Historic Structures: Columbia Mercantile 1855

The building that most people now refer to as the “Mercantile” is also known as the Magendie/Brunet Building. In 1852 V.E. Magendie bought a wooden structure on this lot from Alexis Maitre. This building burnt in the great fire of 1854. Magendie first rebuilt of wood and then in 1855 he constructed the current brick structure.

In 1856 V.E. Magendie sold the building to J.B. Magendie. The 1857 fire partially destroyed the building. Magendie sold to Pedro Beronio and Pierre Bocquerraz in 1861. Beronio and Bocquerraz sold groceries and alchoholic beverages. In 1868 L. Brunet owned the building and C. Smith ran a clothing and grocery store in it. Brunet owned the building for many years.

The State purchased the structure in 1948 from Clara Solari for the sum of $3200. For many years Mellor’s Candy Factory and store were at this location.

In April of 1960, Roy and Mary Raney moved the Columbia Mercantile from the building now occupied by the Nelson Candy Kitchen into the Magendie/Brunet building. In 1975 Jack and Marilyn Hodgeman became the concessionaires for the Mercantile. They ran the store until 1977 when Paul and Mary Gjerde took over the contract with the State. The Gjerde’s still operate the business.

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