Many people right here in Evansville are not aware of the rich legacy the Mesker Brothers have left in large cities and small towns throughout the country. The Mesker name is familiar to most people here in the city as the name of Mesker Park Zoo. The brothers Mesker were very successful in the trade of Cast Iron storefronts and decorative ornamental iron and tin work. A merchant could order parts or whole facades to create a distinctive building from a plain one.
George Mesker Iron works was headquartered right here in Evansville, while his two brothers set up their business in St. Louis as the Mesker Brothers Iron Works.
I have been chasing old Mesker buildings for several years now – my wife might call it an obsession. Our first acquisition was an old opera house that was demolished in the train-stop town of Kensington, Kansas. Eight tons of columns, sills and lintels were shipped back home to Evansville.
Here is a view of 1918 Main Street in Kensington, Kansas.
The Opera house is on the far right hand corner of the intersection.