We love visiting the various Mast General Store locations as we travel around the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. In particular, we really enjoy the ones in Waynesville NC, Asheville, Boone and Hendersonville.
We were yet to visit the original Mast General Store location in Valle Crucis NC. We had some extra time during a recent cold and snowy visit to Boone and Blowing Rock and decided to head over to see the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis North Carolina. The old store exceeded our expectations!
The Original Mast General Store Location
Today, there are a number of Mast General Store locations in both North and South Carolina. You'll find them in major Blue Ridge Mountain towns and cities like Asheville, Boone, Waynesville, and Hendersonville NC, just to name a few.
But in 1883, there was only one, and it was located in the small town of Valle Crucis North Carolina, not far from Boone and Banner Elk North Carolina.
The original Mast General Store opened in 1883 as The Taylor General Store. Owner, Henry Taylor sold half of the interest in the store to W. W. Mast in 1897. The store became Taylor and Mast General Store until 1913, when W.W. Mast purchased all of the flourishing store, and the sign became "Mast General Store".
The Mast family ran the store for the next 60 years. W. W. was well known for saying "If you can't buy it here, you don't need it." Mast General Store carried everything that local neighbors required, from plows to cloth, to cradles and even caskets.
Mast General Store is named to the National Register of Historic Places, and is an existing and operating old country general store. As you walk in the door and step onto those creaky old wood floors, your visit to this historic store will take you back in time.
Where is the Original Mast General Store?
The original Mast General Store is located in the small community of Valle Crucis North Carolina, just a short drive from Boone and Banner Elk North Carolina.
Video of our visit to Mast General Store
Visiting and Shopping at the Original Mast General Store
During a recent visit to Boone and Blowing Rock, for the Tweetsie Railroad 2022 opening, we decided to take, what turned out to be, a snowy drive over to Valle Crucis NC, to visit the original Mast General Store.
The drive into Valle Crucis turned out to be absolutely beautiful. Snow started falling as we went through Boone, and progressively started snowing harder and harder as we approached Mast General.
Here's a video of us driving into Valle Crucis with it snowing, from our TikTok channel.
@blueridgemountainlife Snow in Valle Crucis NC #fyp #nature #vallecrucis #boone ♬ Snow - Relaxing Classical Piano Music
Siri actually took us to The Mast General Annex first, which as we pulled up, we knew something didn't look right. To be honest, we didn't even know about the Mast General Annex, which was very busy.
Turns out, the Annex was a competing store, that Mast bought out. Today it contains hiking gear, and enough candy to drive 10 dentists out of town. If you're looking for candy for the kids, this is your stop.
We headed on down the road to the original Mast General Store, which is just a short distance away from the Annex. Snow continued to fall, and it was beautiful.
While there are a small number of parking spots in front of the store, there is a much larger parking area behind it. We parked behind the the store and used the rear entrance, which had a really nice old fashioned deck. The store location is much larger than you think from the road, and also has a number of out buildings, including an old school. house and barn.
As we got out of our vehicle, it continued to snow. We felt like we were in a living post card with the snow falling around the old store.
The original mast general store is big, much larger than we anticipated given our visits to other Mast General Store locations. Evidence that the store grew and was added onto over the years is clearly evident as well, given the different "rooms" the store has, along with a full upstairs area as well.
Shopping in the Original Mast General Store
As you walk in, you'll see the check-out counter on your left, and ahead of you, barrels full of candy, and aisles with shelves full of merchandise. The goods for sale are a mixture of Mast General branded items like pickles, jellies, and jams, other branded "old fashioned" merchandise, and even more modern items.
A few notable items on the first floor are the the huge old wood stove in the center, the old fashioned soda coolers, and the post office boxes, and postal area.
As you walk around, the wood floor creaks, and you'll find numerous items of interest for sale. They even have screws, nuts and bolts, tools, and more, just like you would expect in an old general store.
We spent a good hour browsing both upstairs and downstairs, and even went into the shoe and boot area, where they have an impressive selection of shoes and boots.
You can also visit the operating post office, sit down and play a game of checkers with bottle caps, AND grab a 5 cent cup of coffee - Yep, just 5 cents. Or just sit on the back porch, enjoy the mountain views, and relax.
The upstairs area of Mast General has toys, outdoor items, and even toys and items for dogs and cats.
We ended up purchasing a few items while we there. I'm a pickle fan ... ok, maybe I'm pickle obsessed, I love trying different pickle varieties when we visit new places. Mast General has their own brand, and they have all the basic styles, dill, bread and butter, and even spicy pickles. I grabbed jar of dill and some spicy pickled "beet balls". Both were incredible.
Mast General also had a really nice selection of premium cast iron, so we purchased a griddle and a large frying pan. We also grabbed a few ice cold sodas from the old fashioned coke coolers, and some snacks as well.
All of the staff was super-friendly, and very helpful.
Outside the Store
To be honest, we just expected the store itself, but there are a few outbuildings, one is an old school house that houses a clothing store and restrooms. You'll also find an old barn, and some farm items as well. Across the street is an old home.
We really enjoyed our visit to Mast General Store in Valle Crucis. For both Jenn and I, it was like going back in time to when we were kids, and our parents and grandparents would take us to the local general stores in our home towns, creaky floors and all.
We highly recommend visiting the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, spending time exploring the grounds, and of course the store. Oh, and be sure to grab an ice cold RC and a moon-pie! Tell them Blue Ridge Mountain Life sent you!