Little Red Store



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Built in 1854, the Little Red Store has served throughout the years as a dwelling,  railroad station, post office (now the oldest remaining post office building in Milwaukee County), general store, library, harness shop, plumbing shop, and oil company.

It has housed and outlived many of the trades that were responsbile for Wauwatosa's earliest commercial history and the development of the city as we know it today. The Little Red Store now stands alone as the oldest remaining commercial building in Wauwatosa.

An early photo of the Little Red Store from 1870.

The Little Red Store has been a City of Wauwatosa landmark since 1978, but has only been operated by the Wauwatosa Historical Society since 2005. Read more about the earliest history of the building and the WHS's campaign to save it.

The renovation and reuse of the Little Red Store began in 2006, with a pledge of $125,000 from the WHS, $150,000 from the city's Community Development Block Grant, and a major gift of a combined $75,000 from Jacobus Energy Inc., Eugenia Jacobus, and the Charles D. Jacobus Family Foundation.


2008: Exterior renovation completed by Ford Construction. Their work included reconstruction of the front porch and the addition of a cedar-shake roof and siding.

October 2008: Little Red Store named a Milwaukee County landmark.

Spring 2009: Over the winter and early spring, volunteers from the Olde Hillcrest Neighborhood Association spent more than 150 hours working on the interior of the building. Others donated materials for landscaping, masonry, painting, and carpentry.

Work day, February 2009

North wall, August 2008

While new drywall and woodwork were added, the existing floorboards (narrow maple planks from the 1940s) were refinished.

The first floor also features white pine wainscoting, with its original finish from the 1910s. It was reclaimed from the Fifth Church of Christ Scientist in Milwaukee, where it served as an organ surround.

February 16, 2009: The WHS paid the city $1 for rent of the Little Red Store, the first year in a ten-year lease.



2017 Season

The Little Red Store will be open to visitors Saturdays 9:30am-12:30pm. (Closed during private rentals and events.)

The Little Red Store is available for rental year-round!



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