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The Oldest Store in the USA... Perhaps!


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Explore the Old Country Store in Moultonborough, New Hampshire
Old Country Store Moultonborough New Hampshire Oldest Store in USA - Photo

The Old Country Store has been a fixture on what is now Route 25 in the center of Moultonborough, New Hampshire, since 1781.

© 2009 Kim Knox Beckius
Is the Old Country Store, located in the center of Moultonborough in New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee region, the oldest store in the United States? Unlike many New England establishments, which have no qualms about calling themselves the "oldest," "first" or "birthplace"--even without well-researched documentation to prove it--the Old Country Store's proprietors only go so far as to state that their retail store, established in 1781, is "perhaps" the nation's oldest.

There are other contenders for the "oldest store" title. The Fielding Lewis Store in Fredericksburg, Virginia, may be the oldest retail building in America: It was built in 1749. But the decrepit edifice, which is awaiting restoration, isn't a store anymore. The Brick Store in Bath, New Hampshire, claims to be "America's oldest continuously operated general store," but it can trace its origins only as far back as the early 1790s.

Regardless of these conflicting claims, it's safe to say that Moultonborough's Old Country Store is one of the oldest surviving and thriving commercial enterprises in the USA, and, as you'll see on this photo tour, it's even safer to say that it's one heck of a fun and nostalgic place to shop.

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