A genuine Ozark Mountain landmark of vernacular commercial architecture, the Stamps store was erected for Willie and Millie Sneed by a family of stonemasons from Alpena, fifteen miles west of Osage. Though the written history of Osage is meager, one account states that the Baileys walked roundtrip daily from Alpena while building the store. Constructed of undressed fieldstone, largely sandstone, this commercial building is unmatched in size in the rural Ozark Mountains. The twenty-four-foot width of the first floor of the two-and-a-half-story building is defined by three large arches. This type of arched front was a specialty of the Baileys, for they had constructed three town blocks of arcaded store-fronts in Alpena. This Osage arcade rests on a raised stone foundation, which surrounds the entire building. A two-story wooden front porch rises from the stone base on four square wood columns, and it is covered by a shed roof of sheet metal. The building’s gable front of wood rises above the porch’s roof. Originally, a side exterior wooden stairway rose to the porch’s upper floor, but was removed in the 1950s. The interior stair still remains in the northwest corner. Over the years, the second-floor space was made available to community groups for a variety of purposes, including, at different times, an Oddfellows Lodge and a Rebekah Lodge, and a casket-making firm. When postmaster E. Kenner Stamps bought the store from the Sneeds in 1912, it also served as the area’s post office and offered safe deposit facilities until the late twentieth century. In 1989 the store became the Osage Clayworks.
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E. Kenner Stamps Store
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