The initial structure of the building at 1655 Main Street, today called the Board of Trade Block, was built in 1862 by John Hixon, a manufacturer and wholesaler of boots and shoes. He was later joined in business by William Birnie (1818-1889), who used the block (after his partner’s death) for his Birnie Paper Co., which manufactured envelopes and other paper products. Birnie, who trained as a stonemason, was also involved in bridge and railroad construction. The building was rebuilt after it was damaged by a fire in 1892. The plans were drawn by Jason Perkins, who included the 19-foot wide bay windows on the second and third floors. Over the years the building has housed various offices and social clubs. In 1927 it was joined internally with the buildings on either side.