Sunday, July 29, 2012

For Sale...

I like General Stores.  When I was young, my sisters and I would walk .7 miles (Google maps) with some change, and buy a bottle of Ol' Bob Miller's Sas'parilla, and maybe a Jolly Rancher or Starburst.

ADAMSVILLE, RHODE ISLAND — Gray’s Store in Adamsville, the oldest continuously run general store in the United States, is closing its doors forever at the end of July. It opened for business 224 years ago, in 1788.
The store’s closing follows the death of owner, Grayton Waite who operated it since 1986 when he took it over from his father, who himself had operated the store since 1966.
The shop features general store standards like penny candy and a small selection of groceries, as well as antiques and collectible knickknacks. It’s been in Waite’s family for seven generations, since 1879, and comprises the front part of the family’s home.
His only son and heir, Jonah Waite, 21, who grew up in the old family home that connects to the rear of the store, said he does not plan to take the store over as a business.
“It’s been in my family since 1879,” Jonah said. In that year his great, great, great grandfather, Philip Gray, bought the store, Grayton said in an interview in 2007, when the store’s place in history was officially recognized.

He said his father, Grayton Waite, who was 59 when he died June 11, enjoyed selling cigars and candy. His great grandfather owned the store in the early 1900s and ran a gristmill to make his own corn meal that he sold in the store.

A back room that served as the old post office beginning in 1804 (Jonah calls it Room 02801, after the local zip code), has a table on which are stacked wooden sorting boxes. On the table are old envelopes — mail that was never picked up, says Jonah, dating from when the post office first opened in 1804. “My father wouldn’t let anyone come in here and touch anything,” he said.
“It’s going to be real hard,” he said. “Heartbreaking. It will go to the right person. It’s an absolute necessity that someone take it over and treat it right.”



Anonymous said...

That felt much further than .7 miles... But I love general stores too!

Race Bannon said...

.7 there, .7 back...

1.4 to ARCO

1.6 to Steakhouse

1.7 to Wilson's

Mrs. Bannon said...

hmmmm...rhode island

LL said...

I can get nostalgic about a lot of things but the old store seems to be about the highest on the list. I used to walk to school (one mile each way and when it snowed, I walked in the snow). My kids never understood that there was a sense of adventure in walking to the store (Erickson's General Store - owner and manager ran the store and rang the register) and buying penny candy.