At ‘This Place in History’ we’re in Jericho, Vt. with Executive Director of the Vermont Historical Society Steve Perkins.
“Right behind us is the Jericho Center Country Store, one of the oldest, continually operating country stores in the state of Vermont. We’re going to go inside and see Linda St. Amour and learn all about this really cool old store,” began Perkins.
In business for around 220 consecutive years, the Jericho Center Country Store is recognized by the Vermont Grocer’s Association as the longest continually running store in the state.
Founded in 1807, the then Blackman’s Store offered staple groceries such as flour, sugar, rum and molasses, and largely ran on a barter system.
“The Jordan brothers bought it about 1880. They owned it until probably about the 1920s or 1930s. Then, after them, there were six more owners. So [there have been] a total of about eight owners in 200 plus years,” explained St. Amour.
The store, previously one-story, was damaged by a fire in the late 19th Century. But, it was repaired and rebuilt, as the larger iconic two-story structure on the Jericho Center Village Green.
“The store has really been the center of the community. You can really get anything you want,” said Perkins.
“You used to be to get everything from boots to textiles to sew your own clothes. That was back in the 1800s. Now, we’ve become more of a deli, but we’re still very much just a little general store. We have the post office. We sell gas, church pie dinner tickets. We have Santa coming next week. So, we do all the old general store things,” said St. Amour.
Despite necessary adaptations over the past two centuries, the store remains a staple in the community, in that old fashioned sort of way; just like you might have found in the early 1800s.
“People know that if they come here, they can run into a neighbor that they haven’t seen in a while. They can come and get their mail. People can pretty much come and get anything they need here. They don’t have to go into Burlington,” added St. Amour.
“We try to keep everything pretty original. We’ve got some original signs. The weight scale there is original. We have a lot of original, miscellaneous items that make it special,” concluded St. Amour.
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