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Our History















The Shaw Mercantile Building was constructed just at the beginning of Cloverdale's settlement stage, after the coming of the railroad insured both the existence of the town and its slow growth. The building served as the town's post office and express office until 1880. Once Isaac Shaw moved to larger quarters, the building became the first home of Cloverdale's Reveille, the only newspaper to survive in the town and the city's weekly for over 130 years. 


Although the original Shaw Mercantile Building would house many more businesses over the next hundred years, none would be as important as Shaw's first tenant, the community's only continuously published newspaper. By 1880, when Shaw, and business partner Bowman moved into their new brick building down the street, the original building had two tenants, the Reveille and G. Hunziker. Hunziker was only the first of several jewelers in the building. 


Elizabeth Weston, daughter of the second jeweler in the Shaw Mercantile Building, leased the building to Christo G. Potter. Potter first appears in the records in 1934. By 1938, the county business directory no longer included the jewelry store. Instead, it listed Potter's restaurant. Potter altered the front facade of the building sometime between his lease and his purchase of the building in 1943 for $3,000. By January 1941, the Cloverdale Reveille was running advertisements for "Potter's Coffee Shop, Lunches and Fountain Service, Opposite Cloverdale Garage."


Unfortunately, Potter lost a son during World War II and the grief resulted in his inability to handle his own affairs. Judged incompetent by the courts, Potter's assets were placed in the hands of a guardian. In 1950, Ray Ferrari, the guardian, sold a portion of Potter's land for $300 to meet medical and other expenses. 


In April 1953, following Potter's death, A. W. Foster and Ray Ferrari, executors of his estate, sold the Shaw Building to Leslie P. and Marjorie J. Streeter for $4,800. In July, they sold the Shaw House to C. Hugo Stomberg and Marion King for $10,600. The Streeters opened the building as the Scandia Restaurant, which they operated from 1953 until 1966. Potter's ghost is said to inhabit the building, still grieving his lost son.


In January of 1967, the property was acquired by David S. and Patsy Ann Kirk. Between 1967 and 1979, the Scandia Restaurant was operated by the Kirks.


Although operated as a restaurant after 1938 for over forty years, neither Potter's Coffee Shop nor the Scandia Restaurant appears to have had any more significance to the community than as a local gathering place and food service. Subsequent years saw another restaurant, coffee shop and printer's shop, and now a fabric and home decor business. Perhaps most important was the fact that it continued to be used for commercial purposes, rather than being abandoned and allowed to deteriorate to the point where an owner found it more desirable to demolish the 1875 Shaw Mercantile Building than to keep it occupied. 




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