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[This is an HTML representation of the brochure. We also have a pdf available.]
Martin's Gen'L Store Museum
Free Admission ~ Donations Appreciated
Open most Sundays from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m.
Closed mid-November through mid-April.
38757 North Highway 45
At the intersection with Grass Lake Road
Old Mill Creek, Lake County, Illinois 60046
Welcome to Lake County's oldest continuously operating general store. We invite you to browse among our treasures of yesteryear.
The original owners were Mr. (photo). and Mrs. (photo) Richard Pantall. Richard was originally a cobbler, whose business had outgrown a small shed just south of this property. In 1862, he purchased the land and built the front portion of this building for a store (photo). He paid $200 for approximately three-quarters of an acre of land. A few years later, he added the back portion of the store and then a new home (photo) to the north of the store in 1868. From 1864 to 1904, the store was the Millburn Post Office and Mr. Pantall was the Postmaster.
The store was the town meeting place for the school and cemetery boards and other town residents as they gathered around the potbelly stove. The store sold everything from a mouse trap for a dime to overalls for $.75. Penny candy was, of course, a penny. You could find shoes for $1.35, freshly ground coffee for $.35 per pound, tea at $.45 per pound, and a pair of pants for $.75.
The Pantalls had no children of their own and took into their home a young orphan, Edward Martin (photo). Ed helped Mr. Pantall in the store for twenty years before taking over and operating the store himself for fifty more years, until 1958, when he retired. The store was then leased to other merchants.
Edward's son, Richard, spent many happy years growing up in this community before he relocated to California. Upon his death in 1985, Richard bequeathed this property to the Historic Millburn Community Association, Inc. It was his expressed desire that the Association establish a 1900's general store museum in memory of his family. We think he would be proud of our accomplishments.
In 1979, this building and seventeen other structures in Millburn were placed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks as the Millburn Historic District. One building has been placed on the Illinois Register. We're trying to preserve Millburn to share with others.
The Association opened this Museum to the public in July of 1988 with items found throughout the community in cellars, sheds, attics, and homes. We have been adding to our collection ever since from a number of sources.
We encourage you to visit with us frequently.
Martin's Gen'l Store is owned and operated by the Historic Millburn Community Association, Incorporated, on an all volunteer and not-for-profit basis.
Our mission is to preserve, protect, and enhance the village of Millburn.
Membership is open to the general public. Members are encouraged, but not required, to participate in our activities. There are many opportunities, such as storekeeper to greet visitors, care of the collection, and historical research.
Some of the items in the store are for sale to the public. We do take items on consignment, for sale. A portion of the proceeds are retained to help finance our operations.
Donations are welcome. The Historic Millburn Community Association, Inc., is an IRS 501(c)3 organization.
We invite you to visit our award winning internet website at: http://www.hmca-il.org/hmca/ for a tremendous wealth of historical information about Millburn. There are many old photos, biographical information of our early settlers and other prominent citizens, and information about local schools, the church, and the underground railroad. All are keyword searchable.
We're interested in acquiring additional history about Millburn and the people who lived here. Let us know if you have a story to share or can help us document your family.
Our Museum is a member of the Lake-McHenry Historical Alliance, which is your guide to adventures in history within McHenry & Lake Counties, Illinois. Ask the storekeeper for a brochure.