Located in an industrial neighborhood of Bellingham, WA, this unassuming brick building holds gobs of history in its brick walls. According to Wikipedia, it was built in 1858 as T.G. Richards & Company Store and Warehouse, with John Alexander being in charge of construction. The original store kept getting broken into, so to secure their inventory, the owners decided to build a 2-story brick building, which would be much more secure.
Another online site tells us:
After the Fraser River gold rush ends, Richards and Hyatt no longer have use for the building; they want to return to California. Hyatt sells his interests to Richards. In April 1863, a storm damages the county courthouse up the street. Whatcom County offers Richards $2,000 as payment for the building and he takes the money, even though he spent $8,000 to construct it.
On April 17, 1903, the Whatcom County board of commissioners sells the lot and the old brick courthouse to the James B. Steadman post No. 24 Grand Army of the Republic Department of Washington and Alaska for $800. The James B. Steadman post No. 24 occupies the building until 1922, when Jasper Marion Riddle buys it for $1. Riddle is a local road and sidewalk construction contractor.
Wow! From $8,000 to $1 in 64 years. Another 64 and the value has definitely risen well past it’s original price. Since the bricks had to be shipped from Philadelphia, around South America (no Panama canal yet), I wonder what it would cost today? It gives a bit more perspective on my last trip to Lowes, where I saw pallets of bricks for sale for pennies each.