Gordon Raether, his wife Luella, their sons Ken and Gary, and daughter Karen, moved to Caroline in April of 1947. They bought the blacksmith shop on the south side of Main Street and the vacant lot across the street from Alex Pudio. Gordon started his business with just his car and a wagon. He would deliver after hours what he was able to sell during the day. If a day delivery was necessary, Luella would come down to the shop with the kids and Gordon would deliver.
In September of 1950, the Raethers purchased a cement block building on the south side of Main Street from Ervin Bleck, which became the primary office for the next 33 years. Gordon and Luella's son David was born in 1951. In 1959, their son Kendall joined the business full time. Also in 1959, an addition was made to the building which more than doubled its size. It allowed for combines and tractors with cabs to be worked on inside.
The 1960's were a time of fast growth in the machinery business. John Deere became a dominant brand and many other short lines of equipment were added. After two years in the military, Ken returned and Caroline Implement became incorporated. With the introduction of the first lawn tractors in 1964, Caroline Implement began to reach out and deal with many other customers not necessarily involved in agriculture. This is a growth trend that we still see today.
In 1979, Gordon began to cut down on his workload in anticipation of retirement, David joined his brother Ken as co-owner. In October 1980, Gordon Raether died in a tragic accident in Greenville with a company truck. After surviving a few difficult years in the early 80s, construction began in September of 1983 on a new site two miles south of Caroline at the intersection of Highway 45 and G in Marion. The addition more than tripled parts and service space.
In 2002, Caroline Implement purchased the former K+K Equipment dealership in Shawano to provide additional resources for area producers as well as large property owners and homeowners with the opportunity to have their needs met without having to travel far.
In 2008, Caroline Implement in Marion expanded its current showroom by adding as additional 1500 square feet of show floor. With the addition of more floor space, came the addition of a wider selection of merchandise to fit the needs of anybody's yard, home, and farm. Speak to any of Caroline Implement's 36 employees at either location to understand why we've been in business for over 64 years. Just as you would expect, we're here for you, every season, every time.