A French family built the first store on the west side of Main Street in pioneer Lone Pine. Charles Meysan had become intrigued by the reports of the Cerro Gordo mining area and when he and his family reached Lone Pine on their way to Southern California, they stopped and bought property. The deed for the property was registered on December 18, 1869.
The general merchandise store was built out of adobe brick, as were the more than fifty buildings in Lone Pine at the time.
This would soon be changed when the earthquake of 1872 destroyed most of Lone Pine with a shake greater than 8.2 on the Richter scale. Two years later the town was rebuilt, this time out of wood, including the Meysan Store. That building is still in use in Lone Pine and houses La Florista.
Things had continued well for the family during the winter of 1871-72, but something was wrong with one of daughter Alice’s eyes, and Charles realized he would need to take her by wagon to a doctor for attention to the ailment. Elodie Meysan, a granddaughter, tells the family’s story of that time.
“Loading the wagon with what they would need for the journey, they set out early one morning. When they got out of sight of Lone Pine, Alice got home sick. She was a home loving little girl and missed her mother. She started to cry…. She wanted to go home. She cried nearly all the way to Mojave. After several days of tears Meysan turned the wagon around and brought her home. Three weeks later, on March 26, 1872, at 2:30 a.m. Alice was killed in the earthquake of 1872. Marie was sleeping on the outside of the bed next to the adobe wall, and Alice on the inside. When the wall collapsed in the shaking, she was smothered. The family had all rushed outside in their nightclothes and when Madeline Meysan started to count the children, she realized Alice was missing. Later Dr. Louis Colleau, the doctor in Lone Pine at the time told Charles that if he had “blown” into her mouth at the time, he might have been able to save the child."
Alice is buried in the communal grave of sixteen in the Earthquake Cemetery on Harvey Hill, according to Elodie Meysan.