General Store

Before general stores were commonplace, rural communities struggled to find goods and services and would often have to travel long distances to major cities. With their introduction into smaller towns during the nineteenth century, general stores became the community center where locals, tradespeople, and farmers could gather. Since there was only one small general store in each town, they sold a wide variety of products.
Many general stores were family-owned businesses, and each member of the family helped run the shop. Children were often given chores to do while they were not in school. Products commonly sold include locally grown produce, dry goods, fabric and clothing, and various housewares. Stop by this exhibit to find out what other merchandise was sold and how a general store operated more than one hundred years ago.