There’s not another old fashioned country store like Calef’s Country Store in the entire country, or for that matter, the entire world!
It All Started With A Farm
In 1869, just after the Civil War, Mary Chesley Calef mortgaged her family farm and pledged her savings to open Calef’s Store in the front rooms of her modest home in Barrington NH. Five generations of the Calef family operated Calef’s Big Store until the 1990’s, including Mary’s son Senator Austin Calef.
Rooted In The Community
Today the traditions endure as Calef’s Country Store serves the local community as well as visitors from afar. We still pump our own molasses and honey, cheese is aged in our cooler, and our smoked Ham is mouthwatering.
Walkthrough our doors today and take a step back to a simpler time, when customer service wasn’t a gimmick, but the way things were done.
The wood floors creak with stories of lore, our woodstove warms passersby, the aroma of fresh-baked bread and donuts entice even the healthiest of folks.
On Barrington Road, not far from Dover, You could hunt the whole world over To find the equal of Calef’s Store, With all its food and gimmicks galore. Here is a sugar barrel close by the cheese And fresh ground pepper, to make you sneeze. Right near the pickle barrel, lots of crackers; This combination has plenty of backers. Thick, dark molasses, sold in bulk: Children who taste it will never sulk. Home-made doughnuts, each with a hole, Taste mighty good, as over you stroll On to the counter where they sell meat That is cut and trimmed, ever so neat If you need a new mower to cut the grass You may find one draped with fresh “sass”. Now this is not all you will find in the store; Just hold your patience, there is always more. There are dresses and smocks and blue dungarees, To fit the young miss as tight as you please. Or, if you desire a villain to nip, Why not buy a long buggy whip? Watch for red onions, hung on a string, These are good for any old thing. And dark smoked herring is a tasty bit That cooked in cream will make a hit. If for ginger snaps you have a yen, Order some by word or pen. Whether it’s shoes or a catty nap, Come to Calef’s, you wont need a map They have fresh eggs equipped with a cackle. They even sell good fishing tackle. They sell a hundred loaves in a single day, Of homemade bread, and that ain’t “hay” A homemade turnover in fresh pineapple Will liven up Philadelphia scapple. On the Barrington Road, not far from Dover, You will find it pays to be a rover; For once you find Calef’s store, There you’ll trade for evermore!
By permission of New Hampshire Profiles and Author Leola J. Pepler