Sunday, March 11, 2012

Good Luck Building

101 North Main Street

This building, dated 1883 and called "Good Luck" because those words are carved on the keystone of its horseshoe-shaped main window frame, was constructed by Henry H. Day in the aftermath of a December, 1882, fire that destroyed five frame buildings at the south end of the west side of the square. The two double-front buildings, or blocks, immediately to the north also were built after that blaze.

As shown in this postcard view, which dates from ca. 1902, this window once was fully glazed. As years have passed, the building also has lost the cast metal cornice that once crowned its east facade and the brick cornice that once stretched along the east two-thirds of its south facade. The remaining third of that latter cornice remains.

The horseshoe window and the stepped enfilade of bulding parts that follows the drop of the hill Good Luck sits on, culminating in what appears to be a low two-story townhouse, are unique in Chariton but cannot be traced to a specific architect.

When this photo, generally dated 1869, was taken, the Good Luck site was occupied by Stanton & Patterson's New Drug Store, at far left here, offering among other items paints, oils, glass, putty, brushes, varnish, &tc. A major fire during February of 1867 had destroyed the south half of the west side of the square, so in 1869 these buildings would have been new.

Henry Day and his wife, Rebecca, moved to Chariton ca. 1867 with their children from a farm in Liberty Township, where they had lived since arriving in Lucas County from Belmont County, Ohio, 10 years earlier, and he went into the hardware and grocery business. They most likely acquired this building ca. 1869-1870.

By ca. 1875, when this photo was taken, the Good Luck site --- at the extreme left here and only partly in the frame, was occupied by the Day hardware store.

This building is identified as the H.H. Day home although it's unclear whether Henry and Rebecca bought it or built it. The home stood on the lot west of the alley just west of the Day store, a site still occupied by a dwelling although it is very close to railroad tracks. The brick building visible to the right of the house also was built just after that 1867 fire and succeeded in stopping the 1882 fire, preventing it from consuming the entire south half of the block. That brick building is now encased within what is generally called the Stanton Building today. The building's front is clearly visible in the ca. 1875 photo.

When fire broke out during December of 1882, Henry Day still owned the corner building and most likely the building immediately to the north, but was no longer in business there. His buildings were occupied by Manning & Murphy, who sustained a reported loss of goods valued at $4,500, totally uninsured. Day's building loss was estimated at $2,500 and also was uninsured.

That does not seem to have deterred Day, who began rebuilding almost immediately. By July 18, 1883, The Chariton Patriot reported, "the finishing touches are being put on the roof of H.H. Day's new brick on the west side, and the work of plastering and finishing the inside will be commenced soon."

On the 31st of October, The Patriot reported that "Mr. C.F. Corona and family, of Creston, arrived in Chariton last Friday and will make this city their permanent home. Mr. Corona has leased the basement of H.H. Day's new building and will open a tailor shop therein this week."

And on the 14th of November, it was reported that "our old time friend, J. Fletcher Smith, has opened a real estate and law and collection office in one of the nicely furnished upstairs rooms in H.H. Day's new building."

The principal tenant of the new building would be J. N. McCollough & Co. James N. McCollough's son, Addison D. H. McCollough, married Minnie Day, Henry's daughter, during September of 1883. Although the marriage did not last, ending in divorce during 1897, the firm continued in the Good Luck Building through 1900 as a  purveyor of dry goods, carpets and cloaks.

The Good Luck Building was built in two stages, The two-story 1883 section measured approximately 20 by 120 feet. During 1898, the stepped 68-foot one-story addition was made to the rear, increasing total length to 188 feet.

An advertisement in The Chariton Democrat of April 15, 1898, stated that "this entire space will be filled with Dry Goods, Carpets and Cloaks. This store is daily shopping headquarters, the regular supply center for nearly every family of Lucas County."

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