25 Old-Fashioned General Stores Across America
“If we ain’t got it, you don’t need it!” General stores were once the hub of rural towns, where people came not just for provisions but for gossip and treats. We found a bunch that are still thriving, selling penny candy, groceries, housewares, sandwiches and more.
Wilson Store: Clear Spring, Maryland
Courtesy Anne Duvall/Country Extra
Come hungry, as the Wilson Store sells cheese, hickory-smoked sweet bologna, candy, and homemade chips. Pop by the post office next door to see vintage pictures and memorabilia. Field Editor Anne Duvall, of Greencastle, Pennsylvania, says, “We bought root beer in a glass bottle from the old Coca-Cola ice chest and read the ledger from 1850 that kept customer records.” We found the best local soda-pop in every state.
Old Sautee Store: Sautee Nacotochee, Georgia
Courtesy Mandy Wood/Country Extra
Nestled in the Georgia Appalachian foothills, a landmark general store established in 1872 beckons tourists and locals to experience days gone by. Field Editor Sandra Warwick of Cleveland, Georgia, says, “Homemade soaps, pens, paper, clothing, and shoes fill the aisles. An old music box and a fireplace add charm. And true to Southern hospitality, everyone who swings by gets a sample of Swedish Farmer’s Cheese.”
Marshfield Hills General Store: Marshfield Hills, Massachusetts
The Marshfield Hills General Store is a local landmark dating back to the mid-1800s. The store became famous when it was purchased in 2009 by actor Steve Carell and his wife, actress Nancy Wall, both of whom are Massachusetts natives. They helped restore the building and re-establish it as a community gathering place. The store sells groceries, baked goods and gifts…and you may even find Steve Carell working there!
Troutdale General Store: Troutdale, Oregon
Courtesy Tawny Nelson/Country Extra
A popular spot for cyclists to stop for lunch at the gateway to the Columbia River Gorge, the store also offers made-in-Oregon specialties, and holiday decor items are sold year-round. Field Editor Tawny Nelson of North Plains, Oregon, says her family liked browsing the gifts and toys, both modern and retro. “Next time I’m going to try a milkshake and go on a weekend when they have smoked salmon chowder!” Here are our favorite milkshakes in the country.
End Of The Commons General Store: Mesopotamia, Ohio
Courtesy Tami Gingrich/Country Extra
Touted as the oldest in the state, this general store in Amish country has been serving the needs of Ohioans since 1840. Shelves are lined with quality products of yesteryear that your grandparents relied on, such as canning supplies, old-time remedies, pine tar soap, and salves. Field Editor Tami Gingrich of Middlefield, Ohio, says, “Stop in for penny candy, housewares, homemade fudge, and hand-dipped ice cream.”
The Sweet Palace: Philipsburg, Montana
Courtesy Tim Cooper/Country Extra
Talk about pretty in pink! This fanciful candy store is housed in a 100-year old general store in the historic town of Philipsburg. Field Editor Connie Tompson of Blackfoot, Idaho, says, “People drive 35 minutes out of their way just to visit this place. It’s not simply for the candy, which is good, but to enjoy the setting.” Enjoy free samples of fudge and 72 flavors of saltwater taffy. Here are the most beautiful Main Streets in America.
Elsah General Store: Elsah, Illinois
Courtesy Kim Howland/Country Extra
Visitors to the Elsah General Store say it reminds them of childhood. And this village on the Great River Road was recently named Illinois’ top scenic spot. Try local favorites like gooey butter cake. Owner Blair Smith says, “It’s a 20-minute drive to a large grocery store. By offering essentials like butter, eggs, milk, flour, sugar, and coffee, it’s an actual working general store for our neighbors.”
Jefferson General Store: Jefferson, Texas
The Jefferson General Store was established in the late 1800s to serve the community and riverboat traffic nearby. When you visit this general store, you might feel like you’ve stepped back in time! Take in the nostalgic decor while you listen to the jukebox, have a 5¢ coffee and sample old-fashioned pecan pralines.
Jericho Center Country Store: Jericho, Vermont
Courtesy Jericho Country Store
In the early 1800s, the founder of the Jericho Center Country Store would sail up to Montreal on the St. Lawrence River to procure goods to sell in his store. Two hundred years later and the store is still going strong, selling Vermont-made products, candy, pizza, burgers, and creemees. (That’s soft-serve ice cream for you non-Vermonters!) What dessert is your state known for?
The Old Riverton Store: Riverton, Kansas
This store is featured in the credits and bonus footage of Cars. The Old Riverton Store is located on iconic Route 66 and it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Although the gas pumps out front are gone, the rest of the store looks much as it did decades ago, and still sells groceries and deli foods. Find more must-make stops along Route 66.