Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Main Street Stories: Edward S. Barnes Building

The building at 309 S. Main began its life as a jewelry shop. Edward S. Barnes broke ground for his new store in the fall of 1903, and according to the Rochester Era, opened his doors to customers in time for Christmas:
E.S. Barnes has his neat new store nearly ready for business and will open next week with a fine new line of jewelry and be ready for the holiday trade.
Barnes was born in New Jersey in 1857, the son of Samuel and Ann Moore Barnes. He came with his parents to Avon Township and was employed for a number of years at the Barnes Paper Mill. He also learned telegraphy and worked as a telegraph operator and agent for the Michigan Central Railroad. In 1903, he decided to leave his former occupation and go into the jewelry business, and continued in that line until 1925.

In that year, Edward S. Barnes sold out to Frank M. Deschaine, who briefly continued the jewelry store. In 1926, Deschaine sold to A.D. Brown, who ran a paint and wallpaper store in the location. In 1929, Lloyd E. Hanna opened his barbershop at 309 and conducted it there for many years. By 1950, the building was home to Cameron's Barber Shop and the Clara-Ann Beauty Salon, and in 1953 it once again housed a jewelry store when Lloyd Lake opened his business there. Lake Jewelers was a fixture at 309 S. Main until the mid-1980s, and had the longest tenure in the building of any business to date, including Barnes himself. After Lloyd Lake's retirement, the building housed a number of businesses including Charlotte's Boutique and the current occupant, Legends Of Time Native American Gallery.

The Edward S. Barnes building celebrates its 107th birthday this year.

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