mast general store - Annex

Mast Annex
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2918 BROADSTONE RD. BANNER ELK, NC 28604 Plus-code-icon665F+P5 Banner Elk, North Carolina

STORE HOURS

mon10AM - 6PM

tue10AM - 6PM

wed10AM - 6PM

thu10AM - 6PM

fri10AM - 6PM

sat10AM - 6PM

sun11AM - 6PM

A Friendly Neighborhood Competition

John Preston Arthur, local historian and author, wrote this elegant description of Valle Crucis in his "History of Watauga County" in 1915: "There is, perhaps, more interest in this place and its romantic history than in any other in Watauga County. …There is a dreamy spell which hangs over this little valley…" And he was right! The small community of Valle Crucis is North Carolina’s first rural historic district and is where you’ll find the Original Mast General Store and the Mast Store Annex.

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Story behind the store logo

One thousand acres of Valle Crucis was purchased in 1780 for the sum of a rifle, a dog, and a sheepskin. The Mast Store Annex stands on a parcel of that land.

 

General stores once dotted the rural landscape. Their locations were determined by those they served with distance between them being an easy walk of perhaps a few hours. Why, then, would two rather large establishments like the Watauga Supply Company and the Mast General Store be so close together? The community of Valle Crucis was teeming with activity. Travelers would come and stay for weeks at a time. It was located along the Caldwell & Watauga Turnpike linking the piedmont to Tennessee. It was near a terminus for the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad. The Valle Crucis Mission School was taking students and borders. In other words, there was a lot of business.

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One thousand acres of Valle Crucis was purchased in 1780 for the sum of a rifle, a dog, and a sheepskin. The Mast Store Annex stands on a parcel of that land.

 

General stores once dotted the rural landscape. Their locations were determined by those they served with distance between them being an easy walk of perhaps a few hours. Why, then, would two rather large establishments like the Watauga Supply Company and the Mast General Store be so close together? The community of Valle Crucis was teeming with activity. Travelers would come and stay for weeks at a time. It was located along the Caldwell & Watauga Turnpike linking the piedmont to Tennessee. It was near a terminus for the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad. The Valle Crucis Mission School was taking students and borders. In other words, there was a lot of business.

Built in 1909 of locally harvested American Chestnut, pine, and maple, the store was originally called the Watauga Supply Co. and was owned by R. L. Lowe. The very next year C.D. Taylor and Dr. Henry Perry purchased the business and re-named it Valle Crucis Company.

The shelves were lined with groceries, toothpicks, flypaper, castor oil, brogans, piece goods, overalls, suspenders, hats, and liniments. Under the counters, barrels filled with dried beans, rice, salt, sugar, and lard were stored waiting for shopping lists to materialize to be filled. There was also hardware, nails, saddles, harnesses, and horseshoes stored in the side rooms, along with some of what would be taken in trade—eggs, chickens, wildcrafted roots and herbs, butter, nuts, and hides. It was friendly competition and each store, the Mast Store and the Valle Crucis Company, varied the stock so as not to directly compete head to head.

In 1914, R. A. Farthing, fresh off a course of study at the Draughn’s Business School of Knoxville, was hired to manage the store and later bought part interest in the business. He was also named postmaster in 1928 and continued in that capacity until 1963. The store was a family affair with his brother, Ben, his wife, Hazel, and children Ray, Glenn, Mary, and Katy all lending a hand.

The Farthing Store, as it came to be known, remained in the family as an evolving general store until 1952, when R.A. retired from the business. It went through a series of owners until one of his sons purchased the building in 1957, and all of the inventory was converted to furniture. After R.A.’s retirement as postmaster, the store became M & R Antiques. During its time as an antique store, it provided some props for the movie “Where the Lilies Bloom,” which was filmed on location in Watauga County including one scene at the Mast Store.

The store was closed completely for a period of time in the 1970s and early ‘80s, and since 1982 has housed the Mast Store Annex and The Candy Barrel.

 

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Plan your visit to The Annex

The community of Valle Crucis is the state’s first rural historic district. Winding out its curvy road passed pastures, barns, and the Watauga River will slow you down just enough to enjoy some time in the catbird seat on the back porch of the Original Store or by the river at the Annex. While you’re there, take a little time to discover the galleries, farms, restaurants, and B&Bs just around the corner.
The community of Valle Crucis is the state’s first rural historic district. Winding out its curvy road passed pastures, barns, and the Watauga River will slow you down just enough to enjoy some time in the catbird seat on the back porch of the Original Store or by the river at the Annex. While you’re there, take a little time to discover the galleries, farms, restaurants, and B&Bs just around the corner. Read less ...
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LOCAL FLAVOR

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blogs

FROM OUR BLOG

  • September 26, 2023 6 minute READ
    Tastes of the Season: Fall Farmers' Markets

    Tastes of the Season: Fall Farmers' Markets

    Fall is here! The bridge between summer and fall is full of delicious possibilities: the last heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn linger, pears and sweet potatoes start to arrive, and more apples than you can name can all be found at your local farmers’ market. ...read more

    tags Local Flavor | Gardening | At Home

    locations Asheville | Annex - Valle Crucis | Boone | Columbia | Greenville | Hendersonville | Knoxville | Roanoke | Original - Valle Crucis | Waynesville | Winston-Salem

  • July 6, 2023 20 minute READ
    Celebrating the Year of the Trail in North Carolina

    Celebrating the Year of the Trail in North Carolina

    In 2021, House Bill 554 was introduced and easily passed in the North Carolina House of Representatives. It designates 2023 as North Carolina’s Year of the Trail with the aim of encouraging North Carolinians (and visitors) to use and enjoy the trail networks that are available locally and regionally and to celebrate the groups who create and maintain the trail systems. Of course, we wouldn’t want you to be in violation of the law, so we’ve put together a listing of some of our favorite trails in North Carolina for your reference.   ...read more

    tags Adventure | Inspiration | Local Flavor

    locations Asheville | Annex - Valle Crucis | Boone | Hendersonville | Original - Valle Crucis | Waynesville | Winston-Salem

  • May 28, 2023 4 minute READ
    All the Colors of the Mountain: A Springtime Wildflower Hike

    All the Colors of the Mountain: A Springtime Wildflower Hike

    The singer Sheryl Crow once said, “No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.” She’s right, of course. Blossoming amidst the occasional chaos of our lives, wildflowers are a reliable gift every spring. ...read more

    tags Adventure | Inspiration | Local Flavor

    locations Annex - Valle Crucis | Boone | Original - Valle Crucis

area-events

AREA EVENTS

Feb 24, 2024

Event:
Winter King Street Farmers' Market
TIME:
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Place:
252 Poplar Grove Rd

Mar 01, 2024

Event:
First Friday Art Crawl
TIME:
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Place:
Downtown Boone
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