Along Main Street: 301 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: 301 W. Main
Date Built: 1878
Builder: Barney McGee
1st business: Cormick McGee Saloon and Restaurant

Barney McGee built this building of Milwaukee brick in 1878. First, it was the saloon and restaurant of Cormick McGee and then Anthony Rosback. A second storefront was added to the west side prior to 1892. Then in 1892, it became Christopher Bergin’s grocery store. Bergin’s wife was Rose McGee, daughter of the builder.

Interior of Houseman Grocery 1920s

From 1898 to 1927, C. H. Alexander Grocery and Wholesale Produce operated here. Martin Houseman Grocery and Meats followed. In 1934, Theron Richmond opened Richmond’s Tavern, later called Richmond’s Café. In 1944, Percy and Ethel Read purchased the block and operated the restaurant as the Lowell Café. Percy soon died but Ethel continued. She changed over to cafeteria style service.

In the 1960s, the Cafe was sold to Clare Palen who died in 1966. Dorothea Norris lived above the café and helped run the restaurant. She then owned it. In 1978 brothers Steve, Bob and Harry Larkin bought the property and Larkin Saloon was established. The youngest brother Mike Larkin bought the restaurant from his older brothers in 1995 and operated it for over 25 years until 2021.

Below is the C. H. Alexander Grocery which operated from 1898 to the late 1920s. He was also a wholesale produce dealer who used the western storefront to store and move produce.

Here’s what 301 W. Main Street looked like then…

And now…

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