The Harshaw General Store

The Harshaw General Store

The Harshaw General Store, officially called the Harshaw Mercantile Co, as it appeared about 1930.

For almost 60 years this building served as the focal point and hub of the the small vibrant village of Harshaw.  From groceries, hardware, farm equipment, ice, kerosene, seed, almost anything the local residents needed were available.  It also served a waiting area for the near-by Railway Depot, as well as the US Post Office,  among other things. 

It's thought that early settler, and farmer, Barzy Winnie first established the business in the early 1900's.  He either built or moved part of the building there, and then added on to it before 1920, adding the gasoline and kerosene pumps.. Barzy and his family likely ran the business until 1918/19, and then records show Elmer Webster ran it briefly until the Spring of 1920, when William F Stock took over for the next 5 years. From 1925 thru 1927, Archie Winnie, L.W. Layton, and Gordon Synott are known to operated the store, until Harrison McNown from Mauston arrived with his new wife, Ester  prior to the depression era.  They and their family ran the business from 1927 until retiring in 1959.  It was then leased to Fred Peters, for 1 year, and later to Forest Batte in 1960. Sadly,  this landmark building burned to the ground, on May 30th, Memorial Day, 1962.  Today it's difficult to see, that the village of Harshaw had existed here along the rail road tracks at all.

In 1995, after her husband Harrison had passed away Ester McNown detailed from her journals the fascinating saga of surviving  many years at the Harshaw General Store, and of the colorful local folks frequenting it ,as well as the tourists and travelers passing thru.


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Town of Cassian

9110 Church Rd, Harshaw, WI 54529

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