In 1934, Lawrence L. and Caroline Baumunk sold all that they owned, which was 200 chickens, for $200.00 and used that $200.00 for a down payment on the general store in Shunk. They paid 15% of their sales each month until they got it paid off. They fixed up the back of the store building for living quarters and moved to Shunk on a very cold March day. The depression of that era warranted the start of a sawmill in 1938 so that local residents could have work in order to pay for their grocery bill at the store.
At that time, horses were used to skid logs and manpower was the major tool in all areas of production. The low grade lumber was used in the coal mines.
In 1948, due to mine closures and a lack of demand for hardwood low-grade lumber, a new mill was built for the production of wooden pallets. In 1949, the sawmill burned, but was soon replaced. Machinery was acquired slowly and the company evolved into an efficient supplier of lumber and pallets.
In 1955, son Dale and his wife Lucy, went into partnership with his parents and the company name was changed to L.L. Baumunk & Son. In 1964 a new pallet mill was built to house the modern pallet assembly machinery acquired. In 1973 Lawrence and Caroline retired, and Dale and Lucy incorporated, changing the name to L.L. Baumunk & Son, Inc. In 1981, the third generation became involved when Dale and Lucy's daughter, Ann and her husband Bob Henderson, came to work for the company. The pallet mill and the sawmill were periodically updated with state of the art computerized equipment.
Dale and Lucy retired in 1995 with Bob and Ann taking over the management of the company. The Henderson’s became sole owners of the company in 2000. In October 2002, the sawmill was closed and the pallet operation was expanded. Due to the nationwide recession and decline of the timber industry, the pallet mill was closed on August 31, 2011. In 2015, Bob & Ann’s daughter Lindley and her husband Zikos Economides moved to Shunk and became involved with the company.
Currently Baumunk's General Store is a popular area attraction selling a variety of general merchandise, gas, building supplies, gifts, T-shirts and souvenirs. The store features local and Pennsylvania produced products, as well as unique gift items. There is a café with indoor and garden seating, with a menu boasting delicious cheese steaks, burgers, wraps, subs, sandwiches, pizzas, and fryer foods. There is also the US Post Office for Shunk, PA, located in the store.
How Shunk Was Named
Shunk is the principal village in Fox Township, in the Northwest corner of Sullivan County. It is bounded on the North by Bradford County and on the West by Lycoming County. Fox Township was named in honor of George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, or Quakers.
Phineas Bond, an Englishman, was granted a large tract of land in Northern Pennsylvania in 1800. As an inducement to settlers, he offered to give 100 acres of land to each of the first twelve settlers to locate on his property and 300 acres to the first man who would build a Gristmill.
Joseph Hoagland was the first permanent settler. He came to the area in 1803 and built a Gristmill on the banks of the creek now called the Hoagland Branch. The Kaiser – Fraizer Garage is approximately where the Gristmill was located. Five of his Sons obtained land grants of 100 acres each and settled around the area. The settlement was called Fox Mills and later Fox Center. One of his Sons, Amos Hoagland, was killed by a falling tree and was the first person buried in the Quaker Cemetery at Shunk.
In 1845 the U.S. Postal Service decided to establish a Post Office in the village. There was another Fox Center in Pennsylvania with a Post Office, so they had to choose another name. Francis Rawl Shunk, a native of Philadelphia, was the new Governor of Pennsylvania, so it was decided by the Postal Department to name the Post Office Shunk in honor of the Governor. Governor Shunk is also remembered for establishing Bucknell University in Lewisburg in 1846.
On November 5, 1845 Perus Williams was appointed the first Postmaster at Shunk. His wife was Anna Hoagland, the Granddaughter of the first settler Joseph Hoagland.
Caroline Baumunk served as Postmaster from 1953 – 1978.
Lucy L. Baumunk served as Postmaster from 1978 - 1997.
Ann Baumunk Henderson served as Postmaster from 1997 - 2015.