The village of Wild Rose was first settled in 1874 and experienced modest growth until 1901, when the railway touched off a brief period of commercial growth. Among those who helped foster expansion was T. H. Patterson, who erected this two-story brick building, where he and his son operated a general store. The solid building features a pronounced corbel table and large round-arched windows with brick drip moldings lighting its second story. The upper story housed offices and an opera house, which hosted meetings, dances, and other gatherings. On the ground level, a wide frieze of prism lights spans the storefront, and large plate-glass windows flank a recessed central entrance. This arrangement represented the latest in store design in the early twentieth century. The recessed entrance drew passersby toward the door as they paused to gaze at the wares on display, and the prism lights (probably added sometime after 1910) refracted natural sunlight into the store, augmenting the generally poor illumination offered by early incandescent lighting.
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Wild Rose Mercantile Company (T. H. Patterson Building)
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