Along Main Street: 216 E. 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: 216 E. Main
Date Built: 1873
Builder: Sylvester Brower
1st business: V. D. Young Groceries

In 1873, Vatchel D. Young opened a grocery store here. In 1884, it was the meat market of Foreman & Aldrich. In 1891, it was the meat market of John J. McNaughton and Newton Coons; when the partnership dissolved, Newton Coons continued.

In 1893, McCarty was Village President of Lowell.

Charles McCarty and Co. Meats, Groceries and Produce moved four doors east to this location (from 208 E. Main) in 1897-1907. McCarty dealt with everything a farmer had to sell. His ad read “Dealer of Staple and Fancy Groceries, Fruits, crockery, salt, lime, hair, plaster, bricks, drain tile. Buyer and Shipper of fruits, butter, eggs, potatoes, beans, corn, oats, wood, wool, hides, furs, dressed pork and beef, poultry and game.” He also made loans on Real Estate. He operated out of this east side location and his wholesale produce warehouse on West Main Street. McCarty was a busy man. He was a director of the Lowell State Bank next door. In 1890, he (McCarty), Frank Twining King, Francis King, and Reuben Quick purchased the defunct Superior flour mill on the west side of the Flat River and organized the stock company ownership as the King Milling Company.

The meat markets which followed McCarty Meats in this location were: Staal Bros. (Claude and Hiram Staal), Taylor & Staal, Fashbaugh & Jones, and Lee Jones Meats (1914). The Sanborn Maps of 1918, 1929 and 1938 list “Feed” as the business at this location. We know that in 1925, John Brezina had a creamery and sold Massey Harris Implements so he must also have sold feeds. In 1931, W. E. Hall sold feed, eggs and operated a creamery.

The photo above was donated by Sherry Stahl. It could be the Staal Meat Market at this location or perhaps where Main Street Inn is now.

From 1938-1945, it was the Cream Station of Mr. and Mrs. John Fahrni. Dr. J. W. Trumble purchased it from them and William Frost managed the creamery until 1949 when the building was sold to Oliver Farm Supply, 1949-1954. They sold and repaired Oliver farm equipment and DeLaval milking machines. In 1969, the building front was renovated, and Ralph and Barbara Fluger moved their Lowell Bakery from next door. Jim Brzezinski’s Lowell Bakery was here during the 1980s. Quality Tax Service, Flat River Bait & Tackle, Back Alley Bait, and Michigan Tax and Accounting followed. Bettie’s Pages bookstore opened in Feb. 2020.

Here’s what the building looked like in 1969 when it was Fluger’s bakery:

And here’s what 216 E. Main Street looks like today:

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