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“Far exceeded our expectations!”

Phelps General Store
Ranked #5 of 11 things to do in Palmyra
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Attraction details
Owner description: The museum "where time stands still," has served the needs of Palmyrans and Erie "Canawlers" as a boarding house, tavern, bakery, and general store since its construction in 1826. Proprietor William Phelps completed renovations to the store by 1875, subsequently left untouched by his son Julius, who locked the doors in 1940, leaving a curious retail time capsule for you and your family to explore. Upstairs you'll visit the elegant Phelps' family home with post-Civil War furnishings and Victorian splendor, unspoiled by electricity or indoor plumbing, where Sibyl Phelps resided until her passing in 1976! The haunting presence of the Phelps' 108 year legacy remains to this day. Hours: May-Oct, Tues-Sat, 10:30-4:30 Nov-April, Tues-Thurs, 11:00-4:00
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Far exceeded our expectations!”
Reviewed August 3, 2012

Phelps General Store is one of 5 properties included in the Palmyra Historical Society's Museums. A guided tour of all 5 sites starts at the Historical Museum on Market Street. Cost is $7 per person and tour takes about 1 1/2 hours. The first location includes several different rooms, on 2 floors, with different and interesting information and items of historical interest - local and otherwise. For example, there is a picture of Winston Churchill's grandmother - his maternal grandparents were married and buried in Palmyra. One room contains appliances and kitchen utensils used "back in the day." And there is much more. The guide points out some things of interest, but guests are encouraged to spend times exploring on their own. One item on display, which I found a bit creepy, was a wreath made of human hair, from all stages of a woman's life. 3 other properties are adjacent to the main building - a replica of an Erie Canal depot (town of Palmyra is located on the Erie Canal); a print shop, with all kinds of old printing equipment, typesets, etc; and the Phelps General Store. The Store was my favorite of the buildings. It was a grocery store operated for several years by the Phelps family, closed up right before WW II, to avoid rationing restrictions - most of the items in the store were there on the day it closed, including some eggs - fascinating! This building also has the house of the Phelps family - which was occupied until the 1970's by one of the women, who lived there without electricity, running water and with her 15 cats! Finally, about 1 block away, is the Alling Coverlet Museum, where we were shown a short video of the history of coverlets and were able to view 60 coverlets from the collection of over 200 (rotated yearly). This museum also housed original looms and a quilt exhibit, as well as a gift shop with reasonably priced unique items (e.g. pillows made from the worn coverlets - $22) I highly recommend a visit to these historical properties!

Visited August 2012
1 Thank G1032AJbarbarag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Historical Landmark”
Reviewed October 22, 2009

This place is awesome! If you like history and ghosts, you will love this! I visited there as a part of Spiritfest "09". Also, Valentown which was shown on SYFY's Ghost Hunters (TAPS). Got to meet Brian Harnois a former member of TAPS. It was a great time. The Phelps General Store is loaded with history and spirits. I suggest you check hours, etc. before going. It is a wonderful store, with authentic items, floors, etc. This past weekend, they even had a cemetary walk, which was fantastic too! So if you are in Rochester area, make sure to stop at Palmyra, and visit Phelps General Store, and Valentown in Victor

1 Thank disco50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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