Established in the 1860s, Cumminger Brothers’ General Store was owned and operated by John Cumminger (1827-1892) and his brother Samuel Cumminger (1838-1879). John was also a ship builder and master mariner and had shares in lumbering and gold mining. In addition to the store, the brothers had a shipbuilding business situated between the store and the present-day boat building shop. Their company constructed the largest ship to come up the St. Mary’s River, weighing over 680 tonnes.
After John’s death in 1892, the store was willed to his wife Sarah Cumminger who then sold it to Campell McDaniel for $1,000. The store changed hands several times until the 1940s, when it was purchased by Grant MacDonald. In 1969, Sherbrooke Village purchased the store from Mr. MacDonald and restored it to its 19th-century state.
The store still contains many of its original features, including the stairs leading up to the Ambrotype Studio and the counters. One counter was found upstairs and the other was up the street in Frank Jordan’s old store. The countertops are made of yellow birch with newer additions from pine and assembled with wooden pegs.
On display inside the store are many artifacts typical of general stores of that era, including food boxes to hold goods available for sale; slates and slate pencils for school children; marbles made of clay; shades for all different types of lanterns; a tobacco cutter for chewing tobacco; a glass cabinet used for holding blocks of cheese; fish baskets made from cane; and Dutch-made cargo nets for loading and unloading items on the ships. Also on display is a photograph of the store taken in 1969, before restoration began on the building.