101 Main - Merkel CPA / Blumer's Grocery / Town Hub Grocery

Ellendale - Tour of the Core City

101 Main - Merkel CPA / Blumer's Grocery / Town Hub Grocery

Ellendale, North Dakota 58436, United States

Created By: Coleman Memorial Museum


101 Main - Merkel CPA / Blumer's Grocery / Town Hub Grocery

The five storefronts sharing a common brick facade were erected following a disastrous 1916 fire that destroyed most of the buildings on Main Street. The corner building--presently Merkel CPA--housed one of Ellendale's most important grocery stores.

Blumer Grocery was started in Ellendale in 1891 when Fred Blumer, Sr. and his brother Charlie opened a grocery store on Second Street South. They later moved to Main Street at the location of today's Starion Financial Bank (the former First National Bank). In 1902 Fred sold his interest to his brother's widow and opened a store across the street on the corner. The building was owned by Henry Martin.

The 1916 fire destroyed the business as well as those east of there to the end of the block. But by September of that year Fred had formed a partnership with his son and the new store, built on the same site, was known as Blumer & Son. They were well known for famous brands, courteous treatment and efficient service. Groceries were delivered around town for customers who had called in their order.

The business continued until until Fred W.'s retirement in 1947, when it was bought by Harold Hubbard and Howard Townsend. The first syllable in the two partners’ names provided the name of the store: Town Hub Grocery. One and a half years later Hubbard sold his interest to Howard and Marion Townsend. The Townsends operated the store by themselves until 1968, with only occasional part time help.

Subsequently the building has had various owners. Early in the 2000s it housed the Coffee Bean, a corner cafe owned by Becky Tatum. Subsequently it was occupied by Jeberleco, an arts and fitness enterprise operated by local artist Jami Eberle.

Mitchell Merkel, an Ellendale native, purchased the corner building in 2015 and continues to operate his CPA office there.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Ellendale - Tour of the Core City


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