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Mast General Store
The Mast General Store in Valle Crucis and downtown Boone ...
The Mast General Store & Annex in Valle Crucis
The Mast General Store is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the High Country. Since John and Faye Cooper re-opened the closed Mast Store in 1980, the business has become a "destination" (as said by the late Charles Kuralt) for thousands of Boone area visitors. The business has grown to include an Annex (also in Valle Crucis), The Boone Mercantile in downtown Boone, and stores in Waynesville NC, Hendersonville NC, Greeneville SC and Knoxville TN.
The original store was opened in 1883 by Henry Taylor. In 1887 he sold half interest in the store to William Wellington Mast and the store became the Taylor and Mast General Store. Mast bought Taylor's half in 1913. The Mast family sold the store in 1973 and it was closed in 1977. There were several efforts to save the store and the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places during this time.
For many, the "real" Mast General Store is the original one in Valle Crucis. Valle Crucis is a picturesque area along the Watauga River in western Watauga County which has become very popular for retiring and second-home residents, many of whom had their first experiences in the area at the Mast Store.
Valle Crucis roads fill with tourists in the summer and in October when the leaves change color. For the rest of the year it is a relatively quiet part of the County.
While the Mast stores carry many souvenir or memorabilia items, they also carry many practical goods like hiking boots, t-shirts, hats, and food and accessories for hikers and campers. They have successfully straddled the line between tourist attraction and functional general store.
The Original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis located on Hwy 194. Just follow the signs. Their phone number is 828-963-6511. They are open Monday - Saturday 7 am - 6:30 pm and Sunday Noon - 6 pm .Their winter hours may vary. Their GPS Coordinates are N 36.12.598, W 081.46.859
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