Oldest General Stores in America

Jefferson General Store


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Jefferson General Store

Norman Rockwell-Worthy

Long before supermarkets, general stores were at the heart of Americans' commercial lives, especially in smaller rural communities where they served as a town hub. Remnants of this outmoded way of shopping can still be found today at dozens of locations across the nation, though most surviving general stores from the 19th or early 20th century have had to adapt as tourist-friendly gift and specialty shops. In this list, we'll run through the oldest American general stores still in operation in chronological order. From shops that opened over one hundred years ago to one that dates back to the 1790s, we'll catalog how they've changed, and what parts of their heritage have stayed the same.

Related: Oldest Restaurant in Every State

Floyd Country Store

Floyd Country Store

Floyd, Virginia

On weekends, this general store isn't just for stocking up on supplies and souvenirs; it's also one of the premier places to experience Appalachian culture in the form of live music and performances such as flatfoot dancing and clogging. Dating back to 1910, the store still sells locally made housewares, workwear, and other essentials for country living, as well as family-friendly treats including candy, ice cream, and CDs and DVDs of the region's traditional music.

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Berdine's Five and Dime, Harrisville, West Virginia

Berdine's Five and Dime


Harrisville, West Virginia

First opened in 1909 with the intent of pricing no item over 10 cents, Berdine's Five and Dime has adjusted its prices with inflation but held on to other parts of its heritage, as in its pressed tin ceilings and personalized customer service. Peruse the shelves for bulk candy and spices, old-fashioned wooden toys, and local bath products — just keep in mind when checking out, it's never taken credit cards and isn't about to start now.

Related: Classic Five-and-Dime Stores We Remember From Childhood

Old Village Mercantile

Old Village Mercantile

Caledonia, Missouri

This circa 1909 country store aims to transport visitors back to a "simpler time" with nostalgic touches like its homemade ice cream, antique gallery, Amish-made fudge, and 600 varieties of old-fashioned candy. Though the surrounding historic district has many preserved homes and other buildings, the Old Village Mercantile is the most authentically preserved business still remaining from the settlement's nearly two century-long history.

Related: Candy Stores That Will Make You Feel Like a Kid Again

Edge General Store

Edge General Store

Edge, Texas

Once the focal point of this small cotton boom town, the Edge General Store was restored to its former glory 100 years after its opening in 1907. The sheet metal-sided structure now stocks a selection of specialty gifts while hosting occasional live music events and serving up nightly burger specials and milkshakes made with Texans' beloved Blue Bell ice cream.

Shaw's General Store, Stowe, Vermont
Cindy G./Yelp

Shaw's General Store

Stowe, Vermont

This general store was opened in what's now Vermont's premier ski town in 1895, before the sport even existed, and has been passed down through five generations of Shaw family ownership since. Still boasting the original floors and countertops, the store's merchandise has transitioned from wood stoves toward warm weather apparel, maple syrup, and Green Mountain-themed gifts.

Cottagewood General Store

Cottagewood General Store

Deephaven, Minnesota

This seasonal store was opened in 1895 to cater to out-of-towners summering at nearby Lake Minnetonka, and it's still doing just that eight remodels and more than 20 owners later, albeit with more foods packaged and fewer sold in bulk from the counter jars. Its signature offerings today include baked goods and sandwiches from the café and gift merchandise and candy from the store, while still serving as a prominent community venue and meeting place.

Cooke City General Store, Cooke City, Montana

Cooke City Store

Cooke City, Montana

Near the entrance to Yellowstone National Park, this mining town mercantile store was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, in honor of its 100th year in business. Having seen the remote area through many economic ups and downs, the store is still decorated by its antique original fixtures, including wooden bins and spice tins, from which it sells dry goods alongside outdoor and fishing supplies.

The Original Mast General Store, Valle Crucis, North Carolina

The Original Mast General Store

Valle Crucis, North Carolina

Built in 1882 and opened in 1883, the Original Mast General Store sold everything from plows and chicken feed to credit and cloth before being added to the National Register of Historic Places as one of the finest remaining examples of an old country store. Shortly thereafter, from 1977 to 1980, residents banded together to save the store from shuttering, setting a precedent of other Mast Store locations revitalizing communities' languishing main streets. Visitors today can find cheap cups of coffee, gourmet foods, cast-iron cookware, old-fashioned toys, and tactical knives, or outdoor wear and nostalgic candies from its neighboring Annex, which opened in 1909.

Jefferson General Store

Jefferson General Store

Jefferson, Texas

Neighboring the Big Cypress Bayou in swampy East Texas, this general store has supplied the port town sharing its name since the 1870s with hardware, antiques, handmade pecan pralines, and much more. The store places a bigger emphasis on specialty items such as Texas-made jams, salsas, and souvenirs in its product selection while still paying homage to its roots with the original soda fountain and fixtures including a working nickel jukebox.

