Task Difficulty: 1.0 Out of 5.0
Terrain Difficulty: 2.0 Out of 5.0
Harkin Store - OU092D

 Historic Harkin General Store and Post Office

Hidden by  offthemap

N 44° 23.218' W 94° 35.950' (WGS84)

 Coordinates in Other Systems
 Location: United States > Minnesota
 Cache Type: Virtual
 Size: No container
 Status: Ready for Search
 Date Hidden: 18 October 2015
 Date Created: 18 October 2015
 Last Modified: 21 October 2015
 Waypoint: OU092D


{{found}} 0 x Found
{{not_found}} 0 x Did Not Find
{{comment}} 0 Comments
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2360 Visitors
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Rated as: N/A
GeoKrety History

Available Maps: Opencaching,Google Maps

Cache Attributes

Kid Friendly Access Fee Required Historic Site Limited Hours Listed on OCNA Only 

Please see the attributes article for more information.

Description   EN   

Would you like to be able to go back in time? Here you can - this cache brings you to historic Harkin Store, a general store that is basically the same as it was when it opened for business back in 1867.

This rural general store in the Minnesota River Valley was both the economic and social center of the growing community of West Newton. Steamboat trade made the towns future seem bright, but then - as with so many other rural towns, the railroad passed it by.

The stores original owners, Alexander and Janet Harkin, who were born in Scotland, arrived in the Minnesota Territory in 1856 to farm. After several difficult years, the Harkins and their farm began to prosper and Alexander was appointed or elected to a variety of positions including coroner, school board treasurer, justice of the peace and postmaster. In 1867 he opened a combination general store and post office.

Their fortunes changed soon after, however, when in 1873 the railroad bypassed the community and then locusts descended on the area - and stayed for four years. West Newton and the Harkin Store declined for the next few decades. The store eventually closed in 1901 as river and road traffic dwindled and the post office was replaced by rural free delivery. The doors were locked and the store and its merchandise remained untouched until it was re-opened as a museum by the Minnesota Historical Society in 1938.

The store is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, six days a week (closed on Mondays), 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. It is also open July 4 and weekends in May, September and the first three weekends in October. There is a small fee to enter the store, well worth the price of admission.

To claim credit for a find, email the cache owner your answer to the following question: what corner of the store (northeast, southeast, etc...) contains the post office area? If you don't want to pay the entrance fee to tour the store, one of the volunteer MHS members should be able to help you with the logging task. If you visit when the store is closed and want to log a find, post a photo of yourself and/or your GPS-enabled device with the store in the background, or a photo looking in through a window that shows the interior.


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12 20 October 2015 DudleyGrunt OC Team comment

Approved!  Thanks for the new cache!