Hidden Travel Gems: The Old Country Store and Emporium, Mansfield
Old County Store and
Emporium, West Mansfield, Massachusetts.
by Eric J. Hurwitz. Article updated on Dec. 31, 2016.
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When thinking of old New England country stores, Vermont
first comes to mind -- not the southwest suburban Boston town of
Away from all the high tech companies on Forbes Blvd., the modern
Mansfield Crossing (L.L. Bean, Kohl's, Best Buy, etc.) shopping
complex and the seemingly endless Mansfield suburban
neighborhoods resides the Old Country Store and Emporium, tucked away
in the more tranquil neighborhood of West Mansfield Village. Surrounded
by Colonial and Victorian homes, the Old Country Store, at first
glance, looks like a modest-sized country store that might sell a few
souvenirs and candles.
On the contrary, the Old Country Store is one of the largest country
stores we've been to in New England, comprising 12 rooms totaling
17,000 square ft. Items for sale include home goods and furnishings,
food (including sweets and freshly ground coffee, maples products,
Vermont Common Crackers and a peanut butter machine), toys, player
pianos, bird feeders, books, crafts, hardware, antiques and
memorabilia, an amazing collection of grandfather clocks, cosmetics,
and locally made furniture. They even have the old-fashioned pickle
barrels -- the ultimate proof that this is a real country store. Some
name brands include Hubbardston Forge, Nichols & Stone, Moosehead,
Acorn, Howard Miller, Baldwin & Yankee Candle -- but you'll also
find some great locally-produced merchandise, too. Yes, they do have
candles and souvenirs, also, but never dominates the innate country
store feel. In continuous operation for more than 175 years, the Old
Country Store is as authentic as they come in the genre of charming New
England country stores.
It's easy to get turned around, as the
architectural nooks and crannies go in every direction. There's even an
upstairs "attic" that looks like a cozy bedroom -- and sells, surprise,
beds, dressers and rocking chairs.
The Old Country Store also features a lamplighter section, where
customers can bring in their old lamps and have them repaired and/or
restored. Now that's a bright idea!
The most surprising element here is the great variety of furniture with
square footage larger than some furniture stores. The most heartwarming
section: the post and beam entrance with its long cashier's counter,
creaky wooden floors, an antique candy counter, homemade fudge section
and fine teas and jams. You'd swear you were in Vermont!
The Old Country Store and Emporium is about as good as it gets in
regards to country stores in New England, and it's not even remotely
located in a place you would ever expect one. The sights, sounds and
delicious aromas will thrill you, en route to a return to yesteryear.
The Old Country Store and Emporium is located at 26 Otis St. in West
Mansfield Village, Massachusetts. Tel. (508) 339-8128.
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