Warm memories, quality goods & community spirit
Rope Bracelets and Family Ties
The 1856 Country Store
The picture-perfect, candy-red 1856 Country Store set among antique ship captains’ homes is a must-see for visitors in search of Cape Cod charm. Nothing says summer like rope bracelets plucked from the front counter basket and penny candy savored on the way home. Shoppers will also find an assortment of hostess gifts, cookies, greeting cards, and beach games.
The store’s homey atmosphere reflects the warmth of its owner, who welcomes returning generations each year. Lorraine O’Connor and her late husband, Dick, fell in love with the Cape and moved here with their five daughters in 1972. They bought the country store five years later because, as O’Connor says, “I just loved the people.” At 84, she still works full time on summer days and has lost neither her sweetness nor her enthusiasm.
In 1994 the O’Connors’ oldest daughter, Joanne Uchman, took over the day-to-day operation of the store. Uchman has maintained the quaint atmosphere while adding a diverse array of gift items, carefully balancing nostalgia and newness. Popular Facebook contests and constantly rotating merchandise also help draw customers to the store, she says.
One of the store’s most popular attractions—which might also be the village’s most-photographed spot—is strictly low tech: Two benches on the front porch labeled “Republican” and “Democrat” attract a constant stream of families and friends posing opposite one another. “When people ask where the Independents sit,” O’Connor says, pointing to the front yard, “I tell them, ‘The fence is right out there!’”
Sara’s favorite purchases: fragrant Cape Shore soaps with a colorful “soap lift pad” to keep the soap bar above water; Spikeball game.
555 Main Street, Centerville • 1856countrystore.com • 508-775-1856
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