History of the Norman General Store
Norman was settled by immigrants from Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic. Like millions of europeans in the 19th century, most of the Czechs that came here hoped to own more farmland and make a better life for their families than they could in crowded Bohemia.
The first Czechs arrived here in the 1850s and one named Simon Pelnar bought a large farm in 1856. In 1869 his son Joseph and his wife Mary inherited the 40 acres where the Norman General Store sits today. . By 1876 Joseph had a “hotel and saloon” on this spot. Joseph and his brothers owned so much of the land around Norman that it was informally called “Pelnarsville” as late as 1905. The summer kitchen guest house behind the Norman General Store was built by the Pelnars in the 1880’s.
In 1890, Mary sold the property to John Riha, whose family owned several farms near Norman. In 1904 the Rihas built a new house adjascent to the 1870s General Store. These are the buildings that make up the Norman General Store and Bed & Breakfast today. the store building came from another location west of Norman, and it is 20 years older than the house. The summer kitchen was relocated to another community in the 1950s, and the General Store closed in 1968.
In 1988 Jerry and Ann Sinkula bought the property. In 1992 they moved the summer kitchen back to Norman and began to restore all of the buildings. The Bed & Breakfast opened in 1996, and the General Store in 1998.
In the Fall of 2016, Gary and Denene Eagleton purchased the property. We moved here from Florida because we fell in love this place and were tired of the heat and humidity. The current plan is to rent cottage and open the store spring 2018. There is not any immediate plan to open the B & B.