written by Bronte Dod | photo by Talia Galvin
About ten years ago, a general store in Lostine almost had to close permanently. In some towns, that wouldn’t be big news. But when it’s M. Crow & Co., a general store that had been owned by the same family for more than one hundred years, losing the store would have hurt the small community. When Eastern Oregon native Tyler Hays heard the news, he decided to buy the store to keep it running. Like many in Wallowa County, Hays grew up visiting the store, and it became an iconic childhood memory for him. Although he now lives on the East Coast designing luxury furniture, Hays has kept in touch with his roots through the purchase of M. Crow & Co. The store still sells the supply items that have kept it relevant for so long, but Hays has expanded the inventory with his own modern, handcrafted items that nod to the history and culture of the community.