Historic Muscoda Mile - https://historicmuscodamile.com

The Historic Muscoda Mile

The McIntyre & Elston Store – A Merchant’s Example

Muscoda flourished in the early era with stores and businesses located along the Wisconsin River. Until the coming of the railroad, economic growth became limited after the mining era. Lumber and livestock would always be important. With the arrival of the railroad in ‘Upper Town’ several businesses moved over a half mile to the south, and many more businesses were established in the latter 1800’s.

One example of those merchants was Peter McIntyre in 1867, who went
into partnership with his nephew A .C .Elston, opening a general merchandise store in Muscoda. The store was located on the West side of Wisconsin Avenue in the building north of Front Street on the SE corner block. They operated this business for a decade when McIntyre turned over his interest to his son and the business name was changed to Elston & McIntyre. A .C . Elston also had operated a hotel for fifteen years known as the Wisconsin House.

View from the Railroad Park, circa 1909 https://historicmuscodamile.com
A parade view of the building circa 1909
View from Railroad Park in the 1980’s

Elston & McIntyre was one example of the many types of stores that flourished in the business district along Front Street and would locate perpendicular to Wisconsin Avenue.

When A .C . Elston became the postmaster the post office was then located in the building. There was also a bank for time period in the Elston McIntyre store as well. The business district in Muscoda changed from the latter 1800’s to the early 1900’s and then experienced yet another change into the mid 20th century, with stores and businesses changing locations, as well as new buildings being built to replace those that were there.

Historically, several fires have changed the business landscape. Store fronts changed too. The canopy on the Elston & McIntyre store in the 1909 picture, to the tavern signs, which become the modern setting of the building.

It went from restaurant, to supper club, and then several taverns.

A 1930’s view of the building located in the center of the picture below shows the west side of ‘Upper Town’ with the railroad and grain warehouses.

Notice that on the southeast corner of the block there was a gas station with a post support for the corner of the building which would later become the post office. In the northeast corner, what was the Skelly Station, would become Vance’s Skelly and where the rubble stands became Victora Oil along with the old opera house that later became Walsh Stores hardware section.

The Smalley House had recently burned to the ground and the stone front on the west side will become the new location for Duffey’s Station. The vaguely painted “Restaurant” sign can still be viewed today on the north building side.