R.L. Leach Store (1925)

Located in the neighboring community of Dutch Mills (originally Hermansburg), the R. L. Leach Store, built in 1925, is one of the last historic structures remaining. Cane Hill and Dutch Mills were part of an interconnected network of communities, along with Morrow, Clyde, Evansville, and several others in western Washington County. All of these early towns along the western frontier developed trading relationships as well as a sense of a larger community.

The R.L. Leach Store is situated along what used to be the highway running through Dutch Mills. Serving as both a grocer and a post office, the one story R.L. Leach Grocery Store was the hub of Dutch Mills after the arrival of its original German settlers following the Civil War and into the 1960s.

Originally the Leach Store was two separate buildings located along Dutch Mills Rd North (WC Hwy 419). The Leach Family purchased the store located on the west side of the road in the 1920s. Across the street to the east was the Sycamore Filling Station. Circa 1939 the Leach Family (Raymond Luther and Ruth) purchased the Sycamore Building. They utilized a team of horses to pull the structure over to the west side of the road by rolling it on logs. If you look closely you can see this vertical seam where the two were merged together. Bars on the windows were constructed from wagon wheels.

The building fell into serious disrepair during the 1970s and 1980s. A local individual stabilized the building and in 2013 Historic Cane Hill acquired the structure and rehabilitated it, including rebuilding the dry goods room on the north (right) side of the building using historical documents and local informants.

The R.L. Leach Store was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018.