The 1916 “Then” photo (#A373) of the building on the northwest corner of South Main and West Water streets, Urbana, shows the Mohrlite Co., manufacturer of lighting fixtures. In 1916, the company moved from San Francisco to the upper floors of this building. The first floor was occupied by a Maxwell Service Station, T. C. Englehart proprietor. A Maxwell car with a 1916 Ohio license plate is in front of the building.
In 1880 J. H. E. Dimond & Son opened a carriage factory in this building. The house next door was between this building and the Clifford Theater.
W. M. Dixon, born in Urbana in 1878, was president of the Mohrlite Co. Mohrlite lighting fixtures were recognized with a gold-medal award at the San Francisco International Exposition.
The company built a new building at the northeast corner of Walnut and Market streets and moved there in 1917. Some years later this same building housed the Champaign County Library.
The 2020 “Now” photo is of the Marathon station now on the northwest corner of South Main and West Water streets.
Submitted by the Champaign County Historical Museum, a not-for-profit organization that depends upon donations and dues to preserve, protect, archive and display the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The free public museum, 809 East Lawn Ave., Urbana, is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.