Peasley: Greenwood General Store gets a new life

Greenwood General Store, built in 1894, is nestled in the rustic Greenwood Village, 4 miles north of Woodstock. The building, once a private home above a store, has sold many items through the years, including fabric, boots, medicine, produce, crockery, clothes and auto supplies.

It even once served as a post office.

Now named General Store Coffeehouse & Grocery by current owner Bill Streng of Woodstock, the store features popular foods from McHenry County, including bakery goods from Riverside Bakery, McHenry; fudge from Anderson Candy, Richmond; and pizza from Halftime Pizza, Johnsburg.

Manager Jill Anderson stresses daily and monthly specials. Dine-in or take-out is available.

Open mic nights are Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. A wine-tasting will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 26.

The store has a deli featuring Boar’s Head meats, espresso coffee, sandwiches, soups, premium ice cream, breakfast sandwiches, beer and wine, T-shirts, lottery tickets and food products from the Nut House in Wauconda.

When Streng moved to Woodstock eight years ago, he would often drive past the Greenwood General Store. He thought it would be neat to resurrect the store and offer the best products he could find.

Streng graduated from Michigan State University with a business degree and obtained his MBA from Loyola University. He worked for Kraft foods for 15 years and now works in the consulting industry.

Streng kept the original décor and did a lot of sanding to get to the original woodwork and painted.

He estimates he worked on the building for two to three days a week for four years.

He said people recall how they identify with the store. They have many memories and stories from the 1960s, 1970s and earlier.

For information, email generalstore@optisource.net.

• • • 

A memorial honoring Todd School for Boys is planned on the Hearthstone Communities campus. Under the direction of Tom Nierman, a volunteer group from Leadership Greater McHenry County, will help build the memorial.

The location is at the site of the newly constructed Prairie Homes at Christian Way and Route 47.

Longtime Woodstock residents recall that site as the location of Grace Hall when Todd School was in operation. When the school closed in 1954, Grace became a part of Woodstock Christian Care campus.

Terry Egan, president and CEO of Hearthstone Communities, said Wednesday, “Hearthstone has been selected as one of several project sites for Leadership Greater McHenry County’s annual ‘Lend a Hand Day’ scheduled for Oct. 20.”

Orson Welles is Todd School’s most famous student. While at Todd School, Welles performed on the Opera House stage. After graduating from high school, Welles produced and performed in several shows at the Opera House.

• Don Peasley has been editor, columnist and historian in McHenry County since October 1947. He began his association with Shaw Publications in 1950. He can be reached at 815-338-1533.

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