Sunday, September 14, 2014

Quade Grocery Store....Legacy of Hard Work

Next Saturday Buck Up Auctions will be holding a MULTI-Estate Auction at the Old Quade Grocery. For all you locals....that is at the Fayetteville Y (aka. the intersection of Hwy 237 & FM 1291) right outside of Warrenton. However....most of you locals know EXACTLY where that is. These days it is kind of a resting point for tired drivers....or lost drivers.....a road marker or a meeting place. But once upon a time......this was a meeting point for many of the local farmers, ranchers, & local people just lookin' to get something cold to drink, or some home-grown veggies, or material for their next sewing project. 

We were asked by the family, if we would be interested in selling off the contents of the estate & decided that we would be honored. Believe's no small undertaking. The store closed in the 70s & there are SEVERAL buildings to go through & organize...not to mention figuring out the logistics like we have to for every auction.

The cool thing about these estate auctions is there is ALWAYS a story & it didn't take long for me to figure out that LOTS of the local people have a story or a memory involving the Quade Grocery. As I spent some time talking with Linda...the only daughter to the couple that ran the grocery for many years....I could FEEL her closeness to the building & all that it held. I want to share with you a write up that Linda's daughter shared with me. This was a write-up that was written for one of the local history books. Only pieces of this were actually published.

"In January 1949, Mr. and Mrs. Gussie and Amanda Quade, opened Quade Grocery at the Fayetteville Y near Warrenton with their small daughter, Linda Lou, in tow.  The store was modest at best and reflective of the times.  There was no electricity in the store; it was lighted at night by a single gas lantern. In the summer, the breeze through open windows was the air-conditioning and in the winter, a single wood stove served as the "central" heating.  The gas pumps were hand pumps requiring customers to always buy by the gallon.  The store sold not only merchandise from wholesalers and distributors but the Quade's were staunch supporters of the local community, buying whatever the local farmers had available to sell such as chickens, eggs, turkeys, and rabbits.

The  store grew at this central location; it was enlarged four times to make room for more merchandise, a larger feed room and even an egg handling facility.  The store did not have a cash register or even an adding machine.  The cash register was a simple drawer with a shoe box for bills and a muffin tin to hold coins.   Each purchase was written down on paper and calculated by hand.  As the years went by, Quade Grocery mainly bought and sold eggs, feed, groceries and, of course a country store mainstay-cold drinks.  The store also had a large dry goods section where the women would purchase thread, patterns, buttons, sewing supplies and miles and miles of rickrack.  Throughout the years, the store ran as a family business where Linda Lou spent countless hours first playing in the store, then working in the store and keeping the books, and ultimately, helping to run the business when Mr. Quade's health failed.  Quade Grocery eventually closed in December 1972 when Mr. Quadebecame too sick to operate the store and Mrs. Quade and Linda Lou could not continue to take care of family and the store simultaneously.  Mrs. Quade passed on in 2011; she had many fond memories of the store and although the details of other aspects of her life faded over the years, the memories of the store and the wonderful customers, neighbors, and friends she encountered each day remained crystal clear...and that is not something you can buy or sell."

I can't help, but sit back & identify with how this business started out. I can't help but APPRECIATE the fact that this store was EXPANDED 4 times....sufficing the needs of its customers, as Mr. & Mrs. Quade figured it out. I can't help but UNDERSTAND that this business grEW due do the owners interaction, support, and friendships of the LOCAL people & that they KNEW they had to support them, just like their customers had to be their support to keep their doors open, I can't help but feel God's hands in this auction, as Mrs. Linda calls to ask if her church could serve concessions at the auction & have that money go to the church. 

Anytime you sell off an estate, there is a mixture of emotions from the different family members. As I sit here....working HARD to grow my business...with little ones in tow, doing my BEST to take care of my customers & support the same community the Quade's did many years ago.....I can FULLY appreciate the legacy that all of these remaining relics represent. I can appreciate the fact one point...that 10-2-4 Dr. Pepper Cooler was a LARGE expense & just getting it, was probably a business milestone for them. I can APPRECIATE the beauty of their little sewing area & Mrs. Quade infusing their business with a piece of her that she ENJOYED, while still sufficing a customer need. I can appreciate Mrs. Linda's knowledge of MOST everything about that place, because it becomes SO personal to you. It becomes part of your LIFE work & stomping ground for life lessons, memories, and friendships that grow throughout your life. 

I hope that EVERYONE that's able & has a memory of Quade Grocery can come out & get even a small souvenir from a business that was built through hard work & community. 

There is old signage, display cases, implements, a tractor, antiques, furniture, old windows & doors & SO much more. We are combining a couple other estates with this auction that includes items like tools, guns, chandeliers, toys, more antiques & furniture. There will be a little somethin' for everyone!!  

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Heather Schoenst Kaspar
TXL 17037