How much did it cost to build the Brettun and Black Store?
Welcome to Hampton. This community made the settlement of this region possible by providing fuel for steamboats and trains as well as a ferry crossing that transported settlers on their way West.
In the early days, it took weeks to travel between settlements where provisions could be restocked. In Hampton, there were several potteries, lumber and grist mills, pork packing businesses, and, of course, saloons. Hampton also boasted the first doctors and drug store in the region.
This area of the river was once rich with clams and fresh water pearls. In that day, coal mines, rail yards, river transportation and farming provided work for most local residents.
The Brettun & Black Mercantile Store, built in 1849, is a perfect example of the thriving hub of activity that was Hampton during that era. The Black Store was originally built for $250 and was the first location in the area with a fueling station and docks for steamboats.
The historic Galena Stage Coach made regular stops at the Black Store, which also operated as a post office and gathering place. At one time, eight barrel makers were kept busy by this one store. Local potteries sold their wares through the store and farmers bartered excess flour and produce for needed supplies. The building operated as a store until 1906.
Years later, Dorothy and Lester Stone of Stone’s Apple Barn on Hubbard Road, acquired the building and used it for storing fruit. About 30 years ago, the Stones gifted the old store to the Hampton Historical Society, which has restored it as an 1849 dry goods store and museum. The museum is now open on weekends from 2 to 5 p.m., May through October, and the Black Store hosts the very popular Apple Fest held annually in late September.