For centuries, the "general store" has been the cornerstone of our communities.  Of course, these days, we typically call them community stores or community markets, but they serve the same purpose.  They sell a variety of general merchandise.  Everything from drinks, to snacks, to cigarettes, to lottery tickets, to automotive fluids, and convenience foods.

In some smaller towns these stores allow a person to get what they need without having to drive five or ten miles to a bigger town.

Some people would say that it is a real tragedy when one of these stores close.  This is especially true when the store has been serving Maine for over a century.  That is exactly what is happening in the coastal Maine town of Blue Hill.

According to an article in the Ellsworth American, the Merrill & Hinkley General Store, which has served the Blue Hill area since the 1800s, will soon close for the last time.

John Bannister, the current owner of the store, says there is no firm date on when it will close, but they are in the process of reducing inventory.  John took over the store from his father.  Sadly, his two sons do not want to take over the business from their father.

Once the store has closed for the final time, Bannister plans to clean out the building and put it up for sale.  However, the article explains that it may be a few years before he is ready to sell.

What the store offers has changed a lot over the years.  For example, at one time, the store rented TVs and VCRs to people vacationing in the area.

You can read some of the stories of the store HERE

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