Sylvester and Margaret S. Bir Grocery & Residence
1004 East Market Street
New Albany, IN 47150

Listing Description:
Sylvester and Margaret Bir were first listed in the 1873 New Albany City Directory as having their grocery in a one-story, frame building at the southeast corner of East 10th and Market Streets.  The present lots were purchased in November 1877 and the new grocery/residence was completed by the time of the printing of the 1880 New Albany City Directory. It is highly likely that the Birs also had the two shotgun houses to the east of their store built.
Sylvester passed at 68 years old in January 1907 and one of the Birs’ sons, William C., became involved in running the grocery along with his mother, Margaret. William married Georgia A. Dalby in June 1910 and the couple lived next door at 1008. When Margaret died in August 1919 at age 72, her obituary listed her as residing at 1008 also.
William and Georgia renamed the grocery business Wm. C. Bir Grocery around 1912, and eventually moved their residence into this building. William died in May 1948 and Maurice J. Grant opened his grocery here for about five years, while Georgia continued to reside upstairs.
The store front remained vacant between 1952 and 1959, before the St. Thomas Aquinas Library began occupying the space around 1960 through 1963. Again vacant, a consignment shop, The Clothes Closet, opened in 1966 and remained through 1972. Mrs. Bir had passed at age 82 in December 1970. The Bir family sold the building in June 1972, which ended 95 years of ownership by the Birs.

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Additional Information:
Building Style: Italianate
Year Built: c.1878

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