While my cousins were visiting a week or so ago, we took them to see a few special places in this part of Vermont. The draft of this post got overlooked so I never posted it while they were here. I thought I would post it now as I’m busy with designing my block and not actually getting any other quilting done right now.
I made a lot of progress yesterday and I think I have the block sample the way I want it. My hat goes off to those people who design quilt blocks all the time. I designed two applique blocks with ease, but designing a pieced block is more complex. Drawing the picture on graph paper is the EASY part. I can’t wait to show you but I want it to be a Red, White and Blue Blog Hop design special so we’ll all have to wait.
While we’re waiting, let’s visit the Vermont Country Store. Vermont Country Store is available online and also at two locations in Vermont, Rockingham and the original store in Weston. We visited the store in Weston.
To give you just a bit of history on the Vermont Country Store, it was started in 1946 and is currently celebrating 65 years of continuous business. Mr Vrest Orton came home from WWII and told his wife he wanted to start an authentic country store.
Mr. Orton was a frugal New Englander and wanted everything they sold to be useful, practical and make sense. The store still holds true to this principle and markets their company as “purveyors of the practical and hard-too-find”. I would add that they also are purveyors of nostalgia. Walking into the store is almost a walk back in time.
The pot-bellied wood stove and checkers game sitting on a barrel, a bit of the 1800’s country store atmosphere.
Mr. Orton saw the pot-bellied stove and checkers on a Chase and Sanborn Coffee advertisement and wanted that same country store look. There are soaps, cheeses, candies (lots and lots of what was penny candy when I was a child and now cost about 25 cents a piece), and other familiar items.
Your first view of the store as you enter
While the Vermont Country store carries modern items, well-made and useful, it also carries many things that were available when our parents were young adults and starting families. They have home remedies such as Cola Syrup which was for aiding in indigestion but also could be mixed with water for a tasty cola drink. They have Bosco – do you remember Bosco, the clown? I don’t but they have it there.
Bosco, chocolate bars and chocolate drink to mix with milk.
They have toys of olden days, games you don’t find other places anymore. How ’bout a LambChop puppet? Who remembers Shari Lewis and her friend Lamb Chop?
What about red-heel socks and the inevitable sock monkeys that have recently made a come-back?
Darling Sock Monkeys wearing Vermont Country Store t-shirts
Their upper shelves throughout the store display things from the original Country Store and they have displays throughout of items worn and used back in the early days of the Vermont Country Store. They have a Scale Museum in one corner now, new since we were there last.
Scales and more scales
High button shoes and hoops to support hoop skirts
Girls and women dropped this hoop down over their head, tied the ribbons around their waist and the hoop would sway as they walked, causing the skirts to swish and keep a lovely shape as they women walked.
I remember seeing this clock in some homes when I was a child, but we never had one at our house. The tails swings back and forth as the clock ticks.
Aging Hippie Bath Oils
Aging Hippie Bath Oil is on the shelf near the Monkey Butt Powder, Old Goat Pain Relief and Spring Chicken Muscle Rub. No one says store owners can’t have a sense of humor when they order their supplies…practical and useful remember.
Ice Box with soft drinks
This is an old-fashioned industrial size ice box. I remember my grandmother having a lovely wooden ice box at their hunting camp. A block of ice went into the top compartment and the foods and drinks in the lower compartment. Perfect for a place that had no electricity! The shelves of this ice box hold such things as Coca Cola and Moxie. Moxie, in case you are totally unfamiliar with it, is a drink developed by a doctor in Maine. You may never have seen it if you haven’t been to New England but I can tell you it was popular and is still sold. Lisbon, Maine holds a Moxie festival every summer and it draws a huge crowd.
Moxie with its distinctive label
Moxie is a soft drink that tastes less sweet than most soft drinks, but also tastes a lot more “medicinal”. I would say you either love it or you hate it. Most people I know hate it, but I do have two personal friends who adore the nasty stuff. It was originally used as a relief for nerves. The doctor mixed some water with it and then sold it as a drink. It’s still around today.
