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Alliance's Freedom Trail Walk
Item 4 of 14
Built in about 1842, Samuel Shaffer, a German immigrant who moved to Freedom from Pennsylvania, operated a store here. After the opening of the Cleveland & Pittsburgh railroad in 1851, the house served as the first railroad station. This building was torn down in the mid-1980s. Alliance Rubber was founded in Alliance as a hobby in 1923 by William H. Spencer. It grew from 1 person in a basement to a company of 90 employees by 1955. The company made 300 varieties of rubber bands, and it was the largest company of its kind in the world.

  • Alliance Rubber Company's manufacturing plant at 633 N. Union Avenue
  • Samuel Shaffer's house was erected in 1842. It was the first railroad station in Alliance.

Built by Samuel Shaffer, a German immigrant who moved to Freedom from Pennsylvania, in 1842, he operated a store here. After the opening of the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad in 1851, the house served as the first railroad station in Alliance. It was later known as the Gehret House and was a grocery store. This building was torn down in the mid-1980s.

 

Alliance Rubber was founded in Alliance as a hobby in 1923 by William H. Spencer. It grew from 1 person in a basement to a company of 90 employees by 1955. The company made 300 varieties of rubber bands, and it was the largest company of its kind in the world. Spencer came to Alliance permanently in 1917 with the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1923, the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association decided to eliminate second grade inner tubes, which opened up a market for good scrap rubber. Spencer introduced package tying rubber bands. As the business grew, Spencer moved it to 633 N. Union Ave., former site of Ideal Laundry Company. The property was later sold to Crest Rubber in 1992. In 2017, the area was named a federal EPA Superfund site, and a cleanup costing $1.6 million was undertaken. The oldest part of the plant on N. Union Avenue was razed in 2019. The city owns the property, and an expanded gas station is planned along Union Avenue. Plans for the remaining buildings on N. Park Avenue have not been announced yet.

Alliance, Ohio city directory. Boulder, CO. Johnson Publishing Co., 1897-98.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://www.rubberband.com/about-us/the-history-of-alliance

https://www.alliancememory.org/digital/collection/places/id/669/rec/3