Discover Architecture through Stories & History
Gossett Building & Masonic Building
Gossett Building - The two story building on the left is at the corner of West College and North Main Streets. Built in 1905 or 1906, for many years it was known as the Gossett Building because it housed John M. Gossett’s dry goods store. Gossett later had a grocery store, gas station, and garage where mechanical work was done on automobiles. Later, the G.T. Scott Grocery occupied the building.
In 1948 Dr. L. C. Jackson and W. F. “Bill” Bruster remodeled the Gossett building into a new modern drug store, City Drug Store, and leased the building until 1972, when Henry V. Ragan bought and remodeled the building to expand his furniture and appliance store, Ragan’s Friendly Neighbor Store.
Masonic Building - On July 19, 1909, the first construction work was done in preparation for the three-story Masonic building on the right. The cornerstone was laid on Sunday afternoon, July 24, 1909. The building housed the Knights of Pythias and the Masons who shared the cost of construction. The third floor was the lodge hall.
The first loudspeaker demonstration of a radio in Dickson was held on its first floor during the broadcast of the World Series; a man fell dead at the front door during the game. In later years, Adcock Auto Parts occupied the first floor of the building. The ground floor was the location of Dickson’s first radio and television shop. On March 16, 1935, E. C. Reeder and Company opened a Chevrolet Dealership and Texaco service center, which sold Hester batteries and U. S. Royal tires and tubes, and was located in the Masonic Building.
The second floor housed Dickson’s first theater and was the location of the first demonstration of a phonograph in Dickson. On February 21, 1914, the first motion picture machine in Dickson County was at the Elite Theater, located on the second floor. On July 10, 1929, Dickson’s first talking picture show, The Trial of Mary Dugan, was shown on the second floor, now the Gaiety Theater. When the state condemned the courthouse in Dickson in 1925, the last trial moved to and finished on the second floor of the Masonic Building.
Henry V. Ragan bought the building from F&AM (Masons), remodeled it for the Ragan’s Friendly Neighbor Store, and began moving furniture and appliances into the newly remodeled building in 1969. When Ragan acquired the Gossett building next door in 1972, he removed the third floor of the Masonic building and combined the two buildings. Ragan sold both buildings and business to his son Dale Ragan in 1993.
Photo and text provided by Alan Ragan
Photo provided by Chad Bradford, circa 1960's to early 1970's
Photo provided by Chad Bradford