Currently standing on the corner of Miner and North Oregon Streets, The DeWitt and Peters Building broke ground in the fall of 1897 and the building was completed in 1898 at a cost less than $7,000. Prior to this building being constructed a portion of the lot was vacant and the east half of the lot was occupied by the old Yreka Brewery owned by G. H. Peters. In the 1850s the original Yreka Bakery stood on the west half of this lot on Miner and Oregon Streets according to research conducted by Robert Noonan in 1976 in his publication Yreka's West Miner Street Buildings, Blocks 200 - 300, 1851 - 1900.
The Yreka Journal on September 24, 1897 ran an article on this "new" building designed by Architect, G. W. Cooper. They described the layout of the building to have two new stores on the bottom floor, and a large assembly hall (rented by the Knights of Pythias and other orders...) and offices on the second story. "Mr. DeWitt of the Bee Hive store will occupy the corner and Peters will rent the other portion of the building downstairs." The building was also described as having a large cement cellar to be built in connection with the original cellar once used by the Yreka Brewery on the back portion of the lot. It was also stressed that there would be sidewalk elevators for "lowering and raising goods when wanted." In addition, the paper pointed out that the upper story would likely not be finished until spring as the cold weather might damage the plastering.
The exterior of the building is from red sand stone taken from a quarry at Little Shasta, according to a news article from the Yreka Journal ~ it was the first time this stone was utilized for building purposes in the area. According to further Noonan research (see above) a Mr. Ed Armstrong was in charge of the masonry, and the roof was constructed by the Iunker Brothers.
Today this fine building still stands and is proudly owned by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks as a lodge. The photo above shows the building as it was in about 1905. Today the lower portion of the building is covered with board and batten siding to conceal the large windows.
You might wish to look at the SketchupbyDawn Blog for the August 14, 2008 post, he has a nice 3-D drawing of the original building. You can link here or check out the Blogs I am watching on the side panel: http://sketchupbydawn.blogspot.com/
For those of you with our book, Yreka, Images of America by Arcadia Publishing you can find other images with this building in the photos on pages 35, 52,and 115.
Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2008.