This building pictured, known as the “J.H. Tangeman” building, was built on the NE corner of Main and Centre streets in Garnavillo in 1880-1881. Julius Henry Tangeman built the brick building on the corner south of his existing business (across from the park) where he’d been dealing in dry goods, groceries, clothing, boots, shoes, etc. since 1876. After building his brick store it was said that he had the largest and best equipped building for general merchandising in the vicinity. 1897 found Tangeman selling out his stock and a series of business owners followed through 1964: Putz Brothers, F.J. Putz, Roebken & Krueger, A.N. Crawford, Walther’s Grocery, Hultgren’s Grocery, Amann’s Jack Sprat, E & J Supermarket. and Dickman Furniture. In 1966 there is reference to the building being used as the “Clay-Gar Legion House.” Leo Walther, the owner of the lot since 1933, sold it to Carl Seifert about 1969. Carl Seifert had previously purchased the lots to the north occupied by the Standard Station and former Echelon Restaurant. At some point after Seifert bought the building and lot, the brick building was torn down.
Learn more about the buildings and businesses that graced Garnavillo’s historical Main Street in the 2022 and 2023 Garnavillo Historical Society calendars. The 2022 calendar highlights buildings no longer standing such are the Garnavillo Hotel which burned in 1907, Turner Hall which was demolished in 1959, the Tangeman building pictured, the Maurer Building and Luehsen Engler store which were replaced by a former bank building in 1906, the old Kennedy/Crawford Shop & Post Office building that was taken down in 1991-92, and the MA & WF Meyer Store that burned in 1995. Photos and Information on businesses and owners in these buildings prior to their demise is included in the 2022 calendar. Some former Main Street businesses such as the former Standard Station, Echelon Restaurant and the DX Station were highlighted in the 2018 calendar.
The 2023 calendar focuses on historical buildings, still (for the most part), in existence today and their history up to the present. Buildings included are the old Kuenzel Drug Store, Holden Farms office, former KG Bar, old IGA store, Thoma’s Dairy Bar & Cafe, Vaughn’s Bar, Community Savings Bank, Wendy’s Corner Shoppe, Clefisch Law Office and the old “Furniture & Undertaking” building.
Calendars for 2022 are still available by contacting the Garnavillo Historical Society. Calendars for 2023 are available at Community Savings Bank, Wendy’s Corner Shoppe and Garnavillo Library. Cost is $5.00 for the 2022 calendars and $10.00 for the 2023 calendars.
The Historical Society is always looking for photos of the past, especially those of past buildings, businesses, local scenes and the like, to add to their archives and to the Garnavillo Area collection in the Iowa Heritage Digital Archives to ensure that the area’s history is not lost. And, the historical society doesn’t just focus on Garnavillo, but also National, Clayton and Ceres. If you are “downsizing” and have such photos and are willing to part with them or share them, please contact the Garnavillo Historical Society.