Bollenbacher Grocery, Chattanooga, Ohio

Who doesn’t think of Bollenbacher Grocery when you think of Chatt as it was years ago? The little market, located in what was once The Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Chattanooga, is one of the things I remember most about Chatt during the time I was growing up.

Bollenbacher's Grocery, Chattanooga, Ohio. Submitted photo.

Bollenbacher Grocery, Chattanooga, Ohio. Submitted photo.

The brick building was the second structure south of the Chatt Bar and was built to house the bank, but the bank closed in about 1930. The building was then occupied by Heffner’s Grocery until Harold and Martha Bollenbacher purchased it in 1953.

Bollenbacher Grocery served the community at that location for 20 years, until they sold it to Tom Baker in 1973. [1]

Former Bollenbacher Grocery, Google Earth, October 2008 photo.

Former Bollenbacher Grocery, Google Earth, October 2008 photo.

In the mid-60s my friend Karen and I rode our bicycles a lot in the summer. She lived south of Chatt and I lived north of Chatt. We weren’t old enough to drive so our bicycles were the best means of transportation for us. We would arrange to start out at a specific time and eventually we would meet somewhere between our two homes on route 49.

One thing we often did while on our bike outings was to stop at Bollenbacher Grocery for a cold pop and some candy. Or better yet, an ice cream bar on a hot day. And Harold always had a smile on his face.

Junior and Harold Sr. in Bollenbacher's Grocery. Submitted photo.

Junior and Harold Sr. in Bollenbacher Grocery. Submitted photo.

Harold’s wife Martha was our Avon Lady. She would stop by the house every couple weeks and I always looked forward to seeing her makeup samples, smelling the perfumes, and looking through the Avon books.

The old brick building that once housed a bank and several groceries was demolished sometime between July 2009 and August 2010.

Thanks to Deb (Bollenbacher) Reichard for submitting the Bollenbacher Grocery photos.


 [1] Joyce L. Alig, editor, Mercer County, Ohio History 1978, (Dallas, Texas :The Taylor Publishing Co, 1980), 710.


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    • Deb Reichard on May 15, 2015 at 6:00 am
    • Reply

    Thanks Karen. Brings back lots of memories for me too. On a really hot day, we grandkids got to go into the ice house and chip a chunk of ice from the big blocks. I remember the Amish that would come, purchase the blocks, wrap them in burlap and drive off in their buggy. And yes, those ice cream sandwiches served with a smile were good too. The meat case brings lots of thoughts – maybe some gross ones with beef tongue and souse! Lots of people would probably first think of the Chatt Bar when it comes to Chattanooga, Ohio. For me it is Grandpa’s store. Appreciate your article.

    1. Great stories and memories! Enjoyed hearing about the ice house. Thanks.

    • Beckie McMillen on May 15, 2015 at 7:12 am
    • Reply

    great article Karen ! Brings back a lot of memories,we used to help with inventory every year,something for everyone in that store ! Best meat salad ever ! Miss and loved them !

    1. Yes, it was a great store run by such nice people.

    • Deb Reichard on May 15, 2015 at 8:15 am
    • Reply

    Hard to believe that the Chatt Fire Department building sat between the grocery store and the Chatt bar. Remember going upstairs of the fire house to play pool with Uncle Tim! There was also one or two gas pumps out in front of the grocery store. Beckie is right – there was something for everyone in that store!

    • Deb Jones on May 15, 2015 at 9:48 am
    • Reply

    In the summer my Dad would say “going to Chatt” and Kevin and I would jump in the back of the pickup for the ride down the State Line and up Strable Road into Chatt. We’d make the rounds at Fisher’s Hardware and sometimes Ivan Johnson’s garage, but we always stopped to pick up something at Bollenbacher’s Grocery. Every Sunday after Church we’d stop to buy “cold meat” for the week. I thought it was cool when I got a little older that my parents would let me ride my bike to the store and pick up whatever Mom needed and put it in the little bag on the back of my bike!

    1. It was certainly handy to stop and shop there. Great stories! Thanks!

    • Martha Fisher Lawler on May 15, 2015 at 6:05 pm
    • Reply

    I worked for Harold and Martha and really enjoyed both of them. Martha and I made ham salad from the ends of the cold meat like bologna and pickle loaf etc. I learned a lot but the one of the hardest things to do was cut pieces of county line cheese straight. I really enjoy all your articles and many many memories that they bring out.

    1. The hand-made food helped make the store special. I love ham salad and never thought about getting the cheese cut straight. Thanks for writing!

    • Betty Felver on May 15, 2015 at 6:53 pm
    • Reply

    I live on the Northeast corner of Schaadt and Burrville road and though I didn’t grow up around the Chatt area we have lived at that address since 1968. We graduated with Jim (Bomber) Bollenbacher and also Bonnie Brehm Barna and several others from this area.. We also graduated with Janet Zizelman Andrews and Janet and Kenny Zizelman was my neighbors and best friends from childhood. Janet married and moved to Chatt and lived there until her death. I really enjoy reading about times past. Those really was the good old days. When Links had the grocery in Chatt we use to go in there and buy things that we needed during the week or when the kids got older they would ride there bikes to Chatt and the store. When we go west on Schaadt Road to St Rt 49 I see the old house in the woods across from where Em Weitz lived and never knew till reading your sites that , that was the old Barber Shop…. I always wondered what it would have looked like as a house. Again Karen I really enjoy reading your stories. I miss Fern Alt, she use to tell me about the area. When we first moved on Schaadt Road she ask me how I liked it in “Boarsville ” and I had know clue what she meant till she explained it to me. As a child I do remember going to Maurers Hatchery with my parents to buy baby chicks and thought it was really far away but it wasn’t. Now I live on that corner. Sorry for such a long reply . Keep the stories coming………..

    1. You bring back more memories. I remember Link’s Grocery, too, and remember Fern Alt working at the candy counter at Barrs in Celina. It was always nice talking with her there. But I don’t think I have heard of Boarsville. Thanks for reading.

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