The General Store and Cafe is not really a General Store.

You can’t buy barbed wire, bullets, hard candies scooped from an oak barrel. There aren’t bags of flour to load into wagons, fishing hooks or Doctor Edward’s best elixer to cure aches and pains in all places.

The Hillsboro General Store and Cafe has food and gifts and memorabilia. There are ancient fans dropping from high ceilings, glass bottles and posters, an old manual cash register that still works, a funky front door that opens with a little latch bandaged up with white tape like a patient in an emergency ward.

This morning town residents and visitors sip coffee, chat, tell stories, use free wi-fi.

Breakfast is good and there is something comfortable about a place where everything is older than you are. This is a community but John tells me it is nothing like the old days when people watched out for each other, kids raised hell within limits, and a favor was always repaid. When John’s wife, Susan, wants to call the kids she has to drive out of town on a hilltop by the graveyard to get cell service.

The General Store and Cafe, in operation since 1879, will go on longer it seems, until no one wants to open up and light the stove.

With over a hundred years of life here, you can feel  ghosts.

If this place makes it another hundred it will most likely look just like it does now.

The sun fights hard to get through single pane windows that haven’t been washed on the outside since the last rain.

 

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