New York August 12, 2018
The Charming New York General Store That’s Been Open Since Before The Civil War
Nowadays it feels as though technology has taken over most aspects of life, with many New Yorkers heading to the internet to do their shopping as opposed to visiting an actual store. With that said, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of us who love to actually go shopping and visit our quaint small town stores and Main Streets. Overflowing with nostalgia, you may be shocked to hear that there’s a general store in our state that’s actually been operating since
the Civil War. Talk about old school charm! Open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., let’s take a peek at what’s inside this one-of-a-kind shop. before
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Plan a visit to the small town of St. James and before you know it you'll start to see signs for one of the country's oldest continually operating general stores.
A historic town that's included in many local tours that operate in New York, the town's general store is just one of many reasons why people love to come and see this area.
Up and running since 1857 when it was first established by Ebenezer Smith, not too much has changed about St. James General Store over the past 161 years.
Structurally unchanged since 1894, the St. James General Store has been well-preserved and cared for over the years. After Ebenezer Smith passed away, the store was handed down to several family members and remained operated by their family well into the mid-1900s.
Once you step through the doors you'll notice that the store is quite dimly-light, both to preserve the store's historic features and to also mimic the lighting of the store during the 19th-century.
When the St. James General Store originally opened, the entire town of St. James ended up being built around this place - leaving it as the heart of town for quite some time. The store actually featured the town's first telephone and even briefly operated as the town's Post Office!
Featuring a little bit of everything, the St. James General Store is filled with books, dolls, vintage games and toys, accessories, housewares, decor and much, much more.
Every inch of the St. James General Store is fully utilized - with items decorating the place from the floor to the ceilings. Today, the store is owned by the Suffolk County Department of Parks and has been since 1990.
Like any general store you'd find in New York back in the day, this one is well-stocked with homemade sweets and treats that you'll want to bag up and take home with you.
From homemade candy and jams to cookies and more, we'll leave it up to you whether it's a good idea or not to arrive here on an empty stomach.
And of course, the store has those classic large jars lined up on the wooden counter tops that are full of old-school candies that have only grown sweeter over the years.
If you ask us, it's always a good time of year to fill the cravings that your sweet tooth is having. But you'll find that many visitors head out to this general store during the holidays for seasonal sweets and locally-made ornaments and gifts that are perfect for Christmastime.
One of the fascinating things about the store is that you'll find many items paying homage to the area, with Long Island merchandise and informational books that will give you a greater insight on the region's history.
If you head up the store's narrow staircase, you'll find that upstairs there's an assortment of informational books that showcase Long Island's history and its small towns. If you're looking to gift a New Yorker (specifically a Long Islander) with something meaningful and full of character, this is always a great place to shop.
A vital piece of the town's history, stop in for yourself and see why the charm of the St. James General Store has kept this place up and running for so long.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contributing to the St. James District of Suffolk County - the St. James General Store holds a great historical significance that you'll want to experience for yourself. We couldn't be more happy to time and time again see that little has changed about this amazing general store.
To find out more about the St. James General Store, visit their official Facebook page
Did you realize such a long-standing general store existed in our state? To discover more amazing stores worth visiting, read about how
These 12 Charming General Stores In New York Will Make You Feel Nostalgic!