Picture this: you’re tired of your current job, so you pick up an application at a store that you used to work at in high school. Fast-forward a few months … and you’ve bought the store.
Welcome to Mason Stackhouse’s life.
“[My old job] was great,” he said, “but you work somewhere for 14 years and you just need a change.”
Stackhouse originally worked at the store from 1979-1981. Back then, the mercantile was owned by a man named Bryce Dotson, whom Stackhouse held in very high regard.
After a twenty-year absence from the county, he returned and started working at C.O. Bastian. But, the time came for things to change, and after a conversation with the previous owner Nathan Katschke, the Stackhouse family became the next in a long line of people to own the Panaca-based store.
First opened in 1862, the store was once the Panaca co-op, where farmers could take their produce. The mercantile was formed later, but after a fire that claimed most of the original building, the store was rebuilt, adding an apartment that Stackhouse thinks once housed an ancestor of his. The only part of the original building that remains is the stone-lined cellar. The rebuilt structure still exists as the back-office area of the current store.
Stackhouse wants to reassure the residents of Lincoln County that he doesn’t intend to make any major changes. Any new projects will only be considered after the finances of the business are balanced.
He also recognizes that the recent rescinding of SNAP benefits worries some in the community, but he wants to make it clear that the store will continue to accept SNAP once the proper government permissions have been received.