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Williamsburg Villager March 2021

Williamsburg Villager March 2021

Williamsburg Villager March 2021


By David Crane

Again, apologies for being late.  This sneaks up on me every month.

We have been busy in the store re-arranging the hardware aisle.  We have worked on every part of the store since I came in 1995 and this was the last section.  In retail, you want every square foot to be working for you, and this aisle was not.  We had a hand made table that was around 15 foot long with an old showcase with broken glass and old boxes stacked on top of it.  It was turned so you had to enter it from the back side (west) and was hard to maintain.  As of now, we have removed the table and showcase (keeping the table for myself) and have opened the aisle up.  We have put a triangle of Case Knife displays up in it’s place, a Benchmade knife display, and a display for all the flashlights we carry.  We also took out the old rack that housed the plumbing fittings and behind that display was an old piece of screen wire.  Back in the days when we traded eggs for groceries, there once was a screened in room where the liar’s club is now.  In the screened room, they weighed and candled eggs and kept the bugs out.  Then after the trade, they would store the eggs under the trap door at the back of the store to keep the eggs cool.

Our next move in the hardware aisle is new pegboard doors that will be on runners.  This will allow us to have more hardware displayed and to have easy access to less used items.  Nine Mile Cabinets are working on those now.  After that, we’ll remove the last old table in the Liar’s Club and put up a slat wall to hold more of our Crane’s Store branded merchandise.  This will also allow the Liar’s to have a little more space.

Come see all the changes as they progress!


By Pat Alden

“The History of Williamsburg, Missouri”, according to Joe Crane. From notes I took during his lecture at the Museum at Marlene’s Restaurant, July 2, 2005 (and I recently discovered while reviewing one of my journals).

 “Williamsburg was given its name officially in 1835, Williams, along with Moxley being the first residents. One of the original houses was the Barry House owned by Captain Robert Barry, now owned by Linda Alden. A blacksmith shop was across the street to the East. The store, which now is Crane’s was in the same block, and moved to its present location in the late 1920’s.

 “William Crane was from Mineola, where the store was originally located, and he was hired to sell the stock out of the store. When the new highway, U.S. 40 was constructed in 1925-1926, he opened the store in Williamsburg in 1926. A log house, now sided, is across the highway from the store.

 “The original road through Williamsburg was called Boone’s Lick Trail, ostensibly named after Daniel Boone, but established by Nathaniel Boone. It ran from St. Charles, Missouri to the east side of the river (Missouri River?) near Arrow Rock and was renamed U.S. 40 in 1926. There actually were three routes going West. Besides old Highway U.S. 40,  two blocks North, now County Road D, which was Main Street, Williamsburg, and ran to Columbia; and, the South route following County Road D to Fulton.

 “There are marble markers along the Trail that marked the post offices: one being a half mile East in front of Stevens/Stephens(sp?) House; another in Mineola by Spring House; and, another in Danville, all described in Milestones of Missouri’s Past. Williamsburg has the longest continuous running post office in Callaway County, established in 1828.

 “John Gasper, who had been a truck driver bought Burton Motor Company (across County Road D) from the store in 1923, and it became Gasper’s Station and Café. The building burned down in 1965. Across the street to the East of Crane’s was Chan Martin Station and Garage, which Crane’s now owns and uses for storage. Both Gasper’s and Martin’s removed the canopies over their entrances so trucks could pull up to the front.

 “Gene Austin drove a school bus in Williamsburg in 1940 for $5 a day and stated, ‘I’m glad I have the job!’

 “Antioch Church built in 1828 was the first church built in Callaway County, and was located where Boone’s Lick Trail crossed the Auxvasse Creek. It closed in the late 1940’s, and later, was torn down. The Auxvasse Nine Mile Presbyterian Church, built in 1901, was located two miles West of Williamsburg across the road from the water tower (now a dirt pile), but burned down November, 1926. The new church was built in 1927 at Main Street and Pearl Street.

 “Johnson Chapel was located a mile North of town. John Johnson, Sr., a former slave, had a syrup farm and was the pastor. He and his wife lived at the northeast corner of the North Road and Tecumseh Trail.

 “Other facts: 1)Tyman Peters, a cashier at the Williamsburg Bank, owned the house on the northeast corner of Main Street and the North Road. 2)There was talk of getting the railroad to run through Williamsburg. 3)John Bell, a house painter, painted most of the houses white. 4)In World War I, Callaway County raised and shipped more mules – Songbird (famous Missouri Mule)- than any other county in the U.S.”

7 Layer Bar

By Georgena Huhman

Make a graham cracker crust in 9x13 pan then sprinkle the following in layers.

  • 6 ounces chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Drizzle one can of Eagle Brand milk on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

The Williamsburg Villager is provided by Crane's Museum and Shoppes. Please submit any announcements to David Crane at Crane's Country Store located next door to the museum by the 15th of each month to ensure publication.

Annual subscriptions are available for a $12.00 donation to the museum.

Crane's Museum & Shoppes

10665 Old US Hwy 40

Williamsburg, MO 63388


Crane's Museum is a Regional History Museum located in Williamsburg MO. We invite visitors of all ages to enjoy a step back in time. Enjoy breakfast or lunch in Marlene's Restaurant, shop for gifts at Town House Treasures, or get ready for any season at Crane's country Store's Clearance and Closeout Shop.

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