(68) 300 – 302 Main Street

300-302 Main"Strattan's Opera House, a two-story building, was built by George Stocker in 1876 and sold to B.W. Strattan. On the second floor was a theater with a stage, seating area that could be converted to a ballroom, and a balcony. At one time a superstructure was used to store scenery so it could be rapidly pulled up and down. Hobart was to Chicago what Philadelphia was to New York. Plays were tried out in Hobart before being put on in Chicago theaters. In 1923-24 Hobart High School used the theater as a basketball court. Many exhibitions and dances were held here before it was condemned. The second floor on Main Street front once housed the Hobart telephone exchange. Offices were used by various concerns — Strom's Tailor Shop (300 Main St.), Findling's Insurance Office, Calumet Finance and JP office. Other rooms were residences. Hobart Art Guild is now upstairs. The Hobart Bank was moved to the corner room on the first floor. Stocker and Strattan both operated general merchandise stores in first floor rooms. The A&P Store was here at one time, also Mundell's Flower Shop and a pool hall. Hobart Hardware now uses all the first floor. Rexall Drug Store once used the middle store and the third room on the east has been an ice cream parlor, bakery and newspaper store. Vossberg's Clothing also occupied the middle store at one time."

Images (links open in a new window):
♦ The Strattan building circa 1898.
♦ Inside the Strattan building: the lobby of the Hobart Bank circa 1905.
♦ Benjamin W. Strattan and his horse in front of the Strattan building, early 20th century.
♦ A view of the Strattan building from the west side of Lake George, circa 1917.
♦ Another view from the west, circa 1907.
♦ A postcard of Main Street, early 20th century.
♦ A glimpse of the Strattan building's façade, circa 1919.
♦ The interior of Calumet Finance, operating at 300 Main Street in 1965.
♦ The exterior of Edward's menswear store, located at 304 Main Street, in 1967; interior shots of the store in 1966, 1968, 1969 and 1972 (check out that polka-dot shirt on the rack at right).
♦ Hotpants in Hobart Hardware, 302 Main, in 1972.
♦ Hobart Hardware in 1979; and the front, side and rear of the Strattan building in 1988.
♦ From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' Gene Gladson Historic Theater Photo Collection, an undated photo of the Strattan building.

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