Plaza at center of historic town
Keller's Plaza sits on the southeast corner of the main intersection in downtown Williamston, Mich. The current structure, a two-story, 30,000-square foot brick building, has been here since 1899.
A wooden structure that served as an office for Dr. James A. Leasia, Williamston's first medical doctor, preceded the current structure, but was destroyed by a fire in 1897.
The F.P. Van Buren company rebuilt on the land and opened The Van Buren Department Store, which sold groceries and general merchandise.
Dr. Leasia soon returned to the site and ran the first drug store in Williamston out of the building.
Ray and C.A. Gorsline purchased the east side of the building in 1922 and opened Gorsline's Funeral Parlor and later Gorsline Furniture and TV.
The Gorslines renovated the entire building in 1966.
Charlotte and Dr. Ralph Keller purchased the building on Oct. 30, 1981, and led another major renovation of the first floor six months later. The tin ceiling was restored and the Victorian look still present today was improved. The Kellers opened Keller's Ice Cream Parlor & Restaurant on June 14, 1982.
The Kellers led another renovation in June 1985 that included all of the second floor and resulted in the opening of 11 shops, giving the building 16 when it had a building-wide grand opening celebration Nov. 23-24, 1985.
Dr. Keller, who had a medical practice in Williamston from 1955-94, still owns and maintains the building.