Betty D Cox Michael L Evans Thelma R Stamper Therese A Boerger Lady Indians go down in straight sets to Valley in sectional play Manchester hosts the inaugural Southern Ohio Cheer Challenge NAHS girls claim soccer sectional title Seas siblings are SHAC Cross-Country champions Lady Devils will collect fourth consecutive SHAC gold ball trophy Lady Hounds ousted in sectional tourney opener Peebles Lions Club holding Thanksgiving fund raiser FFA Fruit sales have begun, run until Nov. 18 Historical marker is repaired PES will present ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Eagle Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center Open House showcases new unit PES teacher honored by ACOVSD Board Friends of North Adams Library dedicate new brick Veterans Memorial Senior Profile: Landon Wright Geneva E Vogler Susan L Kremin Local golf teams complete play at state tournament Lady Dragons make school history with tournament win Browning gets hands-on look at NASA’s latest robotics Local beautician celebrates 80th birthday Health Department appeals to November voters Betty R Toller Senior Profile: Craig Horton Helen F Hoffer Super Saturday at Freedom Field Lady Dragons hang on for five-set victory over Manchester Seventh Grade Lady Hounds are SHAC Tournament champions Peebles Elementary announces September Students of the Month Rideout’s Muffler celebrating 40th anniversary this month Senior Citizens levy will appear on November ballot Bonnie J Orr Dorothy M Edenfield Senior Profile: Grace Barge Jerry Paquette Dragons get big 38-20 win at Green Manchester takes varsity team titles at West Union Invitational Lady Devils knock off Peebles on Volley For the Cure Night Manhunt ends with arrest of alleged bank robber Senior Profile: Kelsey Friend Lady Dragons finish as District Runners-Up Sectional pairings announced for volleyball and soccer 2 and 3 and worried is me Patricia Clift Adams County Humane Agent saves abandoned dogs and puppies Tourism had major economic impact on Adams County in 2015 Senator Portman brings his campaign to Adams County Betty E Lawson Sanborn NAHS holds National Honor Society induction ceremonies Harlan W Benjamin Joyce A Lafferty Senior Profile: Lee Hesler Dragons get SHAC win, 2-1 over Fairfield North Adams tops Peebles in ‘Kickin Cancer’ battles Double duty coming at Boys’ State Golf Tournament as West Union and North Adams both qualify Humane Society providing ‘Straws For Paws’ North Adams Elementary honors students and staff Russell Rockwell Julie L Wagner Hobert C Robinson Samuel D McClellan Brenda S Bare Clarencce Walker Jr Dolly M Hilterbrandt Jack Roush Day returns to Manchester West Union FFA has busy opening to school year ODOT opens new full-service Maintenance Facility Peebles Elementary introduces Peer Mentoring program Frost is recipient of Morgan Memorial Scholarship Peebles Fire Department has a new addition Heritage Days return to Tranquility Wheat Ridge Olde Thyme Herb Fair and Harvest Festival begins Friday Caraway Farm hosts annual Pumpkin Festival ‘Run Gio’ makes a visit to Adams County Senior Profile: Mackenzie Smith West Union, North Adams grab top two spots in Division III golf sectional tournament This memory will live with me forever Will M Stern West Union and North Adams-State Bound! Lillian N Smith Betty R Shelton Barbara ER Bohl Brenda Farley Senior Profile: Caitlyn Bradford Dragons roar to 40-0 Homecoming victory Greyhounds take three of four races at annual Adams County Meet Monarch Meadows holds grand opening Discovering a touch of glass on Erie’s Shores Junior L Conaway William B Brumley Sr Fred G Davis Ohio Valley FFA Officers for 2016-17 named ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley West Union holds football Homecoming festivities First graders pick the Sheriff Cross honored by ODNR with the prestigious Cardinal Award Renowned Ohio artist visits WUHS

Ross Grocery closes in Manchester

There’s something magical about a small neighborhood store that leads to nostalgic musings about childhood, nickel Cokes, and penny bubble gum. Every town had one, or even two, of these little shops that offered a variety of necessary items forgotten on the weekly trip to the grocery store. Neighborhood kids came and went, trading pop bottles for dimes and dimes for soda pops. Moms and Dads dropped in to pick up a loaf of bread, a carton of milk, or a pound of bologna. These little shops with wooden floors, dinging doors, and tall metal registers were as American as apple pie and baseball, and seemed just as permanent, but they were not.

When Jerry and Beverly Ross locked up their small neighborhood store on Jan. 26, they closed the door on a piece of Manchester history. Their family had maintained a business at 309 West 4th Street since 1964, when Wilson Ross bought the property and set up a TV repair business.

“Dad decided to start selling snacks and pop to his customers,” Jerry explained, “People would come in to have their TV’s fixed, and they’d buy food. He kept adding more grocery items, and then, after a while, went strictly with groceries.”

The two story clapboard building that housed the Ross family business was built in the early 20th century. It began as a grocery store, but over the years it also served as a furniture store, and a private residence.

Growing up, Jerry Ross and his sister Elaine worked in the store along side their parents. “Dad started the business when I was 10 years old. One of us always had to be there when he went out on a call, we’d watch the store and answer the phone,” Jerry recalled.

When the elder Ross passed away in 1984, Jerry continued to operate the landmark establishment that became famous for its flavored slushies.

“I’ve lived less than two blocks away from the grocery for most of my life and since I was a kid I have been making the short trip during warm weather for the watermelon slushies,” said Sierra Farley, of Manchester, “I’m 20 now and any time I am home or babysitting, it was still a must to walk down the street for the watermelon slushie. When I found out the store was closing, it was definitely bittersweet. I am thankful for the childhood memories but home will be a little different knowing that those 25 cent slushies aren’t just a short walk away any more.”

Ross, like so many other small businesses, is bowing out to corporate mega stores and 24- hour convenience quick-shops. “People like the bigger, fancier stores, it’s hard for a little store to keep up with them,” he says. “I don’t blame people for going other places and getting it cheaper, I’d do the same thing.”

Despite his fair-minded outlook, Ross admits,”What I will miss the most is the people that I have grown to know over the years. All the generations of families have been a blessing to me and my family and I hope God blesses all of them. But, I have decided to retire and take a part time job to be able to spend more time with my family.”

For many of their former customers the closing of Ross Grocery marked the end of an era that harbors their childhood memories.

Samara Estes posted on Facebook, “Some of my fondest memories are from when I was little and would come down the hill with Mamaw Norma’s pop bottles to cash in and get her more, and a pound of bologna, of course, and the pickles, who could forget the pickles and penny candy? I’m so glad that my daughter also had the pleasure of a Ross Grocery experience and a 25 cent slushie.”

Enjoying their slushies from Ross Grocery are, from left, Rylie Young, Bryce Young, Kloey Carter, Kameyl Carter, and Brayden Young. their slushies from Ross Grocery are, from left, Rylie Young, Bryce Young, Kloey Carter, Kameyl Carter, and Brayden Young. Photo by Michelle Carter

The original Ross Grocery building, sometime in the 1930’s original Ross Grocery building, sometime in the 1930’s Photo courtesy of Beverly Holsinger Ross

Ross Grocery in Manchester, circa 1983 Grocery in Manchester, circa 1983 Photo courtesy of Beverly Holsinger Ross
Local landmark was in business 52 years

By Patricia Beech

Reach Patricia Beech at 937-544-2391 or a

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2016 People's Defender