"Grand Old Man and Host of Main Street"


Meet Jerry Maher, one of the previous owners of 151 W. Main Street. Jerry was the youngest of ten and was raised right here in Lancaster, Ohio. In an article we came across it said he was "part of the young blood that helped to build this town". In 1898, he was offered a job working for J. W. Naughton at the 151 W. Main Street location. At the time it was a saloon, which we will touch more on later so be on the lookout. One could walk into the saloon and get a 16 oz. stein of beer for five cents or a bottle for ten cents. In 1904, J. W. Naughton passed away and Maher ended up purchasing the location. Not too long after buying the saloon, Maher replaced all the gas lamps with electricity, paving the way for new technology to begin moving into the location. The article states, "He often wonders what old J. W. Naughton would think if he could see the television set which is perched  behind the bar or the electric grill and the stools which were unheard of before 1900." During the prohibition era, alcohol was replaced with dressed poultry. Despite the fact that his poultry business was doing well, he decided to return to the original concept of selling alcohol once prohibition ended, but it wasn't the same. "Prohibition had taken alcohol out of the bar and into the home."

"Today, as Jerry surveys the block where he has done business for the past 52 years, all the old companies are gone, but his friendliness has gained him the respect of many Lancaster citizens." We can't help but wonder how Jerry Maher would feel walking into the 151 W. Main Street location today to see that the location had remained a bar and was now expanding into a restaurant. The technology and product may have changed a bit over time, but the comfortable setting and attitude remain intact as well as a strong sense of heritage.


When visiting Ale House 1890, be sure to keep an eye out for Mr. Maher's portrait!

Matt BradyComment