Contribute now to help the Stewart Area Historical Society save the Stewart Red Owl
William Sunde opened his Red Owl Agency grocery store in Stewart, Minnesota on October 6, 1939 with a $600 dollar loan and cash he got from selling an old car, a pair of hip boots, and a gun.
Now, the Stewart Area Historical Society has a plan to preserve Sunde’s legacy and a local community treasure, one of the last buildings in the region that still displays the iconic Red Owl sign. A small group of passionate and committed residents acquired the deteriorating building in 2013, when it was being sold for back taxes, and formed the Friends of the Stewart Red Owl. Since then, the group has restored the original signage, removed later alterations, and engaged community members in beautifying the area around the store. Now incorporated as the Stewart Area Historical Society, the group holds tight to its dream to preserve and reuse the Red Owl building while continuing to research and share more aspects of the community’s history.
With your help, the Stewart Area Historical Society will be able to fix the failed and leaking roof, finish repairing the front entrance and display windows, and rehabilitate the interior for use as a community and historical center. They seek to honor the significant role that grocery stores have played in small towns all across the Midwest – and once again to create that sense of community that builds from people simply “bumping into” each other at the market.
The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota has been helping supporters of the Stewart Red Owl since they first took action to save this endangered place, and we are pleased to serve as the Fiscal Sponsor for this emerging community organization. Donations to PAM that are directed to the Stewart Area Historical Society are fully tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS, and 90% of the donated funds will support the maintenance and rehabilitation of the Stewart Red Owl building. (The remaining 10% supports PAM’s administration of the Fiscal Sponsorship.)
Thanks for your support.