The Martin Block -1890
112 East Third Street
The Martin Block emerged from a piece of land that was purchased in the late 1800s by A. F. Martin, a local druggist and owner of the Palace Drug Store. He also purchased a three-foot strip of ground fronting on Third Street from Joseph S. Marshall to add to the site.
Construction on the building began on May 9, 1890. The new brick block building was 28’ x 70’, two stories high with a plate glass front and a cellar. The building was a modern structure and an ornament in the town.
Lumber for the construction came by rail from Kingston, MI. The finishing lumber was ash and the result was some of the finest grained lumber imaginable. The building had a tin roof. The plate glass for the new block was shipped by train from Cleveland, Ohio and placed by a man who came from that city to take charge of the installation. The glass was of the finest quality and Mr. Martin paid about $400 for the material. The furnace was first class and also heated the second floor rooms. The rooms above the store served as the residence of Mr. Martin’s family and were large and well-lighted.
J. Landers, an attorney and banker, first occupied the store with a full line of dry goods, boots, and shoes. Later stores that occupied the Martin Block were Ballentine’s Grocery, Blashill’s Jewelry and Mrs. E. F. Milbourne, Milliner. In 1933 Sam Coscarelli, an Italian immigrant, opened Coscarelli’s Party Store and three generations of his family ran the business. The Ruiz Taqueria then occupied the building until May of 2016, when the building suffered a devastating fire. Renovations were extensive as the new building owner wanted to ensure historical accuracy and save this important downtown Imlay City gem.