Friday, May 9, 2008

Chamberlain-Stimmel Building Circa 1855

Located on the corner of West Miner and North Oregon Street in Yreka is this wonderful old brick building. On the side is a historical plaque that provides some information about the building's past. This is one of the few buildings in Yreka that escaped the terrible fire of 1871 that burned something like 13 blocks of town! In old photos of Miner Street dated from the Modoc War period this building can be seen.

It is unknown when the first brick was laid, but in 1856, just five years after the discovery of gold in Yreka this building was purchased by a H. E. Stimmel, a immigrant from Germany, and he bought the building from a Mr. William Chamberlain. Mr. Stimmel opened a stove shop, selling parlor and cooking stoves; he later broadened his stock to include more general hardware. In many old photos along the top edge of the building in letters large enough to be read clearly from a distance one could see the words, stove, hardware, etc. For many years a wooden awning covered the walkways completely on both street sides.

Around 1900 Mr. Stimmel went to his grave and the building was sold. It was later remodeled a bit with larger glass windows. At this writing an exact date is unknown, but likely by 1910 (or earlier) the downstairs of this building served the city of Yreka as the U. S. Post Office. The postal service was here until the Warrens Building (previously located on Miner and Broadway) was built in 1931. Mr. Warrens specifically designed a portion of that building for the Post Office. In addition to being home to the Post Office, this building has seen many businesses come and go including such things as a grocery, fruit store, mortuary, clothing store, art gallery and others. One of the unique features of the building is the tin ceiling in the main downstairs area. It has been elaborately painted and is worth the walk downtown just to take a look!

Currently the downstairs portion of this building is home to the Daily Grind, a coffee and sandwich shop. It is the only coffee shop in Yreka at this writing that has free Wi-Fi so out of town visitors often stop here to squeeze in a few minutes online while they enjoy their favorite coffee or tea.
Copyright: Claudia East, 2008.

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