Sheffield Stone Store

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Preserving the Old Stone Store

store 1

The Old Stone Store with its handsome new "1901" facade.

What we’ve accomplished since June 2001

  • Frame addition razed.
  • Interior of building gutted, leaving only stone walls.
  • Concrete floor and new bearing walls around perimeter installed in basement.
  • Perimeter walls, floor/ceiling joists Installed.
  • Steel rods with turnbuckles installed to pull structure together.
  • Masonry repointed; windows rebuilt; lintels straightened.
  • West gable end, north and south fascia, and soffit repaired or replaced.
  • New cedar shingle roof installed.
  • New custom-made windows and rear door installed.
  • 1901 storefront replicated and Installed.
  • Septic system and propane tank installed.
  • Heating and air conditioning systems installed.
  • Rough wiring and rough plumbing completed.
  • Interior walls, insulation, and drywall completed.

With Town Hall in the backgound, the last of the wood addition succumbs to the wrecker.

1836 Advertisemant

Dear Friends and Neighbors, Your generosity is greatly needed to save the Old Stone Store, a circa 1834 structure on the Sheffield Green. This unique edifice, the oldest commercial building in town, sits directly in front of the 19th-century town hail and adjacent to the 18th-century Congregational meetinghouse. As such the Store holds a distinctive place, both historically and geographically, in our community.

The goal is to use the structure as an exhibit space, information center, and museum for the Sheffield area, a well-traveled Berkshire County gateway. The project is important for a number of reasons: It will enhance the Green; it will provide a place for residents and visitors to learn about contemporary and historic Sheffield and Ashley Falls; it will serve as a center for Information about venues in the area.

Many of you have noticed the work already underway at the Store. In June 2001 the Sheffield Historical Society secured a mortgage in the amount of$ 180,000 to begin the project. In July 2001 we initiated a campaign to raise $230,000, the total needed to save this landmark structure and pay off the mortgage. The response to date has been remarkable: Sixty individuals and businesses have given a total of$ 133,380. In addition, the Society has raised $10,000 through special events. We are appreciative of this early success. However, a gap remains, and that is why we are appealing to you. Won’t you help close that gap?

Help Preserve a
Piece of Sheffield's
History for Future

Pledges can be made over time, paid annually, semi-annually, or quarterly, in cash or stock. Perhaps your employer has a matching-gift program. Donations in honor of a loved one are appropriate also. The names of all donors, unless requested otherwise, will be displayed in the Store. We would like to see you among the supporters. No gift is too small.


Built of stone from the Hewins quarry and constructed by the Ensigns, the same family that built the upper covered bridge and the town hall, the Stone Store is the oldest mercantile structure in Sheffield. During its long life, it has housed the town’s first telegraph office, billiard hail, and barbershop, and it was the venue for numerous illegal liquor sales in the 19th century.

Newspaper articles from old copies of the Berkshire Courier list It also as housing town offices, a harness shop, drug store, meat market, millinery shop, and a fish, clam, and oyster establishment. Some of Sheffield's older residents will recall its use as Millie Smith's home when she first came to Sheffield, and others will remember It as Kersey's Market, where Santi Gulotta sold produce 50 years ago. Younger residents may recall its more recent uses as a wine store operated by Burbank & Humphrey in the early 1970s, later purchased by Charles and Mary Voos. It continued as a liquor store under the ownership of Doug and Mary Bauman. Mary's Place, in the rear of the building, was a popular lunch spot during their tenure. The Store's most recent incarnation was as the Mystery Café, operated by Jo Grossman. The property then came under the ownership of Berkshire Bank and finally the Sheffield Historical Society which is currently overseeing its restoration.


The Old Stone Store restoration Will feature a small garden at the back. The Society was awarded a $2,500 grant by the Lenox Garden Club to use toward creating this area, which will not only enhance the Store and the approach to the town hall but will also provide a space for small outdoor gatherings and displays. While the garden design has not yet been fmalized, it will include the cast-iron bell presently on the grounds of the Society Made In Sheffield, England, the bell originally hung in the tower of the Sheffield Methodist Church; it was recently given to the town by Tom and Cynthia Dixon. Other landscaping plans include some additions to the open area between the Store and the Congregational Church, tying the three historic buildings closer together aesthetically and offering a place for quiet relaxation.

What remains to be done

  • Install Interior trim and hardwood flooring.
  • Construct interior stairway.
  • Install bathroom floor (tile) and fixtures.
  • Complete security system installation.
  • Build access (handicapped) ramp, rail, and sidewalk.
  • Purchase and install electrical fixtures.
  • Complete interior and exterior painting.
  • Finish floor and stairs.
  • Purchase and install carpet on second floor.
  • Clean and repoint exterior masonry.
  • Craft and build custom shutters.
  • Design and construct custommade period exterior sign.
  • Install shelving, display cabinets, and other furnishings throughout.
  • Complete general landscaping.

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