|The circa 1885 Hobson-Gehlen General Merchandise Store is being nominated to the National Register under the existing Historic Downtown Area of Stayton, Oregon Multiple Property Submission (MPS) of 2006. Locally significant in the areas of Commerce and Architecture, the building meets National Register Criterion A under this MPS for its long association with the commercial development and activities in the community, and as the oldest remaining commercial building in Stayton. Built circa 1885 by William H. Hobson for use as a general merchandise store, the building ownership was transferred in 1896 to Theodore Gehlen who, with his sons Charles and Nicholas, ran the Gehlen General Merchandise business until his untimely death in 1904. From 1904 until 1924, Charles, Nicholas and John Gehlen continued operating the business at this location. Following the Gehlens' sale of the building in 1924, the building was used variously for auto-related purposes and a welding shop, through the mid-twentieth century. Criterion Cis also applied, as the building is the only remaining wood-frame commercial building in Stayton, displaying influences of the ltalianate style that was popular during the 1870s and 1880s in Oregon, encompassing its approximate date of construction. Despite some alteration it continues to illustrate its late-nineteenth century construction through both interior and exterior materials and design details. The Period of Significance spans the years from circa 1885 to 1955, the years during which it served as both general merchandise store (c 1885-1924) and auto-related business (1925-1955 and beyond).