past in store
Visitors to the suburban St. Charles
County village of New Melle might look at all the homes and subdivisions
springing up and think progress is moving a bit too fast. At least
one spot in town offers a chance to slow down, though. The Butler Bros.
General Store on Mill Street offers a taste of an old-fashioned mercantile
along with a few sweets from its candy counter.
The 1850s general store was restored by local historical preservationist
Steve Butler, who has also donated a number of structures to the nearby
Nathan Boone Home and Boonesfield Village in nearby Defiance. Open
on weekends and by appointment, the store is listed on the National
Register of Historic Places.
Part museum and part gift shop, the Butler Bros. Store features period
furnishings and merchandise on display as well as some modern items
for sale. Available at the store are gourmet and specialty food items,
herbal products, handmade brooms and leather goods. Butler, a descendant
of the Griesedieck beer-brewing family, also has included brewing memorabilia
among the artifacts on display.
Butler says he hopes the store is the first among several historic
structures returned to their original appearance in New Melle.
New Melle is located at the intersection of Highways
D and Z, south of Interstate 70. Because the store’s hours are
irregular, call (636) 398-4250 before visiting.