Whatever takes you into the North Carolina Mountains, don’t miss making a stop at Mast General Store. Just follow the winding Highway 194 into Valle Crucis, and you will find the original Mast General Store. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and named as one of the finest remaining examples of an old country general store. History buffs, shoppers, and kids will really enjoy this place.
The building itself has remained relatively unchanged, since its original construction in 1883. As you walk along the old creaky floors, you can sense its history, giving you the impression of being part museum and part store. There are some items on display, which are not for sale, but looking at these items will take you back in time. The old Post Office is still operational - take a peek inside.
From walking sticks to clothing, dog collars to footwear, house decor to grocery items, all are available for purchase. Nostalgic items like antique-style toys, cookware and penny candy can be purchased – seeing these items will bring back memories to many. Many modern items are available for purchase as well.
Out back, The Little Red School House features sales that rotate on a monthly basis including shoes, jackets and home decor. Don’t pass this by, you can get some really good bargains out there. The structure is the first schoolhouse in Valle Crucis, which was built in 1907 and was moved here from down the street.
Kids Scavenger Hunt
Look for A History of the Original Mast Store, a brown pamphlet at the front entrance of the store, which contains The Original Mast General Store Scavenger Hunt list. Find a secret passageway, a banana crate, a coffin, and much more. Once you have found everything on the list, show it to an employee. Your reward is your choice of a piece of candy from one of the candy barrels.
Take Your Time
Don’t rush through this experience, since there are so many things to look at. Relaxing and taking a slow pace are encouraged here. Play a game of checkers using bottle caps by the old pot-bellied stove or swing on the back porch while sipping on a cold soda bottled in the old-fashioned long neck style. Additional chairs and tables are located out back.
Just shy a mile away, the Annex down the street was built in 1909 as a competing general store. Now, it is part of Mast General Store that houses a large collection of outdoor clothing and gear. You’ll find over 500 different types of candy in wooden barrels – just about every piece of candy from your childhood, and then some.
For complete details, check out mastgeneralstore.com.