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hat did people do before shopping malls and box stores? There still aren’t any on the Vineyard—yet another great reason to spend time there—where you can treat your withdrawal with a visit to the 1858 Alley’s General Store, the oldest retail business on the island and self-described “dealers in almost everything.” There are groceries to stock your cottage or your picnic basket, hardware, housewares, candy, fishing lures, scrub brushes, even toys and books for the beach. Or just grab a cup of coffee and take a seat on the porch. And while the Internet has made it to the island, the bulletin boards at Alley’s are still the best place to learn about area activities.
Alley’s was founded by Nathan Mayhew, who, though blind, went to California in a failed search for gold. He opened the store on his return and it was run by several generations of Mayhews before being bought by an employee, Albion Alley, and renamed Albion Alley and Company in 1946.
Alley’s General Store
West Tisbury, MA, 02575
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Mid October through mid May, daily, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mid May through mid October, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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