Williamsburg General Store, Williamsburg, Massachusetts
Lindsay C./Yelp

Williamsburg General Store

Williamsburg, Massachusetts

Built in 1876, this general store has the original furnace used to keep warm through the long New England winters in the days before electric heating. The shelves are also overflowing with tourist-friendly kitsch, locally produced jewelry and bath goods, incense and spices, children's books and toys, and a rotating daily selection of homemade pies, breads, and pastries.

A. Schwab Trading Co.
Natalio O./Yelp

A. Schwab Trading Co.

Memphis, Tennessee

"If you can't find it at Schwab's, you're better off without it," goes the motto of this five-and-dime shop opened on Beale Street in 1876, now the only original business remaining. Sharing shelf-space with mementos of the store and street's history are regional arts and crafts, gourmet foods, bath products, records, "magic potions," and an old-fashioned soda fountain slinging up malts, phosphates, and gelato in fresh-made waffle cones.

Related: Classic Soda Fountains That Will Make You Feel Like a Kid Again

Old Sautee Store, Nacoochee, Georgia

Old Sautee Store

Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia

Even from the outside, this clapboard store with a clock built into its peaked façade still harkens back to the early days after its 1872 opening. The store sells a sampling of high-quality local products from farm-fresh cheese and crackers to branded apparel, while the attached Old Sautee Market has been rated the town's No. 1 eatery for its fresh baked goods, hand-dipped ice cream, and made-to-order sandwiches.

Beeker's General Store
Stephanie R./Yelp

Beeker's General Store


Pemberville, Ohio

Beeker's General Store opened around 1870 as a hotspot for the surrounding farming community to "grocery and gossip," and retains original features such as countertops, wooden floors, tin ceiling, and gas lampshades. Its offerings today strive to keep with the old-fashioned heritage, including hand-dipped ice cream cones, local honey, "Amish wedding granola," and regular arts and crafting lessons.

Related: Piggly Wiggly: Fun Facts About America's First Modern Grocery Store

Calef's Country Store
Greg B./Yelp

Calef's Country Store

Barrington, New Hampshire

This old-fashioned country store has been buying local since its founding in 1869, with more than 90% of its gifts and foods still sourced from independent New England companies. Specialties include peanut brittle, soup mixes, smoked ham, sharp cheddar "snappy" cheese, and the wooden pickle barrel, a "focal point" of the storied shop.

Brewster General Store, Brewster, Massachusetts

The Brewster Store

Brewster, Massachusetts

A prim white building in the heart of this lower Cape Cod town, the Brewster Store briefly served as a church from 1852 to 1866 before being converted for retail purposes. Traditionally a proud "third place" (after home and work) for locals or tourists to meet and chat over fresh coffee and pastries, the store's merchandise spans from self-designed apparel and penny candy to kitchen gadgets and a book section including the recently released "History of the Brewster Store: The Heart of Brewster."

Cataract General Store, Spencer, Indiana
Erin B./Yelp

Cataract General Store

Spencer, Indiana

Opened in 1860, you'll recognized Indiana's oldest general store by its bright red barn-style façade, and the rusting Mobil sign hanging over its covered porch. A stone's throw from several campgrounds and the "Niagara of Indiana," Cataract Falls, it remains a true general store, with a widely varied selection of snacks, camp supplies, toys, dry goods, groceries, and moon pies. 

Alley's General Store, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Alley's General Store

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

The oldest operating retailer on Massachusetts's premier summer getaway spot, Alley's General Store has been open since 1858 with the motto "dealers in almost everything," supplying homeowners with basic staples and serving as a retail outlet for the goods it produced. In years past, locals have gathered on the porch for games while summer tourists stock up on sweet treats and snacks for the beach — and probably will again.

Amana General Store, Amana, Iowa
General Store/Yelp

Amana General Store


Amana, Iowa

Opened in 1858, the Amana General Store is nearly as old as the sustainable-minded farming and artisan community it served. Amana has changed plenty since, but the general store still offers the same at-cost pricing on handmade local foods and goods alongside imported specialty items, and has expanded to a small complex of main street stores including a woolen meal, meat smokehouse, and furniture and clock shop.

St. James General Store
Lisa A./Yelp

St. James General Store

St. James, New York

Established in 1857, this general store on Long Island has remained structurally unchanged since the turn of the century, when the whole community was centered around its post office outpost and the only telephone in the vicinity. Despite mass suburbanization of the surrounding areas, the store has remained intact and functional by selling Victorian-era artifacts alongside candies, toys, and books on Long Island history.

