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Molalla's new small engine shop

by: CORY MIMMS - David Rathbun, left, and his son Will Nelson, 17, who helps at the shop.Molalla has a new small engine repair shop on Main Street in the building where Reasoner’s Service used to be. Art’s Small Engine Repair opened last month and is hosting a grand opening on Friday, Oct. 18, beginning around 11 a.m.

The location is a bit of a landmark in Molalla, said David Rathbun, who runs the new shop. During his first few weeks of business, Rathbun has had many nostalgic customers come into the shop, saying they recall riding with their parents to get gas there decades ago.

“We have no intention of changing anything,” Rathbun said. “It just went from an auto shop to a small auto shop.”

Rathbun, 42, opened the shop with his grandfather, Art Rossomondo, who purchased the building from Richard Reasoner in late August.

Rathbun handles the day-to-day work and ins and outs of running the business. His grandfather is a “silent partner,” he said.

Rathbun worked for several years designing wireless networks for cities. Small engine repair was a hobby though, something he had been good at since he was five years old, when he worked on his first small engine, a three wheeler, he said. “It’s pretty rewarding [work], solving problems.”

Rathbun said the opening process was very smooth. “City Hall was great,” he said, adding that because the building was previously an auto shop, turning it into a small engine shop couldn’t have been easier. “We basically just had to get the license.”

Rathbun has lived in Colton for about a year, with his wife and children, and likes the area. “I love Molalla,” he said.



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