In early days, Wisconsin logging operations clustered on the banks of the mighty Wisconsin River. This timber boom of the 19th century led to the development of the city of Wausau, first called Big Bull Falls by settlers. Soon Wausau’s downtown, centered around Third Street, grew just two blocks from the river. One of the first retail businesses downtown was a bookstore founded by C.W. Chubbuck in 1876. Then in 1919, after serving in World War I, Carl Janke returned to his hometown and learned that the bookstore, now owned by Richard Collie, was struggling due to the Spanish Flu pandemic. Carl Janke and Reno Kurth purchased the store then located at 510 Third Street, operating with the name Janke-Kurth Co. Janke eventually bought Kurth’s interest in the business, and in 1948, it became Janke Book Store. It became a family concern in 1959 when son John entered into partnership with his father. Later, after Carl’s death, John’s wife, Delores, also joined the business. In the 1980s, two of their children returned to Wausau to begin their careers as booksellers. Today, Jane Janke Johnson and Jim Janke are third-generation owners. Janke Book Store is the oldest bookstore in the state of Wisconsin, and it is likely one of the oldest continuously operating bookstores in the country. Due to the growth of the business, they have occupied four different sites, all within the same block. They are currently located at 505 Third Street in downtown Wausau. The engaging product selection includes new and used books, magazines, games, art supplies, stationery and unique gifts. Jankes will always strive to be independently different!