Fringe Paranormal had the opportunity to interview with The Mirror Newspaper for Holland-Springfield, Ohio some time ago. While tweaking the website I happened to notice that this link on “Fringe in the Media” was not working. So while I work on getting that up and running I thought it might be a good time to repost the article here. So get ready to step back in time to 2009 as Fringe talks a bit about one of our favorite haunts, Firenation. When you’re done with the article slide on over to our “Investigations” page and check out our investigation of this glass studio along with many other paranormal locations.
Paranormal Investigators Return To Firenation Glass Studio
BY KAREN BERGER — MIRROR REPORTER
A group of paranormal investigators is returning to one of its favorite haunts next week – Firenation Glass Studio and Gallery in Holland.
Previous investigations have produced high EMF (electromagnetic field) and EVP (electronic voice phenomena) readings – a sign of another presence, said Fringe Paranormal Investigations director Don Collins.
Firenation owner Matt Paskiet and glassblower Brien Strancar have stories to share about the seen and unseen. One morning, a few weeks ago, both men heard someone whistling, and assumed it was the other – until they called out, “Is that you?”
“Neither one of us whistled, and no one was in the building, and we looked outside to see if anyone was nearby,” Paskiet said.
A few years ago, a broken-off brass door handle that had been sitting atop a file cabinet flew horizontally almost three feet away and hit an employee in the head.
They’ve seen shadowy figures and heard other whistles since Paskiet purchased the building in 2001.
Looking into the dirt-floored crawl space that extends from the basement, Paskiet said he doesn’t mind if the place is haunted.
“I tell them, ‘I’m respectful of you if you’re respectful of me,’” Paskiet said.
His sister Connie Smarszcz said she’s often wondered about brush-ins with the paranormal in homes and other places.
So when paranormal investigators asked to come check out Firenation, she asked to come along for the six-hour nighttime session, in which recorders and instruments were brought in.
“It was absolutely fantastic because it was full of activity. It was quite thrilling,” Smarszcz said.
As they listened to the recordings later, they heard what sounded like a man saying, “I think someone stepped on my belt buckle.”
Early in the evening, they set a mop bucket in the middle of the dock area, then left it alone. Later, they found it moved, and on the recording they could hear the sound of a dragging bucket and a girl’s giggle.
“There’s a lot of activity in the cold room – where Matt does his grinding, sanding and polishing,” she said. In that room, a 30-pound cutting tool that was sitting on the counter dropped on the floor that night.
As with any investigation, the researchers go through a series of steps to disprove any activity, such as driving over the railroad and along Clark Street to see if it makes anything in the building move, or throwing items outside the window to re-create a shadow.
“We see if we can re-create the incident. We start debunking, trying to find natural explanations,” Collins said. “We have a skeptical viewpoint.”
When in a room with EVP equipment, investigators ask questions that are pertinent to the location, such as, “Is anyone here? What’s your name? What is today’s date?”
Responses have ranged from nothing to mumbling to a clear “Get out.”
If a site is active, the investigators do more research, which led Collins to Holland-Springfield-Spencer Historical Society director John Hartsock. (See related article).
While Paskiet and his employees have seen and felt things since the studio opened in 2001, Dave Miller, who owned and operated Springfield Hardware at the site for the previous 12 years, said he and the two owners before him never saw or felt a thing.
“It’s not haunted,” Miller said, noting that during divorces and tough times, employees often spent the night in the back room. “The building creaked and it was drafty, but it wasn’t haunted.”
The Former Springfield Hardware Was Home To Many Businesses
BY JOHN HARTSOCK — HOLLAND-SPRINGFIELD-SPENCER — HISTORICAL SOCIETY DIRECTOR
The following information represents what is known in 2009 about the history of Front and Clark Streets. As new accounts are discovered, they will need to be added to update or change what is written below.
In 1887 there were five businesses and a post office in Holland. Thomas Sage had opened an implement store selling farm equipment and hardware. It was possibly located on the northeast corner of what are now Front and Clark streets or somewhere in that vicinity (it has been proposed that it was where the antique store used to be and where the present novelty store is located).
A blacksmith shop was operated by Charles Naitzka and was probably located in the Hall addition south of the railroad tracks. The Temperance Inn was located on the corner of what is now Railroad and Holloway where the Lee Irons family lives.
The Milan Perkins Grocery was possibly located at the corner of Second and Erie streets where that family had operated a gristmill in 1885. This business was discontinued because of a boiler explosion that caused the death of their child, Floyd Perkins.
The post office was probably located in the John Walker house on Railroad Street since he was the village constable and postmaster during this period.
At this time Harrison Wood, a Civil War veteran and the son of Springfield pioneer Thomas Wood, operated a grocery on the corner of Front and Clark Streets. This may have been the same location where Robert Clark opened a merchandise business with his two sons, Nathan and Cyrenius, in 1862, but it is not known for sure when that building was erected.
Robert Clark owned much of the property in this area of Holland, where he built houses in what has since been named the Clark addition. So it is not unreasonable that he would have wanted his son’s business to be located near the railroad depot and other areas of commerce.
The Harrison Wood grocery was operated by Clark until he died in 1899. In 1900, his son, Arthur Harrison Wood, began operating a grocery, meat market and schoolbook sales in the same building previously used by his father. Sometime before 1928, A.H. Wood sold the property to Perry Hall, who had also been the town marshal during this same time.
The building was not used by Hall, and in 1928 Albert E. Lormer opened a hardware store and office for his coal company in the building.
Around 1932, O.J. (Orlin) Simpson, opened a barbershop directly to the west of Lormer’s hardware store. In 1940, the pine tree that had stood for years near the building was cut down, and a sandwich shop built by Mr. and Mrs. Mahlon Tibbets next to the Simpson barbershop was later called The Lone Pine.
A year later that business was taken over by Harunah McDarr and her daughter, Mary Jane. This business was sold in 1951 to Charles Dorcas and had ceased operation by 1960.
The Lormer Hardware was later owned and operated by Edward Holman and Carroll Leonard. Holman had been an employee of the Lormer Hardware since its beginning and kept using the name after purchasing the business. When he sold the business in the 1980s he had worked there for more than 40 years.
Elmer and Carol Fink purchased the hardware store in the 1980s and changed the name to Springfield Hardware. Their new sign on the store showing a train running on its tracks became a focal point in the village. After operating the business for a few years, they sold it to Dave Miller, who ran it until the early 2000s, when it was sold to Firenation Glass Studio and Gallery.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned for more investigations in the near future.