Date Of Visit: January 14, 2017
Location: 12 Main St, Williamsburg, MA
Hours: Open daily, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Parking: There are about 5 parking spots in front of the store and room for about a dozen more cars in the rear parking lot.
Handicapped Accessible: There is a ramp on the side of thhe store but it may still be difficult getting through the entrance door.
Highlights: Daily baked bread and other baked goods, ice cream parlor, historical
Web Site: Williamsburg General Store
As a youngster, I used to love the family trips to New Hampshire and other far flung parts of Massachusetts. One of the sharpest memories I have are visiting the local general store (I especially liked the old time “penny candy”, funny how somethings never change).
A recent search on Google retrieved 3 general stores in the Western Mass area (basically west of Springfield, MA). While their numbers are dwindling, these shops still exist and I was lucky enough to find one in my travels in Williamsburg, MA.
Since the weather has been cold and the trails icy, we nixed our plans to hike some of the trails in the area. Luckily, the Williamsburg General Store was located near the center of town.
The general store has been a staple of the town for over 140 years.
The general store, built in 1876, still has the original furnace that was used with the fireplace that once stood in the front part of the store. I couldn’t help to think of all of the famous, and not so famous, people who had walked through the store before me. It’s also survived the Depression, recessions and, not least of all, New England winters.
The general store seems custom built for tourists. Memories rushed over me as I walked past the stuffed animals, t shirts with quirky sayings and other tchotchkes you would only purchase when you’re on vacation for some reason. It is deceivingly long inside.
The ice cream parlor area used to be a post office years ago. There is a table and chairs to sit down at and enjoy your coffee, ice cream or other treats. And the bread, pastry and other bake goods are baked fresh everyday by one of the employees who travels at least half an hour each way to work there.
It’s not dumb luck this store has lasted so long. The nostalgia, homey feel and pleasant staff make this place a great shop to stop by on one of your journeys to Western Massachusetts.