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: 215 W. Main
Date Built: 1883
Builder: Morgan Lyon
1st business: J. Q. Look Drugs
Morgan Lyon acquired the land and built the four storefront Lyon building after the fire of 1882 destroyed the Franklin Hotel here. This is the westernmost store of the Lyon Block.
J. Q. Look Drugs was the first business in this building from 1883-1888.
John Quincy Look was the much older half-brother of Dexter G. Look. Dexter worked as a clerk for his brother for four years. Shortly after J. Q. Look moved to the Lyon Block on the northside of Main Street, Dexter Look began a career as a druggist at 214 W. Main on the southside. In 1888, J. Q. Look retired and Willard Winegar bought his building and business. It was W. S. Winegar Drugs until 1924 when Winegar took on a Junior partner and the business name became Winegar and Hartman. Hartman had previously worked for him as a clerk for 16 years.
From 1930 to 1955, the business was W. C. Hartman Drugs. Hartman Drugs also sold schoolbooks, pens, pencils, paper, and other school supplies. He carried both new and used books. “The schoolbooks were laid out by grade level so you knew what was needed before school started,” as remembered by William Wood. “One year I bought an Algebra textbook for $6.00 and hardly used it because the Algebra teacher quit. Mr. Hartman only offered 50c for returning it. I was so mad that I kept it.”
From 1955 to 1973 Hazel’s Hat Shop was here. “Hazel whistled while she worked. She stocked baby clothes, lingerie and maternity clothes in her store. Most women wore dusters when pregnant. Hazel stocked real maternity dresses,” remembered Nancy Wood. Hazel Hoag’s Hat Shop which also included other clothing lines was at 215 W. Main for 18 years. She began her career at the age of 16 by working in the store of R. D. Stocking to learn the millinery trade.
That Special Place, operated by Dolores Dey and Shirley Richmond from 1974-1984, specialized in infant and children’s clothing. Other businesses here included: Straw Basket Collections; Richard Heath, Lawyer; Shorebird Gallery and Gifts; Glass House Designs and Ability Weavers.
Here’s what 215 W. Main Street looked like then (as W.S. Winegar Drugs):
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