Clute Building

The Clute Building was also built in 1855 by the brothers Frye. John, George, and Reuben Frye arrived in Volcano during the early 1850ís, and by 1855 had done quite well for themselves. Their income came from mining, and selling water from their ditch to the miners working the placers in Soldiers Gulch. They also speculated in real estate, owning several pieces of property on Main Street, upon which they erected buildings to meet the growing demand for stores. Standing on the west side of Main Street, with Soldiers Gulch behind, this building was constructed on two lots, each twenty feet wide by sixty feet deep. From the outside, the building appeared to be a single store; actually it was two, divided down the middle by a common wall. When the building was finished, the brothers sold the north lot and north half of the building on it to E. M. Strange in November of 1855. Four days later, they sold the south lot and south half of the building to John LaRoy and James A. Robbins. LaRoy and Robbins sold out the following year to Charles Crocker (later one of the Big Four), who sold it to Franklin W. Clute in August of that same year. Franklin ran a general merchandise store here, later selling out to his brother Peter. All in all, the Clutes operated from this site for nearly four decades, from 1856 to 1905, with the two buildings trading hands several times between different parties, at one time being repurchased by the Frye brothers. The structure eventually came into the possession of the Volcano Pioneers community theatre group who reinforced and converted the building into their new theatre.