End of the Commons General Store, Mesopotamia
This landmark along the western edge of Trumbull County draws locals and travelers alike. When you go, be sure to buy a fry pie (or three).
Peter Schaden’s general store holds the distinction of being the oldest in the state. Originally built in 1840, End of the Commons General Store was once the centerpiece of the rural community of Mesopotamia. In many ways it still is, as locals and tourists alike regularly visit. There’s even a 14-foot-tall horse-and-buggy sculpture out front that serves as a reminder of the Amish communities that call the area home.
“Back in the day, the general store was everything to the town,” says Schaden. “You would come here to get your mail and your hair cut. You could also pick up groceries, hardware, clothing, and they even made caskets in the basement.”
Today, locals stop by to pick up household essentials and travelers visit for the retro penny candies, fry pies and Amish meats and cheeses. Vintage items displayed throughout the store give a flavor of the long history of this local landmark.
“We have many antiques over the years from the 1840s that didn’t sell or maybe were overbought,” says Schaden. “Back then, they didn’t throw anything away, they just kept storing it ... We took all of those out and we have that merchandise hanging from the ceilings or displayed on top shelves.
One of the antiques inside on display is an old barber’s chair occupied by a character named Mr. Chafee, named in honor of one of the store’s original owners. The penny candies come with antique pricing, too. Twenty-five different varieties actually sell for one cent.
“I remember coming here as a kid and getting penny candy,” says Schaden. “We see different generations of families that have brought their kids and grandchildren here.”
A more recent tradition is the End of the Commons General Store’s fry pies (an Amish dessert pastry stuffed with fruit filling), which are made fresh daily in the back.
“They are by far one of our most popular items and we have been making them for about eight years,” says Schaden. “We make them every single day and we are making hundreds.” 8719 St. Rte. 534, Mesopotamia 44439, 440/693-4295, endofthecommons.com