Metamora Garage Building History

Opened in 1915

Louis "Busy" Gries

Circa 1946


Closed in 1995

Busy Gries with mechanic George Craig

Dollar General Store opened in 1998


History of the Metamora Garage Building


    Prior to the building of the Metamora Garage, two frame buildings occupied lots 1 and 2 in block 38 on the square in the Village of Metamora.  Blacksmithing was the main business transacted in these buildings.

     In 1914 one of the building was torn down.  The other had also been condemned as an eyesore.  Citizens of the village heard that the old building had been rented to Charles Blumenshine of Washington, another blacksmith.  Hearing this some daring people decided to destroy this eyesore building in the dead of the night.  The Metamora Herald wrote that the old structure gave the appearance of having been struck by a German bomb.  The property had been owned by Joseph Grieser, a former resident. 

     A short time later, Mr. Grieser closed a deal for the sale of the property to Henry Waldschmidt of Benson who planned to erect the first section of a new modern garage.  The new business opened in 1915.  Henry Waldschmidt and his son, Rudy and Frank Heininger ran the business until 1923.  Due to poor health Heininger sold his share to Louis (Busy) Gries.  Mr. Gries leased the garage building until June 1929 when he and his wife, Laura, purchased the building.  Since that time there were several additions added and more lots purchased for parking and car sales.  The business covered most of the block on the west side of the square.  

     Following Mr. Gries’ death in September of 1963, his wife sold the business to three of her garage employees, Joseph Adams, Joseph Miller and Marvin Smith.

The business was incorporated  on January 1, 1964.  In 1976, Joseph Adams took an early medical retirement.  Joseph Miller retired in 1979.  Marvin Smith and his wife, Betty, closed the Metamora Garage, Inc. on October 31, 1995.  The Metamora Garage served the mechanical needs of the community for 80 years.

     The building was later sold.  Completely remodeled, it now houses the Dollar General Store which opened in 1998.


History and photo submitted by Shirley A. Adams.


Send any old photos and related stories concerning the Metamora Village Park to Metamora Association for Historic Preservation, PO Box 264, Metamora, IL 61548.

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