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1953 505 1st Street

Garage building housing brewery and tasting room
Map showing location of building

The 50′ by 60′ building we see today on this corner dates back to 1953, when the Brown & Holter Chevron service station was expanded to house two large service bays. The gas station was in operation through the mid-1960s. The dealership continued to use the building as a repair and body shop through 1983.

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What was here before? From at least 1884, there was a wood frame general merchandise store on this corner. In 1885, it was Ostroski & Breslauer’s general store.

When the large Oakes House Hotel behind the store, facing Railroad Street burned down in 1886, the general store was damaged, but the building was repaired, and O.S. Ford’s grocery moved in.

In 1889, Butler’s general store was the occupant. Mr. Butler lost his merchandise and the building in Cheney’s big fire of 18 April 1889.

Map showing building on the block
Butler's General Store 1888, at left.

18 April 1889:
“A fire began in the early morning at O. Butler’s General Store and quickly spread to the businesses and residences around it.

The fire department lost time when it was discovered that the hose had been plugged up by a chisel handle. By the time water finally began to spray the fire had advanced and was noted as being a fiery demon [that] had gained mastery of the situation.”

The lot remained vacant after the fire until on 6 March 1924, Brown & Holter opened their Bright Spot open-air used car lot on the property. Around 1930, they built a wood and stone open-front structure over the top of the lot.

Covered used car lot of Brown & Holter in the 1930s.
Used Car lot, 1935
Map showing buildings on the block in 1939
1939 view of the Brown & Holter dealership and Post Office.

On 9 May 1947, Brown & Holter held the grand opening of their Chevron station with gas pumps and a small 18′ by 24′ building butting up against the dealership.

Man stands in front of gas station building
Fuzzy photo of original gas station and CHS Band director Francis Reamer.

That small building was incorporated into the larger service station during a remodel in 1953. The footprint of the pump island is still visible in the ground in front of the building.

buildings and gas station
1958 view of remodeled Chevron gas station

From 1983 to 1994, Jay Mahaffy operated J&M Auto Collision Repair here, before moving to north 1st Street. Specialty Balloons by Sherri McConnell and Deanna Chapman followed briefly in the late 1990s. Next were Auto Lube Express and Action Motor Sports in the early 2000s. Christine Swanson operated Cheney Rental Center from 2007 to 2012.

The building remained vacant until Shane Noblin set up a beer brewing operation, and New Boundary Brewing opened in July 2015. He closed the business in December 2017 to pursue a career as a firefighter. 

Nick Johnson has kept local brewing alive in Cheney with his creative take on unique ales. The grand opening of Inland Ale Works Brewing Company was held 17 May 2020. The business survived opening during the COVID pandemic and is still serving customers today.

Image of Gerald the Museum Mouse

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