- - - Garrett Block / Napoli's - - -

- September 03, 2015 -
Much has been written about the Shelby Bridge Disaster of July 4, 1898 and this photo (above) taken by
Sherman Sheets (see his shadow lower left) is one that was printed and published in many different media.
However, the Garrett Block, after an intervening 117 years, is being featured in the local newspapers again.
This first week of September 2015, the Garrett Block, now known as the home of Napoli's Pizza (and subs),
is in the news again, another long-term victim of the Blackfork River.

Over a long period of time, the Blackfork River has undermined some of the supports for the building, notably
the one at the northeast corner. This has allowed that corner support to slump and the steel beam running north
to south under the eastern wall of the building to bend under the weight.

This can be seen in the above photo (partially obscured by the vine next to the bridge at left) as well as the
separation of the bricks in wall directly above the slumping support beam.

The separation of the bricks can also be seen on the front of the building up under the cornice on the east side.
Many in the community are saddened by the loss of yet another classic building on Shelby's Main Street as
well as another longtime business (since 1980). It is hoped that Napoli's will soon be opening in a new location
and Shelby will retain a well loved business, a well loved businessman, and his well loved pizzas and subs!

The new Garrett Block pictured above with the Main Street bridge intact (before the 1898 disaster) was finished in 1896. The building appears much as it does now with the obvious exception of the windows on the first floor (on the east side) and the tower. The Sharon Township Building (later Town Hall) and it's tower partially appear behind the Garrett Block to the west.
The building was named after the Andrew Garrett family who came to Shelby from Lebanon Co., Pa. c 1865. Andrew was born in 1813 and married Margaret Rebecca Myers, born 1819, in 1838 in Lebanon County. They had a family of five sons and three daughters, all born in Pennsylvania: Andorah, Daniel, Susan, Margaret, Myers, Andrew, William and Franklin.
Before coming to Shelby, Andrew was involved with the design and manufacture of various types of farm implements and he carried this experience to our community. Oldest son Daniel Myers Garrett, born 1843, joined with his father in the design and manufacture of washing machine wringers in Shelby. Andrew acquired property along the west side of the Blackfork River on the south side of Main Street. He laid out and sold lots on the east side of what would become Blackfork Street but retained Shelby lot number 562 where the Garrett Block would later be constructed.
Andrew Garrett died in 1888, his wife in 1901 and both are buried in Oakland Cemetery. Son Daniel Myers Garrett died in 1889 in Massachusetts. So who built the Garrett Block ?
Daniel and wife Albina Orton Garrett had two children: Orton B. Garrett and F. Carleton Garrett. After the death of his father and grandfather (Andrew), Carleton became the "owner" of the new building in Shelby. Andrew's daughter Susan had married John Shengle in 1868 and he was the architect of the Garrett Block.
The Garrett Block originally housed Shelby's Post Office on the first floor (east side) and the west side was occupied by a clothing store. The second floor was occupied by the Shelby Water Company and the office of John B. Shengle, architect of the building. The third floor was devoted to the use of the Knights of Pythias.
The building was lighted by electric and heated with steam. There was a power house equipped with a fire engine pump fitted with a 2 1/2" pipe with hose attachments for use in case of fires in the building or in the immediate neighborhood. It was the most modern design of any building in Richland County at that time.
Since it's construction in 1896 the Garrett Block has housed many businesses and even though it's soon to be vacant footprint will be added to Blackfork Commons, it will be missed as others in the area have been and will continue to point to the need of actually solving the Blackfork River flooding issues.

- September 04, 2015 -
Last night, possibly during the storm, the beam supporting the northeast corner of the building must have snapped and allowed the separated section of the building to collapse on the sidewalk, onto a portion of the bridge, and into the Blackfork River.

The result of this collapse can be seen in the following photo.

What can be done for this Shelby business that has served us so well the past 35 years ?
If you would care to help, please consider a fund that has been established for that purpose.
Check the details of the following:
Napoli's Pizza Shelby rebuild
Thank you all! Goal met- but don't stop !

- September 09, 2015 -

More bricks and part of the cornice have now fallen.

- September 12, 2015 -
On a Saturday that was mostly colder, overcast and somewhat somber, the demolition of the
Garrett Block / Napoli's Pizza began. The building that was constructed 120 years before
was no match for the equipment that was brought to end it's history.


- September 13, 2015 -
Sunday morning dawned bright, sunny and a bit crisp. The previous day's work was highly successful.
The Garrett Block / Napoli's Pizza has been reduced to rubble and debris.



And soon will have grass growing in it's place.

Below (arrow) is the pier and a portion of the imbedded steel post that failed and allowed the
northeast corner of the building to slump and the masonry structure to fail.
Note : The grass has been planted.


Above is a close up of the pier with the steel beam (cut off).

Another week and the grass is growing and looking good!

There will be another Napoli's in Shelby however; stay tuned !
Beardie will be back !
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