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BEYOND THE LISTING: An Ottawa home with Great Depression history

House for sale now a multi-unit apartment building

The building at 600 W. Madison St., Ottawa, has recently served as an apartment building, but it once had a different use.

During The Great Depression, the storefront was known as the commissary. When the stock market crashed in October 1929, many men were put out of work — as much as one-fourth of the labor force in industrialized countries.

In Ottawa, the commissary on Madison Street was where people on “relief” could get food and clothing, according to “Ottawa (Images of America)” by Jim Ridings. Shawn Sell, Re/Max 1st Choice Realtor, said the owner told her the commissary closed when those running it could no longer get supplies to stock it.

The structure was built in 1900 and has had a few different uses over the years, including office use and a bakery. The original tin ceiling remains, Sell said.

Most currently it served as a four-unit apartment building. The main unit was used as an office and has been used as commercial in the past. It’s currently zoned as a residential apartment building.

The office space was used by the seller, who has owned the building since 1980. Two units were rented and one unit has long been vacant due to poor condition.

• The building at 600 W. Madison St., Ottawa, is $25,000. For more information, contact Shawn Sell, Re/Max 1st Choice Realtor, at 630-664-7085.

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