Over the years, Mast General Store has become as much a destination as it is a shopping experience. And Sevierville is all the better for it due to its close proximity to the Mast General Store in Knoxville, and its rather close proximity to another Mast store in Asheville, North Carolina.
With locations all over the Smoky Mountains, the Mast General Store is not only a fun step back in time but has become a traditional stop for visitors as they trek through the Smokies. Whether it be candies (which President Barack Obama was looking for during a recent stop at the Boone, NC Mast General Store), beverages, food, clothing or items to decorate the home that you maybe searching for, the Mast General Store is a great “shopping point” as you plan your next adventure in the mountains.
The Mast General Store’s origins go back to its first store in Valle Crucis, NC. The store was opened by Henry Taylor in 1883 who eventually sold a half interest in the operation to W.W. Mast in 1897. In 1913, W.W. bought the other ownership half. His vision for the store was for it to become a place where all his neighbors in the Valley could shop for anything they might need. Thus, the moniker: “If you can’t buy it in the Mast General Store, you don’t need it.” arose around in Valle Crucis. From plows to nails, cradles to caskets, W.W.’s store carried it.
The Mast General Store was eventually sold to an Atlanta doctor and an Appalachian State University professor in 1973. The National Register of Historic Places also honored it as “one of the finest examples of an old country general store.” Since then, The Mast General Store has grown and expanded by leaps and bounds. The Valle Crucis store is still the most rustic. Walking through the store, this is a building that has been added to and patched up over the course of more than a century. The floor boards have seen thousands of people of this valley trek through as they purchased the items needed for daily life in Western North Carolina.
- Valle Crucis, NC – established 1883
- Boone, NC – established 1989
- Waynesville, NC – established 1991
- Hendersonville, NC – established 1995
- Asheville, NC – established 1999
- Greenville, SC – established 2003
- Knoxville, TN – established 2006
- Columbia, SC – established 2011
The Valle Crucis location still has the bins of nails and bolts that were used a the business’ onset, as well as the same counters that have served customers for almost the entire time they have been in operation. Meanwhile, the merchandise has been updated so that you can also buy gear for your next hike. The newest location in Knoxville, TN has one of the best selections of outdoor clothing and accessories in the area with boots, outer wear, backpacks, sleeping bags and tents all available for purchase, and located just minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Boone store’s Main Street locale is nestled in beside some of the best local shopping and restaurants you’ll find on that side of the Smokies.
No matter what Mast General Store you’re in, they all have a few things in common. Kids will be able to buy glass bottle sodas from antique-style soda coolers much like your parents and grandparents did when they were growing up. Bins of candy align part of each store, ready for shoppers to fill their own bag with. Others will find those home decor items and cooking utensils that were once mainstays in the kitchen of yesteryear but have been replaced by newer technology. From tablecloths to toys, tin signs to kitchen tools, the Mast General Store is more than just a regional store; it’s a glimpse into a forgotten way of doing business and is truly a Smoky Mountain treasure.