In continuing with my off-the-beaten-path approach, I give you the Duquette General Store. Up Highway 23 from the Pine County Historical Society and History Museum, Duquette is a small unincorporated community, built on an early Indian village site. Located along the BNSF Railway, then the Great Northern Railway that runs with the Willow River, it was initially named Kerrick until the Railway depot was moved a few miles south. For a period, Duquette was called Old Kerrick. Duquette became its current namesake when the post office was established in 1905.
The general store was founded by local businessman and sawmill builder Frank Duquette and has been a community mainstay for over 110 years. Iconic in some circles and nostalgic in others, the General Store has been a staple in Bruno / Duquette / Kerrick (whichever you prefer), although they go with Duquette. Established in 1905, it was originally opened by the Anderson-Erickson Corporation as a general mercantile filled with everything from animal feed to dynamite – the best seller at the time. It was a favorite among railroad workers in need of a warm meal in the 1920s and ’30s. Over the years, many generations of the past local residents come to visit, often passing through on their way to a north shore.
Currently owned by Andy Gunderson, the store specializes in EVERYTHING. It has become a gas station, grocery and hardware store, convenience shop, slow-smoked BBQ shack, made-to-order deli, ice cream parlor, meat market, and cheese emporium. The perfect pitstop for drinks and snacks, but also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts needing hunting (camo gear), fishing (live bait and licenses) and camping (firewood and batteries) essentials. They even have their own apparel! Nab your very own Duquette General Store sweatshirt to commemorate your visit.