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Steve Carell, actor, comedian,….preservationist?

April 7, 2010

Chatting with David Letterman on “Late Night” last pm, Steve Carell took a break from plugging his new movie with Tina Fey, “Date Night,” to reveal that he owns a General Store.

You can go there and buy penny candy or a muffin, he said, or mail a letter at the little post office inside. That is, if you are one of the few people in the world who still writes letters. He admitted he has no expectations the venture will ever make money.

The Boston Globe quoted Carell in January, right after he purchased the store:   “I saw an opportunity to help to preserve a little piece of history,” Carell said in an e-mail.  “I also felt that places like the Marshfield Hills General Store represent a gathering place, and give people a sense of community.  These spots are growing more and more scarce.  I hope to keep this particular one alive and well.”

Carell’s sister-in-law will run the store, built in 1858, and his brother will be the supervising architect for the building’s restoration.

Well done, Mr. Carell.   Yes, yes you are adorable.  We adore people who love special places and make efforts to preserve and protect them!  Carell plans to work at the store this summer, so stop in for your penny candy supply and say hello.

Check out the Letterman chat here.

A less charming version of Mr. Carell talking about the general store with Dave in a later interview (plugging that penny candy) can be seen here.

Harrisville, New Hampshire, has a General Store preservation story (but without a humorous celebrity).  To preserve the idyllic 19th-century textile mill town (a National Historic Landmark district), local residents and preservationists formed Historic Harrisville, Inc. with the goal of preserving the town as a working community.

Their preservation efforts emphasized adaptive reuse of the buildings, a system of legal preservation covenants, historic district legislation, and revolving loan funds for restoration.

The 1838 Harrisville General Store is leased to a mother and daughter who make delicious food emphasizing local, in season produce.  You can sip coffee, read the paper, eat a great meal, surf the web on  free wi-fi, pick up groceries, or shop the shelves of  merchandise for an ideal gift.  Their verve and spirit continue to make the General Store a community asset in the 21st century.

Do you know a General Store preservation story?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. jaleh permalink
    April 7, 2010 9:01 pm

    I love places like this. Good for SC

  2. Sabra Smith permalink*
    April 7, 2010 9:16 pm

    I agree, Jaleh. General Stores always make me want to buy the paper and a jug of cider. That or get a part time job there and sweep the floor, restack the apples and sell kooky art. Oh, and mustn’t forget the penny candy. Must sell penny candy.

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