building, originally the granary on the farm here, has
been fitted out to resemble a general store of the early
1900s.Tools. Lanterns, pots, pans, fabric, feed, spices,
flour, sugar -- everything and anything that was
available at that time could be bought here. Usually,
purchases were things which could not be grown in
Minnesota (spices, coffee) or made (coffeepots, enamel
basins).The settlers were very frugal, creative, and
self-sufficient, just as their pioneer ancestors had
been. The ornate hand-operated cash register was the sign
of a prosperous shopkeeper.
were kept either in a ledger or in a lockable cabinet
like the one behind the counter. Many farmers did not
have "ready money" to pay for their purchases, so records
were kept as credit was extended until harvest time.
Bartering was also acceptable with garden produce, eggs,
and meat being common trades for supplies.
To the right
of the counter is an egg candling booth. If an egg is
fresh, the light from a candle held behind it will light
up the shell. If the egg is rotten or developing a chick,
the light will not shine through.The shopkeeper could
discard any eggs which were not edible and give credit to
the farmwife for those he could resell.