Open W-F, 12-4pm, Sat 10am-2pm | (860) 364-5688

Open W-F, 12-4pm, Sat 10am-2pm | (860) 364-5688

The Prindle Store

On the 23d of February, 1810, Cyrus Swan, Esq., sold a small piece of land to William Taylor, calling it a quarter of an acre and bounding it on the east by Sharon Street, on the north by the Valley Road, and south and west by Charles Elliott and Christopher Champion, Hatters. No mention is made of buildings on it at that time. Taylor kept it for ten years (1820) and then sold it to Hezekiah Goodwin, with a dwelling upon it.

Two years later (1822) Goodwin sold it to Charles Elliott, giving the same description, but calling it a half acre, more or less. Elliott had it for thirteen years, and then sold it to Samuel J. and Mark Prindle (1835), with all the buildings upon it. John Cotton Smith had a mortgage upon it at that time, and in releasing it to the Prindle’s called it a third of an acre with a dry goods store and other buildings on it.

This is the first mention of the store, which was probably built during Elliott’s ownership. Dwight St. John, our oldest living authority says the Prindle’s built the store for Charles Elliott. As the Prindle brothers were builders, this statement is doubtless correct. Nothing is shown that Mark Prindle was a partner with his brother Samuel J. in the mercantile business, but that Samuel J. was a merchant, is shown by his books, which are still in possession of his daughter, Miss Ruth Prindle, the present owner of the Prindle Homestead (1915).

Some time before the year 1860 Mr. Prindle leased the store to George H. Chase. On the margin of the map of Sharon, made in 1853, the store is shown with the sign, ‘George H. Chase,’ across the front, where it remained until 1860, when Prindle sold the store property to Gillette Brothers.

The map of Sharon also shows a smaller building standing within a few feet of the store, which Charles M. Prindle, son of Samuel J., the merchant, says his father built for an office, and that he afterward kept store there in a small way. When Prindle sold to the Gillette’s he described the south line as having a jog in it, thirteen feet and an inch from the southwest corner of the “old store.” The term old store implies that another and newer store was standing near the old one.

Records show that Elliott’s Hat Shop, stood fronting on Sharon Main Street, and four feet south from the land he sold the Prindle brothers, which places it on the exact spot where Mr. Prindle built his new store.

The new store, as we may now call it, was put to many uses after Mr. Prindle retired from business. Samuel Roberts, and old time resident of Sharon, and who has a wonderfully retentive memory, says James Orr, a lawyer, had his office there and kept the post office in it. Then Col. Jenkins became post master and put his brother, William, in charge, at the same place. Eliakim Stoddard, Esq., next occupied it as a law office and post office, and after him came Walter Patterson, another lawyer who kept the post office until 1865, when it was removed to the Gillette Brothers Store.

I believe the next to occupy the Prindle store was Samuel Wheeler, from Westport, with a stock of clocks, watches and jewelry. Peter Liner, a shoemaker, was the next. He kept his shop in the rear room, and had ice cream and soda in front. It was with him that Peter J. Kenny began his mercantile education. After Liner came Ford Cole, who kept a line of groceries in connection with drugs. Then came Dr. W.W. Knight and Charles B. Dakin, with drugs and groceries. Under the firm of Knight and Dakin, the business so increased that the building had to be added to. In a short time they again outgrew their accommodations, and Dakin sold out and went across the street to more commodious quarters in Reed’s Store. The doctor remained until 1904, when on account of failing health he gave up business altogether. Clarence H. Eggleston succeeded him, and has since conducted the drug business there.

The store itself has met with many changes during the time its many occupants had it. One, if not more additions were put on the west end, and finally the owner, Miss Prindle decided to build anew. The old store, with Dr. Knight and his stock of goods in it, and with John B. Smith as driver, set out on a journey across the yard, to remain until the new store was ready. The doctor and the original building survived the journey, but the additions and the goods that were in them fell by the way.

The building as we now behold it was put on the old location. At this time, 1914, Clarence H. Eggleston occupies the first floor and basement with his drug equipment, while Miss F.S. Knowles has a fancy goods store and living rooms on the top floor.

The Eggleston Drug Store at 147 Main Street.

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