Friday, January 16, 2009

The Weller Store

The Rural Store - currently The Weller Store - is the oldest retail building in the village of Rural.

The Rural Store was originally a carpentry shop, built in 1898 over the Crystal River mill race by Mr. Herbert Radley across the road (old Hwy 22) from it's current location. It is said that the building straddled the river so that the current could provide power for the lights and equipment used in the shop. The original color of the structure was red with white trim.

Above is the first known photograph of the carpentry shop and its builder , taken in the spring of 1901. You can see the building raised on stilts over the water.

In 1906, Radley moved the carpentry shop from the river to dry land across the road from its original location. The building was altered slightly and repainted. It then became the general store.

Radley and his infant son, Howard, (in the buggy) are shown at left circa 1906.

Charles Weller stands in front of The Weller Store in this undated photo.

Robert Weller, Sr., Charles' son, is pictured at the storefront after a truck ran off the highway and crashed into the cement in front of the store.

After State Highway 22 was rerouted the gasoline business dropped off drastically. Eventually the pumps were removed. The change in traffic affected the business in a negative way but allowed the village to retain its unique character and beauty.

In the mid-1960s the building was moved slightly to the east and an adjoining cement block structure was built by Robert Weller, Jr. The Wellers continued to operate the grocery store in the new building while renting out the original building to other retail businesses. The Weller Store is well known throughout the area for 25 cent ice cream cones and locally bottled Ting soda.

The original building as it appears today.

Re-opened in the spring of 2008 by Robert Weller, Jr and Eileen Schwanke, The Weller Store now features antiques, collectibles, original art, ephemera, baskets, tools, - all things vintage from every era. Visit our website (still under construction) for a peek at some of the merchandise!


  1. TING!!! I haven't had Ting since I was a kid!!! I didn't think they were still making it!!! I'll be up from Milwaukee this summer to get some. It's really not that far from here

  2. Hi sweetie, I'm loving your's so nice to see different parts of the country especially when it's so beautiful and full of history!!!