D.C. November 12, 2016
The Oldest General Store Near Washington DC Has A Fascinating History
There’s something wonderfully nostalgic and comforting about a general store. They are hallmarks of a simpler time before overnight delivery and being permanently glued to our smartphones. General stores were a once a place of community, where you could grab your necessities for the week and catch up with your neighbors. If you ever need that sense of community, you can still find it at the oldest general store in the area, The Bluemont General Store in Bluemont Virginia.
In the early 1800s there was a stagecoach route from Washington DC to the Shenandoah River and a small town popped up in the middle of that route. The town was originally called “Snickersville” and would later be renamed Bluemont in honor of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.
In the 1840s, a general store called Rice Bros opened, serving travelers and town residents. A railroad line was put in place in 1907 from DC to the Blue Ridge Mountains, stopping just before the store.
The goal of the railroad was to encourage DC residents to escape the city summer heat and enjoy the beauty of the mountains.
Rice Bros offered an engaging place to shop for local goods and produce and for almost thirty years, the town and the store thrived. But as automobiles became more popular, vacationers started traveling farther to the beaches and other summer destination.
And in the 1950s, central air conditioning became common and many DC residents did not have to leave the city to escape the heat and Bluemont and Rice Bros started to decline.
But in 2006, the general store was purchased by Broad Run Veterinary Service who promised to continue the store’s history of serving the community. Today you can pop in to Bluemont General Store for a sandwich, fresh eggs, milk or an ice cream cone. The staff is friendly, the goods are unique and the food is tasty. It’s truly a remarkable piece of history.
Can you imagine the history and change this charming store has seen? If only walls could talk! The Bluemont General Store is located at 33715 Snickersville Tpke, Bluemont, VA 20135. If you love the charm of a small and family owned place, try these 10 mom & pop restaurants in Washington DC!