This old store was opened in 1886 by businessman Frank J. Messner. In addition to selling merchandise to the surrounding community, he also served as the local postmaster from 1901 to 1919. When Mr. Messner retired in 1919, he sold the store to William Collis who operated it for the next 57 years. In 1976, Mr. Collis sold the store’s contents at auction. It was later restored to the way it looked originally and is now used as a museum.
On this day we were lucky enough to get a personal tour of the building.
This was a real experience and a whole lot of nostaglia for my shooting partner. As a boy he remembers coming to this store with his Dad to purchase supplies for his family farm. What a treat to be able to go back in time with him and listen to his stories about this store, being in the building, standing at the counter, sitting at the little bench drinking a Coke and being there with his brother and his Dad. It was neat to know that some of those things have always been in the building. That some things never change. I know that he won’t like that I’ve posted a photo of him, but being inside these buildings with someone who has experienced what is inside first hand is part of the excitement.
Thank you Reg, for taking me back in time with you and sharing this with me. This was special.
If this building is ever open for a tour, I recommend you go.