A Window Into Midland’s Previous: Olmsted & Somerville served space in 1900s  


Advertisement


By 1900, Midland’s inhabitants slowly started to extend. The Dow Chemical Co., included simply three years earlier, provided regular employment to a rising variety of individuals, without end for the corporate’s enlargement.

Advertisement

Individuals relocated to Midland from close by cities the place the dying lumber trade had not but been changed by different trade. As town started its 20th century development, new shops and companies appeared on Foremost Avenue to cater to the group’s new prosperity.

Midland’s future appeared safe.

Advertisement

Recognizing a possibility, Frank Olmsted and Thomas Somerville bought the grocery retailer of W.L. Baker in April, 1901. Plans had been introduced for the enterprise’s enlargement and Olmsted & Somerville’s Grocery Retailer started a profitable profession on Foremost Avenue.


Advertisement


By 1904, Olmsted & Somerville’s Grocery Retailer had,certainly, expanded requiring the enterprise to be moved into a brand new,bigger constructing positioned at 206 E. Foremost St. Along with common and fancy groceries, the agency expanded its stock to incorporate clothes, coal and common house-hold items. The December 18,1904 version of the Midland Solar described the enterprise’s development and new services intimately: “Into New Quarters – Olmsted & Somerville, the enterprising grocers, moved into their good-looking new retailer within the Baker Financial institution Block on Monday.

Advertisement


“The ending touches had been placed on the place Saturday and after he retailer closed within the night the method of transferring started. When Monday got here, the agency was comfortably put in in its new dwelling. This younger and enterprising agency has cast quickly to the entrance.It has not solely retained however largely added to the clientele secured from Mr. Baker, which included the patronage of scores of sturdy and affluent German farmers who take possession of the shop a couple of times every week. It has all the time been a fascinating commerce and the agency is catering to it.

Advertisement


“Like the common American, Olmsted & Somerville consider heartily in enlargement extra notably of their enterprise. When the right stage was reached it branched out. The previous retailer was dimly lighted and the ground area insufficient; they had been all the time cramped for area. They wanted extra room and so they bought it. When Mr. Baker constructed the Financial institution Block he laid out the basement and first ground plans to go well with the desires and desires of the agency, reserving solely a small portion, the northwest nook, for anew financial savings financial institution which can quickly be launched on the world. Olmsted & Somerville occupy all the floor ground, equal to 2 retailer fronts and the southern wing,organized particularly for the feed enterprise, is giant and commodious and is supplied with a lined loading platform. Within the spring a big warehouse shall be constructed extending to the railroad observe the place it will likely be related by a spur. The warehouse shall be used for the storage of lime, cement, hay, feed, and so forth.

Advertisement


“The place is heated by steam and lighted by electrical energy and is supplied with the newest improved home equipment together with an electrical machine for grinding espresso and patent gadgets for gauging and filling oil cans and vinegar jugs. Beneath the grocery counter,which is roofed with linoleum which is definitely washed and saved clear, are deep sliding drawers able to holding a barrel of sugar. Clients can thus examine their sweets earlier than shopping for.

Advertisement

“The east half of the shop is given over to groceries and it may be stated that the inventory carried is probably the most important and greatest ever exhibited within the Saginaw valley. The fridge is supplied with compartments for butter, lard and smoked meats.

Advertisement

“The dry items division occupies the west aspect of the place and is stocked with all the same old staples. Main off from the dry items division is a ready room with rest room lodging for using women and youngsters. This can be a determined innovation for Midland and should show a preferred function. A corp of competent and obliging clerks helps to make procuring straightforward on this strictly up-to-date retailer.

Advertisement

“Within the rear on McDonald Avenue and between the ready room and the workplace is positioned the division the place the same old merchandise, constructing paper and family , can all the time be discovered. The workplace itself is giant and ethereal with loads of mild and instructions a full view of the shop. It’s geared up with the Lamson money system.

“To enumerate the issues bought by Olmsted & Somerville, and never a phrase has been stated concerning coal, each exhausting and delicate varieties, and blacksmiths’ provides can be like printing a guide. Olmsted & Somerville of their new retailer prolong a cordial invitation to the general public to name, study the products,get costs and develop into acquainted.”

Advertisement

Olmsted & Somerville’s Grocery and Dry Items Retailer served the Midland group extra (than) 15 years. By 1916, the enterprise had been bought to Frank Olmsted’s nephew Clifford, who continued to supply groceries, dry items, and to the Midland group for a number of years.

Advertisement

EDITOR’S NOTE The Midland County Historic Society is partnering with the Midland Each day Information for “A Window to Midland’s Previous,” which can function historic items in print and on-line at ourmidland.com. This explicit piece was compiled by Gary F. Skory, retired director of the Midland County Historic Society, and initially printed Jan. 6, 1994.