August 23, 2012 will begin the second slate of historical lectures that are being shared with the public as part of the Fairport Harbor Bicentennial. The fourth of the six programs for the year will highlight the businesses that dotted the Fairport landscape over time. Do you remember Rogats, Colgroves, Lunkas, E.E.Lawrence Marine Supply, or Wolff's Ice & Coal? Do you remember the merchants featured below?
John Guraly was proprietor of Guraly's Restaurant, which at one time was the largest in the county. Born in Hungary, he arrived at the age of 9 in Fairport and went into the restaurant business in 1935. He also took an active role in the village government. He served on council and was instrumental in assisting in the water plant project.
B. H. Synder
B.H. Snyder aided in the growth of Fairport. Manager of Harbor Land Co., he supervised the construction of over 40 homes during Fairport's infancy. These homes were located on Paradise and E. Street. A second building project under his guidance saw 35 more homes added to the village proper. He also owned a retail coke and coal business in his day. Synder also was responsible for the 1933 planting of 1600 maple trees in town. He even found time to commit six years to the local Board of Education.
Charles K. Pohto
Charles K. Pohto was born in Finland but came to Fairport to make his mark. After a brief career as a pipe-fitter at the Alkali, he returned to the trade of his youth. Applying the apprenticeship knowledge gained as a baker, Pohto opened his bakery business in the 1930's. His Fairport Bakery specialized in Finnish and Swedish baked goods and became famous county-wide. His bakery and grocery businesses were the largest in Lake County for some years. Civic mindedness was another trait of Charles as he served terms on Village Council, volunteered for community needs, and aided in the water plant project.
Arriving in Fairport at the early age of 5, Arnold Toivonen began a varied career. 'Huddy' as he was known to villagers was a Great Lakes seaman for years. A second career stop saw him work for the Harbor Land Company. His best known job was that of Manager of the Chalifin Haberdashery on High Street. In his spare time, he like many other merchants of the era found time to support community projects.