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: 206 E. Main
Date Built: 1873
Builder: Sylvester Brower
1st business: Enos & Bradfield carriages
In 1873, Enos & Bradfield, carriage dealers, were the first owners of this building. They sold buggies, carriages, harnesses, whips, horse blankets, and horses. They made a specialty of Ovid (Michigan) and Lansing buggies but carried other standard buggies and goods. Enos and Bradfield sold carriages like this one below which belonged to the Newton Warners.
R. J. Enos and S. C. Bradfield had formed their business partnership in 1867 and continued it in Lowell until 1900. The business then continued in Grand Rapids until Mr. Bradfield passed in 1911. By 1885, Enos and Bradfield had moved to a location “on the bridge” and this location became the furniture store of Coons & MacNaughton with Albert Oliver, Jeweler. In 1894, J. B. Yeiter opened his furniture store and was soon joined by E. Wadsworth so it became Yeiter & Wadsworth, furniture and undertaking, 1894-1896. They then moved to the Kopf building at 212 E. Main.
In 1910, the Sanborn map lists this location as “Provisions” and in 1918 as a “Ware house.”
The Nazarene church used this building in 1923. Other occupants included the Star Garage (1929) and the People’s Service Garage operated by R. W. Covell, in the early 1930s. He had a garage door in the rear so he could sell and service Willys Overlands, Willlys Knights and Whippets. Next M. D. Hoyt Co. sold appliances like refrigerators, electric ranges, and Philco radios, 1939-1941.
R. G. Chrouch purchased the building in 1941 and installed a new front. He operated Chrouch Radio Service, which sold and repaired radios and TVs, for over 40 years, into the early 1980s. One of his ads for this business reads, “If It Has a Tube We Service It.”
Racks of popular 45rpms (records) were available for sale here. This was “the place” to get the most popular 45rpm record singles during the 1960s, and Don Leeman’s collection is above.
Every week they had a stack of handouts listing the top records of the week as compiled by local radio stations such as WGRD and WLAV. One of WLAV’s charts is shown above.
His second business, called Chrouch Communications, was begun in 1950. It became the biggest of the two but was the least well-known because it dealt with public Two-Way Communications for industry, police and fire departments, and road commissions servicing an area as far away as Lansing, Muskegon, Alma, and Kalamazoo, etc. Although Chrouch Communications, Inc. no longer works from this location, it continues today as a Motorola dealer and installs Two-Way Radios, and E-9-1-1 Systems, etc.
Other businesses in this building were: The Greyhound Bus Depot; Carole’s Critters, 1980s; J & J Variety and Pix Properties, 1990s; Salon 206, 1997-2014; and Edward Jones since 2015.
Here’s what 206 E. Main Street looked like in the past. It’s the building on the far right of the block:
And here’s what it looks like today: