Each community had at least one store. It was known as the general store since it had a varied inventory of items for sale. Everything from foodstuffs such as sugar, spices, and flour to yard goods, garden tools and farm tools could be found here or ordered from a catalog and delivered to the store. Women brought a basket or cloth to carry purchases home. Items needing packaging were wrapped in brown paper and tied with string.
Home remedies were also available for sale. One famous remedy was Sloan’s Liniment—“good for man and beast.” Earl Sloan, who grew up in the Zanesfield community, marketed this. His father created a horse liniment, and later, buyers discovered it was good for human aches and pains. Earl became a millionaire, and today money from the Sloan Fund helps to educate the young people of Logan County. He also built the Dr. Sloan Library in Zanesfield, the first meeting place of our historical society. The story is told that young Earl was refused the loan of a book because he was poor. He vowed he would make sure that future generations of little boys would not be denied a book for any reason.
The general store sometimes served as the local post office and a meeting place where neighbors could hear the local news, visit, play checkers or just gossip.
Items of interest:
· Post office boxes from Russells Point
· Cash register from Jackson’s Newsstand (Bellefontaine)
· Sloan’s Liniment
Cigar case/humidor from the old Big Four Railroad Depot in Bellefontaine