This simple stone structure, opened to the public in late 1863, was originally operated as a general merchandise store by the firm of Gridley, Hobart, and Jacobs.  Gridley is best remembered for his 1864 wager that prompted the auctioning of a sack of flour for donations to the “Sanitary Fund,” the Civil War forerunner of the American Red Cross.  The flour was sold again and again throughout Nevada and California, then taken east and eventually auctioned at the St. Louis Sanitary Fair in 1864. In all, it raised about $275,000 for the fund.  Gridley died almost penniless six years later