Monday, October 27, 2008
The first building that stood at this spot located at 217 West Miner Street, Yreka, CA was first gutted by fire in 1862 and then completely destroyed in the "Great Fire" of 1871, it had served as a saloon. The Arcade Saloon has local folklore about Lotta Crabtree beginning her singing career here entertaining the miners. In 1880 Hugo Miller, a Hardware Merchant, built and operated a store here. Mr. Miller sold stoves, tin and hardware, mining and farming implements according to the 1885 Yreka Directory. The second story, history has told us, was specifically designed to be used as a lodge hall by the Improved Order of Red Men. Today this building is referred to both as The Hugo Miller Building and "Red Man Hall".
The Improved Order of Red Men is a fraternal organization that has its roots in our national history... beginning around1765 and decended from the Sons of Liberty ~ the "Indians" that carefully planned and executed the Boston Tea Party. The original members were patriots and worked "underground" to promote American freedom. The Red Men patterned their society to conform to the basic heirarchy of the Iroquois Confederacy and the democratic governing body the Iroquois enjoyed according to their current website. (Located at: http://www.redmen.org/ ) It is explained that "legally" the Improved Order of Red Men is a patriotic order actually chartered by Congress.
This wonderful building standing in our National Historic Commercial District was restored perhaps in the 1970's by a Mr. Del Hasselvander. The bricks were scraped and sanded to their original condition and the building was repaired and reinforced according to Noonan's book, Yreka's West Miner Street, self-published in 1976. It is mentioned that the stairway door viewed in the front of the building is original and has been preserved for all to enjoy.
Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2008