The eclectic Colorado grocery sits just off historic Sixth Street in one of the many Victorian buildings that line the streets of the former mining town founded in 1859. The general store’s display windows hold a variety of antiques and vintage items, as well as common goods in vogue now.
The shop has been in Wendy Anderson’s family for five generations, since 1883. The building it resides in was built by her great-grandfather, Henry Kneisel, and still contains its original marble counter tops, tea canisters, bins and shelving.
Kneisel & Anderson had always been a general store, but in the beginning did not carry dry goods or meat and cheeses, which it does now. It carried mostly Scandinavian goods, catering to the townsfolk at the time who were of European descent. It also had a hardware store and a bakery, which is how Kneisel came into owning the shop – working as a baker for the original owners and eventually becoming a merchant himself. Emil Anderson, a Swedish immigrant, came into ownership when he married Kneisel’s daughter.
During the time of the silver boom, when Georgetown claimed the title “Silver Queen of the Rockies,” the shop aided miners in providing mule trains that carried food and goods up the mountains to the miners. The bakery also used to do deliveries up until 20 years ago.
The shop was involved with the mining community as “grubstake” investors. To grubstake was to advance supplies or funds to miners with the expectation of shared profits in return. Today, that would be called venture capitalism.
Long after the mining boom went bust and when the popularity of resort areas like Breckenridge and Vail grew, Georgetown knew preservation was key to the town’s survival. With a strong, active historical society, Georgetown has remained a place that is rich in history and high in standards, seemingly set in the past but with a forward-thinking community.
What makes the town so special? In the words of Wendy Anderson: “I can’t pinpoint just one reason; there are lots of great things in town. We are attached to one another. The town itself is a great statement.”
If You Go
Kneisel & Anderson
511 6th St.
Georgetown, Colorado 80444
Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Laura Hartgerink is a freelance writer who lives in Golden.