Acquisition No.: 1959-01
Title: Stoneware Jug; Brown/White Glaze, Leo Storm.
Item History:

In 1959, I (Karl Orndorff) was eleven years old. At that time Leo Storm's Grocery store, (Yorktowne Service Store, more commonly known as Storm's Store) was located at 16 E. Hanover Street in Bonneauville, just a few doors from my home at 21 E. Hanover Street. Mr. Storm's store was earlier constructed for use as an automobile dealership by the Altland family. A home whose architecture, trim color and brick matched the structure, sat next door to the east. Sometime after the auto dealership closed, the building was converted to a feed mill, gas station and general store with Leo Storm as the proprietor. His grocery store and gas station occupied only the front half of the old arched roof building.

By about 1959, Mr. Storm closed his doors and the structure again sat empty. Unsold contents remained in the store for years. School-aged boys in the school playground two doors to the east passed the word to one another that with a bit of caution, one could wander the building uncontested. It was during one of my extended explorations that I, alone, decided to check out the old feed mill behind the store. The mill had not been in operation as long as I could remember. Amongst the clutter and cobwebs on a wide old sill plate were two stoneware jugs covered with the grime and of many years.

Having attended public auctions with my grandfather Ambrose Myers since I was six years old, I already had some sort of personal appreciation for old stoneware, antiques in general - and local history. I naturally assumed that since the store and mill were abandoned, that the contents were unwanted. It seemed alright to simply pick up the two pieces and carry them home. Fifteen years passed. I had finished high school and a stint in the US Marine Corps which included two and one-half years in Vietnam. I was building my first home a half block further east on Hanover Street in Bonneauville. I became reacquainted with Mr. Storm in his late retirement years. He stopped by the house regularly to chat while I was carpentering. On his first visit, I cleared the burden of my childhood indiscretion and offered him the pilfered pieces. Seeing that I treasured the items, and appreciating my honesty, the gentleman felt that I should keep them. From these rustic containers, in the form of a decades long passion, this collection of Bonneauville historic items eventually grew.

Several years after Mr. Leo Storm's Store closed its doors for good, he rid the building of its contents and allowed the Bonneauville Boy Scouts, (Troop 77) to meet there. It became the meeting place for Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and Brownies as well.

On Saturday mornings black and white movies were shown to anyone who wished to attend. I seem to recall that the movies were a Boy Scout fund raiser and admission was five or ten cents. (Scout due were ten cents at the time.) Eventually Boy Scout Troop 77 folded and the building again sat empty.

Leo had passed and his only child Robert Storm inherited the property. Beginning in the 1970's, a series of restaurant owners tried their luck with the location. Each in turn disappeared after a few years. The old structure was finally demolished in the early 2000's to make way for Gina's Place Restaurant. When Gina's closed, the restaurant was renamed Bonneauville Diner. That business closed about 2012. Today the new building again sits empty. (1/29/14)

An ever present curiosity and the kindness of Mr. Leo Storm and Ambrose "Brookie" Myers" were among the early sparks that kindled my lifelong interest in history. This old brown and white glazed utilitarian stoneware container and its accompanying one (Acq. No. 1959-02) marked the beginning of my lifelong collection of Bonneauville related historical items.

For photograph of Storm's store, see Acq. NO. 2002-07

Location: n/a
Acq. Date: 1959
Acquired from: Leo Storm
Price ($): gifted
Type: accession
Curator: ckrc