Giles J. Gibbs Building

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Gibbs, Giles J., Building--Sugar Bowl
Giles J. Gibbs Building is located in Michigan
Giles J. Gibbs Building
Location 12 N. Clinton Ave., St. Johns, Michigan
Coordinates 43°0′7″N 84°33′30″W / 43.00194°N 84.55833°W / 43.00194; -84.55833Coordinates: 43°0′7″N 84°33′30″W / 43.00194°N 84.55833°W / 43.00194; -84.55833
Area less than one acre
Built 1867 (1867)
Architectural style Italianate
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 00000223[1]
Added to NRHP March 15, 2000

The Giles J. Gibbs Building, also known as the Sugar Bowl, is a commercial building located at 12 North Clinton Avenue in St. Johns, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.[1]



Giles J Gibbs

Giles J. Gibbs was born in Jefferson County, New York in 1827, the son of David and Hannah Gibbs.[3] His parents died when Gibbs was eight years old, and he worked as a farm hand while growing up. He eventually attended Spring Arbor College and bought a farm in Jackson County, Michigan. He later worked as a drayer, then as a grocer and a representative of a drug firm. In 1857, he arrived in St. Johns and purchased a lot, then built a grocery store. He sold the business, engaged in real estate speculation, and built a home.

In 1867, Gibbs constructed this building on Clinton Avenue, and started another grocery store.[3] In 1882, he sold the business to Olney P. DeWitt and retired. DeWitt continued in the grocery business until at least 1906.[3] Giles J Gibbs died in 1913.[4]

The Sugar Bowl was opened by Greek immigrant Nick Pappas in 1916.[5] He installed an elaborate soda fountain in the building. The Sugar Bowl was run by the Pappas family until it closed in 1970.


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ "Gibbs, Giles J., Building/Sugar Bowl". Michigan State Housing Development Authority: Historic Sites Online. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Judge S. B. Daboll (1906), Past and Present of Clinton County Michigan, pp. 314–316 
  4. ^ "Giles J. Gibbs". Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  5. ^ "St Johns". Michigan History 70: 29.