A Look Inside Old General Stores, 1900-1940s
I've done a handful of articles featuring many of Michigan's old general stores. It's always fun to take a look at these places and see the old-time architecture and the owners posing in the front, wearing their aprons. And mustaches.
I was all set to do another one (as there are still many to show you) but this time I decided to take another route and show just the interiors of some of these old general stores. The way you've seen some of these stores depicted in western movies or in rural programs like “The Andy Griffith Show”, isn't a far cry from what they looked like in Michigan.
I remember an old general store that hung in there, sitting in the downtown area of the small Michigan village I grew up in. It had the wooden floors that creaked when you walked, the store was always more dark than light, the shelves packed with only the most needed items, and a wonderful selection of candies for the kids. The old proprietor looked just like you think one would, or should: he was in his eighties, balding, gray hair on the side, wearing an apron and glasses, and yep...a white mustache. It was amazing that he held onto his shop as long as he did, for just a few doors down was one of them newfangled “super deluxe food markets” that cut into his business.
I always felt bad for him, for he was a very nice guy and all the townfolk liked him...but, the residents wanted a bigger selection and cheaper prices. I have no idea when he closed down, but when he did, it was the end of an era.
There are a smattering of rare old-time general stores still scattered throughout our state, usually in an out-of-the-way village or small town that you come across by accident down a back road. Next time you come across one, don't continue driving...stop in for awhile!
Now take a look at the gallery below to see the interiors of many Michigan general stores, as well as a few drug stores and others!
A Look Inside Old General Stores
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