Where are Meskers?

Map of sold storefronts on the back cover of an 1911 George L. Mesker & Co catalog.

Meskers are found in historic downtown commercial centers, on Main Streets all across America. The marketing materials indicated that they were intended predominantly for commercial structures; indeed erecting a new storefront or modernizing an older one were considered musts for any shopkeeper looking to attract and retain a clientele. Opera houses, banks and hotels are but few commonly encountered uses of Mesker facades throughout the nation. A significant number of facades were also purchased by various fraternal organizations—mostly the Freemasons and the Odd Fellows, but also Knights of Pythias and others. Occasionally, the products can be found in residential districts, typically in the form of iron fences and crestings, but also as window hoods or cornices. Since the materials were very adaptable to numerous uses, they can truly exist anywhere. Meskers can also be salvaged and found in locations and uses different from original.

The worldwide database in Google Earth contains all confirmed building locations as well as those advertised in catalogs; it is continually updated. Due to file size limitations, the database includes only photographs already published on the internet. Supplementing it are state-by-state listings of confirmed facades in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, downloadable below. Information categories should be self-explanatory but a brief identification key is as follows:

MB = Mesker Brothers Iron Works; GLM = George L. Mesker & Co; both = elements from MB and GLM; JBM = J.B. Mesker & Son; 1903i = catalog insert; 1905T = testimonials catalog

Confirmed worldwide total: 4,538 facades in 1,870 towns (updated March 26, 2017)

State-by-state listings:

International:

  • Canada – 3 facades; 3 towns
Comments
13 Responses to “Where are Meskers?”
  1. Sondra Drake says:

    I have just found some Mesker doorways and ceiling tile and Mesker Bros. markers in our Historic district of Sulphur, Oklahoma, may be a couple of other buildings, still checking the catalogs for confirming. Wonderful find.

    • Excellent! I don’t have anything listed for Sulphur so please send along addresses and images. If you are unsure about certain buildings, I’d be happy to help in identification.

  2. Eldorado says:

    Some time ago I took pictures of the Shelly Inch building in Placerville, CA, which I see is now on your list (409 Main St.). Would you like them anyway?

  3. Von Rothenberger says:

    Sorry to say that the Custer Building in Alton, Kansas, collapsed and has been removed. so need to take that one off your Kansas list.

  4. Dawn Davis says:

    My boyfriend and I found a Mesker in Craig, Missouri. It is located on Main Street and was not numbered. If you would like a photo please e-mail me.

  5. Jason says:

    I know of a Meskers in Charleston, Missouri not in your database. How should i send the info to you?

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