During the season you will find a knowledgeable store clerk to show you a very large collection of items commonly sold in country store in the Victorian era. All parts of the house and store are open.
Brothers Richard and Denis Clarke arrived at Orwell Cove from Ireland in 1856; and a few years later, they moved to Orwell where the elder brother, Richard, opened the General Store. Following Richard’s death, Denis assumed responsibility as the merchant until 1905.
At this small store customers purchased, often by barter, many items that they were unable to produce themselves, such as housewares, fabrics, bulk foods, kerosene, hardware, shoes and clothing, patent medicines, canned goods, gifts and novelties. Customers also brought eggs, oats, butter and even horsehair to the store where a credit was issued to their account. By 1900, railways and rural mail delivery had spawned over 400 small post offices across the Island, one of which is at the back of Clarke’s Store which Denis operated under federal contract.
Adjoining the store is the Clarke house with a kitchen that served as the center of activity where Clarke’s busy farm wife prepared and preserved food; made, mended, washed and ironed the family’s clothing; and attended to other needs. The kitchen wood-burning stove was used to prepare food and provide warmth on cold winter nights.