Monday, March 15, 2010

Montgomery Wards Building

Early view of the Montgomery Wards Building at 201 South Broadway, (formerly Second Street) Yreka, Ca

On June 7, 1929 a news article appeared in the Siskiyou Times explaining that the new "Ward Structure" was now underway as ground breaking was imminent. Local capitalist, Victor Warren was financing the building, he also constructed the large "Warren's Building" located adjacent to the Wards Building, and his sister built the Broadway Theatre as seen in the above photo as well.

The building was under the supervision of a J. P. Brennan, a Redding builder who won the contract for the job. The article explained that the building would be located on the corner of Second and Center Streets and would have an investment of approximately $50,000 ~ no small change for 1929! Further explanation of the structure said it would be one story in height with a mezzanine and have a frontage of 101 feet on Second Street and 102 feet on Center. All together the building was to provide 17,000 feet of floor space. The building completion was set for August 1, 1929. The news article further explained that to fill the store with stock it would take between 10 to 12 train carloads of merchandise! It was also anticipated that the new store would employ from 20 to 30 persons and they would be local hires with the exception of the chief executives.

Because this building project was given only 2 months to complete some "fancy footwork" had to be completed. The first was to seek a new place for the Chautauqua tent that currently occupied the spot and find a place for their next performances. The tent was subsequently removed and according to the news, the next performance was given in the Agricultural Hall which would have been right behind this lot.

Montgomery Wards came and went but served Yreka for many years, the building also served as a Rasco's during the late 1970s and early 1980s and currently serves as offices for Choices for Children and the Broadway New to You Thrift store that helps fund the Choices for Children programs. Around 2003-4 the building had some interior renovations when the Choices for Children's Program moved into the building.

For those of you who have our Yreka, Images of America book you will find other images of this store on pages 44, and 43.

Copyright: Claudia A. East

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