Friday, July 10, 2015

The Baldwin Block ~ Part II

This is an article that originally appeared in the February/March 1984 edition of the Yreka Echoes Newsletter.  The article was originally written by Hazel Fiock Ohlund.  Copyright by Yreka (Historic) Preservation.  Reprinted by permission. Please note some of the businesses are no longer at the locations mentioned.  [Part 1 can be found in the previous blog article.]
Below is Part 2 of the article:

            In 1904 the Walker-Avery Drug moved across the street from the Baldwin Block, and in 1905 was replaced by W. H. Smith’s General Merchandise Store which featured heavy clothing and hardware items.  (Mr. Smith had purchased Shone’s secondhand store on Main Street when he closed out in 1904.)  Mr. Smith carried, also, furniture, carpets, crockery, upholstery goods, picture frames, bicycles, groceries and meat.  During the year the store building was sold by the Julien family to Miles Buckner.

                In 1908 a barber shop was in operation here, followed by Mrs. McCormick who operated a needle-craft shop.  In 1913 the business was purchased by Mrs. Nettie (Davidson) McGill and Miss Hattie Davidson (aunts of Mrs. Gladys Zolskey of Yreka).  They expanded the business to include ladies clothing.  In 1937 Hattie Davidson became the sole owner of the business and building, operating it until 1950.  She lived in a three-room apartment upstairs in back of the store.  A fire damaged a part of the apartment and the back of the store, but she renovated and continued in business.

            When Miss Davidson bought the building in 1937, she had a partition built on the west side of the store, making a small ten-foot room that she rented to the Western Union, which was managed by Arthur Zolskey for thirty-two years.

            Wes and Ellen McMillan bought the building from Miss Davidson’s brother, William, on March 16, 1950 and opened a Westinghouse appliance sales and service store.  They too, lived in the apartment in the back and rented the smaller room to the west.  Homer Atchley, a realtor, had an office here until his death in 1973.   After the McMillan's retired they rented the store to Mrs. Ray Taylor who operated a health food store until 1965, when Ohlund’s Office Supply moved in after the Warren’s Building fire, where they were previously  renting.

            Ohlund’s established the office machine service department in the former apartment.  In 1973 Bob and Hazel Ohlund bought the building, lowered the ceiling, redecorated and removed the partition that separated Homer Atchley’s office, to allow for expansion and accommodate more office furniture, machines, and inventory.

The following is an “updated addendum” from 1984:

            Ohlund’s at 204-206 W. Miner Street is the largest and most complete office equipment and supply store in Northern California.  Prompt attention is given to the repair of office machines by their pleasant repairmen, Glen Goodwin, and his son, Glen, Jr.

            Ohlund’s has been in business for 24 years, having purchased a small office supply store from Albert Parrott at 112 South Broadway in 1960.  They moved across the street to the Warrens Building in 1962, and after the fire of 1966, settled in at 204 W. Miner Street.  Hazel and Bob’s son, Barry, became a partner in 1977.

            They have six permanent employees, and two more part-time.  Products are full lines of bond copiers, electronic typewriters, calculators, cash registers, office furniture, general office supplies, and a service   department trained in all modern phases of electronic technology.

Since the update in 1984 many changes have come and gone with the Baldwin Block.  Today, in 2015 one will find the Miner Street Meat Market, Ohlund's Office Supply, and Dinner's Ready.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Baldwin Block, Part 1

The article below is copyrighted by Yreka (Historic) Preservation and reprinted by permission.  It originally appeared in the February/March 1984 edition of Yreka Echoes Newsletter.  Please note some of the businesses are no longer at the locations mentioned.

An eventful year in our historic past was 1871, when a fire ravaged nearly one-third of the town of Yreka.  The fire started in a Chinese wash house west of Second Street (Broadway), pinpointed by the old-timers as approximately where the Yreka Flower Shop is now, 208 West Miner Street, and in one hour’s time left the town in ruins due to shifting winds carrying the fire from street to street.  It was ten years before rebuilding began on what became known as the Baldwin Block, where Ohlund’s Office Supply and the Miner Street Meat Market now resides.  

            In 1881 contractors J. W. Riddle and Al Smith began construction on the building for Mrs. W. I. Nichols, whose father was Rev. J. T. Baldwin, a Presbyterian minister and graduate of Princeton University in the class of 1823.  Her husband was a local attorney.

            The building was a large 100 by 80-foot brick structure, with a space in back designed for offices or sleeping rooms.  Work progressed slowly, since they worked through the winter and mortar and plastered walls did not dry well due to freezing temperatures.  An outstanding feature of building in that era was the substantial board walks constructed in front of the building; and the basements were large and well drained by deep sewers running into Yreka Creek.

            The first business to open where Ohlund’s Office Supply is now located was a saloon.  On June 3, 1882 the Portuguese Billiard Saloon opened its doors for business, operated by Frank Roberts and A. S. Oliver.  They spared no effort or expense in making it one of the “handsomest” places of “public resort” in the country.  The bar, made by Mr. Oliver, was located on the east side of the saloon and a shooting gallery, at 25¢ for six shots, attracted local sportsmen on the west side.  A Virginia pool table was the center focal point.  Quoting from the Yreka Journal of June 3, 1882: “No boys under 18 permitted as a preventive of becoming a hoodlum resort.”

            The building was sold by Mrs. Nichols (Jennie T. Nichols) to N. B. Julien October 20, 1882 for the sum of $5,084.50, and in 1885 the saloon was known as the Roberts Saloon.  By 1892 the building was being used as a sample room for the Clarendon Hotel across the street.

            A new steel roof was put on the entire Baldwin Block in 1899 by Mr. Julien, the owner, who hired Iunker Brothers to cover the 9,000 square foot space.  New chimneys were made, and new skylights coated with iron sheeting.  The rear portion above the brick wall was covered with iron to make the block as near fireproof as possible.

            The Walker-Avery Drug Store was the next business in this location.  Extensive improvements were made before the proprietors occupied the store in May, 1900, which made the store “the most beautiful, modern building north of Sacramento.”  A new fa├žade was erected with a plate glass front and two doors, and a beautifully refurbished interior.  Quoting the Yreka Journal of May 26, 1903, “C. W. Avery has a cozy and neat arbor or tent in the center of his drug store, where partees [sic] can enjoy refreshments during warm days in the way of ice cream, ice cream soda, and various kinds of temperance beverages.”

Look for Part 2 of this article in the next blog post...