Roseglen Mercantile

Recollections of the Roseglen Mercantile Store
by Norman Barsness and Mrs. Harry Peterson (1967)

Andy Anderson bought the store from John Snippen and, in 1917, he moved the store to Roseglen from the Snippen farm. He owned it for two years, selling out to Ole Olness of Ryder in 1919, with Art Dwelle as manager. Mr. Dwelle managed the Olness store until the fall of 1922, when E.C. (Elmer) Anderson took over as manager.

Reuben Barsness began working for Olness in the spring of 1922 at the age of sixteen, while Dwelle was still manager. Mr. Dwelle moved to Ryder that fall, and continued working for Olness at his grocery and dry goods store there.

Elmer Anderson continued the management of the store until the fall of 1925, when J.O. Lein took over. Lein stayed as manager until the spring of 1927, when Carl Hanchett became manager of the store. Hanchett and Reuben Barsness operated the store for Olness until the fall of 1929, at which time Reuben and E.C. Anderson bought out Olness. In the fall of 1931, Reuben bought out Elmer's share. In the spring of 1932, he went into partnership with Chester Braasch. J.B. Nelson was employed as part-time butcher for Reuben during these years.

In August of 1932, the store burned. Later, Chet and Reuben built a new store in the south end of town, on Highway 37. In 1936, Reuben bought out Chet Braasch's share of the store, and he and his wife, Valdine Anderson, who he married in 1934, operated it until his death in 1946 at the age of forty-six.

The Olness house, that was used as a living quarters for his help during the years that the store was in operation, burned in 1939. No one was living in it at the time. The house was directly north of the John Aamoth house, which was owned by Julius Mattson in 1967, when the Roseglen Golden Jubilee book was published.

In January of 1947, Valdine Barsness sold the store and its stock to Donnell Haugen, and Elmer Kolden operated it for some time, later buying the stock from Donell and managing the business until he sold out the stock to Olger Lunden in 1954. He operated the store under the name of Lunden's Highway Market until the store was discontinued in 1956 and the building was sold to Harold Halvorson, who converted it into a garage and repair shop.

At age 20, we don't care what the world thinks of us. At age 50, we find out it wasn't thinking of us at all.