Wareham Feed shutters after 50 years

By Jaime Rebhan | Jan 09, 2013
Photo by: Caitlin Russell Wareham Feed closed last month.

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."

Comments (10)
Posted by: bryann | Jan 10, 2013 19:24

So sad to say goodbye to another treasure from the past. I wish the Butlers and their "kids" all the best!

Posted by: mattwhit78 | Jan 11, 2013 07:40

There nice people and I'm going to miss going there

Posted by: JD | Jan 23, 2013 18:21

What a huge shame to see this place be torn down. From the loading dock of that building people once stood watching the horses & buggys go by. It's too bad young Butler failed to find a way to keep it alive. I'm certain with just a small amount of imagination he could have found a way to find someone to run a successful business from there.  I gues it was easier for him to tear it down, pocket the cash and walk away.  Sad for wareham. Merchant's Way will have a very odd look now.

Posted by: decaf | Jan 24, 2013 18:34

I'm not sure who is who as far as the  guys working there. I never knew it was a father and his sons but I do know that the long haired freak with the beard acted like his poop didn't stink!   If he's the one who left town then thats good for wareham.

Posted by: MWF = Make Wareham Fail | Jan 24, 2013 22:32

You must be a special breed of idiot for Dick Butler to have acted like that, because everyone I know got along great with him and said he was a nice guy!

Posted by: totellthetruth | Jan 25, 2013 08:04

Ditto!!!! Everyone I ever had contact with there was  very pleasant and knowledable.

Posted by: JD | Jan 27, 2013 08:40

The younger Richard isn't as the above post has made him out to be. He's not a bad guy at all. He is , should we say, quirky or even a bit strange as compared to the average guy? He's certainly from a different cloth than his much more outgoing and friendly dad or brother. As a friend of the family for many years I can say that the younger Richard is a nice person who means well and was always knowledgeable when it cames to the products which were sold at Wareham Feed.  Either way, the store will be missed... actually it already is. I needed ice melt the other day and always went there for it.  Maybe it's time to end the discussion of which Dick is better and let the store RIP.

Posted by: Luke Duke | Jan 27, 2013 10:16

Long haired freak?? Really??   I think we see who the real loser is "Decaf".    Best wishes to the Butler's with the next chapter in life.  I have enjoyed being one of your customers for the last 20 years, you will be missed but will always be a part of our community!

Posted by: totellthetruth | Jan 28, 2013 12:19


Posted by: MWF = Make Wareham Fail | Jan 28, 2013 12:30

Hey Decaf, did you forget to take your anti-schizo drugs the other day?


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