The Red Stable history
The barn, called back then had many uses which seem to have correlated with the occupations of each resident in the adjoing house, 820 S. 5th St. Around 1870 Henry Waldschmidt, a well known blacksmith of the area likely operated in the stable prior to moving his shop to the present location of G. Michael’s restaurant. Later in 1928 Walter Hexter resided in the home. Hexter was a dealer in ice and coal and used the stable to store the ice. It is said the stable walls were lined with cork to keep the ice from melting as quickly. The house and stable was purchased in 1958 by Phil & Shirley Kientz. Phil grew up in German Village and was a commercial artist from CCAD, who created the Moai and other work at the famed Kahiki Restaurant in Columbus, as well as the Umbrella Girl statue in Schiller Park. Shirley started the German Village Garten Club and was secretary for the German Village Society. Both were integral during the rehabilitation & “Renewal” period in the 60s and were founding charter members of the German Village Society established in 1960.
The original Ohio-made gift shop
In 1970 Phillip converted the barn to The Red Stable, as his custom art studio and art gift shop, featuring Ohio-made artwork and gifts. Shirley ran the shop until 1983 when she became secretary of the German Village Society. The Red Stable has been home since to an antique shop, jewelry shop and most recently Mary B’s wearables, edibles and art-ables! The stable has historically been known in German Village as, “The Red Stable” since 1970.
German Village history
German Village was settled largely by German immigrant workers and by 1865, one-third of Columbus’s population was German and the community was flourishing. They built up the local neighborhood, including many businesses, breweries, schools and churches including Ohio-historic St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Throughout the first half of the 20th century, however, the area fell into serious decline. Partly due to anti-German sentiment during World War I. Further decline occurred later due to the closing of the local breweries during Prohibition. After the war, the South end was zoned for manufacturing, leading to the erosion of the area’s residential feel. By the 1950s, the area had become a slum and the city decided to demolish one-third of the neighborhood to build a highway.
The “Renewal” period
Nearing complete destruction, a man named Frank Fetch purchased a house in the Village and was determined to rebuild the neighborhood. Fetch would later create the German Village Society. In June 1960, the adjacent property 820 S Fifth St., was debuted on the first German Village Haus Und Garten tour, hosted by the German Village Society. The tour attracted visitors and the local media to eight restored homes and two gardens for just $1.00. Today, 56 years later, the tour continues to thrive and is one of the city’s most popular events, drawing thousands of visitors to the area every year.
Read entire history at germanvillage.com.
Photos & credits: German Village Society, German Village House Histories, WOSU, worldwideweb and some cool vintage postcards we found on eBay.