Rural Missouri Magazine

The past in store
New Melle

by Bob McEowen

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.


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