Village Town Hall

Present View of 111 South Main Street
(After the 1965 and 2005 Renovations)

Very little has been written about the Old Town Hall located near the intersection of South Main Street and Water Street in the Village of Poland, Ohio. What we do know is that in 1923, when W.L. Countryman was mayor, a group of 27 concerned citizens petitioned Village Council to authorize a needed fire department. Information has not been found as to what happened after Council received the petition and what planning and financing went into the designing of a two story brick building with its distinguished looking cupola on the roof and its wide front porch supported by four tall columns. Most of what we read today is found on a bronze plaque recently placed at the entrance to the building. This plaque reads as follows:

This building was built in 1923 as the Poland Village Hall, and originally housed the Village Fire and Police Departments. The Poland Library was located on the second floor in the 1950s. In 1964, the Village Office and Police Department were located in another building about a block away and the Poland Library also moved out of the building. That same year the building was moved closer to Main Street and further southeast from its current location so that two bays for fire engines could be added. In 1984, the Poland Village Fire Department became part of the Western Reserve Joint Fire District. In late 2005, major renovation which took place included a new pitched roof which was added to the top of the 1964 addition. The front entranceway was redesigned in accordance with ADA guidelines.

Another plaque at the entrance lists the 1965 Village Council Members and states that the Old Town Hall construction was funded, in part, through a gift by the Poland Firemen’s Association. The new fire station addition, containing three large glass overhead doors, was dedicated on Saturday, May 22, 1965. The architect was William L. Cox and the Contractor was Kreidler Construction Company.

During my tour of the building conducted by former Chief Ed Chinowth and Secretary Diane Ingold, it was pointed out that the two story brick Old Town Hall as jacked up from its foundation in 1965 and moved onto a new foundation 35 feet closer to the Old Stone Tavern and 7 feet closer to Main Street. I was also told the Village Jail, located in the Old Town Hall basement, was abandoned during reconstruction. Originally the two bays built on the north side of the Old Town Hall had a flat roof with plans to add living quarters above the first floor at a later date. However, those plans were abandoned when several new fire stations were added to the outline areas of Poland Township. The 2005-2006 construction included adding a hipped roof over the two bays, pointing the brick joints on the outside of the old building and landscaping the front of the Old Town Hall.

On May 1, 1935 the Reuben McMillan Free Library of Youngstown opened its first branch library in a small room on the first floor of Old Town Hall with a collection of 1,377 volumes. In 1941 the Poland branch library moved to larger quarters on the second floor and remained there for the next 20 years. Then when planning began for enlarging the Old Town Hall the library moved in 1964 to new quarters in the historic Kennedy house at 308 South Main Street, which is now known as the New Poland Village Town Hall.

(By Ted Heineman in April 2010)