The General Store was built in 1835 at the substantial cost of $7000. The store was designed to attract patrons not only from the town but from the surrounding community. Shipments returning from New York brought back all sorts of goods and commodities not readily accessible in the local community. The store also included a drug store, an elevator, and a Post Office. The elevator was used to carry goods, not people, to the upper floors and worked on a series of pulleys. The Post Office sent out and received mail once a week. (In December, you can still send your mail from the Allaire post office.) The cellar was where meat, fish, molasses, and coarse groceries were sold. The first floor was the location for the drug store, Post Office, and sales of dry goods, hardware, light groceries, ironware, wines, flour, and meal. The second floor was crowded with furniture and unpacked merchandise. The top floor was used for storage of grain and other goods. Garden produce and milk from the Work’s farms were also sold at the store. Today the first floor is still used as a store. One side near the entrance is decorated to appear as it might in the 1830s featuring historic style goods. The second half is the museum Gift Shop which showcases American Made products and goods. All proceeds from the General Store goes back into the supporting the Historic Village at Allaire. Please visit the Allaire General Store’s facebook page for information about special seasonal items.
We know the names of a few of the store clerks from the 1830s. They include William Forman, John R. Bergen, Benjamin H. Fielder and William Good. Benjamin LaFetra was the Head Clerk for the Howell Works which would have included keeping the records for the General Store and the iron industry business as well.