A prominent Manistee jeweler, who's place of business was two doors west at the corner of River and Oak Streets, contracted to have the structure at 427 River Street (the west half of the current building) built in the summer of 1883. Construction began in August for the 24 X 90 building and was completed in November. Abel S. Haines, "the dry goods king", was the store's first occupant.
Haines' drygoods business was not long lived at this location, however. In 1885 the ever expanding wholesale and retail drug business of A.H. Lyman took residence. Manistee's rapid growth during the 1880's necessitated additional space for the business and in 1892, the adjacent store at 425 River Street was taken over. This became the book and stationary department of the business. The building was owned at the time by R.R. Blacker and had been built in 1885.
In April of 1886, a fire caught in the basement of the Lyman Company causing smoke and water damage to the stock. Blacker at that time offered Lyman the use of the 425 address, which had been recently completed, until Lyman's store could be repaired.
By the mid 1890's, the Lyman Company had grown to be the largest drug firm north of Grand Rapids supplying goods to places as far away as Petoskey and Midland. In 1896, Asashel H. Lyman died of pneumonia and the business was carried
on by Lyman's pharmacists, Leonard Short and Frank W. White, Manistee's first graduate pharmacist.
Short worked in the business until his death in 1940 and White until his death in 1952. White's family continued the book and school supply store until 1957, and, in 1960 they gave the building to the Manistee County Historical Museum.
Year Built: 1883
First Owner: Clark D. Gardner
Builder: Maxted & Newcomb
Style: Commercial Victorian
Address: 425-427 River Street