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Society: State Center Historical Society


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     The State Center Historical Society evolved out of efforts to save a piece of State Center’s history. In 1989, an important piece of State Center’s history was ready to be auctioned off. Watson’s Grocery Store, both the building and its contents, were to be placed on the auction block after the death of Florence Watson.

     William Watson had established Watson’s Grocery Store back in 1885. A fire destroyed the original building, but a new building was constructed in 1895. This building, with its shelves, bins, and counters, would remain almost unchanged during its years of operation. In 1981, Florence Watson closed the store, locking the doors and leaving everything as it was. Florence died eight years later in 1989.



     The Watson’s Grocery Store Museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from May 1 through September 30 or by appointment year round. The Washington Center Schoolhouse and Sheppler’s Barbershop Museum are open by appointment only.

     Admission to all three sites is free and available by calling 641-483-2458, 641-483-2110, or 641-483-3002 to make an appointment. The State Center Historical Society welcomes new members, volunteers, and donations to help us preserve and share our community’s history.

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