Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Country Store Tour

When my BFF said she was available for a day trip, she gave me the task with finding something to do. I soon discovered that many museums and other points of interest are closed on Mondays. After googling and googling, I stumbled across one place and soon I discovered that I could plan our day with a theme: Massachusetts' Country Stores.

Since we were starting in Granville, MA, we took one detour from the theme by stopping off at Noble & Cooley Company. I worked there for my junior and senior summers of high school. This was a toy drum shop when I worked there. They have been in business since 1854. At that time they were not toy drums but regular instruments and when the Civil War came, they made drums for the northern regiments..Over the years they changed to toy drums and again back to professional drums.

My first year was in the attic--hot! But you didn't have to work so hard up there, because they rarely checked on you, as I remember, and they put several of us teens together. Not a bad summer job.

My second year was in the factory. My spot in the assembly was just before the boss's daughter and she was being paid piece work for her hard part of the job. I had to make sure I kept up to keep her going and I did.

As I was cleaning out recently, I came across these drum head designs that I had saved. Before I threw them out, I decided to see if they would like them. They said they had plenty of the boy (who at the time, when we worked there we used to jokingly call him Freddy Farkle), but sounded like the Disney ones were rarer, but she took them both. I took a quick picture in the parking lot before I gave them away.

The time card slots I used.

There is a museum upstairs which I have visited before and a gift shop below.  Neither were open when we were there, but we had to get on with our true theme of the day anyway.

First stop with the theme was just around the corner from Noble & Cooley, The Granville Country Store. Again, I was no stranger to this, but my friend had never been.

This picture is a clue to what the Granville Store is famous for--it has the best cheese you have ever tasted!Aged to perfection, this has been a special treat for our family for years. When my uncle moved to California, he loved it when we mailed him Granville cheese for Christmas. It is soooooo good!

There is a deli. They serve hot and cold foods with a cute sitting area inside and a table outside. I came prepared with knife and crackers and we sat outside and enjoyed some of our cheese.

From there we took the back roads to Huntington. I will say now, that Massachusetts badly needs to spend some money filling in the 723 pot holes that I had to avoid--and the 57 that I didn't. I didn't really count, but it was a rough ride. But the next stop was worth it. The Huntington Country Store.

Knowing the Granville Store was famous for its cheese, we asked them what the Huntington Country Store was famous for and they said their "wrapples". What's a wrapple? Yummy fruit in layers of pastry--some with nuts. Of course, we had to buy a couple of them and sit outside this store enjoying our delicious treat.
There are so many things to look at in these shops. Candies of all kinds and collectibles (like Jim Shore, who I like), gadgets and candles, etc. and more etc.

Next up was Williamsburg General Store. They too, carried Wrapples. They also sold ice cream.

Next was time for lunch and just a little ways down the road we found the Williamsburg Snack Bar. There were a ton of cars outside, so we figured it had to be good.

Inside were brightly colored picnic tables and regular tables. It had a slight ocean theme and that must have subliminally made us order fish--fried clams and crab cakes. We were happy with the food, however, seeing the fish and chip, I may have to return to try that. Note to self: the cole slaw was good too.
In front of the store, we saw our first crocuses of the season. Amazing, since some of the waters we passed by still had some ice. This journey to the country stores was very picturesque among mountains, streams and we crossed over many bridges. It will be so pretty when more things start budding and it must be so gorgeous in the fall. I may have to repeat the trip then.
Our final general store destination was Old Deerfield Country Store.

We didn't spend  fortune. We each found a couple little things to pick up but we mostly enjoyed all the fun and beautiful things to look at.
To end up our trip, we stopped at Richardson's Candy Kitchen just a few houses away from the Old Deerfield Country Store. I found a candy that they make there that George likes that we haven't been able to find.

Not pictured, we ended up in Granby, CT and it was my first time to try the Grass Roots Ice Cream. (it was our dinner). I had German chocolate cake--so yummy!

Should you want to try our route and stop at all four stores, from Granville to Old Deerfield is almost fifty miles. It would make a fun Sunday drive, if anyone does that any more. A quicker way home would be to take the highways. For me, Huntington Country Store was my favorite.

Now I do have one more country store that I want to see--well, not so much the store itself, though it sounds pretty great, but for the awesome owner. It's the Marshfield Hills General Store owned by an actor who I find extremely entertaining, Steve Carell. I would love to get the opportunity to see him in person to thank him for providing so much humor in the world. That's 150 miles away--more than a day trip for us, so perhaps will have to be a weekend jaunt, perhaps to the Cape too.

So, if you like country stores, hope you enjoyed this excursion.

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