Spencer travels back by going upstairs

8 May 2017

Many in Spencer are familiar with the mainstay businesses of Spencer's downtown district. Despite being familiar with what occupies the ground floor, many people have never had the chance to see what sits above their favorite shops on Grand Avenue. To remedy this, Spencer Main Street and the Spencer Historic Preservation Commission held the "Main Street Upper Stories Tour" on Saturday, which included the areas above Jimmy John's, the former Thrifty White Drug, the former Carrick's Hallmark, Brown's Shoe Fit and the former Emagine Marketing offices. Tour guides included "Mr. Spencer" Bob Rose; chairpersons for the Historic Preservation Commission, Sheriffa Jones and Brian Mohr; Spencer Planning Director Kirby Schmidt; and local business owner Dave Jacobsen.

Rose shared his interest in showing others how many businesses, offices and residences existed in Spencer at the turn of the 20th century.

"The benefit (of the tour) is having people see it, and the history in itself is interesting, 'Why did the original building owner put (their office) upstairs?' Well, because back in the '10s and '20s it was traditional for your doctor, optometrist, your lawyers to be upstairs," Rose said.

Spencer Main Street Director Nancy Naeve shared why the tour has been important in establishing a greater connection to Spencer's history with the citizens of Spencer.

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