On our recent trip to Bobcat Ridge, we passed by the Masonville Mercantile and figured it was worth a stop on the way back. Located in the unincorporated town of—you guessed it—Masonville, the Mercantile was established in 1896. Self-described as “Northern Colorado’s one stop shop for any different occasion,” this unique store caters to everyone from brides and steampunkers to fans of vintage Hollywood and Wild West buffs. Veils? Check. Handmade jewelry? Check. Roy Rogers memorabilia? Check. Pappy the Cowboy Fortune teller? Check.
The Mercantile even has its own milliner, which has got to be a rarity these days, as women don’t wear spectacular hats nearly often enough. It is a fun store to poke around in, and full of interesting wares. But on a quiet afternoon, as was the case with our visit, it was also easy for me to imagine it as the setting for a creepy ghost story…especially when I laid eyes on the pink-boa’ed mannequin reclined in the bathtub underneath the Marilyn shrine, looking slightly more dead than relaxed. You just know she gets up and towels off after everyone has gone home for the night.
The quirkiness continues across the street, where behind the iron gates lies a scattered collection of western sculptures, statues, wagons, and small buildings including a jail and an open-air chapel. After taking in the sights—and after my older son’s brief, and self-imposed, incarceration—we headed home. But I’ll be back someday, especially if I ever decide to dress up as a steampunk Betty Boop cowgirl. (Okay, that sounds flat-out awesome, right?)