As you travel north along the Tatlock Road in Mississippi Mills, from Union Hall, past the Clayton Road, manoeuvring the scenic curves around Clayton Lake and across the Indian River, the road turns sharply to the left at a junction with Bellamy Mills Road – an intersection dominated by the Clayton General Store. local history buff Dave Murdoch, in his 2015 booklet marking the store’s birth in 1839, tentatively claims that “…the Clayton General Store has been in continuous operation for more than 175 years, which we believe makes it the oldest in Canada.”

The Clayton General Store’s old exterior today exudes an informal, mixed aesthetic, with a pop machine, lending library shelves, a post box, a variety of signs for ice cream, lottery and pizza, community notice boards and holiday lights hanging off the roofline. On the inside the store is warm, welcoming and unchanging. You are inevitably met with a valley greeting starting with “hey,” an endearing smile and an offer to help. The old screen door is something of a portal into a bygone age; the store, a celebration of tradition and community.

 

Artists At This Location

Chris and Shelley Armstrong    Proprietors