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. Still the center of the community, the Original Mast Store houses the Post Office and offers up a 5¢ cup of coffee. Traversing its creaking floorboards, you’ll find country gourmet foods, cast iron cookware, speckleware, old-fashioned toys, footwear for all walks of life, hardware, and even a pair of galluses, if you need them.
Make sure to wander back to what was once used as a potato grading room and a feed room to find the Mast Store Knife Shop. Opened in June, 2016, this shop within a store features 500 different knives - fixed blade and folders, culinary and tactical. You'll even find axes, machetes, and more. The staff members are well educated and ready to help you make the right decision for your needs and use.
Take a short walk right around the corner to our sister store Rivercross Made in USA. These hills provide inspiration to artists that are native to the area as well as those who move here. A number of the artists featured in this handmade destination live within a rock's throw of the front door, while others call the state and the southeast home. Rivercross is kid-friendly!
Just 2/10 mile down the road is the Mast Store Annex. Constructed as a competing general store in 1909, these two general stores served a thriving community.
Today’s Annex has an eclectic collection of clothing, outdoor gear to hit the trail, and a collection of candy that would make any dentist happy.
When the weather is warmer, wander back toward Dutch Creek for an ice cream cone. Serving popular flavors like Moose Tracks, Cookie Dough, and Cappuccino Crunch, it's a great way to cool off. All tips at Dutch Creek Ice Cream are donated to the Valle Crucis Community Park.
Mast Store Celebrates Earth Day Every Day
When the Earth Day movement started on April 22, 1970, no one knew exactly what was going to happen. Organizing protests and demonstrations relied mostly on word of mouth or passing out leaflets. The actions taken that day included teach-ins, where you could go to learn more about how everyday activities were impacting the planet, trash pick ups, and commuting using people power instead of cars. Listening to the raised voices at schools, on nature walks, and at public gatherings lead to laws and guidelines that cleared the air around Los Angeles of its infamous smog and cleaned up the Cuyahoga River from its days of burning because it was so polluted to an ecosystem that supports many wildlife species. To help do our part, the Mast Store is taking steps to reduce its impact on the earth.Read More
What's In Style for Spring 2018
We believe the cold weather is mostly behind us now, so we can actively look ahead to freshening up our wardrobes with new colors, patterns, and designs. While you won’t see any of the extreme fashions that wandered down the runway in New York, you will see many of the trends that are inspired by cutting-edge designers.Read More
Tips for Photographing Wildflowers
Poet Alice Oswald said about the season: "Spring, when the earth tilts closer to the sun, runs a strict timetable of flowers." As the earth is renewing itself, many of us are finding more time to spend outside. One of those is Heather, the Mast Store photographer. When she ventures out on hikes, she loves to capture wildflower beauty she encounters along the way. This week's blog features some of her tips to help improve your photography.Read More