Schering Block (1903)
913-915 Harris Avenue
 
 1905 Rembrant Studio Photo - Whatcom Museum
A single story wood building occupied this property until destroyed by fire in January, 1903. It housed the Elk Saloon and the adjacent Elk Café. The building was owned by Charles Schering who replaced the structure with a two-story brick building built by Martin Siersdorfer for $10,000.

The Elk Saloon re-opened in the corner space (915 Harris), and in the following year, the adjacent space at 913 Harris was occupied by the Jenkins-Boys Hardware Company. According to the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, the storefront around the corner at 1208 10th Street was used by a printing business. The top floor, designed as a meeting hall, was accessed from a stairway facing 10th Street and was used as office space when the building was initially built.



The Dry Ballot of 1910 forced the closure of all drinking establishments, vacating the saloon at the corner space of this building. The Jenkins-Boys Company expanded their hardware business to include furniture and by 1917, had moved from 913 Harris to downtown Bellingham at 210 Holly Street.

The top floor meeting space was opened up and reinforced from below, and in the 1930’s and 1940’s became known as the Croatian Hall. It was used for dances and celebrations by the large Slavic community of southside fishermen and their families. Music was provided by tamboritza bands playing traditional Croatian tunes.

Through the 1960’s the ground floor housed a series of mechanical and small manufacturing businesses. The most significant was a fiberglass boatbuilding firm, Wright Manufacturing Company, which took over the former dance hall with additional storage below.
 In 1972, Ken Imus of Jacaranda Development Company purchased the Schering Block and began renovations. Today, the 913 Harris location houses The Chimney Sweep, a tenant since 1979. The 915 Harris corner storefront has been home to the Fairhaven Cinema, the Eclipse Bookstore and currently, Renaissance Glass. 1208 10th Street was home to Brentley Softpacks (now Brenthaven) and is currently occupied by Blue Moon Hair Salon. The top floor features offices and professional services. Archer Ale House is located in the basement.
 

 


 
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