‘Historic’ Mother Murphy’s in Uptown Normal up for sale

Digital Originals

NORMAL, Ill. — After almost three decades a historic shop in Uptown Normal is up for sale.

The owners of Mother Murphy’s and Shockwaves Skateboards say after years of hard work, they just need some time to wind down.

“My wife and I are getting older and want to relax and spend more time with each other and with our grandkids and family,” said Co-Owner of Mother Murphy’s Michael Williams. “You have to spend a lot of hours to keep a business going and we think it’s an ideal time with the new laws being passed with marijuana for recreational use.”

For 28 years the store has been selling a wide array of products. Williams says you can find just about anything here.

“We call it a rock and roll emporium, but it’s also been a headshop where it started out carrying incense and black lights, pipes, water pipes things that catered to the hippy movement that was sweeping America when it opened in 1968,” said Williams

“If you just look around this place there’s so much color, so much stuff to look at it’s like a game of eye spy you could spend hours in this place and every time you come here you technically find yourself doing that and I do that all the time I can’t just walk in this place and walk out without taking a look around and seeing what’s new,” said ISU Alum Daren Johnson.

The building is split up in two, the back part of the store is home to Mother Murphy’s, while the front half is operated by Shockwaves Skateboards.

“As it was opening the skateboarding scene really flourished and we had many years of both exposition as well as competitions where all the skaters would come,” said Williams.

Williams says the one thing he’s going to miss about running the shop is the relationships he’s made with his customers.

“It’s been the greatest joys of working here all these years, it’s the friendships all the people I’ve known and worked with over all these years,” said Williams.

Both Michael and his wife Becky own the store together and although its time to go, many say they have already left their mark on the community.
Daren Johnson says the one thing he looks forward to when he comes back to the twin cities is stopping by the shop.

“This is definitely an important stop this is a place that has a lot of good memories to me, a lot of places do at Illinois State and this is definitely one of them,” said Johnson.

High Times Magazine recently named Mother Murphy’s as one of the most legendary headshops in the country. Michael and Becky say that is something they will remember forever.

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