Along Main Street: 319 E. Main Street

Lowell Engineering expansion in 1974

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.

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Address: 319 E. Main
Date Built: 1911
Owner: Dr. J. P. Draper
​1st owner: Dr. Draper’s Stand-in barn for horses

This building was built in 1911 to be Dr. J. P. Draper’s 10c Stand-In Barn for horses in association with his Veterinary Hospital and blacksmith shop next door. Customers could leave their horses in this barn while they shopped or worked in town for the day, or if the horse needed shoeing, it could wait its turn in the stand-in barn. However, transportation methods soon changed; horses were out, automobiles were in.

Percy Gregory’s Buick Garage in 1915

Percy Gregory had a Buick Garage here in 1915, followed by Arthur Clark’s Buick garage. It became Bennett & Sons in 1919 who were experts in electrical and battery service. Earl Hunter’s Star garage was here in 1925 when Frank A. Gould purchased the building for his Overland, Dodge and Plymouth Sales and Service. Graham Brothers also sold their Trucks from here in 1928.

In the photo above, the one-story building on the right is 319 E. Main. Gould’s Garage used both 317 and 319 East Main from 1925 to 1944. Gould sold the business and building to Peter Speerstra in 1944. Speerstra kept the “Gould’s Garage” name and sold Dodge and Plymouth cars until he moved out in 1954.

Peter Speerstra operated Gould’s Garage and Peter Speerstra Agency at this location from 1944 to 1953.

The building was purchased by Richard Bancroft and George Dey in 1954. They opened the Lowell Model Shop to manufacture small tools, jigs, dies and die models. This became Lowell Engineering Corp in 1959. In 1965, they had 30-35 employees and were manufacturing automotive and appliance parts. They expanded by constructing the steel frame building adjoining to the east (321 E. Main) in 1974. In 1980, they moved to a larger facility in Alto.

Lowell Engineering expansion in 1974

Central States Machinery Sales and Precision Grinding was here in the early 1980s; Lowell Auto Body was here from 1985-2004. Bennett Funeral Coaches was here briefly. Then in 2008, 319 E. Main was remodeled into the showroom for All Weather Seal which specializes in window and door sales and installation. They also deal in roofing, attic venting, gutter installation, and siding.

Here’s what the 319 E. Main Street looked like in 1966:

And here’s what it looks like today:


  1. Hi – Can the author please contact me? I’m interested to know about the Bennett & Sons business, especially if they may be related to me. Thanks!

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