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Orchestra played to celebrate Iron Mountain bank’s new era

Menominee Range Memories

The First National Bank of Iron Mountain-Kingsford moved into its new building on the east side of the 200 block of South Stephenson Avenue on May 20, 1991. The new building had been constructed in front of the original Wood Block building that was razed shortly after the new building opened. This photograph was taken in the fall 2010.

IRON MOUNTAIN — The 44th installment of Menominee Range Memories, a series of articles by William J. Cummings, Menominee Range Historical Foundation historian, now available on the Dickinson County Library’s website, is titled “Downtown Iron Mountain – 221-233 South Stephenson Avenue,” which includes the Jenkins Hotel and the Wood Block that housed the First National Bank of Iron Mountain.

Part IV

In the Oct. 3, 1921, issue of The Iron Mountain Daily News, a follow-up article on the opening of the new First National Bank of Iron Mountain recorded the following:

“Five thousand people, according to estimates based on the number of souvenirs distributed, attended the formal opening of the remodeled First National Bank Saturday evening. They came from all parts of this district, Florence, Crystal Falls, and Iron River, Niagara, Norway, Vulcan and Loretto. Some businessmen stated that they did the biggest out-of-town business of any Saturday night in months.

“Before the doors were opened at 8 o’clock there was a large crowd waiting to be admitted, the first five minutes of the reception filled the lower floor to capacity. Lines were organized as the only effective way of handling the huge number of visitors. Accordingly, they went from the lobby to the bookkeeping room; thence past the women’s retiring room into the directors’ room, around the table and out, up past the coupon booths and the huge new safety vault, whose construction and use was explained, to the executive office, where souvenirs were distributed, and thence out. Souvenirs consisted of thermometers, mounted on wood bases in mission finish, with aluminum name plates, four-foot tape measures in celluloid cases bearing a picture of the lobby, and quill pens with vari-colored plumes. Officers and employees of the institution who were on hand to explain all points, were recipients of constant congratulations on the excellence of their new quarters.

“Throughout the evening Castel’s orchestra, located in the northwest corner of the lobby, furnished music, which, with the artistically placed baskets of flowers, gave the whole affair the air of a gala occasion.

“Upstairs, tenants of the office suites were also holding open house, while, in the Elks’ club rooms, ice cream, coffee and waters were being served to all visitors. Like the bank proper, the second floor drew much favorable comment from the guests.

“Until 11 o’clock the procession continued without stop. When the doors were finally closed, it was estimated that a number greater than half the entire population of the city had visited the institution.

“‘We are building for the future,’ said F.J. Oliver, cashier. ‘We have been told this evening that ours is the finest banking house north of Milwaukee. We meant it to be such; we meant to erect a building that would keep pace with the promised growth which, we feel, is certainly coming to Iron Mountain.'”

BUSINESSES AND OFFICES LOCATED IN THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK BUILDING (THE WOOD BLOCK) FROM 1925-1941

1925: Businesses listed in the basement of the First National Bank Building, 221 S. Stephenson Ave., in the 1925 directory included: Mette Electric Company, (Walter F. Mette, Joseph P. Peterson and Edward (sic – Edmond) J. Poirier, proprietors, “Electrical Contractors, Fixtures and Supplies”; John Johnson, barber. On the second floor, the offices were occupied as follows: Rooms 1 and 2, Symonds & Rahm, (Charles D. Symonds and Paul Rahm), attorneys; Room 3, Dr. Otto F. Brauns, dentist; Room 4, The Miller Agency, Carl G. Miller, owner, general insurance; Room 5, Dr. Joel D. Jones, dentist; Room 6, Dr. George H. Boyce, physician; Room 7, Dr. D. Boyce; Room 8, Mineral Mining Company, Edwin F. Brown, secretary and general manager, and Pewabic Company, miners, Edwin F. Brown, manager.

1935: Businesses listed in the basement of the First National Bank Building, 221 S. Stephenson Ave., in the 1935 directory included: E.J. Electric Company, Edmond J. Poirier, proprietor; Henry R. Miller, plumber; John Johnson, barber. On the second floor, the offices were occupied as follows: Rooms 1-2 and 3, Dr. Arthur L. Costa and Dr. Gemiel G. Jacobs, dentists; Rooms 4-5, The Miller Agency, Carl G. Miller, owner, general insurance; Rooms 6-7, Dr. George H. Boyce, physician; Rooms 10, 11 and 12, Symonds & Rahm, (Charles D. Symonds and Paul Rahm), attorneys; Room 15, F.E. Parmelee & Son (Fred E. Parmelee and Gale F. Parmelee), architects; Room 16, Carmelita’s Beauty Salon, Carmelita Fiorucci, proprietor; Room 17, Lake States Oil Company, George C. Newton, treasurer-manager; Rooms 18-19, Prudential Life Insurance.

1939: Businesses listed in the basement of the First National Bank Building, 221 S. Stephenson Ave., in the 1939 directory included: E.J. Electric Company, J.E. Poirier, proprietor; Iron Mountain Plumbing & Heating Company, Henry R. Miller, proprietor; Reliable Beauty & Barber Shop, John Johnson, proprietor. On the second floor, the offices were occupied as follows: Room 2, Dr. Gemiel G. Jacobs, dentist; Rooms 4-5, The Miller Agency, Carl G. Miller, owner; Room 6, Dr. George H. Boyce, ear, eye, nose and throat specialist; Rooms 10, 11 and 12, Symonds & Rahm, (Charles D. Symonds and Paul Rahm), attorneys; Room 15, Honolulu Conservatory of Music; Room 16, Carmelita’s Beauty Salon, Carmelita Mongiat, proprietor; Room 17, Lake States Oil Company, George C. Newton, manager; Rooms 18-19, Prudential Life Insurance.

1941-1942: Businesses listed in the basement of the First National Bank Building, 221 S. Stephenson Ave., in the 1941-1942 directory included: E.J. Electric Company, J.E. Poirier, proprietor; Miller Plumbing, Henry R. Miller, proprietor; Reliable Beauty & Barber Shop, John Johnson, proprietor. On the second floor, the offices were occupied as follows: Rooms 1, 2 and 3, Dr. Gemiel G. Jacobs, dentist; Rooms 4-5, The Miller Agency, Carl G. Miller, owner; Rooms 6-7, Dr. George H. Boyce, ear, eye, nose and throat specialist; Room 8, Mineral Mining Company, Elwin F. Brown, manager; Rooms 10, 11 and 12, Symonds & Rahm, (Charles D. Symonds and Paul Rahm), attorneys; Room 16, Carmelita’s Beauty Salon, Mrs. Myrtle Seilta, proprietor; Room 17, Lake States Oil Company, George C. Newton, treasurer; Rooms 18-19, Prudential Life Insurance, Arthur M. Mars, manager; Room 20, John V. Zanardi, prosecuting attorney.

The First National Bank of Iron Mountain-Kingsford moved into its new building on the east side of the 200 block of South Stephenson Avenue on Monday, May 20, 1991. The new building had been constructed in front of the original Wood Block building which was razed shortly after the new building opened.

Read the rest of this 24-page story on the Dickinson County Library’s website at www.dcl-lib.org, which includes detailed additional information regarding the development and remodeling of the First National Bank, six additional photographs showing the east side of the 200 block of South Stephenson Avenue, an 1891 engraving of Wood’s Block, a portrait of John R. Wood and his obituary, and five contemporary 19th century advertisements.

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