Along Main Street: 317 E. Main Street

Peter Speerstra purchased the business from Frank A. Gould in 1944 and continued until 1954. 317 E. Main is the two-story building on the left.

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: 317 E. Main
Date Built: 1910
Builder: William Peck of Lowell Lumber Co.
Owner: J. P. Draper
First business: Dr. J. P. Draper, Veterinary Surgeon & Blacksmith

In October 1910, Dr. J. P. Draper purchased the lots east of the Music Hall and hired William Peck to build a building suitable for a veterinary hospital, livery and blacksmith shop.

The 1912 ad in the Island City Cookbook reads:

Dr. J. P. Draper, V.S. – Treats all diseases of horses and other domestic animals.
Calls Promptly Attended to Day or Night.
Office and Hospital in new fire-proof building on Main Street.
Blacksmith Shop and 10c Stand-in barn in connection.
Office phone 144-2; Residence phone 144-3

The building next door was built to be Dr. Draper’s Stand-in barn for horses.

Doc Draper’s Blacksmith shop. He was a veterinary surgeon of horses and all domestic animals with Office and Hospital in this new fire-proof building on Main Street as well as his smithy.

By October 1914, Fred DeWeert was doing Horse-shoeing and General Blacksmithing here. Dr. Draper had built another building for his Office and Hospital on Washington Street across from his residence (404 Avery). Dr. James Powell Draper tragically died in 1932 at age 67. He had a headache so he took a nerve medicine made for horses which contained strychnine. He knew that was the problem and told Dr. S. S. Lee immediately when he was summoned. Sadly, Dr. Draper soon passed away.

1927 Newspaper Advertisement

From 1918 to 1954, this building was used for auto sales and service with the adjoining building at 319 E. Main. It housed the following businesses: Arthur Clark’s Buick Garage, Bennett & Son’s Buick Garage, Earl Hunter’s Star Garage prior to becoming Frank A. Gould’s Auto Sales and Service in 1925. Gould was a Dodge and Plymouth dealer in Lowell for 28 years and was also the agent for Auto Owner’s Insurance for 15 years. In 1944, Gould retired and sold his business to Peter Speerstra who had been associated with him for the previous 16 years. Speerstra retained the name “Gould’s Garage” because of its widely known reputation. He was also a Dodge and Plymouth Dealer.

Peter Speerstra purchased the business from Frank A. Gould in 1944 and continued until 1954. 317 E. Main is the two-story building on the left.

Lowell Auto Body was located here 1985-2005. Flat River Cottage, which hosted a consortium of antique dealers, used this building from 2007 to October 2022. Today, it houses Rogers Neighborhood Realty.

Below is what 317 E. Main Street looked like during the 1948 flood. Gould’s Garage is in foreground.

And here’s what 317 E. Main Street looked like in 2022:

1 Comment

  1. I really like the before and after picture. These articles are much easier to read and understand than the Historical Museums articles. Thank you for the good work you do.

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