William P. Munger arrived in Flat Rock in June 1824. He was just fourteen. He married Maria Springstead in 1833 and they purchased a parcel of land at the corner of Telegraph and Huron Street, on which they built a tavern.
Their son, Cornelius, built the C.G. Munger General Store in 1875.
It was initially located on the east side of Telegraph near East Huron River Drive, but ten years later Munger moved his building across the street to the northwest corner. That corner was a stagecoach stop for many years. Today, the Flat Rock Senior Tower is located where the Munger Store stood many years ago.
Cornelius Munger was Postmaster from 1885 until 1889. His postal service window is preserved in the museum today. The telephone was gaining popularity, but very few rural businesses had telephones in 1895 as there was no local telephone switchboard. Local tradition tells us that the Munger Store was the first location in Flat Rock to have a public telephone between Detroit and Toledo.
Edward Munger, joined his father, Cornelius, in the family business about 1895. In the early 1900’s a wooden gasoline pump was installed in front of the store. The pump housing looked much like an outhouse, with a hand crank and meter chain to dispense from one to five gallons. Cornelius’ grandson, Justin, remembered selling gasoline from this pump for 10 cents per gallon. This pump was later moved to the Tures Farm across the river.
A family malady caused the Munger Store to close in 1937, with merchandise still on the shelves. It remained like that for many months before Clara Bevier and Myrtle McBroom obtained the building and opened a dry goods store. They sold many of the items which had been left by the Mungers.
The building changed hands many times. It housed a used furniture showroom under George Agen and a fruit and vegetable stand. In 1949 Roy Lee opened “Lee’s Barber Shop” which continued until 1969. The George Diamond family purchased the property and donated the store building to the Flat Rock Historical Society under the condition that the building be removed and used as a museum.
Land was donated by the Flat Rock School Board and it was moved to its present site as part of the Flat Rock Historical Campus. The Munger General Store Museum is located behind the Flat Rock Public Library off of Gibraltar Road and shares a parking area with the Flat Rock Public Library.