Welcome to the Norman General Store
Norman was settled by immigrants from Bohemia, now a part of the Czech Republic. Like millions of Europeans in the 19th century, most of the Czechs that came to America 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 1850's 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 infor-mally called "Pelnarsville" until the early 1900's. 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 adjacent to the 1870's general store. These are the buildings that make up the Norman General Store property 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 1950's and the store closed in 1968.
In 1988, Jerry and Anne Sinkula, natives of Kewaunee County, bought the unoccupied property. His father's cousin had been an earlier owner and Jerry, who grew up near Norman, spent many hours at the store during his childhood.
In 1992, they moved the summer kitchen back to Norman and began to restore all of the buildings. They opened the main house and summer kitchen cottage as a bed and breakfast in 1996 and reopened the General Store in 1998.
In the summer of 2016, Gary and Denene Eagleton discovered the Historic Norman General Store & Cottage for sale online. They quickly fell in love with the property and made an offer. Leaving behind the heat and humidity of Florida, the couple moved north at the end of September 2016.
June 2018 the Norman General Store was reopened. The Summer Kitchen Cottage is now listed on Airbnb for vacation rentals.