Whitehall Mercantile, a stop for many Route 66 in travelers in Halltown, Missouri, for more than 30 years, probably will close before the end of the year.
One was the building’s ownership status, which has gone into probate after its previous owner passed away.
But more than that, it just seemed like the right time. “It served its purpose,” says White of the store. “I don’t think I could’ve (closed) it in 2010. Too close to her death. And we’ve done all right in the past six years. But I’m feeling the pressure of age.”
White grew up near Halltown — back when U.S. 66 was so busy, pedestrians had to run across to avoid being hit by traffic — and he and Thelma came back in 1985 to lease the building that once was a grocery store. That was the same year U.S. 66 was decommissioned.
Thelma eventually became the co-founder of the Route 66 Association of Missouri, and Whitehall Mercantile turned into a favorite stop for domestic and foreign Route 66 travelers alive over the years.
Here’s a video the store made, showing the wide variety of items it carries:
White told Ozarks Alive he’ll probably close the store around Christmas. For now, it’s open by from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday or by appointment by calling (417) 830-4510. Whitehall Mercantile also is on Facebook.
(Image of Whitehall Mercantile in Halltown, Missouri, by DiAnne L’Roy via Flickr)