Along Main Street: 123 W. Main Street

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: 123 W. Main
Date Built: 1939
Owner when built: Frank Schlernitzauer
1st business: Frank’s 5c to $1

Another building once stood on this site. J. E. Lee built the two-story Lee Block from this corner eastward to 117 W. Main in 1877. The Lee Block contained five storefronts. Fire destroyed it in 1884; Lee rebuilt it using “corrugated iron covering on the sides.” The buildings were partially destroyed in another fire in 1906. Lee died in 1907 while superintending the rebuilding.

The photo above shows the Lee Block as it looked in 1893 when it housed the James McPherson Bazaar and a saloon. There was a photographer upstairs from 1893-1906.

Frank Schlernitzauer tore down the two-story portion of the Lee block in 1939, including the upper floor that was over 119 W. Main. He then built a new brick one-story building for his business “Frank’s 5c to $1” store which he and then his son, Dick, operated until 1974 when it was sold to “Ben Franklin” stores. In 1981, Duane and Arlene Lambert bought it and it became “Lambert’s Variety.” In 1995, Mike Sprenger opened “Springrove Variety”, which operated until 2020. These businesses were truly old-time dime stores with a candy counter, yarn, craft supplies, toys, cards and gifts.

Mike Sprenger operated Springrove Variety from 1995-2020. He continued the tradition of Lambert Variety which preceded Springrove.

Greg Canfield purchased the building in 2020 and transformed it into the “Ripple Restaurant.” Windows were added along Riverside Dr. and along the river so patrons would have views of the street, the Showboat or the river from their seats.

And here’s what 123 W. Main Street looks like today:

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