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Published: Tuesday, 12/11/2001

Historic riverfront property changes hands

The Edison Club is a former hydroelectric plant that became an employee recreation facility and later a public rental hall. The Edison Club is a former hydroelectric plant that became an employee recreation facility and later a public rental hall.

Brothers Dan and Steve Sczesny may end up building homes side by side on Maumee's River Road -- possibly inside the Edison Club, a hydroelectric plant until frustrated farmers blew up part of the muskrat-laden canal feeding it on July 4, 1929.

The Sczesnys last month bought the Edison Club and related property for $870,000 from Toledo Edison Co. through their Riverside Partners Group Ltd., which was established for the transaction.

The building was turned into the Edison Club starting in 1932, first to be used as an employee recreational facility and later as a public rental hall. It has been unused for about 11/2 years.

The brothers plan to put “For Sale” signs on the historic property next week and could sell part or all of it; or they may build two homes for themselves inside the 18,000-square-foot building; or they might turn the three adjacent lots into two and build their houses there, Dan Sczesny said.

Anthony Wayne's troops bivouacked at the site, which allows views up and down the river and was one of northwest Ohio's first settled spots. A grist mill was built there first. The subsequent hydroelectric plant ceased operations after farmers, troubled by muskrats burrowing through the canal's banks and flooding their fields, dynamited part of its wall.

“For a couple of years I've had my eye on it. It's a beautiful river property,” said Steve Sczesny, vice president of Port Lawrence Title & Trust Co. in Toledo. “I wanted to just buy a lot, and they only wanted to sell the whole thing as one piece.”

Toledo Edison, owned by Akron's FirstEnergy Corp., decided to sell the Edison Club two or so years ago, said Chuck Krueger, Toledo Edison area manager.

Besides having various catering firms manage the hall for years, the utility used it for meetings and other functions.

“We just made the decision that running a rental hall was not part of an electric company's core business,” he said.

Maumee has expressed interest in the four acres across River Road and beside Wolcott House Museum complex that had been used for parking, said Dan Sczesny, president of Building Products Marketing in Toledo.

The property is not being listed with a real estate company, he said.

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