A Century-old General Store Houses Nothing but Memories

Today the Spring Bluff General Store sits silently in the Missouri countryside, filled only with the ghosts of its past. PHOTO: Bill Gnech, www.theapplegroup.com

Founded by H. T. “Pegleg” Weirich in Spring Bluff, Mo., the Spring Bluff General Store survived a fire before being purchased by George C. Busch in 1926. According to an article about Spring Bluff’s history published in the Missourian, Busch extended credit to many locals who would have gone hungry during the Great Depression.

In his autobiography, A Miracle of Grace, E. Glenn Hinson described the general store:

“The store was typical of its kind in the 1930s—one room about 50 feet square with wood and glass cases lining three sides. Horse collars, hames, and harnesses hung along the walls near the ceiling. Wall shelves bulged with canned goods, chewing tobacco, shoes, socks, clothing, and myriad other things. Wooden barrels with meal, flour, sugar, and other bulk items squatted on the floor everywhere.”

The Busch family eventually sold the general store in 1946. During the next 40 years, it had a host of owners until it finally closed in 1986. Today the store sits silently in the Missouri countryside, filled only with the ghosts of its past.

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