The Gardner Building
In the summer of 1878, this building was constructed by John Mee and leased to Clark D. Gardner. The building measures 24 × 50, described following its construction as "without exception the finest of its kind north of Grand Rapids". It was painted black with gold trim and had the distinction of being the first in the city to have single pane display windows.
Gardner, an Ohio native, moved to Manistee from Oceana County in 1867, where he had operated a jewelry business. Establishing himself in Manistee he operated a jewelry store in two locations in the city, being burned out of each, before leasing the building.
Gardner and his family operated a jewelry store at this location for 95 years. For many years a large clock mounted on an ornate pedestal stood in front of the store on the sidewalk serving as a landmark and community timepiece.
Year Built: 1878
First Owner: John Mee
Style: Commercial Victorian
Address: 431 River Street
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1878.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Thompson Building (a few steps from this marker); The Lyman Building (within shouting distance of this marker); The Haley Block (within shouting distance of this marker); The Tunnel (within shouting distance of this marker); Pere Marquette Line Steamers (within shouting distance of this marker); The Maple Street Bridge (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Improving Justice (about 600 feet away); Furniture Factories (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Manistee.
Regarding The Gardner Building. C. D. GARDNER, is a native of Ohio, and came to Manistee in the year 1867, from Pentwater, where he had resided for two years. Upon coming here he opened a jewelry store near the Canfield store, that being in the center of the town at that time. In the Fall of 1867 he removed to River Street, nearly opposite the Baur Exchange. Was burned out in the fire of 1869, and again in 1871. In 1879 he removed to his present location, at the corner of River and Oak Streets. Mr. Gardner served three years and nine months in the war, having enlisted in April, 1861, in the Eighth Ohio Infantry. He represented the Second Ward as alderman from 1876 to 1880, and has held various other local offices. Last year he was the Republican candidate for city recorder, but as the city is Democratic he was defeated.
From History of Manistee, Mason and Oceana counties, Michigan (1882)
Also see . . .
1. History of Manistee, Michigan. (Submitted on September 2, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Manistee Commercial National Register Historic District Buildings. (Submitted on September 2, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 2, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 227 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 2, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.