General Mercantile and Old Time String Shop is located right in the middle of Downtown Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas. The side of the building boasts a Coca Cola mural, and it’s become quite the picture spot for those in and passing through the town. But it’s what’s inside the walls that make the store so special.
“We might not be the only place left in America where a fiddle tune played by a pot-bellied stove is a regular occurrence and phone calls are still answered on an old wooden crank-box phone. However, we can’t help but wonder if there is another old general store that makes and sells banjos, flutes, and wooden spoons, and offers stringed instruments for sale along with things like washboards, hand-made brooms, oil lamps, mayhaw jelly, and tin toys. At the General Mercantile and Oldtime String Shop We don’t use a computer because our 1890’s cash register works fine and we don’t have air conditioning because there is usually a good breeze whipping through the windows. Come in and rediscover that life can still be simple, if you want it to be. The best things in life are free, but we can sell you a banjo and a cane pole.”
General Mercantile and Old Time String Shop is owned by Steve and Sheryl Hartz.
According to the couple, the store is made up of a little bit of everything. You can find old-school children’s toys, wooden spoons, knifes from the oldest knife company, brooms hand made by Sheryl, pottery, jams, jellies, string instruments, and flutes made from sugar canes.
Check out the video below of Steve with the flute:
They’re also an Old Time String Shop. So they not only make string instruments like fiddles and banjos, but they also repair them.
General Mercantile and Old Time String Shop is located at 216 East Pilar Street in Downtown Nacogdoches.
They’re open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesdays – Saturdays.
Check out their Facebook page here.