Saturday, August 15, 2015

My View #80 - The Old General Store

The name of this store was "Todd's." It was a big, square, high ceiling, bick and cement building. The front corner opening, double door and three semi-circular steps were right on one corner. Not many windows, I think, and it was open every day but Sunday. Mr. and Mrs. Todd ran the store and, after school, both of their boys, Leonard and Joe, helped.

As soon as you went in, a strange smell greeted you, a real mixture of food, leather and wool. No-one was in a rush to leave, there was so much to see, all sorts of city stuff, farm stuff, food, clothes, shoes and horseshoes, and picture frames. If you looked up, hanging from hooks on the ceiling, were many leather reins, martingales, ropes, a saddle or two and a tent and hip-waders. One corner was for grocery, a long, cluttered counter for eggs, butter - in 64 lb wooden boxes - and this would be cut to give you a piece the size you wanted, and they also gave you a toothpick to sample the butter before you took a pound or two home, to see if you liked it. Cheese was a huge round thing, say how much you wanted and they cut it with a string that was attached. Meat was in the next corner (a piano was sort of wedged in between these two counters) where we bought some meat. Mom wasn't too fussy about that meat as it wasn't real fresh, so she went elsewhere for meat, at Purny's shop. The fourth corner was shoes and men's clothes. That was a place for men and boys to gather, and that was where some learned many swear words.
Typical general store interior

We used that store for two years. Todd sold out when Taylor Brothers opened a new store. It was much nicer but wasn't as interesting as old Todd's was. We loved to go into that old store to see what was new in. In Todd's you could buy fish-hooks, books, sewing material, patterns, knitting wool and candy. A whole different kind of life. In small towns that was the main store.

Hope you enjoyed this issue. That whole block was torn down and a new place built. That was in the 1920s It has been said, "The old General Store sold everything, from pins to pianos and thread to threshing machines." How right they were.

Mom 
August 18, 2007

Research yields some confusion as to the correct name of the store: Stewart and Todd's, or Stewart and Tweed's. It was purchased by the Taylor Brothers in 1910, earlier than Letty's estimate.