A so-long, see-you-later love letter from E. Smith Mercantile...
As the story goes, all good things sometimes must transition into different good things. It is with a heavy heart, yet hopeful, surrendered spirit that we wish to share with you our intentions to close our brick & mortar for E. Smith Mercantile.
It all started in 1864 when a lucky bloke made the first discovery of mineral rich soil in Atlanta, Idaho. Because of its remoteness, it wasn’t until a road was built from Boise to Atlanta in 1936 that the real mining began. This was Elmer Smith’s mine engineering hay day. The modest, rural town would soon come to be known as the sight of the state’s most prolific mines, accounting for approximately 16 million dollars in extraction.
For those of you who don’t know our story, Elmer and Mary Smith are Jessie’s Great Grandparents. They raised her grandmother Marilyn in Atlanta, a small gold mining town on the edge of the Sawtooth Mountains, in Southern Idaho. It’s a heritage that inspires us. It evokes images of family huddled around a wood fire, of young men and women on horseback through open fields, of community gatherings at the local “Hub”, dancing and imbibing and shaking off the dirt of a long day. Motivated by this true American spirit, and tiring of a consumer culture based on disposable products, we desired to create a space that fed its community and fostered the creative growth that comes from establishing this ‘tribe’ connection. Our biggest joy: to connect maker and consumer, and to offer a gathering place to a growing neighborhood.
The mines at Atlanta produced through the great depression and employed miners through the war, but by the mid the 1950s, production slowed. The mine was dry… no more gold. The town’s population dwindled, fewer patrons filled the wooden stools of the Atlanta Club and shelves at the Hub collected dust.
Elmer and along with his mining pal Earl Schraft, along side his father and brother-in-law, worked the last shift of the mine before it was boarded up. Their children grown and starting families of their own, the time had come for Elmer and Mary to leave the country life and settle into a journey in the “city.” They chose Mountain Home as their new residence. Elmer found a job as a maintenance technician on the local army base, and Mary was a seamstress for La Mode cleaners downtown. Their new community was small and quint. It was a simple life, but one they loved; filled with modern amenities and the conveniences of urban living.
While we grieve everything that “the Merc” has gifted both to us and our community, we look forward to a new phase in the proverbial "big city," one filled with well-deserved amenities and conveniences. Our last day of business is schedule for June 20th. We hope to see you for our end of season events and help us bid adieu to our favorite little mercantile.
There are no words nor deeds of thanks to show how truly grateful we are to all of our 5 years worth of beloved patrons, employees, vendors & partners that contributed to our story.
xo. -E. Smith & Co