1 East Washington St.

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North side of street

The Masonic Temple was built in 1916 on the site of the Greek Revival building long known as Nicholas B. Smith's Drug Store. (Fronts On Main Street)

The red brick building which stands on this site now was built as the Masonic Temple in 1916. The roof of the new building burned in 1922 when a fire started in a frame building to the north. The interior was gutted. A carnival was held in town to raise funds to repair the damage. (See Photos/Events) The Masonic Lodge was chartered January 13, 1854 with 10 members. Horatio Foster, one of Clarkston's first harnessmaker/blacksmiths was the first Master followed by Enos Church, owner/operator of a foundry and cloth mill; Henry Hirst, part owner of the Clarkston mills; Nicholas Bonaparte Smith, drugstore owner; John Peters, Smith's partner for a time; and John Harvey Dresser, insurance agent. The Masons held their meetings on the second floor of this new building as they did in the old Greek Revival style building which had previously stood on the same site. The first floor of the old wood building was given over to commercial use. Doctors Nelson Abbey & Horace Robinson had a drugstore a least by 1855 on the site, that is, in 27 & 1/2' X 60' in the southwest corner of the first floor of the building .In 1857 Abbey & Robinson according to tax records were joined by N.B. Smith for this space. In 1960 the tax records listed "Hirst & Robinson" and John Dresser for this site. (Reportedly Dresser who had run the inn on South Main for a short time also ran a store for a time before becoming an insurance agent in a building which stood on the site of 15 S. Main.) Abbey was replaced by J. Peters as Robinson's partner in 1862. The Smith Brothers, then Nicholas Bonaparte Smith alone operated a store here until Smith's death in 1895. (For a time, Nicholas Smith was in business with an Urch in a wood building south of Milton H. Clark's store on the southwest corner of W. Washington & South Main Sts.) Apparently others also occupied space in this building during its lifespan. Carran Implements, Albert Carran, proprietor, was reportedly located in the north half of this building. Francis J. Walter listed in tax records (see tax record synopsis for 4/6 N. Main) as a cabinet maker/undertaker apparently had a shop in the north 1/2 in the 1860s. He was followed in this space by Wm. V. B. Vliet, undertaker. Note: this site, which originally included the property of the existing on story building to the north, actually contained 2 Greek Revival style buildings with broken pediment- gable roofs facing Main St. connected by a flat roofed section. Leman Gulick had a barbershop on the first floor of one of these buildings for a time. Also one report has it that Isadore/Esidore Jossman had a store in a corner of one of these buildings and started the first bank in Clarkston here with J. C. Bird. (Other accounts cite two other locations on Main St.) A millinery, for a time occupied the flat roofed section. The double Greek Revival style buildings had all the hallmarks found in Midwestern adaptations of the style: the gently pitched gable roof; the wide entablature of the broken pediment; and the symmetry of the original 9 over 6 light windows on the second story. A circa 1900 photo shows the large plate glass display windows on the Main St. facade under the eaves of a porch which was probably an addition. According to an item in the 2/09/1905 issue of the Oakland County Post " The Masons are considering the advisability of acquiring the property In 1914 Thomas L. Parker had a business on the first floor. A 1921 Community News ad listed his wares as "harnesses, trunks, robes" & "family shoe repair". By 1918 he owned the building which he built at 3 N. Main. Floyd Andrews moved one half of the old wooden Greek Revival building to the site of 20 N. Main, transfering his blacksmith shop from a building just south of the stream (on the east side of Main) to the first floor, using the second as a residence. Previously the other Greek Revival building had reportedly been moved to join an existing building, the inn/tavern on South Main, now 20, 22, and 24 South Main.

Official Property Description: 
  • 62 & 1/2' x 75' in the southwest corner of Lot 9 Block 19 of Nelson W. Clark's Original Plat of the Village in the the Southeast 1/4 of Section 20 in Independence Township.
  • Lot 38 of the Supervisor's Replat of the Northwest Addition and part of the Original Plat.
Significant Property History: 
  • 1846 Arthur Davis, Lots 6 & 9 Block 19, assessed value $15.
  • 1847 Jeremiah Brown, the west 1/2 of Lots 6 & 9, "occupied together", assessed value $100.
  • 1850 Jeremiah Brown, the west 1/2 of Lot 6, & the west 1/2 of Lot 9 Block 19, except 19' x 37' from the southeast corner of Lot 9, assessed value $210. "occupied together".
  • 1855 Jeremiah Brown, the west 1/2 of Lots 5, 6, & 9, except 27 & 1/2' x 60' which is Abbey & Robinson's drugstore.
  • 1857 J. Brown, as above. 
Abbey & Robinson, assessed value $450. 
N.B. Smith, assessed value $200.
  • 1860 "Dresser", Hirst & Robinson, "62 & 1/2' x 27 & 1/2'wide" on Main on the southwest corner of Lot 9 Block 19, assessed value $450.
  • 1862 Robinson & J. Peters, as above, assessed value $450.
  • 1864 Smith & Peters, 27' x 62 & 1/2' in the southwest corner of Lot 9 Block 19, assessed value $500. The Cedar Lodge occupied the second floor.
  • 1966 Smith Bros., as above.
  • 1872 Map of the Village has a building footprint on this site , owner Peters/Smith, assessed value $250.
  • 1881 C.M. Smith, 62 & 1/2' x 27' on the southwest corner of Lot 9 Block 19.
  • 1892 N.B. Smith, 65' x 75' on Lot 9 Block 19, assessed value $350.
  • 1895 N.B. Smith died.
  • 1896 Map of the Village.
  • 1914 Thomas L. Parker, the undivided 1/2 of the lower 1/2 of the building, 62 & 1/2' x 75', assessed value $450.
  • 1916 the Plaque on the brick building says Thomas L. Parker & Milan M. Vliet.
  • 1917 Masonic Building Association, assessed value $3000.
  • 1924 Masonic Bldg. Association, 62 & 1/2' on Washington St., assessed value $4000.
Architecture Style: 
Historic District Commission Documents: