The Charles Schroer Mortuary building is located in along North Diamond Street downtown Mansfield, Ohio and has since been repurposed for the Phoenix Brewing Company.
Charles Schroer Mortuary
The Charles Schroer Mortuary was founded in 1857 by Charles Schroer Sr. in a small building at the corner of Diamond and Fourth Street.2 Schroer began building caskets and business picked up enough that a three-story structure was constructed in 1863 at 117-133 North Diamond Street.
The new building housed the family casket-building business on the first level and apartments on the second floor.2 In one apartment, Charles Schroer Jr. was born who eventually matured and went to work in the family business, then renamed to Charles Schroer & Son. It soon became apparent that an extension of the business, into funeral directing, would be of positive fiscal responsibility.
In 1914, a fire-proof mortuary was constructed next door and was divided into three levels.1 It was the first fire-proof structure in Mansfield. An embalming and preparation area was constructed in the basement, which the body would be raised via a hand-operated elevator to the first level where a chapel was located. The body would then be raised to the second level to a viewing room where there was a large skylight. The chapel contained a painting of the “Divine Ruler,” crafted with some considerable expense from a well-regarded painter.2
At its height, the furniture store and mortuary occupied half of the block between East Temple Court and East Fifth Street along North Diamond.3 In 1921, Charles Schroer Sr. died and the company, which was renamed to the Charles Schroer Company,2 passed down to Robert S. Schroer, Correll G. Erdenberger, and Glenn S. Erdenberger.3 In the 1930’s, the mortuary was closed,3 although the Charles Schroer Company continued to sell furniture and carpet.
On November 29, 1963, the Charles Schroer Company, then the oldest business in the city, conducted its final sale of stock as it declared that it was going out of business.3
In April 2014, several local beer enthusiasts acquired the abandoned Charles Schroer building with the intent to create a craft brewery.4 The brewery was named Phoenix Brewing Company, and the building was renovated. The basement was fitted with a five-barrel brewing system that was capable of creating 150-gallon batches and cold storage while the first floor was renovated into amid-range bar offering 16 taps. The original windows were refurbished while the elevator was disassembled and used in the manufacture of flight paddles. Reclaimed wood from a local bowling alley was used for the tabletops while the back bar was moved from the studio of a local artist. The light fixtures were salvaged from the Allstate Building.