Small town hardware store and auto parts. The store seems to do a good business. Probably in large part because it’s 30 miles to the nearest town with big box stores and the local residents can appreciate not driving 30 miles to buy commonly needed hardware items.
“H. R. Keeler always believed in the principles of co-operation and early in 1897 he, with other prominent farmers, organized the Farmers Co-Operative Creamery at Lake Benton. He acted as secretary of the organization until he moved to Aitkin, most of the time without pay.” Excerpt from http://genealogytrails.com/minn/lincoln/bios_e.htm
This beautiful creamery was built of ACO Bricks from Springfield, MN. At least some of the bricks are marked with ACO and the color is consistent with bricks produced by ACO. The creamery is right next to the lake. I haven’t been to Lake Benton in a couple of years, but was saddened to hear the creamery has been torn down.
It’s understandable, the economics of renovating the building to put a business in there just aren’t favorable. Still it was a building that gave distinction to a small town due to it’s architecture and was a common business in most small towns in farm country prior to 1940. Minnesota was the center of the dairy industry and nicknamed the butter capital of the world.
A great article about the brick used in building the creamery
Today, it’s an antique shop, but in 1972 Eldon Nordmeyer purchased Jensen Produce and opened Valley Feed & Seed, a Vigorena dealership, and was a feed salesman until near his passing in 2012.
One can imagine that the sign is the part of the original signage but the part featuring the Vigorena logo and colors are gone.