Jacob Stauer’s Blacksmith Shop

Stauer’s Blacksmith Shop & Othmer Paint Shop on Lansing Street in Mendocino, 1885-1888. A group of men pose in front of the Wagon & Blacksmith shop with a collection of carriages and wagons. To the left of the blacksmith shop is George Othmer’s Sign and Carriage painting business. A white picket fence encloses the corner yard where Ukiah and Lansing Street intersect. The building on the far left is a stage stable, later torn down by J. D. Johnson to build the Stauer Building on the northeast corner of that intersection. (Margaret Kelley Campbell, Margaret Kelley Campbell Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

August 21, 1882 – Jacob H. Stauer purchased the blacksmith and wheelwright business of Albert T. Rogers, including the shop located on Lansing Street where the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department building is now. In a Beacon advertisement, Stauer offered custom-built wagons and carriages, wood and iron repairs, and horseshoeing. He also promised quick turnaround, moderate prices, and satisfaction guaranteed.

His business expanded. Two years later, he built an addition to his blacksmith shop to offer wagon and carriage painting. In 1891, he entered into a partnership agreement with Emil Seman “to carry on the business of black-smithing, horse shoeing, wagon making and general repairing on Lansing street.”

Stauer died in 1893, and Seman purchased his interest in the business and began working for himself as a blacksmith and wheelwright. In 1897, Seman moved to a new location on the corner of Little Lake and Lansing streets, and John Chambers, a blacksmith from Albion, took over this shop.

Over the next 20 years, three more blacksmiths occupied the building. In 1922, Mendocino County purchased the former blacksmith shop. The county ran a repair shop here for overhauling county trucks and staging for road maintenance activities.

On January 22, 1939, the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department began construction of a new firehouse on the site. Eight citizens spent the day shoveling rock for the foundation. The Mendocino Lumber Company supplied the lumber for the building for a low cost, and in a short time, Mendocino had a new place to house its fire equipment.

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