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101 E. Lime Avenue



In the 1888 tax records, the owner of this lot is unknown, but the  value of the land reflects its prime position as a corner lot on the  northeast corner of South Myrtle and East Lime Avenues.  It is assessed  at $800, and the value after equalization is $300.  The tax assessor’s  book has no tax listed, but indicates the property has sold, but not to  whom.

The 1889 tax records show Lot 15 (as well as 13 and 14) belonging to Jas. McLachlan.  The lot’s value has dropped to $600,  reflecting the bursting of the land boom bubble.  The taxes due on the  property are $3.90, but the property is sold to H. Hart.

The  earliest subdivision map shows the following.  The lots on the north,  east, and south sides of Block B (the 100 block of East Palm, the 200  block of South Ivy and the 100 block of East Lime) all have north-south  orientation.  The dimensions are 50 by 140 feet deep.  The back of each  lot ends at the alley that bisects the block horizontally, east/west.

However,  lots 10-15 were divided so that they fronted on South Myrtle.  Their  dimensions are 53 ⅓ by 150 feet.  The Sanborn maps show no structure on  Lot 15 until 1913, and that structure is the Renaker Funeral Parlor.  It  is unclear from the maps and directories what direction the front of  this building faced when it was first built in 1911.

The first  structure was owned by Charles Taylor (known as C.T.) Renaker.  In  1887-88, his father, James John Renaker, had a funeral  home/furniture/stationery store first in the Badeau Block, at the  southeast corner of Colorado and Myrtle and then at 627 S. Myrtle.  J.J.  Renaker died in 1904, around the time the funeral parlor burned down,  and C.T. constructed a new building for the mortuary business, including  an apartment on the second floor for the family: his mother Sarah  Elizabeth and his brother Leslie.  Previously, the family were living in  a house at 125 N. Myrtle Ave.

The front of the structure that  faced Myrtle was the business entrance, 334 S. Myrtle Ave.  Perhaps  because they didn't want their personal address to be that of the  undertaking business, they used the address at the side entrance which  at different times had the address of 101 or 107 E. Lime Ave.

It  would hardly have been appropriate to bring the bodies of the deceased  in through the front door of the business, so they were taken in through  an entrance on this south side of Lot 15 and Lot 16, just to the right  of the entrance seen in the first picture.  There were addresses in the  early days that are associated with the building, but they are on Lime,  not Myrtle.  Specifically, the following addresses are all associated with the structure the Renakers owned on Lots 15 and 16.

  • 101 E. Lime

  • 103 1/2 E. Lime (likely Mrs. J.J. Renaker's address as she lived upstairs over the mortuary)

  • 107

  • 109 E. Lime

  • 342 S. Myrtle Ave.

By the late 1930's, the address for the mortuary is 334 S. Myrtle and Lot 15 still has that address today.

Considering  how long the Renaker Funeral Parlor was on Lot 15, it is surprising  that there are no permits on file for the property before 1957.  In June  of 1957, a permit was filed for a store built by the Worrell  Construction Co.  At that time, the owner’s name is given as O.(?) P.  McKelvey.  In December of 1957, the store is identified as an Anita  Shop, a chain of dress stores which existed through the 1950's and early  1960's.

Since 1957, the structure has had numerous owners and morphed through numerous business, including, for a short time, a J.C.  Penney.

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James J. McLachlan


Town of Monrovia

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