BACK IN BUSINESS: Baker Block Museum revives Baker Mercantile

baker mercantile block museum

The Baker Mercantile will reopen March 1 in the right-side space of historic Baker Block. The Baker Block Museum occupies the two center spaces.

BAKER BLOCK MUSEUM | Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 12:35 PM.

BAKER — In its day, the Baker Mercantile was the town's main place to shop for groceries and sundries. At the end of next week, the store resumes its place of prominence in the heart of Baker.

The Baker Block Museum and North Okaloosa Heritage Association's volunteers and staffers have renovated the easternmost of four stores that comprise historic Baker Block, a late 19th-century version of a strip mall.

The deep room gleams in the golden glow of varnished refinished pine floors and a bead-board ceiling. The back doors were milled from the building's original virgin pine foundation timbers.

"You just don't buy stuff like this anymore," shop manager Cara McSween said, running her hands lightly over the varnished double doors. "They don't make buildings like this anymore."

Sunlight floods from the front windows, in which are displayed artifacts from the museum's collection typical of merchandise the original Baker Mercantile once offered.

The store, marketed as a "vendor mall,"  has space for 12 booths and additional shelf space for smaller vendors. But this is no junk shop, volunteer Phyllis Enzor said.

'It's nice stuff'

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