The Lowell Area Historical Museum is taking us on a stroll along Main Street and sharing the history of buildings in Lowell’s historic downtown. To learn more about Lowell history, visit the museum website to explore its collection of local artifacts and records.
Address: 101 E. Main
Date Built: 1884
Builder: B. G. Wilson
1st business: United States Post Office
The post office was located on the bridge at the center of town. The addresses were numbered from here, to the right was East Main and to the left was West Main.
A fire in 1884 destroyed the original wooden post office on this site as well as 14 buildings to the west, one to the east, and four across the road. This brick building was built by B. G. Wilson that same year. Sixteen–year-old Ernest Graham worked as one of the bricklayers on the project. Ernest was son of Robert Graham, builder of the Museum building and a future architect. The foundation of this two and a half story Italianate building is secured on pilings driven into the Flat River.
The building served as Lowell’s Post Office from 1884 to 1939 when a new Post Office was built on N. Broadway. From 1884-1908, the second floor housed the photographic studios of George L. Wilson, William Judd, and Milan Wilson.
In 1916, the post office temporarily moved to the Music Hall on the east side of town for 30 days so that alterations and improvements in the building and the installation of up-to-date equipment could be accomplished.
In the early 1940s after the Post Office had moved, it became a Gamble Store. In 1946, Bruce McMahon and Ed Reynolds bought the building and operated a men’s clothing store. From 1952 to 1970, it was Avery’s Jewelry. Hans Fischer ran a piano and nickelodeon repair shop in the 1970s. It later became the Serenity Club. Decorative iron work was added to the front of the building in July, 1970, to emphasize the New Orleans’ theme associated with the Showboat. This building was the last remaining example of that theme which was once popular in Lowell. In 2022, the building is being renovated to begin its new life as a restaurant.
Below is what the building looked like then. Rural mail carriers drove horses and buggies. In the winter, the wheels would be taken off and sleigh runners put on. Carriers identified in this 1909 photo are: Lew Morse, Bill Kerekes, Bill Flynn, Ford, Fred Barnes, Post Master Guy Perry, J.K. Moore. The words “Post Office” were cast into the ornamental cornice placed on top of the building.
And here’s what it looks like now: