Each year, for many years the R.L. Polk Company has issued city directories for Xenia.
The book is paid for by advertisers for the most part. Libraries usually purchase one or more copies each year for permanent records.
The outer pages of the book are the most expensive for advertisers. Pages throughout the book have advertisers listed on a portion of the page as well. And there is a listing of local advertisers in a special section.
One of the major advantages of the publication is that not only are businesses listed by name, location and product; there are also listings for each resident of the city.
The directory of 1987 was a typical directory. Earlier directories were quite small, in view of the fact that there were fewer businesses and homes in those earlier years.
The 1987 book was published nearly 30 years ago, thirteen years after the 1974 tornado which changed the face of Xenia, especially downtown businesses, with the addition of the Towne Square.
The first section of the book is devoted to business. There is a listing of the type of business, then those businesses which fall into that category such as golf courses, leather goods, tire dealers, etc.
The second section is devoted to residents and businesses. The name of the resident or business is listed in alphabetical order, along with the address and phone number for each listing.
The third section of the book is devoted to street names, listed alphabetically, and then by number. This listing also includes the name and phone number of the residents.
The next section lists the phone numbers (372—— or 376——), again with the name of the subscriber, but no other information.
That is not the end of what appears in the 1987 city directory however. The last section of this particular edition lists the rural route directory. This listing is also names alphabetically along with addresses but without telephone numbers.
Checking for information is relatively easy, since each section of the book is color coded. The business directory is printed on yellow paper, the names on white, streets are green and the telephone listings are printed on blue. The final section is also on white paper.
Quite a number of the businesses listed are still operating in the city, but many have closed, and other businesses have opened in their stead.
It may be interesting to see how many of these businesses we recall from thirty years ago.
The directory lists such businesses as accountants, agricultural implement repairing, air conditioning contractors and service, amusement places and animal hospitals.
If you were in the market for antiques or needed an apartment or an appliance, there were listings to help you search.
Several attorneys were listed along with auctioneers and automobile dealers.
There were twenty beauty shops but only ten barbers. Fine Print Books sold a variety of books downtown but if you preferred religious material the Faith Christian Bookstore was located on Bellbrook Ave.
For recreation, one could go bowling at Community Lanes or take in a movie at the North Xenia Drive In or the Xenia Cinema. Perhaps you would have enjoyed Xenia Archery Center. A particular highlight of the summer season was the outdoor drama Blue Jacket. Actors were on stage nearly every night during the summer months, telling the story of the Shawnee who lived in the area.
Remember when Continental Cablevision was the only source for television cable?
Worshippers were offered a wide variety of churches and denominations from which to choose.
Clothing stores included Denim Depot, Fashion Bug, Fast Fashion, Kay’s Classics, Krakoff’s, Litt Brothers, McDorman’s, Singer’s Sol’s Store, Sycamore Shop and Taylor Moore Men’s Clothing.
The following department stores were listed that year: Ames, Foster Haines, K-Mart, J. C. Penny and Zayre.
By this time, the Camera Shop had closed, but you could get your photos printed at Moto Photo.
Hooven and Allison was making rope of all kinds and Super Valu was distributing groceries throughout the region; Buck’s Meat Market and Just Good Meats provided fresh meat.
If you consumed too many groceries, you might visit the Finesse Figure Salon in the Towne Square.
The only telephone service listed was Ohio Bell.
If you wanted to learn to play the piano, Marjorie Street and Marylee Sutton were taking new students. Music and instruments could be purchased at Ace Music Super Store on West Main.
Furniture was being manufactured at Centennial Furniture on E. 2nd or you could purchase furniture from Black’s Furniture, Fairground Furniture or Thornhill and Son. Adairs and Cherry’s were no longer in business.
The city directory is a fountain of information.
Joan Baxter is a local resident and weekly historical columnist.