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Fire response briefly closes Lake Street

Posted: November 12, 2013 - 11:03am  |  Updated: November 12, 2013 - 11:05am
Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News
Homer Volunteer Fire Department firefighters put out a fire in the historic Carl Nielsen automotive shop on Lake Street across from Ulmer’s. Firefighters responded to a report of smoke about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday. No one was in the building, said Fire Chief Bob Painter. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The fire response briefly closed Lake Street, with traffic rerouted through the Ulmer’s parking lot. According to Janet Klein’s “Celebrating Homer’s Historic Buildings,” the frame structure was built in the 1940s by Carl Nielsen and was Homer’s first automotive shop. It also had been a wood working shop and a feed store.

Homer Volunteer Fire Department firefighters put out a fire in the historic Carl Nielsen automotive shop on Lake Street across from Ulmer’s. Firefighters responded to a report of smoke about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday. No one was in the building, said Fire Chief Bob Painter. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The fire response briefly closed Lake Street, with traffic rerouted through the Ulmer’s parking lot. According to Janet Klein’s “Celebrating Homer’s Historic Buildings,” the frame structure was built in the 1940s by Carl Nielsen and was Homer’s first automotive shop. It also had been a wood working shop and a feed store.

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LoisAngeles
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LoisAngeles 11/16/13 - 10:45 am
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Nielsen shop

Carl Nielsen and his brothers joined their father here in the mid19teens and worked in the herring salteries in Halibut Cove, built boats, fished and were mainstays of the bay community. Pete was a major volunteer on the Pratt Museum project as an example. Carl's 'homestead' included the site of Spenard Builder's Supply, the Lakeside Mall and HEA. I think he had the help of Ben Bellamy and Milt Alm building the shop -- and the road to get to it, now Lake St.

I rented the building for 14 years from his widow, Mabel and offered to sublet the shed side to help the Simonson kids of Anchor Point who painted 'FEEDSTORE' on their door, but it was never actually a feedstore. They brought in a few bags of feed, never sold any, and took it all away in about 3 weeks.

Then they opened a lumberyard on Ocean Drive and sold imported Canadian white spruce and some feed as well.

One of them owns the mall in APt.

Bottom line; the name on the door does not a feedstore make. Actually, I next let a blacksmith use the space -- Ben Johnston-- made me some excellent tools: axes, chisels and carver's adze. Also made wonderful scissors for lucky seamstressors. He worked behind the feedstore graffitti for several years without advertising but quite content to follow his avocation. He had been a top chair with the Philadelphia Orchestra, a homestead kid whose family settled near the site of the present TS Intn'l Airport and also owned the land on which an early area school stands, up beyond the Homer resorvoir. Great man, Ben.

The Nielsen shop belongs to Susie, her childhood home stands behind. You are right on to call it the Nielsen Shop. Grafitti name should not be used the way it is. Good work!

Larry Smith

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