The Claverie Building

The Claverie Building is somewhat of an optical illusion. Viewed from the right angle, the ruins appear to be a well-built, undamaged brick store. A few steps in the right direction; however, reveals a minor problem: the roof and two walls are missing. Several wooden general merchandise stores stood on this spot prior to 1857, each consumed by flames. After the fire of 1857, three Frenchmen, Louis “Lovely” Claverie, Charles Meyssan, and Victor Pinchard erected this one-story brick store, selling supplies and home-made wine. The partnership dissolved in 1861, at which time Meyssan owned the building. He sold it to a Chinese merchant in 1869 named Sun Lun Sing who then stocked it with an assortment of things Chinese; candies, fireworks, opium. It soon after became known as the Chinese Store.

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