Thursday, November 26, 2015

LOOKING BACK: Dorchester's Main Street 105 Years Ago This Month

Meacham's Hardware store on the east side of Dorchester's main street in 1910.

It's duck hunting season in the late fall of 1910. What do you do? 

You walk -- or drive the Model T or take the horse -- to Dorchester's bustling business district on main street (Washington Ave.) and stop in at Meacham's Hardware to get hunting supplies.  

After all, in 1910, Meacham's Hardware billed itself at "The Winchester Store."  (Remember, 1910 is the first year that electric lights appeared in Dorchester, powered by electricity generated from a Pleasant Hill mill water wheel on Turkey Creek -- although electricity outages were common until around 1916, when an electric plant came from town and power was purchased from the Blue River Power Co.)

We found this amazing photograph some time ago, preserving for all of us proof of what Dorchester's main street storefronts looked like a century ago.  (Yes, we had our photo editor enhance the picture a little so we could capture more detail for our readers. Click on the photo for a better view.)

Meacham's Hardware was in operation from 1903 until 1931, operated by Charles H. Meacham, Sr., and his son, Charles H. Meacham, Jr. (UPDATE: We're told that Charles Meacham, Jr., and his wife Mary's daughter Elizabeth Ann, born in Dorchester in 1936, passed away last month, October 2015, in Overland Park, Kan.)

The building that housed Meacham's Hardware no longer exists.  It was in the "Longanecker Building" -- destroyed by fire in 1973.  The Longanecker Building stood where the Tyser's Welding and Repair Is today.  

Meacham's Hardware occupied the northern most ground-level portion of the Longanecker Building, while Dr. Panter occupied the second story directly above.  C.W. Crain Insurance and Colson's Cafe were next door.  Also in the building were Joy and Edward's Grocery, the telephone office, and a dentist's office.


  1. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats some cool history. I didnt know dorchester had store windows like that at one time

  2. Didn't Mary Meacham do income tax in the 1960's & early 1970's?


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