Archival Adventures in Small Repositories
Kooker's General Store Offers Quality, Service, and a Whole Lot More!
Some of the historical societies/ historic sites that Celia and I have recently visited are located in fairly rural areas of Bucks and Delaware Counties. So, it's not surprising that we've come across several collections that relate to local general stores, which had played a significant role in the life of these small towns and villages.
One example is the collection at Haycock Historical Society relating to the Frankenfield Store that was run by the Frankenfield family for several generations. Like many general stores, the Frankenfield Store also served as the town's post office.
Similarly, Kooker's Central Store in Dublin, PA, which also served as a general store and post office, played a central role in this small Bucks County borough.
The Dublin Historical Society is currently headquartered in the building that was Kooker's Store. Society members have preserved and turned it into an exhibit space that showcases what the store would have looked like in the early-to-mid 20th century.
Jacob M. Kooker purchased what was a residential property at the corner of Main Street and Maple Avenue in 1919 and turned it into a general store where he sold a variety of merchandise including dry goods, hardware, clothing, and shoes.
In 1923 Kooker was appointed postmaster and re-located the post office to his store, where it continued operations for over 50 years.
Dublin Historical Society has a collection of post office ledgers from 1880-1945
With only a few stores in town, Kooker's served as one of the places where Dublin residents could mingle and share local news and gossip for several decades.
The store closed its doors in 1975, shortly after the post office was relocated, as it was unable to compete with newer chain grocery and discount stores that popped up as the area experienced some suburbanization.
Besides materials relating to the post office and Kooker's store, Dublin Historical Society's archival holdings also include some Kooker family papers, records of the Dublin Mill Company, and a fair amount of original photographs, ledgers, and ephemera that document the history of this quaint town.
Kooker family photo album of tintypes, circa 1890
About the Author
Unless otherwise noted, all images in this blog post are property of the organization profiled, not the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. To reproduce any image or obtain a higher quality version, please contact the organization directly.