Patrons Mercantile Co-op: Dane County Historical Society


“Oldest Cooperative in the Nation. Town of Vermont farmers, beset by a depressed economy in the early 1890’s, organized a company to obtain quality products at fair prices. Amos Thorsrud was the first general manager. He and Nels Simley toured local farms to sell $10 shares in a company store, raising $1800 capital to finance an inventory of farm supplies. A share of the profits would be returned to the patrons. The store opened April 9, 1894 in a rented building. In 1897, the business moved to this site. Fire destroyed the old store in February, 1933. Rebuilt by November, “The Store” operated here until 1994. The Co-op’s purpose has always prevailed: “Ownership by the patrons and affordable products.” (Dane County Historical Society)

Marker is at the corner of Mills Street (Hwy 78) and Spring Street (at approximately 1137 Mills), on the right when traveling south on Mills Street.
43.138105 -89.748101
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