Kingpin Frank Eld is reviving a ghost town: Roseberry, Idaho.
Part curiosity shop and part Little House on the Prairie, the Roseberry General Store and Museum near Donnelly, Idaho, is not your typical convenience market.
The son of Finnish homesteaders in the area, Frank Eld bought the store in 1969, a year after graduating from Columbia University with a history degree. He then spent 25 years refurbishing the 1905 building and nine more years ﬁlling its 960 square feet, ﬁrst with artifacts, then with merchandise. Visitors often ﬁnd him, a bearded man in a derby hat and black wool suit, behind the counter.
“I’ve always been interested in old things,” Eld says. Some of his carefully curated collection is for sale: porcelain dolls, Finnish stockings and knives, Black Jack gum, burned peanuts. Other items—an English suit of armor, a century-old pencil sharpener—he just hopes you’ll ask about.
When you’re done in the store, walk around the rest of Roseberry. The Long Valley Preservation Society, which Eld cofounded in 1973, has redone 21 other buildings as well. (208) 325-5000, roseberrygeneralstore.com.
Photography by Steve Bly/Idaho Stock Images
This article was first published in May 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.