Zurcher Building

Zurcher Building | Downtown Marceline Foundation

This fine building, built in 1899, originally served Marceline as a bank on the first floor and a meeting hall on the second floor. Elias Disney once held an oyster dinner for local apple growers in the meeting hall upstairs. He had hopes to organize the apple growers into a union, but was unable to gather their support. However, this did not keep the growers from eating the oysters.

After the the first-floor bank, it became the location of a jewelry store starting with W.S. Payne, who had been in business in the town from the very beginning of Marceline. His business passed on to Percy Wilkins in 1905. In 1908, Percy Wilkins took on newly-arrived Albert Zurcher as a partner, and sold the business to Mr. Zurcher the following year. Albert Zurcher continued to serve the community for an astonishing 64 years, selling not only jewelry, but also eyeglasses, cameras, TVs, and appliances. In 1973, he closed the doors of his business for the last time, and passed away in 1981 at the age of 98.

Our Zurcher Stories | DowntownMarceline.org

During those 64 years of serving the Marceline community, the Zurcher’s made a positive impact. From engagements and photographic memories to modern conveniences for easier living at home, the Zurcher building provided lasting services to Marceline.

With its visually stunning corner entrance, the Zurcher building became immortalized as “Coke Corner” on Main Street USA in Disneyland. During the Disney Swimming Pool dedication visit in 1956, Walt and Roy were photographed standing at this very entrance with Albert Zurcher.

The Downtown Marceline Foundation saved and prepared the Zurcher Building by investing in:

  • A major cleanout, demolition, and preparation of the interior of the building;
  • A new roof for the entire building;
  • Rebuilding the brick arches over the Main Street windows;
  • Tuckpointing the entire front of the building that faces Main Street USA;
  • Repaired the awning;
  • Replaced a dangerously cracked plate glass window that faced Main Street USA;


  • Circa 1902 – A 2-story brick building is built on the SW corner of Kansas and Ritchie. It initially housed a local bank on the first floor and the KOP hall on the second floor. (1)
  • March 24, 1905 – W.S. Payne sells his jewelry business to Percy Wilkins. Mr. Payne had been in the jewelry business in Marceline since “the town had been platted”. (2)
  • April 7, 1905 – Cashier Walter C. Hume, for the Marceline State Bank, purchases the “Payne business building” on the corner of Kansas and Ritchie. It is referred to as “one of the handsomest corner buildings in the city”. (3)
  • April 7, 1905 – Percy Wilkins has a grand opening of his jewelry store in this building. (3)
  • February 26, 1909 – The firm of Percy Wilkins takes on Albert Zurcher as a partner. (4)

Albert Zurcher

  • October 8, 1882 – Albert Zurcher born in Biel-Bienne, Switzerland. He becomes a student of the watchmaking trade in this most famous of watchmaking cities. (5)
  • 1903 – Mr. Zurcher arrives in the United States, bringing with him his precision watchmaking tools and lathe. He takes courses at the watchmaking firms in Waltham, MA and Elgin, IL. (5)
  • 1908 – Arrives in Marceline after seeing a advertisement in a jeweler trade magazine for a jeweler business for sale in Marceline (5). He is appointed the Santa Fe watch inspector for this location a few days after his arrival. (6)
  • Mid-1909 – Percy Wilkins sells the business to Mr. Zurcher (7)
  • August 13, 1909 – First advertisement for the Albert Zurcher business appears in the Marceline Mirror. (8)

The Zurcher Business – The Final Analysis

  • December 22, 1973 – Mr. Zurcher closes his door of the business for the last time after 63 years. (9)
  • His records indicated that he repaired 45,000 timepieces. Estimates show that he fitted 8,000-10,000 pairs of glasses. (9)
  • As if he wasn’t busy enough, he helped found the Marceline Home Savings and Loan Association (and served as a director over 54 years). Along the way, he served as councilman, mayor, Linn County Road Commissioner, and many other helpful community positions. (9)
  • February 16, 1981 – Albert Zucher passes away at the age of 98. (9)

Zurcher Building Significant Events

  • 1919 – Annex to the store to house Mr. Zurcher’s family. The second floor are apartments/Zurcher family rooms; the first floor of the annex is leased to the Post Office (9).
  • April 8, 2002 – The apartments burn (10). The debris is cleared and the original “Coke Wall” is revealed.
  • Other building tenants come and go over the years.
  • 2019 – Analysis shows that the Zurcher building foundation is becoming unstable and at risk of collapse.
  • 2020 – Front wall is taken down and rebuilt with a strong foundation to keep the building going for many more years.

123 N. Main Street USA photos


  1. Sanborn Map, 1902
  2. Marceline Mirror, Mar 24, 1905.
  3. Marceline Mirror, Apr 7, 1905
  4. Marceline Mirror, Feb 26, 1909.
  5. Centennial Edition Marceline Missouri, Copyright 1988 City of Marceline. Page 324 commentary by Frances (Zurcher) Washam
  6. Marceline Mirror, Feb 16 1934
  7. Marceline Mirror, Feb 26, 1909
  8. Marceline Mirror, Apr 13, 1909.
  9. Centennial Edition Marceline Missouri, Copyright 1988 City of Marceline. Page 324 commentary by Frances (Zurcher) Washam
  10. Marceline Press, Apr 11, 2002