House, store share interesting unexpected history
|Although the Victorian on Cottage and Gay streets has been remodeled over the years, it still maintains an air of old-time elegance. Photo by Jordan Clary|
|Fred and Joan Zuehlke stand in their former store, Tinkers to Teens, which occupied the same space in the Greehn Building on Main Street that Greehn’s general merchandise store once used. Photo submitted|
Feb. 21, 2013 — A house is not necessarily a home, but a house can hold memories and the Victorian residence on Cottage and Gay streets seems to play a part in linking Susanville’s past to its present.
Two weeks ago, when the article about William Asher’s ties to Susanville came out, Fred Zuehlke called and said he and his wife, Joan, not only lived in the house that once belonged to William Greehn, Asher’s grandfather, but for 25 years, their shop, Tinkers to Teens occupied the same space on Main Street where Greehn’s general merchandise store once sat.
In the article “Lassen’s Past,” historian Tim Purdy, wrote, “In 1862 Greehn, along with David Goldstein, opened their doors for business as a general merchandise store. In 1871 they dissolved their partnership, and shortly thereafter Greehn had a new partner, Morris Asher, who later became Greehne’s son-in-law.”
Zuehlke, who has lived in the house since the 1960s, said he didn’t know all the house’s history.
“Tim Purdy would tell me this or that,” he said, “or someone else would tell me something about it.”
Although the house has been changed and weatherized over the years, Zuehlke still finds signs of its previous owners.
He pointed out a wall in the living room. “This was the front of the house. Now it’s all enclosed,” he said. “That sink wasn’t there. It was open through here. The closet was not here. You can see the outline of the old door. And the old sink over here. And this wall came all the way across. The basement is just mud and brick.”
There is also a coal chute in the basement, a reminder of the days when coal was the main source of heat.
The surprising connection between the Zuehlkes and the Greehns, however, is they share not only a home, but also a business space. Today, Johnson’s Shoes occupies the place that once housed Tinkers to Teens and Greehn’s general merchandise store.
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