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[graphic] Ihlen Mercantile Company
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Current view of Ihlen Mercantile, which was in operation until 1985
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper

Ihlen, five miles south of Pipestone, was founded in 1888. The Ihlen Mercantile, constructed in 1885 by John Olson, was the first business establishment in Ihlen and remained in operation as a general store and post office until 1985. The building is a white frame building consisting of two units joined by a common wall. The one-story portion was constructed at a later date for use as a cream handling station. The outside stairway on the south side of the building was removed for safety reasons. A gable type roof was added to eliminate roof leaks.

[photo] Ihlen Mercantile in 1978, with the original roof form and outside stairwell
National Register Collection

A railroad town, Ihlen was selected as the freight division point for the Great Northern Railroad. One reason Ihlen received the distinction of the hub of the freight division is that there was already a reservoir there to act as a source of water for the steam engines. With the decline of steam powered locomotives, the town of Ihlen lost its railroad distinction, and slowly became the sleepy little village it is today.

The building is located on the northwest corner of Holman St. and Sherman Ave. in the village of IhIen.
The building is not open to the public.

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