This building was found on property formerly belonging to John Pliny Crysler, the builder of Crysler Hall. General stores were an integral part of the life of the villages of Upper Canada, handling most of the needs of a local population. In fact, they functioned as small department stores. The shelves inside this store are designed to show the wide variety of goods that were available at the time of Confederation, such as dress material and trimmings, tea and tools, sugar and spices, pots, pans and patent medicines.
The storekeeper often acted as the village postmaster. Until the coming of the stage-lines in the 1830s, the mail service along the "front" was slow and infrequent. It was important that the storekeeper understood the needs of the townspeople and farmers, for they relied on him to import all the goods they might need throughout the year. It was also essential for the storekeeper to be able to extend credit for up to a year at a time, as it was common for farmers to pay all their bills in the fall, after harvest.
Visiting the store was a feast for the eyes and nose, as customers were treated to a wide variety of shapes and colour on the shelves, as well as the smell of spices, foodstuff and leather goods.