The Colvin Run General Store originally stood across Colvin Run Road, opposite the mill, where it served local residents from about 1890 to the mid-1940s.
Country folks did their everyday shopping at general stores like this one where they bought everything from galoshes to gingham. They also purchased things like rope, nails, and roofing; farm supplies like plow shares and clover seeds; and basic groceries like sugar, salt, oil, bread, yeast, and tea — occasionally splurging on more exotic items like lemons and cloves.
In its early years, the general store was also the local post office where people came to pick up their mail. And it was always the center of community life, a place for neighbors to meet, exchange news and swap stories. As one local woman put it, about twice a week her husband would “have to go up to the store and stay awhile.”
In the early 1970s, the Fairfax County Park Authority acquired the old store building and moved it to its present location where it serves Colvin Run Mill Historic Site’s visitors. Today, rocking chairs on the front porch still invite visitors to stay awhile.
Inside the store , you will find the tall wooden shelves and long counter, which were inside the store when it was moved, filled with old- fashioned candy and cold drinks; whole wheat flour and cornmeal ground at the mill; books, toys, souvenirs and seasonal surprises.