Thirty-some years ago, when on a date with my now husband, I passed through the front doors of this old general store. Upon entering the double doors, it was easy for me to pretend that it was 1894 and that I was on a trip to town for flour, sugar, salt, dry goods, and tea. Creaky wooden floors, worn and scuffed by dozens of cowboy boots and high-top shoes, formed the base for displays encased in glass and topped with worn, wooden counter-tops. Oak barrels filled with ice and jars of soda pop stood by door and counter. Shelves filled with staples for the kitchen, dry goods and trims, candles and lamp oil, and more were out of reach, making one depend upon the clerk to assist in finding exactly what was needed. Farm implements, lumber, and mining supplies filled the corners and the yard. A general store, this Soto Brothers & Renaud merchantile met the needs of many in this once busy ghost town. Gold no longer brings people to the mine on the hillside across the street, but a myriad of visitors still grace its steps and stoop, seeking the opportunity to step back for a moment in time.
Although the Pearce General Store is no longer open to the public, I feel blessed that I was once able to visit it at a time when it was still a functioning general store. Sharing a soda with Brent, we were able to share in a moment that took us back in history. In surroundings such as this, it wasn't difficult to imagine we were living in the gold rush days.
Pearce General Store, Pearce, Arizona