Along Main Street: 96-98-100 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: 96-98-100 E. Main
Built: 1866; Expanded 1886; Remodeled 1928
Built by: L. B. Lull & Wm. Boyce; Remodeled by Cliff Hatch
1st business: Nash & Boyce Axe Factory; Stormzand’s Central Garage

Harmon Nash and William Boyce operated a Machine Shop and Axe Factory where they manufactured axes, log running tools, ice breaking tools and repaired mowing machines. The log running was just starting on the Flat River at that time. Ice was being harvested from the river, packed in sawdust and stored in ice houses to be used by households to keep their foods cold.

Harmon Nash was born in NY in 1835 and came with his parents to a farm in Vergennes in 1845. He began the machine shop and implement manufacturing business after the Civil War with a partner, William Boyce. They made 150 dozen axes each year. The photo above was taken in 1893.

Boyce died in 1879 but Nash was in business for over 50 years until 1918. He also sold Agricultural Implements like McCormick binders, plus buggies, wagons, robes, and horse blankets. Nash expanded the building in 1886 by adding a large platform at the rear of the express office, which was the building next door to the west, as an agricultural implement depot.

The old Boyce and Nash Axe Factory was built in 1866, and the drawing above shows it in 1893. In 1882, Robert W. Graham “moved his two wooden buildings from the east side to his lots on the bridge by the axe factory”. It is believed these were the express office noted above and the tailor shop (102 E. Main). The piers were replaced in 1904. The building was remodeled and incorporated with a new addition to the west in 1928.

Anthony H. Stormzand operated Stormy’s Central Garage, an auto repair shop, from 1922-1940. In the photos above, the wrecker is parked on the sidewalk behind the gas pumps so a tractor and farm truck could remove the snow. In 1928, he had a 30×60 addition built and had the half-rotted timbers of the old axe factory replaced.

In the photo above, the building has a sign which reads “Willard” on the far left side. The Garage door can be seen almost under the “Garage Ford Service” sign. There were two gas pumps on the right side. This photo is circa 1930s.

In the 1950s, William Christiansen used the building as a parking structure for his tenants who occupied the second floor of his drug store across the street.

In this photos, you can see the timbers used to hold up 96 E. Main Street, which is in the foreground.

And here’s a look at some of more modern businesses to be located in this building

96 E. Main –East storefront: Art’s (Warning) TV was here from 1965 – 1990, and Peg Bedell opened Bedell Jewelers, a watch repair and jewelry shop, in the same storefront from 1965-1987.
The Touch of Country oak furniture store and Hungry Howies Pizza followed. Milo’s Kid’s Consignment Store opened in October 2022.

98 E. Main–Center storefront: Gillis Upholstery Shop, Harriette’s, The Debonaire Shop, Bride ‘N Bouquet, Bookabout, and Circle JF Saddlery were here. Dr. Robert Kyser, dentist, and briefly Dr. Judd Carroll, had an office in the back with windows looking out over the river, 1950s-1996. Fish & Finn Outfitters & Consignment has opened at 98 E. Main.

100 E. Main— West storefront: Jim’s (Worley) Barbershop, 1967-2017. Flat River Tatoo operated by Joseph Peterman, opened in November 2021.

Here’s what the building looked like in 1966 when the Bookabout and Art’s TV were there:

And here’s what 96-98-100 E. Main Street look like today:


  1. Thank you so much for your great articles you have written about Main Street. This one must have been difficult as there isn’t just one thing in a building. Please keep up the good work.

    • Thanks so much for your note Judie. The Lowell Area Historical Museum writes these, and they do such a great job, don’t they? 🙂

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