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October 5, 2016
Stanley – Loved By Generations

stanley.jpgThough it’s made great strides in mass appeal over the past decade, the vacuum steel bottle is not a new product. Well over 100 years ago, a Massachusetts man, William Stanley, invented this ingenious bottle. With over 100 patents to his name, Stanley was a major inventor during the golden age of electric development. Thanks to this prolific engineer, we have the pleasure of enjoying our cold drinks staying cold and our hot beverages remaining piping hot due to Stanley’s ingenious all-steel vacuum bottles.

December 2, 2015
Christmas Cheer Then and Now in Winston-Salem

WINS-santa-3.jpgWhen Mast Store’s newest old location opened its doors in Winston-Salem this past May, we had the pleasure of meeting a woman with close ties to 516 North Trade Street. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Barbara Carter’s father worked in the building that boasted one of the largest retail and wholesale companies in the South: Brown-Rogers-Dixson (B-R-D). After her visit to our Mast Store grand opening in the very same building, Mrs. Carter wrote us saying, “It brought back fond childhood memories of my father and mother, both now deceased, bringing us to visit with Santa at the store.”

April 23, 2015
Crafting for the 21st Century

crafting.jpgIt used to be roots and herbs and crops and chickens that folks brought to the Mast General Store in historic Valle Crucis for trade. Today, the items "traded" are more along the lines of baskets, birdhouses, bread, homemade butter, and hand-turned bowls. Although the products may have changed, the intent is still the same - the Mast Store provides a marketplace for local and regional residents and artists to present the fruits of their efforts.

March 4, 2015
Remembering the Valle with Blanche Hodges Kohnle - Part Two

0315-alaina-drawdy-cox-valle-crucis.jpgReflecting on her own childhood, Blanche describes her dad, Clingman Hodges, as “the greatest musician”. He mastered the banjo, mandolin, and auto harp . Each morning, he’d awaken the children for school and their mother’s fresh made biscuit breakfast by picking a cheerful tune on the banjo.

February 24, 2015
Remembering the Valle with Blanche Hodges Kohnle - Part One

blanche-kohnle.jpgLast year, a beautiful, petite, and cheerful 96-year-old woman and her son stopped by the Mast Store in Asheville and visited with us for a while. Many Mast guests with rich histories and even richer stories pass through our doors every day, but this guest was particularly special because she holds the keys to the history of our beloved Valle. Valle Crucis – the birthplace of Mast General Store.

January 20, 2015
Sock Monkeyin' Around

sock-monkey.jpgLaVerna arrived for work in the Home and Hearth Department at the Asheville Store one morning and watched carefully as a woman casually walked through the store with two companions.

January 12, 2015
The Holidays Revisited

0115-mast-holiday-4.jpgFor my family, the holiday season isn’t complete without a reading of Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas In Wales”. Everyone’s favorite ornament on the tree is a wide-mouthed Santa who, when you squeeze his cheeks, offers a chocolate kiss. And each stocking gets a beautiful, large navel orange in the bottom of the toe, just like my Swedish cousins have done for generations.

August 22, 2014
Neighbors Helping Neighbors

whupabug.jpgWaynesville resident, Carl Hughes, is not the kind of fellow who backs down from a serious challenge. As a construction supervisor for Chevron in Angola, Carl was familiar with malaria symptoms, having suffered through it eight times during his many trips abroad. But when his co-worker’s daughter died from the vicious mosquito-borne disease, he was dumbstruck. During a one-month break at home, he resolved to create an insect repellant which would stop the spread of malaria. His research and experimentation led to the creation of Whup-a-Bug.

May 22, 2014
What Mast Means to You

gentsThis past June, one of our new Facebook friends asked us an excellent question. We posed her question to our 25,000 “friends on the internet” and were mightily touched by their answers. This blog captures what happened.