Luckenbach General Store, Luckenbach, Texas

Luckenbach General Store

Luckenbach, Texas

Like many small towns, Luckenbach took the name of its local shop owners. Claiming to sell everything from the cradle to the grave, including "coffins and cowbells," the present Luckenbach General Store was built in 1851 by German immigrants and gained fame with the release of Waylon Jennings' 1977 hit "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)." Now with a population hovering around 25, the town and synonymous general store still draw determined visitors and passing musicians for the dance-hall atmosphere and Lone Star State souvenirs.

Wilson Store
Wilson Store

Wilson General Store

Clear Spring, Maryland

This general store and post office was established in 1847 along the National Road, first conceived by Thomas Jefferson, connecting Maryland to the western frontier outposts in Illinois. The rest stop thrived for decades and more recently was restored as an historic landmark featuring retro toys, glass-bottle soda, heirloom seeds, and old-time remedies for sale. Also on display, a store ledger recording purchases from its 19th century heyday.

End of the Commons General Store, Mesopotamia, Ohio

End of the Commons General Store

Mesopotamia, Ohio

Established in 1840, this general store has been serving the local Amish community for more than 170 years. Parts of the store have been cleared out to make room for more bulk flours, popcorn, candy, and meats, while others have been adorned with backroom antiques from the store's history including old cash registers, fixtures, and food cans and tins dating to the 19th century.

Hope, ME General Store
Hope, ME General Store by Terry Straehley (CC BY)

Hope General Store

Hope, Maine

This general store in south-central Maine was established in 1832, and is now under new ownership after nearly two years on the market. The buyers said they weren’t expecting to make many changes, and customers have still been able to order pizzas and calzones, made-to-order sandwiches, and choose from a large beer selection to wash it all down. The store also acts as the town’s post office and a place where residents — many of whom consider it the community hub — can buy gifts and groceries.

Rabbit Hash General Store, Rabbit Hash, Kentucky
Emily H./Yelp

Rabbit Hash General Store

Rabbit Hash, Kentucky

Operating since 1831, the Rabbit Hash General Store would have washed away with the Ohio River by now, like most of its former neighbors, were it not bolted to the ground by iron rods. There's still mud from the 1937 flood in the store's attic crawl space, but customers are more interested in the barn dance events and merchandise, including grocery staples, handmade soaps, pottery, antiques, and souvenir sock monkeys.

Related: Things You Didn’t Know About Convenience Stores

Colebrook Store, Colebrook, Connecticut

Colebrook Store

Colebrook, Connecticut

Formerly the oldest continuously operating general store in Connecticut, the Colebrook Store lasted 195 years before shuttering in 2007, only to be reopened under new management in 2014 — and announcing another change in management in June 2020. With an air of country sophistication to the original tin ceiling and wood floors, the store carries eggs, dairy, baked goods, and souvenirs, but online customer reviews are even more enthusiastic about the deli kitchen, which serves up all-day breakfast, salads, and toasted and grilled sandwiches.

Related: 30 Best Delis Across America

Brown & Hopkins Country Store

Brown & Hopkins Country Store

Chepachet, Rhode Island

Opened in 1809, this green clapboard store boasts 3,000 square feet packed with groceries and country-home accessories including hardware, furniture, and textiles by the yard, plus old-fashioned toys and penny candy display cases to treat the kids. Keep an eye out for the period-authentic wooden floors, beamed ceilings, and fixtures including the retired potbelly stove, well-preserved to remind visitors of the shop's storied (and allegedly haunted) past.

Jericho Center Country Store, Jericho, Vermont

Jericho Center Country Store

Jericho, Vermont

This store was opened as Blackman's in 1807, when the owner acquired his retail goods by rafting up the St. Lawrence River to Montreal. It's changed ownership many times in serving the evolving community, with the current owners focusing on high quality foods you can order in or take on the go, including burgers, pizza, maple soft-serve "creemees," and Boar's Head deli sandwiches such as the Vermonter.

The Old Country Store and Museum, Moultonborough, New Hampshire

The Old Country Store and Museum

Moultonborough, New Hampshire

The Old Country Store and Museum was first opened in 1781, putting it among the nation's oldest surviving businesses of any kind. Now a national historic site, the square yellow building continues to sell vintage local wares including molasses candy, aged cheddar, and homemade pickles on its bottom floor, while the top floor hosts a small museum dedicated to the town of Moultonborough and, of course, its anchoring store.

The Brick Store, Bath, New Hampshire

The Brick Store

Bath, New Hampshire

In business since the early 1790s, this former post office location in the White Mountains stands as the nation's oldest continuously operated general store. It's long been a local gathering spot and campaign stop for presidential hopefuls, including Barack Obama in 2007. Renovated in 2017, the store displays photos of its past alongside antique registers and wooden signs preserving its historic authenticity, and it's famous for local specialties including homemade fudge, smoked cheeses, maple syrup, and cured meats. Currently, however, the Brick Store is temporarily closed due to the pandemic. Perhaps it will open in time for the midterm elections.

Related: Fun Facts About America's First Convenience Store 

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