Origins and Expansions

May 10, 2021

The site Grandpa chose for the store, 301 East Lake Street, is steeped in Petoskey’s history and importance. An article in the Petoskey Evening News from 1948 written by Ethel Rowan Farquelle tells her childhood memories of where “Bazil Petoskey’s store was on the corner of Lake and Petoskey streets.”

She wrote, “My first knowledge of Ignace Petoskey [the man after whom Petoskey is named] was when a child of eight, I loved to spend my pennies for candy at the store of Bazil, one of the older sons of Ignace because I was more than apt to find the old Chief sitting by the big stove in the center of the store with his hands on top of his cane held straight up in front of him…As to the character of Chief Ignace of Petoskey, may I relate a story that is entirely personal? My father, J. A. C. Rowan, had a great deal of respect for Ignace. All the water the village people had to drink had to be carried from a big spring under the hill opposite the Chippewa Hotel. Bazil Petoskey’s store was on the corner of Lake and Petoskey streets where the Barney Linen shop is located. When father climbed the steep hill by the dirt road on Petoskey street to bring the water up in two pails swinging from a neck yoke, he usually stopped to rest at the top and to chat with Bazil and his father at the little store.”

Bazil’s little store sold Native American crafts and other souvenirs as far back as 1880. When Carl and Ruth started their own souvenir shop, it carried on the tradition in every sense of the word. The store opened under the name “Shorter’s Indian Craft Shop.” They operated in a small 16’ deep by 8’ wide portion of the building, carrying “locally made Indian porcupine quill boxes”, moccasins, jewelry, gifts, and souvenirs.