Fayette’s St. Vincent de Paul store is about to expand. Anticipating the new addition brings to mind the past for Betty Monahan, who has been a part of the store since the beginning.
She recalls back in 1977 when the charitable organization first set up shop in the second floor of the Fayette village hall downtown.
“There were 23 steps up and 23 steps down,” Betty recalls. “It became too dangerous for older people, so Phil started looking around for an empty building.”
That’s Phil Monahan, her husband, who went into the former Clemenson’s lumberyard one day, near the fire station.
“Marshall Clemenson said to Phil, ‘We’ve been looking for you. Where have you been?’” Betty said.
It was settled. The store had found a new home in a building in the back of the lumberyard.
In those days, St. Vincent in Fayette mostly handled government surplus items, such as butter and cheese. A store with clothing and toys came later.
The lumberyard building was unheated, but the suffering there eventually worked to the local group’s benefit.
“We wore our snow boots and froze our fingers,” Betty said. “One day the head of St. Vincent in Toledo was visiting and Phil took him over to the building. The guy put his pop down and before long it was frozen.”
The visitor knew a change was needed. They soon moved into the house east of R&H Restaurant, before it was fixed up for residency as it is now.