Lupus General Store and Doug Elley
Lupus General Store is one of the most prominent landmarks in Lupus. Other than the annual Chilli Festival, it’s the music concerts hosted at the Lupus General Store that draws people from all over.
The store building was constructed in 1890s. Glazed ceramic tiles adorn the front façade of the store. A gazebo and a seating area behind the store indicate that the building really isn’t a store anymore.
The sign on the front of the store reads “Sally Barris Nashville TN”. Flyers pertinent to past concerts and chairs placed inside the store indicate that the store is now a concert venue.
The store has hosted over 100 musicians from all over the U.S. and abroad. During weekends, in spring and summer the venue comes alive with music concerts.
Doug Elley, 72, a Lupus owns the store and manages the shows. Before the store turned into a music venue it was a general s ore that sold groceries and supplies to the residents. Outside the back door of the store is an old dilapidated chicken coop. When the store was operational, customers could walk in and buy a live chicken from the store.
In 1977, Elley a Columbia resident canoed down the Missouri to Rocheport. Elley was on his way to Easley in southern Boone County when it got dark and he made a stop in Lupus. He found Lupus surreal and mesmerizing.
Elley eventually moved to Lupus, bought the store building and turned it into his studio for making stained-glass art and eventually turned it into concert venue. Inside the store are interesting old souvenirs and posters from 1970s.
I interviewed Doug Elley, a long time Lupus resident and owner of Lupus General Store. He gave me a tour of the store. The building is a treasure trove of old souvenirs. The window light inside the store and the rustic objects makes it a delightful place to make still life images.
Most of the images I made that day were quick and dirty. I am hoping to take my tripod and spending some time making some still life image. Doing so would almost be therapeutic.
I made a few images of Elley while he showed me around. But he moved very quickly and talked so I did not end up making anything interesting enough other than the one shot where Elley is in the middle of the store looking through his register/book. (Image posted below)
Once I figured that Elley was interested in my project, I knew I could return to photograph him again. So I focused most of my effort towards gaining information on the town and interviewing him.
Elley sketched a town map for me and noted the people that live in each of the houses in town. He also noted down which were the best people to interview about the towns history. He also warned me about a home in town where a man who is an alcoholic and apparently seldom wears clothes lives. Elley warned me that it would be unsafe to visit this home.
It turned out that Elley is a geologist and worked for DNR. This was delightful because we had something in common. We ended up spending over an hour or so talking about Karst topography and contemplating how the Missouri lead belt must have formed.
Before I realized I had spent three hours talking to him. Elley said I could come camp in his backyard should I decide to spend the weekend shooting in town. He also invited me to come shoot this Friday when he is hosting a concert at the store.
Following are the image series on Lupus General Store and Doug Elley.
The front facade of Lupus General Store
Outside the back door of the Lupus General Store is an old dilapidated chicken coop. When the store was operational, customers could walk in and buy a live chicken from the store.
Doug Elley, the owner of Lupus General Store looks at a book inside the store.
Doug Elley, the owner of Lupus General Store points out at flyers with information on music concerts held at the store.
A view of the seating area inside the Lupus General Store. The venue is only open on the days of music concerts.
An old poster hangs on the living area on the second floor of the store building.
The living area on the second floor of the store building.
A view of the garage across the Lupus General Store.
A box of old glass bottles sit in a box in the storage attic of the Lupus General Store.
A stuffed bunny sits on a couch in the seating area of the store.
A view of the house next to the Lupus General Store
An array of shoes place as a display on the top of a piano.
A view of the piano and souvenirs inside the Lupus General Store.