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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Good Hart General Store: Good Hart, Michigan
In operation since the 1930s, this general store also serves as the local post office. In addition to picking up groceries, baked goods and souvenirs, you can buy some of the Good Hart General Store‘s famous chicken or beef pot pies. Check out the nicest small towns in America that everyone should visit.
The Brick Store: Bath, New Hampshire
This general store holds the record for the “Longest Continuously Operated General Store in the United States.” Today, the store sells smoked meats and cheese, local maple syrup and hand-scooped ice cream. The Brick Store is also a popular stop for presidential candidates—Barack Obama and his family enjoyed sandwiches and fudge there. We discovered the favorite foods of 25 American presidents.
Floyd Country Store: Floyd, Virginia
Former owners who were in a bluegrass band would practice at the store after hours—and locals would knock on the door asking to come in and listen. This now-famous weekly jamboree features musicians from all over the country, and the Floyd Country Store even has its own music and dance school!
Brown & Hopkins Country Store: Chepachet, Rhode Island
The current owner of Brown & Hopkins Country Store has taken great care to preserve the character and features of this 219-year-old building, from the original wood floors to the pot-bellied stove that once warmed the space. Today, the store houses two floors of antiques, country decor, and penny candy. Here’s how to make your own rock candy!
Randsburg General Store: Ransburg, California
This store was built a year after gold was discovered in Randsburg in the 1890s, and it served the mining town first as a drug store and then as a general store ever since. The Randsburg General Store also has a restaurant and soda fountain and is a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists.
Way Way Store: Saco, Maine
Way Way Store recently celebrated its 100th anniversary! Folks are happy to travel way, way out to the Saco store, a unique building built from hand-poured concrete blocks that are painted in a red-and-white checkerboard pattern. The store has a fun mid-century vibe with a tabletop jukebox, original gas pumps still outside and lots of memorabilia. Try these ’50s-era recipes today.
Nagley’s General Store: Talkeetna, Alaska
This historic log building was nearly lost in a 1997 fire, but the community helped rebuild the store. (It was originally founded at the height of the early 20th century Alaska gold rush.) Nagley’s General Store has groceries, coffee, and sandwiches, but is perhaps most popular for the generations of cats that have greeted customers since the 1970s.
Russell’s General Store: Bovina, New York
In their heyday, many general stores had gas pumps out front so travelers could fuel up. It’s rare to find one that still does today, which is one reason why Russell’s General Store is unique. Owned by the Bovina Historical Society, this business that began in 1919 has stayed true to the American general store tradition: selling provisions, gas, locally made goods, and foods while serving as a gathering place for the community.
Marine General Store: Marine on St Croix, Minnesota
Marine General Store is the oldest operating general store in Minnesota, with “Everything You Need at Pretty Good Prices!” Their fresh bakery treats and deli sandwiches are beloved by the community. The store sits at the heart of the 4th of July celebration every summer when the owner hands out glow sticks and folks can relax on the porch.
Berdine’s Five & Dime: Harrisville, West Virginia
When this store opened in 1909, the mission of owner K.C. Berdine was to meet the needs of the community with provisions priced at no more than 10 cents apiece. Though prices have changed with the times, Berdine’s Five & Dime has always maintained its commitment to “treat the customer special.” Take a trip back in time with these five-and-dime lunch counter specials.
Rabbit Hash General Store: Rabbit Hash, Kentucky
The curiously-named town of Rabbit Hash learned the hard way how to save buildings from the frequent floods of the Ohio River: bolt them to the ground with iron rods. That’s how the Rabbit Hash General Store has stubbornly survived since 1831 while neighboring buildings were swept away!
Yoho General Store: Solsberry, Indiana
The Yoho General Store has always been a favorite ice cream stop for the town of Solsberry. This general store was opened in the ’30s by Frank, Oscar and William Yoho and has been in operation ever since. The building was extensively restored in 2012 with the original flooring, shelving, and stove brought back to their former beauty. Find out the best walking towns in America.
Wall Drug Store: Wall, South Dakota
The Hustead family was struggling to keep the Wall Drug Store open in 1936 when they found their inspiration: advertising “Free Ice Water” to hot and thirsty travelers on their way to Mt. Rushmore and Rapid City. The clever, often rhyming billboards helped bring the customers in droves, and today Wall Drug is still a favorite stop. You can still get that free ice water, too!
Ehler’s Store: Cornucopia, Wisconsin
Over the 100+ years that Ehler’s Store has been in business, the space has grown so much that four buildings were joined together to hold all they had to offer. This general store offers groceries, hardware, apparel, and gardening supplies, as well as a deli.
Amana General Store: Amana, Iowa
The Amana General Store began in the heart of a settlement of German immigrants, who produced everything their community needed to survive. Their general store and other shops have sustained their generations-old crafts and workmanship over the past century, selling handmade furniture, decor, and foods. Next, don’t miss the most charming small town in every state.