October 2, 2008

50 years of business for Merkels Barber Shop

By Danielle Abbott

Creating a successful and long lasting business in a small town such as Washburn, the business must adapt through generations of change. The success and longevity of the business may also be attributed to diversity and offering multiple different services. In this day and age, very few businesses last 50 years, and few of which are able to survive successfully in the same space. On October 1, 1958, Merkels Barber Shop was started. Owners Tom and Vivian Merkel had recently moved to Washburn from Tioga, South Dakota. Tom spent his time in South Dakota as an apprentice for two years, learning the skills and techniques necessary to make his mark on the barber business. The Merkels decision to move to Washburn came about when they found the Main Street business for sale. They enjoyed the small town atmosphere and quickly made the decision to relocate and open Tom’ first barbershop.


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