By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
After closing at the end of the 2011 summer season, Lincoln residents were not sure when the Lakeview Store would again open.
Along came two families from Glendive, Mont., located approximately 120 miles southwest of Williston, N.D. on Highway 94. The town, population 5,000, is part of the current oil boom.
The four, Bob and Crystal Wood and Rick and Tammy Johnson, have been friends for a long time and they made the decision together to leave Glendive because of the increase in the cost of living and the high crime, all due to the oil boom.
“I saw an ad for the store in Lincoln on the Internet,” said Crystal. “I have family in Staples. We all came to the area for a vacation, went fishing and checked out the store.”
The rest is history.
“We love the area, it’s very beautiful,” said Rick, who ran trucks through the oil fields before moving to the area.
Tammy said she likes the proximity of everything now.
“It was a 120-mile trip to the nearest shopping mall from Glendive,” she said. “Plus, there seems to be more to do here.”
Crystal said, compared to Glendive, the school systems here are far superior.
“The teachers here actually seem willing to help the kids,” she said.
The Woods and the Johnsons purchased the Lakeview Store in June and opened it in August, just at the end of the season. But they feel this way, they can get their feet wet at a slower pace and be ready for anything in the spring.
“We are asking for feedback on what we should carry,” said Rick. “We are unfamiliar with the area and need to know what people want.”
He said the store will continue with the deli and they hope to add on a screened-in porch for their customers to use while eating. They would also like to add on to the bait and tackle shop.
They will continue to fill both portable and RV propane tanks and sell gas, groceries, ice, bait and tack, snacks and fishing and hunting licenses. They also offer burning permits.
As with past owners, they will continue with the ice house rentals and plan to throw both summer and winter fishing tournaments.
“We want fishermen to know we have large muskie decoys available, too,” said Rick. “We are the only ones in the area who carry them.”
Rick said they would like to add a dock with several slips next to the public access for the convenience of their boating and fishing customers. They have already cleared a lot of the land between the store and the access, making it easier for people to walk the distance, or for gas to be delivered.
A new twist to the corner property is Rick’s small engine repair in the shop that former owner Jason Johnson built.
“I am able to fix just about any older engine,” he said. “I will work on four-wheelers, motorcycles, mowers, tillers, boat motors and more.”
The shop may also expand in the future.
Bob and Crystal have seven children. Five are still in Montana and two, Hallie and Sammy, moved to Lincoln with them. Rick and Tammy have three children, Tehanna, Raven and Bella.
The Lakeview Store, located across from the Scandia Valley Town Hall on County Road 3, or 320th Street, is also next to the west end public access on Lake Alexander. Their hours of operation during the fall and winter will begin at 7 a.m. every day but Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Until the snow flies and the lakes freeze up, they will close when business dies.
For more information, contact Crystal, Bob, Tammy or Rick at (218) 575-2268.