Wareham Feed shutters after 50 years
After more than 50 years of family ownership, Wareham Feed Co. quietly shut its doors last month. Owners of the much-loved, go-to place for everything from gardening needs to toys for Fido say that after attempts to sell the business, they plan to demolish the building.
"It is a labor-intensive business, and dad and I can only lift for so long," explained Dick Butler, who, along with his father and brother, purchased the store in 1992 from his grandfather, Lyndon Butler.
Lyndon Butler ran the store for 30 years, after purchasing it in 1962, when it was called Wirthmore Feed Co.
In the subsequent years, the Butlers helped neighbors with their gardens, with livestock and pets, with pesky pests, and with the countless dilemmas that customers often brought to the small store, which is tucked away at the back of Merchants Way in downtown Wareham. (The address is 327 Rear Main Street.)
The Butlers offered smiles, words of encouragement, and friendly banter along with solutions to customers' problems -- solutions that often came from personal experience.
Though the family members tried to sell the building and real estate, they were unsuccessful. Butler said the cost of the installation of town sewer at the building, necessary in order to sell the it, "was prohibitive."
"We have hired a dismantler to remove the building and save as much of the timber as possible," Butler said. "We will then see if there is any interest in the property."
The company will go before the Wareham Historical Commission on January 23 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss whether it can move forward with demolition of the building.
In the meantime, Butler and his wife, Claudia, have moved themselves, their chickens, and their beloved horses to Indiana, where Claudia's family lives.
Though the change is bittersweet for the family, the couple is looking forward to retirement.
"The low cost of living in Indiana compared to Massachusetts will allow us to enjoy more time together with our kids," Butler said, clarifying: "The horses."