Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Black Swamp of Chepachet : Part 2

Perhaps HPL and CM Eddy saw this structure as they cruised through Chepachet?

Here it is described ... from vintage magazine - 1968 - AMERICA'S OLDEST (Continuously operated) GROCERY STORE

by William P. Fallon

This is a fascinating vintage article - about this store in Rhode Island - giving its history and its previous owners - just filled with interesting facts, details, names and narratives..... The ILLUSTRATIONS include: (shown here) The store as it looked in DECEMBER 1967
As it looked in 1867 - (sign at the front says HORACE KIMBALL)

ROSCOE STEERE, present owner of the CHEPACHET GENERAL STORE stated,

" 1799 Timothy Wilmarth erected a dwelling on a lot which was part of his deceased father's Chepachet land holdings and sold it to Benjamin Cozzens, who was a hatter by trade.....A hatter's shop soon began operating and the village 'where the singing rivers meet' now had a new industry that would further add to the growing affluence of their community......"

"..Ira P. Evans bought the real estate from Anan in 1809, thus giving birth to the nation's oldest grocery store......."

".....Walter Read then operated the business alone until 1899...later records do now show how the transition was arranged with his new partner, Mr. Potter....."

" is also said that supporters of Thomas Dorr, Governor-elect of the Suffrage Movement, anticipating a long and bitter struggle with the state militia, were reported to have stocked large food supplies from the historic store...."

..the interior of Brown and Hopkins' general store has undergone little change since its founding.....Mr. Roscoe Steere, its present owner, is a man dedicated to preserving the antiquity of the historic establishment ..... sweet barrel old-fashioned New Orleans molasses remains a great favorite with Mr. Steere's customers.......another outstanding feature is the large assortment of penny candies - in aged glass top show case displays......"

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