Sisters open Miner Street shop in historic Cleland and Hoyt building

Bill Choy
Siskiyou Daily News

Two Siskiyou County sisters and their husbands have discovered the cure for the retirement blues. 

For them, it's opening a new business in the heart of historic downtown Yreka — in their case, Miner Street Mercantile at 315 W. Miner. St.

The store opened its doors on Oct. 25.

Kathleen Bradner and Linda LaMarr, who are sisters, in October 2021 opened Miner Street Mercantile in Yreka.

Kathleen Bradner of Yreka and her sister Linda LaMarr of Fort Jones are the face of the business, greeting and helping out customers. 

Their husbands, Lawrence Bradner and Mike LaMarr are also owners — but the sisters said they're more behind the scenes.

It's a great way for both couples to keep active during their retirement years, Linda LaMarr said. 

"To be honest, retirement is kind of boring." she said. "You're looking for things to do. This keeps us active and engaged and connected with the community."

New shop in historic location

Miner Street Mercantile is located in the historic Cleland and Hoyt building.

Constructed in the 1850s, it served as a freight office for Wells Fargo and Company, and was owned by the Franco-American Hotel.

In recent years, it housed the offices of Northland Cable and Dave's Clocks. The clock shop closed in 2020 due to the retirement of Dave Gravenkamp. 

Some of the items being sold at the Miner Street Mercantile in Yreka.

The sisters and their husbands bought the building in 2012, but decided to wait to open their own business in it until the time was right, and they were all retired, they said. That time was when Gravenkamp retired. 

The couples spent more than a year preparing to open. 

"It's been going well," LaMarr said. "(My sister and I) get along really well, and it's been fun working with her. It's something we always wanted to do. " 

Both sisters have lived in Siskiyou County for more than 40 years.

They were exposed to business from an early age by their father, who ran a lawnmower store in the Los Angeles area.

Some of the items being sold at the Miner Street Mercantile in Yreka.

Before he passed away in 2006, he ran the McLean's Country Store and McLean's Country Cafe in Hornbrook for about ten years. After he died, the sisters helped run the  store until 2010, when they sold the business.

Now in their new shop, LaMarr and Bradner said they have had good feedback so far, and people seem to enjoy the variety of items the Mercantile offers. 

The store stocks items for all ages from kids to adults. This includes clothing, jewelry, toys, decorations and Christmas items like ornaments and crafts.

Lathe turned wooden bowls made by Mike LaMarr are being sold at Miner Street Mercantile in Yreka.

Other items for sale include handmade lathe-turned wooden bowls, made by artist Mike LaMarr. He also makes wood salt and pepper shakers and ornaments through his business Cuddihy Wood Creations. His items are made to last as heirlooms that can be passed down through generations, he said.

Bradner said they had a soft opening on Oct. 25, and business has been steady so far, especially as word they are open gets out. She is hopeful they will get more business during the Christmas season, and during events like the annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, Nov 27. She said it helps they are open Mondays, since many local businesses like theirs are closed that day. 

From left: Mike LaMarr,  Linda LaMarr, Kathleen Bradner and Lawrence Bradner are owners of the Miner Street Mercantile in Yreka.

Bradner said they have listened closely to customer requests and are trying to be a place where you can find something for everybody. "We want to make this store fun and eclectic," she said. 

Miner Street Mercantile is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. They are closed Sundays. Starting the Friday after Thanksgiving the store will be open an hour later each day for the holidays until Christmas Eve. They can be reached at 530-841-7123. 

Bill Choy covers sports and general news for the Siskiyou Daily News/Mount Shasta Herald/USA Today Network. Follow him on Twitter at@SDNBillChoy. Email Bill at bchoy@siskiyoudaily.com. Support local journalism by subscribing today.