Kansas November 07, 2016
The Oldest General Store In Kansas Has A Fascinating History
Did you know that there are other places to shop besides big-box chain stores and gigantic online retailers? It’s true! Did you also know that by shopping at these places (which are typically local and provide unsurpassed customer service) you are supporting both your hometown and small business families? If you are looking for an unforgettable shopping experience, make plans to begin at this Kansas store, that not only has a unique inventory, but a fascinating history as well.
Located in the Route 66 town of Riverton, the Old Riverton Store is a small and charming market that sells fresh flowers, groceries, hand-crafted gifts, and a variety of other goods.
Opened in 1925 (before the creation of Route 66), the Old Riverton Store once served as a popular rest stop along the famed highway that offered its patrons quality gasoline, deli items, and two outhouses behind the building.
Built and owned by the Leo Williams family, the store was sold to Joe and Isabell Eisler in 1973, who continued to operate the business the same as during its heyday in the 1920s through the 50s.
(Now you know why the market is sometimes referred to as either the Williams Store and/or Eisler Brothers!)
In 2011, the store was sold to the Eisler's nephew, Scott Nelson, and has since operated as Nelson's Old Riverton Store.
As per their
website, "The current building replaced one destroyed by a tornado in 1923, where Lora had served lunches and sold groceries while Leo worked at the Empire District Electric Co. The existing building originally had an open front porch, but the present closed in porch replaced that in 1933. It is one story, built of hollow, dark red bricks on a concrete slab foundation."
"The interior has changed little since 1925. It is divided into two primary spaces, the east section which was, and is, used as the commercial area and the west section consisting of three rooms in a linear arrangement with a small bath, (added later) which was the residence of Leo and Lora Williams and their daughter, Jane Marie. The kitchen was in the commercial part just west of the meat lockers. A pressed metal ceiling is used throughout the building."
Old Riverton, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is located at 7109 KS-66 in Riverton and is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For even more charming Route 66 towns, check out these
11 Historic Towns In Kansas That Will Transport You To The Past.