Monday, April 19, 2010

Masonic Hall Building

The Yreka Masonic Hall Building
304 West Miner Street, Yreka, CA

Photo Copyright: Claudia East

Situated at the center of the historic district on Miner Street in Yreka is the Masonic Hall Building. This building was built in 1926 and was funded by Masonic Orders who sold shares at $50 each to finance the project. The lower level was originally drafted to house three different businesses and the rental of those spaces helped to fund the Masonic Order. The second story, or top floor was reserved for Lodge activities. A plaque on the front of the building explains that early on the Denny Bar Company (first chain store in California) operated here along with the Electric Company owned by Ernest Millbourn and for awhile the Klamath National Forest offices. In the 1933 City Directory Churchill-McDonald Builders and Hardware was listed at 300-302 West Miner, their phone number was #9. In the 1980s Cooley & Pollard Hardware purchased the downstairs portion of the building from the Masonic order and has operated at this location since the 1930s.

Prior to this building being constructed as early as 1880 there was a brick building at this location that housed Engine & House No. 1 the Yreka Fire Department. Adjacent to the fire house was another building that was home to offices. The area that the current building sits upon was once known as the Wetzel lot and the Whiting Building in earlier times.

For those of you that have a copy of our book, Yreka, from Arcadia Publishing Image of America Series you will find photos of the building taken in the late 1920s on page 38. You will also find photos of the building that was located at this spot prior to this "new" Masonic Lodge being built in 1926 on page 116. Additional photos of the interior of the earlier lodge can also be found on pages 112 and 113.

Information for this post was obtained from Archie Noonan's 1976 manuscript Yreka's West Miner Street Buildings, Blocks 200 - 300, 1851 - 1900; from information published on the historic marker sign at the building; references to old City Directories as well as from personal knowledge.

Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Golden Eagle Drug Store

The Golden Eagle Drug Company, circa 1931

The Golden Eagle Drug Store once occupied the lot at 112 West Miner Street in Yreka, California, today this spot has a small city park that is adjacent to a community art gallery and public restrooms.

Prior to the "great fire of 1871" there were reportedly several early Yreka buildings at this location, but following the fire in about 1877 a J. W. Riddle constructed a sturdy brick building. A historic plaque mounted on a post with information from the Siskiyou County Museum explains that Mr. Riddle created a basement of sandstone so he could rent storage to local farmers for their grain. By 1885 the majority of this building at the street level was being used as a saloon with a very small tailor shop on the East wall of the structure. In the rear of the building were small lodging accommodations. In 1888 the building was largely vacant with a boot-smith operating in a small area of the building, and by 1890 the boot-smith was gone and a portion of the building was home to a cobbler.

By 1897 the building had been partitioned into two distinct business buildings. With the West side of the building being a little larger than 1/2 of the structure. At this time the Riddle Building was home to a Hardware and Stove business with a Confectionery store on the smaller East portion. We discover that in 1908 the Confectionery business is gone and has been replaced by a Stage (or taxi) Office. Early in 1927 the Stage Office moved to the rear of the building where there were former lodging areas and a general office occupied its former unit. The larger portion of the building was now home to a Billiard Parlor.

In 1927 the Golden Eagle Drug Store opened for business and occupied the area where the Billiard Parlor once was. One can view the two separate entrances for the building in the image above (the tile under the windows show the division). The Golden Eagle Drug Store operated for quite some time and later became Cumming's Drug. We find Cumming's Drug Store listed in the 1949 City Directory. The two drug stores operated in this location for 56 years. The building was home to a thrift and collectibles store in July of 1990 when the building burned and was unable to be saved.

Copyright: Claudia A. Eat