Property Type: Institutional
County: Gooding  |  Year Built: 1887  | 
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The Morris Roberts Store is a one-story basaltic lava rock building with a gabled roof and a Mesker Brothers of St. Louis galvanized sheet iron front. It faces south and contains two stores, the west one was built in 1892 and the east one was added as a bank in 1905. The original facade remains intact. Beneath the corrugated tin shed roofed porch are wood, inset, double door, entries to the stores. Each doorway includes side windows and Mesker Brothers iron pilasters at the corners. Plate glass windows are on either side of the entryway. Transoms are above all windows and wood panels are below. A pressed tin false front rises from the porch roof and terminates with a Mesker Brothers cornice. The cornices, dating from different decades, are different in design. Urn shaped finials are at the corners. A rectangular shaped, corrugated tin false front rises from the center of the cornices and cover the gable peak.
This building has three feet thick walls which are structurally sound, although the interior has been almost completely gutted.

The Morris Roberts store is architecturally significant for its extant Mesker Brothers iron, imported from St. Louis, This firm sold more than 2000 “house fronts” in the west between 1885 and 1910. About a dozen survive in Idaho, The use of local materials, i, e. lava rock, further adds to the building’s significance. This coarse black rock, common to the area, frequently was employed instead of brick or sandstone in many substantial buildings in the Magic Valley. Its extensive use of mortar in the joints is typical of the early period and does not exhibit the fine craftsmanship which appeared after 1908. The store, built for Billy Colthrop in 1892, was the second store in the Hagerman Valley. It housed Morris Roberts dry goods store and later was sold to DuSauld and Martin. In 1905 the east store was added to the building as a bank. The bank moved shortly thereafter and DuSauld & Martin’s dry goods expanded to encompass the entire structure. In 1932 Edgar Chaplin purchased the building and used it as a cheese factory.


Text from the National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination form