Anyone who has camped or fished in the area of Lake George is well aware of Starky’s General Store on the corner of U.S. Highway 24 and County Road 96. Jim Starkweather has been the owner for 15 years, and stocks fishing supplies; camping items; some hunting supplies, except guns and ammunition; a few food items, mostly snacks and drinks; ice; firewood; and a liquor store.
The building housing the General Store has gone through quite the transformation over the years. No one is sure of the date that the building was built, but Lawson Sumner purchased it from the original owner, Jim Ryan, in 1936. Sumner was the local Postmaster, and on the eastern end of the building was his realty office, which he closed and put in the Post Office. It began as the Cattleman’s Trading Post, and later, Sumner built an addition to the original building and operated a movie theater, a roller rink, and a dance hall. He opened The Pioneer Gold Days Museum, which was mostly mining, pioneer, and Indian artifacts and relics. The museum had some unique items, including a stuffed eight-legged calf from Eastern Colorado, a Mexican side-saddle claimed to be from the stable of Empress Carlota of Mexico, and a four-and-a-half-inch bone said to have been part of an arm of Zebulon Pike.
Lynn and Kathy Gay bought the building in 1971. Kathy was the Postmistress and kept the Post Office and Lynn ran the store until 2004, when Starkweather purchased it. When it was mentioned to Starkweather that rumors state the building is haunted, he just sluffed it off saying, “every place is haunted.”
Starkweather has a few antiques on display, including a couple pairs of roller skates from the roller rink. There are mounted fish taken from waterways in the area, including the largest trout taken from Lake George during ice fishing. There is a photo album with many photos from happy fishermen and the fish caught through the years.
Starkweather lives in a cabin behind the store. The cabin was brought to that location in 1930 from the town of Howbert, which is now under Eleven-Mile Reservoir.
Starky’s is open seven days a week, eleven months a year. They close during February to take a vacation. The hours are Sunday, noon to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.