9. Standin' on the Corner Rt. 66 Gift Shop
In 1912, the local Elks Lodge began working on their new building on the corner of Second Street and Kinsley Avenue. In 1913, the building was dedicated and W.G. Kelly opened Kelly Drug Company on the first floor. The drugstore had a pharmacy, a marble soda fountain, stationery and other odds and ends. Eventually, the store was changed to the Central Drug Store and then housed a local tri-weekly local news periodical called The Reminder. Four generations of the Benham family ran The Reminder until 2007. It was later rebranded as The Scoop and currently runs weekly as The Town Crier.
The second floor of the building was rented to community groups such as the local Elks Lodge. A steep staircase leads up to the dark wood paneled wainscoted rooms of the second floor. An elegant space, the second floor hosted Elks’ meetings, parties, local art shows and wedding receptions. The tall windows that surround the space can be opened for a lovely cross breeze which helped cool the area for parties when it was first built.
Tragedy struck the building only a few years after it was completed. A local Elk and his young wife were preparing the space for an Elks Lodge dance. It was a celebration and the wife was leaning out of one of the west-facing windows to hang a large banner above the drugstore awnings. No one is quite sure what happened, but she somehow slipped and fell to her death on the street below. The drugstore awning did little to slow her fall as she screamed. It has been years since the upper portion of the building has hosted an event because the staircase does not meet modern safety code. To this day in the shop below, people will randomly hear a scream and footsteps racing over to the west-side windows. Generations of building owners have rushed up the steep staircase, looking for the source of the scream or the pounding footsteps only to be greeted by dust and cobwebs.
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