Loomis Mutual Supply Company

The first town lot sold in Loomis was purchased by a storekeeper named Ferdinand Bock. He bought it from the Central Pacific Railroad Company in 1882 and operated a general store at the location for several years. In 1907, Ferdinand’s son, W.H.J. Bock, sold the lot to Shinzo Sakuma. Kanematsu Igarashi took over the store and ran it for four years. The store next was operated by the Loomis Japanese Mutual Supply Association. On Friday morning, July 19, 1912, the old wooden building that the store occupied was totally destroyed by fire, cause unknown.

The Loomis Japanese Mutual Supply Association was formed in 1910 by a group of local Japanese settlers. Following the fire, two of the association’s members, Hisanoshin “Frank” Takagishi and Tamejiro Takahashi, bought out the others’ interest in the business and renamed it Loomis Mutual Supply Company. Takagishi purchased the lot from Sakuma in November of 1912.

Frank Takagishi and Tamejiro Takahashi operated the store as partners until 1918 when Frank entered the cobbler trade and opened a shoe store in Loomis, next to the current fire station. The Loomis Mutual Supply Company purchased the old store lot from Frank in 1919. At about the same time, Tamejiro’s nephew, Benji Takahashi, arrived from Japan. He joined the business in 1922. In 1923, the store moved to a new red brick building at the corner of Taylor and Horseshoe Bar Roads.

During World War II, the Takahashi family was relocated to Tule Lake. Before leaving town, they boarded up their store windows with one-by-twelves. A friend named Jack Griffin looked after the property for them while they were gone. After the war, they returned to Loomis and reopened the store. They built and moved into a new storefront behind the red brick building in 1962.

Benji Takahashi co-owned and operated the Loomis Mutual with his nephews, George and Milton Takahashi, until the store closed in 1988. The red brick building built in 1923 still stands at the corner of Taylor and Horseshoe Bar Roads in downtown Loomis. It is pictured here in 1969.

History often is shaped by the unpredictability of life. Due to the current surge in Covid, the “Month of Remembrance” in-person programs planned for February at the Loomis Library and Community Learning Center are being rescheduled for later this spring. Stay healthy, everyone.

This article was compiled by Barbara Leak on behalf of the Loomis Basin Historical Society, and originally appeared on the Loomis Library and Community Learning Center’s Facebook page. It is reprinted here by permission of the compiler.