Of course, Coca Cola also developed by a druggist, is still around today.
Wooden Clothespins…they were developed in Maine too!
I took a photo of these socks especially for my quilting friends. You’ll be able to see why immediately.
Love that quilt-y design!
Mis-matched socks, purposely made that way.
These mult-colored socks are paired so that no two actually matches. You actually buy a set of three, not two. They are thick and colorful and …. expensive. $21.95 per set! I didn’t say the prices at the Vermont Country Store were set back 65 years ago!
Here’s a fiber rug/mat that appears to be made out of end from these socks, or perhaps those that could not be sold as sock sdue to defects. Rug: $89
You can thumb through the catalog (call 1-800-564-4623 to ask for a catalog to be sent to you) and see a small sprinkling of the items that are sold in the catalog that were popular over the years and still are available through VCS, perhaps ONLY through VCS.
100% cotton muumuus (flowing dresses)
100% cotton madras jumper
Seersucker house dresses
2″ wide comfort suspenders, red – black – tan – navy -gray
100% cotton floral printed hankies
35mm Kodak Camera ($39.95) Film $7.95 for 24-exposure
Classic 1960’s Slimline phones in green, red, beige
Fuller Brush mops
West Bend Commercial Toasters
Bean Frencher (cuts green beens into french style slices)
Aluminum Ice Cube Trays
Original Slush Mug
Black Jack Gum
Turkish Taffy candy
Copper Kettle fudge
Black Licorice in many varieties (one of my favs)
Cookie Buttons, many flavors as featured on Martha Stewart Living
Senate Bean Soup (says it is served in the Senate Dining room)
Latvian Smoke Sprats ( small herring fish)
Fine Mesh Hair Nets
Tangee Lipstick (long lasting – been around many years apparently)
Real latex Rubber Swim Caps
Chenille Bedspreads (Fringled Hobnail, Queen Victoria , Abigail Adams, floral, etc)
100 % Cotton Percale Sheets
Eileen West sleepwear, 100% finely woven cotton lawn
Lanz lightweight cotton sleepwear, found only at VCS
Vanity Fair sleepwear
Red flannel long-johns
Munsingwear men’s underwear, in business for 120 years
Lollipop 100% cotton underwear (for over 50 years)
Bay Rum Aftershave
Watertight Ice Bag (I remember seeing Lucille Ball use one of these on “I Love Lucy”)
Acai Berry chews
Pine Bros. Throat Drops
Witch Hazel Salve
Lanolin skin moisturizer
Tired Old Ass Soak
Sweet Almond Oil (Jackie Kennedy’s secret silky soft skin it says)
Frownies and Wrinkies (smoothes wrinkle lines while you sleep)
Tabu lipstick (stays right where you put it)
Neck and Chin Toning System
Pair Arm Wrap Toning System
White Shoulders cologne and powder
Aprege by lanvin
Evening in Paris
and the list goes on and on. Risk-free shopping; 100% guaranteed satisfaction.
You can actually hear some good chuckles walking through the store, and a lot of “oh, my, they still make that!”
I didn’t even start on the Candy Department-“penny” candies from our youth that now cost a quarter or more each; cheeses, cookies, dip mixes, spreads, jams, soda crackers, oh my! It’s fascinating to wander through! Lots of cheese sampling!
You want to know what I bought there right? I bought a small kitchen strainer, a slice of lilac soap, and a package of Smoked Vermont Cheddar cheese for DH.
We also stopped at Mildred’s across the parking lot. It’s a dairy bar with delicious-sounding flavors of ice cream. I had a maple soft-serve ice cream.
Mildred’s A Dairy Bar with lots of nostalgic items besides ice cream
Antique milkshake blenders and other items
Up on the shelf behind these blenders I saw a Scotch brand picnic cooler just like one we through away with cleaning out the DH’s aunt’s apartment ten years ago!
It really was fun. I go there several times a year, usually to take visiting friends/family and I never get tired of looking around!
I hope you enjoyed my tour through the Vermont Country Store! You can also check them out for yourself here.