The history of the Thomas Mercantile Co. is one that weaves through three generations of lives, two world wars, the Great Depression and more. It features strong family ties, tragedy, heartache, love and community.

It begins with Samuel Thomas riding into the tiny hamlet of Swan Lake in south Bannock County on a bright and sunny morning in 1909 and purchasing a little store. For more than a century, three generations of the Thomas family kept the business — which area residents referred to as the Swan Lake Mall — up and running before it closed its doors in 2017. Now, the mercantile has found itself in good hands once again, with a new owner overseeing the restoration of the historic building.


Residents of Swan Lake sit on radiators at Thomas Mercantile.

Kaarin Engelmann

Kaarin Engelmann, the new owner of Thomas Mercantile, stands in front of the building’s sign in Swan Lake. 


The facade of the Thomas Mercantile building had to be replaced.

TM later years

Thomas Mercantile in Swan Lake is pictured here before it closed in 2017. 

The OG crew

From left are Moroni Thomas, Harriet Gambles, Chauncey Thomas, Martie Gibbs and Laurence Thomas. Nathan Thomas is pictured in front. 

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