The General Stores of Presque Isle County, Michigan
Every town, no matter how small, had a general store...
Before supermarkets, the people of Presque Isle County relied on general stores to obtain the food and sundries they needed for their families. In 1881, there were 3 general stores in Rogers City alone, though by 1901 there was only one.
The Village of Rogers featured company stores, owned by rival businessmen Herman Hoeft and Albert Molitor of the Rogers-Molitor Lumber Company. Employees of their respective companies paid for their goods with company scrip. When Albert Molitor was murdered, the Hoeft store became the only store in town.
The Hoeft General Store became the town’s source for their basic needs – and then some. Shoppers could purchase fruits and vegetables, household cleaners, cameras, silverware, fabric, and more.
Built in 1873, the store’s original home still exists today, Rogers City’s oldest commercial building. Hoeft General Store moved from that location in 1913 to its second location at the corner of Third Street and Erie and eventually shared quarters with the Presque Isle Advance newspaper. That building was destroyed by fire in 2006.
The museum’s general store exhibit gives you a feel for what customers experienced more than a century ago when they walked in to do their shopping. Our shelves are lined with dry goods and anything else you might need. Come have a look at our goods and sundries, and learn a little bit about what life was like at the turn of the century.