Perhaps one can go home. At least that is what Beth Armitage Muller is trying to do as she re-establishes the Vine Valley General Store. First opened in 1898, by Charles A. Robeson, it served the Vine Valley community on the shore of Canandaigua Lake until her family finally closed it in the 1980′s. After a leap of faith and months of planning Beth and her husband, Fred, will celebrate a grand opening on June 16th.
In its early years, the C.A. Robeson General Store was the hub of a thriving agricultural community. The fertile valley and surrounding hillsides produced fruit in abundance. For many years, the produce was transported to market via Canandaigua by steamboats. Over time Vine Valley transitioned to a resort community and home to many summer folks. The store continued to serve the residents with staples, newspapers, gasoline and sundries. Charles died in 1968; over the ensuing years the store was operated by his son and daughter, Walter and Caroline.
Through the 1960′s the little store provided a summer highlight for hundreds of Middlesex Valley Central School students attending swimming school at the Vine Valley beach. Every summer the school provided weekly swim lessons in the shallow waters off the sandy beach. Between lessons, one gaggle of wet kids at a time was allowed to go into the store and ransack the long display of penny candy. Precious nickels and dimes were turned over to Caroline or Walter in exchange for little paper bags of root beer barrels, bubble gum, and jaw breakers.