Services & Business 1970 – 1999
Northwest Franklin County continued to see many changes and improvements in service from 1970-1999. With the completion of the I-270 outerbelt in the 1980’s, a second wave of explosive growth came to the area. The population of Hilliard grew from 8,369 to around 24,000 between 1970-1999. More people in the area meant more services were needed or improved.
In 1986, the Hilliard Post Office Department moved again to a larger building. The post office was located at the corner of Leap and Brown Commerce Roads. The larger post office could now serve the local residents with both counter service and a self-service unit. Also in 1986 the post office in Amlin celebrated its postmaster, Robert Duhl, who retired after serving for 35 years. The cost to mail a letter went from 8 cents in 1971 to 33 cents in 1999.
In 1967, the Hilliard Fire Department needed a second fire station because of the railroad tracks that went through Hilliard. The second fire station would be built on Hilliard Rome Road. Fire House Number 2 was dedicated on August 21, 1967. Now there was a fire station on each side of the railroad tracks that divided Hilliard. By 1980 the fire department needed more room. Since there now was a railroad underpass on Cemetery Road at Norwich Street, the need for two fire stations on each side of the tracks was not necessary. They decided to build a new firehouse and consolidate all the manpower and equipment into one building. So a new firehouse was built on the Franklin County Fairgrounds and the two old stations were sold. The new firehouse opened on October 31, 1981.
In 1993, many changes happened in the Hilliard police station. The Dare Program was introduced in the schools to help students learn to resist drug and alcohol. Work began on the new Hilliard police station. This new location would be double the size of the old police station. The Hilliard police department added the bicycle patrol in 1995.
Northwest Franklin County continued to love books. In 1989, the Hilliard library had 12,127 visits. In 1993 the number of visits increased to 22,527. On March 4, 1993, the Columbus Metropolitan Library system purchased 4 acres on Cemetery Road to build a new library. The new library would feature more parking spaces, a larger children’s area, meeting room, and a quiet study room.
Many new businesses opened in the Hilliard area when The Market at Mill Run shopping center opened in 1986. Some of the stores you would have found there would have been the Big Bear supermarket, Jack’s Aquarium, as well as, many other smaller stores. Tuttle Mall opened in 1997 bringing shopping indoors. Now people could go to many different stores under one roof.
The Silver Horn Centre at the corner of Roberts Rd. and Hilliard-Rome Rd. was built in the 1990s. This shopping center was built on farmland where sheep once grazed. The sheep were added to the farm to help “mow” the grass. The farm was named Silver Horn after Silver who was one of the lambs on the farm and Horn for the Dorset sheep (who are a breed of horned sheep). When the shopping center was built it was named after the farm.
In 1984, the Big Bear supermarket celebrated 50 years. The Big Bear location on Roberts Road opened in 1995. It was the 235th location for this grocery store chain, which began on West Lane Avenue in Columbus.
On Rings Road, you would find the Amlin grocery store and a gas station. These businesses made it more convenient to live on the northern part of Northwest Franklin County.
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