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Old 01-16-2014, 07:50 PM   #1
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Fuquay Varina , North Carolina
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Favorite Old Country Stores

We will be retiring the end of March and look forward to being able to travel much more than has been possible since getting our first Airstream in 2006 (20 ft. Safari). In 2012 we got the 25 footer we wanted for our travels. One thing that interests us is seeing some old towns in a leisurely fashion. Would be interested in hearing (and seeing pictures) about your favorite towns and especially old country stores throughout the country.
Perhaps there are others who have the same interest and could share some suggestions with specifics about locations and points of interest. We are based in North Carolina and there are plenty to pick from here but don't know much about other areas around the country.

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Old 01-16-2014, 09:05 PM   #2
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I have a good one for you but it is a long way from you.

The best bakery, great Ice Cream, huge selection of gifts for the size of the place, Clothing, footware, what-have-you! This is your old small town department store owner operated. Even has an electric train circles the complete store representing the now dead local CPR route to entertain the kid in you. Sorry I do not have any pictures of my own to share of the inside. I will look for some outside shots and see what I have in my ARC library.

Direct across the street is McCanns Garage for all you automotive and farm equipment repairs. Stop in for a chat with the boys. I sometimes wonder how they have time to do the work. These small towns have some very talented people.

Pakenham is also the home of the only 5 arch carriage stone bridge in North America.

Sorry, I do not have any good ARC shots of this area. I have a good DVR segment but it would take me 1/2 hour to upload. You can get the same view of the area using Google Street view.


Pakenham General Store.
Panoramio - Photo of Pakenham General Store (and Gift Shop)


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Old 01-16-2014, 09:29 PM   #3
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In Ohio amish county, Lehman hardware. You can loose a couple of hours there, then find some amazing food nearby.

Then up north, my favorite, an original Ben Franklin. It's located in Amherst, Ohio. Huge real hobby selection, great general "stuff", and an entire basement full of tropical and saltwater fish.

I heard rumors of some great nearby courtesy parking also...
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:33 PM   #4
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I also love country stores, farmers mkts too...
would certainly like a national list.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:35 PM   #5
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Armed with an Airstream and staying off the interstates should allow you to hit lots of small interesting towns. I am biased because I am from Michigan, but both Ohio and Michigan have lots of interesting small towns. Just travel and you will find lots of good stuff to look at in the small towns.

You can probably do some googling too and zero in on some interesting old general stores.

Have fun.

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Old 01-17-2014, 02:39 AM   #6
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Lehmans, Vt Country Store, LlBean, and on and on. Love them all.
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:37 AM   #7
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I live in Lake Placid, FL - the caladium capital of the World. We are the sister city to Lake Placid New York. Surrounded by about 30 lakes and on the "Lake Wales Ridge" - the only part of Florida that has never been under water. I call our area Florida's mountain range! We have murals all over our downtown area that tell our history and cute little mom and pop shops. Cute little place to visit! Have fun in your travels where ever the road takes you! Laura
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:31 AM   #8
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There is a great hardware/general store in Floyd, VA, right on the corner downtown.

A favorite is Kaffe-Frederick Mercantile in Natchitoches, LA. Lots of Lodge cast iron in there, basic hardware items, ironware hooks, gunbo spoons, kitchenware, etc. Great old place, in the oldest town in Louisiana....300 years old this year.

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Old 01-17-2014, 06:53 AM   #9
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Might not qualify, but the small grocery store in Helen, ga comes to mind. Cannot remember the name. When we used to stay at TopofGeorgia we would shop there. Jim
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:00 AM   #10
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Hello from Missouri. If are interested in country stores, we have a great one in Caledonia, Missouri. This gentleman had quite a collection from "scoop to nuts" of all turn of the century goods. He bought an old general store and runs it with his wonderful collections of vintage stuff and new stuff too. You can get an ice cream and walk around and admire his amazing collection. This store is on the way to a natural phenomena called "Elephant Rock State Park" where there are giant granite boulders scattered around from ice age. It is an amazing site to see and behold. If that is not enough fun, just down the road from Elephant Rock State Park is Johnson's Shut-In's - a natural water park if you will. It is an area of granite and lava rock formations that in the river that create an area that is fun to traverse. It is a blast, for young and old alike. This area is not too far from some great wineries and St. Genevieve which is the oldest town west of the Mississippi River that is a great historical area that was one a french fur trade town with many of the buildings preserved from the 1700's.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:10 AM   #11
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Montgomery , Alabama
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Here is what we use to locate farmers markets....
TAC AL-26 WBCCI 2626

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Old 01-17-2014, 07:56 AM   #12
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Livingston , Texas
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farmers markets

another farmers market site: Farmers Market Online marketplace for farmers growers producers crafters artists and artisans

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Old 01-18-2014, 10:50 AM   #13
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My wife and I do the same, almost. Instead of country stores we like flea markets.... not the ones that sell new stuff or flea market 'junk'.

An example is in Taneyville, MO in an old feed store.

We try to stay away from self-described 'antique shoppes' as we find we usually can't afford them. My wife calls them 'Museums' I like to say 'they are sure proud of their stuff'.

We try to stay away from interstates unless we absolutely have to and stick with blue highways.

The only problem with 'free styling' (ala Frank and Bill) is when we see an interesting stop we are always almost on top of it and with a 31' trailer one doesn't just 'whip a you-ey" and pull in the parking lot.

Have fun.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:57 AM   #14
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Somewhere , South Carolina
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Originally Posted by DanB View Post
In Ohio amish county, Lehman hardware. You can loose a couple of hours there, then find some amazing food nearby.

You nailed that one, we're originally from the Cleveland area and made frequent trips on the GoldWing to all around Holmes County. But I'm gonna add one twist to Lehman's. The Town & Country grocery store across the street. Go downstairs at lunch and get some simple lunch, maybe a hot Trail Bologna sandwich and a bowl of veggie soup. It'll give you a chance to enjoy some good food and then some.


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