The owners of Byron’s wellness center/craft emporium will be dedicating their historic downtown building on July 11 in honor of the late Dr. Fred Ruggles, who practiced medicine out of the building in the early 20th century. Local historians are unsure how far back the building actually dates, but available documentation shows the history of the building, which is located at 204 Saginaw Street, dates back to roughly 1910. The building, which houses Balanced Body Yoga, The Nest Gifts and Messages by Vicki and Reiki by Monica, will be christened the F. Ruggles Building during the 9 a.m. dedication/ribbon cutting ceremony before Byron’s Family Fun Day kicks off later in the morning.
Dr. Ruggles practiced out of the building in the early 1900s, until his daughter, Agnes, married the local pharmacist John Foster and turned the building into a residence around 1940. The couple would raise their five children in the building, while Dr. Ruggles practiced at the Byron Hospital that was located just south of the building on Saginaw Street. Sometime between the 1940s and 1970s, a garage was added to the rear, west end of the building, and the building was converted into a dental office.
That is how the building was used until last spring when Lynn Stork and Vicki Bessenbacher transformed the building into its current state. The pair went to work transforming the building to suit their needs, and the restoration efforts are still ongoing. Stork has spent a lot of time researching the history of the building and has seemingly exhausted her resources in the Village of Byron and the county. Anyone with information regarding the history of the building is encouraged to contact the owners so that the gaps can be filled in and the true heritage of the historic building can be recognized.
While a dedication and ribbon cutting is enough to make the event noteworthy, the owners will also be holding their first-annual yard sale/fundraiser immediately following the ceremony. Most of the proceeds from the sale will go to the “care and preservation of the building,” but 10 percent will be donated to Byron’s Historical Group as well. Stork welcomes donations for the sale up until Friday, July 10, and will accept mostly anything except clothing. The sale goes to 3 p.m.