Walter W Fairbairn came to Alanson in 1888 as a government surveyor. He worked as a blacksmith in Detroit and lived in North Dakota before settling permanently in Alanson in 1892. Three years later, he established a hardware and plumbing business in this building, which also housed the post office. Fairbairn, and later his descendants served customers throughout the area. The structure has pressed metal siding, which was popular during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.