The Mercantile is located in the historic Ellis-Forde building. Originally the site of a saloon and an ice house, George Ellis and James Forde purchased the lot in 1905 and constructed the two story building. There they relocated their merchandising company which eventually become the area’s first chain department store.
In 1919, Ellis and Forde sold the building to Michael Murray, who opened a department store called The Emporium, with the Emporium Apartments on the second floor. (The Ellis-Forde department store moved to a larger location, occupying an entire city block to accommodate it’s vast stock of clothing, furniture and household goods.)
In the early 1930’s, the building was leased to the Golden Rule store, part of a national franchise started by James Cash Penney. In 1940, the Golden Rule relocated down the street to 101 N. Wenatchee, on land today occupied by the Numerica PAC. J.J. Newberry Department Store then replaced the Golden Rule in the Ellis-Forde building. Subsequent businesses occupying the space included the Ben Franklin five-and-ten-cents store from 1963 to 1967 and the Bonanza Variety Store from 1971 to 1988. David Rodstol purchased the building on 1991 and opened an office supply store until 2017 when the building was ultimately purchased by Hub & Spoke, LLC.
The Mercantile name carries the history and tradition of the Ellis-Forde building and the many department stores which previously occupied the space.
Resource: Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center