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Small Market Offers “One-Stop” Shopping in 1940’s

Long before strip malls and supermarkets became prominent, an entrepreneur in Klamath Falls offered one-stop shopping for rural Klamath County customers.

The businessman, Harold Mallory, established a small grocery store in 1941 at the Lakeview-Merrill Junction a few miles east of town.  He called it Mallory’s Y Market, referring to the store’s location at a major highway intersection.

Other businesses on the property included a western wear store, a barber shop, a beauty salon, hardware and feed supplies stores, and the popular Tiny Tavern.  Mallory operated a service station at the site, and a small feedlot behind the market fattened steers for a mobile slaughtering service.  Anyone raising poultry at home could sell their birds to Mallory’s Y Market.

At a time when chain stores like Safeway and Piggly Wiggly began to dominate the grocery industry, Mallory’s built customer loyalty by offering trading stamps.  Mallory also advertised “farmer prices” for products from nearby farms and ranches.

Faulty wiring caused a fire that leveled most of the Mallory concern on March 12, 1956.  Although nothing has been built since the fire at the original store site, traffic remains as busy as ever at the Lakeview-Merrill junction.

Sources: Herald and News, 21 July 1942 [Klamath Falls, Ore.].  Ibid: 31 July 1942, 12 May 1944, 18 Aug 1944, 21 Jan 1947, 10 Feb 1953, 24 Oct 1953, 7 Jan 1954, 10 June 1954, 8 July 1954, 8 Sept 1955, 17 Nov 1955, 12 March 1956, 7 June 1956, 14 Jun 1956, 23 Jan 1959.

Todd Kepple has been a Klamath Basin resident since 1990. He was a reporter and editor the for the Herald and News from 1990 to 2005, and has been manager of the Klamath County Museum since 2005. He enjoys volunteering at Crater Lake National Park, the OC&E Woods Line State Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also a founding member of the Klamath Tree League.