The Little Wiz Fire and Historic Medina Museum
The Little Wiz Fire Museum, started life as a small grocery store in 1928.
The Little Whiz Grocery ( Phone 1420 ) at what is now 326 East Smith Road, in Medina, was started and owned by Louie Fredrick and his wife. They ran the small "deli / grocery" into the late 1940's. They served the area with fresh food (and in the case of eggs, from the chickens they raised in their own backyard, across the street from the store), ice cream, meats and other staples. It seems they also acted as a "lunch room" for the Bennett Lumber / Bending Works that was located next door.
After the Fredrick's retirement, the store was taken over by Marcel Hoff and his wife Ruth. They successfully ran Hoff’s Grocery, well into the middle 1960’s, when they also retired.
Along about 1967, the store was sold to Graff's Glass, who moved their existing glass business from 2 blocks to the west, into the new location and added a service bay at the rear of the building. They stayed in business till early in the 21st century, and upon retirement, leased the building to a small number of businesses that never seemed to last very long.
In 2003, the building was purchased by Thomas Doyle to house his Burglar and Fire alarm business, FBN Systems. After a slow process of fixing and remodeling, it was decided to use the first floor of the building, to display Tom’s ever expanding private collection of antique fire equipment.
With the historic research that was done about the building, it was decided to capitalize on the humorous first business’s name and it’s somewhat comical association with fire equipment.
The Little Wiz Fire Museum is dedicated to the education of individuals, and the furtherance and preservation of the early history of firefighting, and the generous individuals that bonded together for the protection of all.
The Museum is open 9am to 4pm most Saturdays through the year, or other times by appointment. For private tours or students and small groups, you are advised to call .. 330-419-0200 .. to make arrangements.
The Museum is NOT physically large, but contains a large (and somewhat tightly packed) collection of early fire equipment. Visitors are given a personal tour, with informative descriptions of the equipment displayed, so they will walk away with as much education and history as possible. Questions and answers are encouraged, and add to the interactive learning atmosphere. Please come back often to view the evolving collection.
We Hope you enjoy it …. Sincerely, Thomas Doyle