Wexford General Store Antiques – History

Wexford General Store Antiques

150 Church Road

Wexford, PA 15090

Just off of the main road in Wexford, PA there sits an original building to the old town dating back to the mid 1850’s. This wooden structure has withstood the test of time both environmentally and economically. The business began as a simple general store and, as odds had it, has continued in a similar fashion throughout minimal ownership changes and has been passed down to one family ever since the antique store took over. Aside from its accomplishments and living history, the building holds heroic tales of hiding slaves during the Underground Railroad in hopes of allowing them to find freedom and a new life. Back then, the general store doubled as an apartment building to house those living and working in the store as well as the common visitor from time to time. Those living there or struggling to survive in the area during that time period may have left such a mark that they have returned to this spot in the afterlife. Stories, ever since the antique store’s inception, have been told and retold being passed down to family, employees, and visitors alike of strange occurrences and feelings within the former general store. These stories do not seem to go away as experiences compound over time and continue to grow to this day so much so that the current owners have invited physics and mediums into the building. These otherworldly occurrences bring the Underground Railroad and its horrors to life as the basement holds remnants of that time period in multiple forms. Odd visitations from both an older woman and a young boy seem to stretch throughout the entire building, particularly the second floor, as if searching for someone or something even after their passing.

 

 

The Past

As the young but thriving town of Wexford grew in the early 1850’s, there were a multitude of business ventures seemingly up for grabs. However, in that time period, the most lucrative (and somehow not yet established) would be that of a simple general store. The original general store was constructed along the main road, set back just enough to have a full governor’s drive situated out front for plenty of horse tie offs. Known as the Josh Cole Wexford General Store, the building housed a fully functional and nearly always stocked general store with goods readily available for the entire town on the first floor. Above, on the second floor, was a small apartment area for the owners and other family members who helped out in the store. Sometimes, this would double as guest quarters for weary travelers and welcomed visitors.

Throughout its early life, local legend tells that the building functioned as part of the Underground Railroad hiding runaway slaves from the south during the devastating Civil War. The owners were said to provide food and even horses for their escape. This did not always go well; as there were said to be some slaves, and horses even, that were murdered in cold blood by southern sympathizers. These stories have never been verified, simply a tale passed down.

 

 

The general store stood tall through the Great Depression but began to falter as its original owners retired. The business was passed through the family but ultimately closed its doors in the early 1960’s. The current owners came along and purchased the property and transitioned it into its current iteration of an antique shop in 1966. 

Jim and Marianne Marino turned the upstairs apartments into more open areas for antiques and created an addition allowing the building to occupy 10,000 square feet spread out between two buildings. Nearly every square foot is utilized to display and sell antiques along with artwork by over twenty regular dealers.

 

 

There is not much leftover as far as antiques go from the original building, aside from the building itself, except for an original lantern from the entry to the general store. This lantern is currently situated behind the counter as one of the irreplaceable and priceless antiques the owners have on display.

Wexford General Store Antiques truly pulls together a collection of history from the area between the building itself and the antiques that are housed inside its walls. Some visitors come for more than just the antiques, they also come to see the historical value of the building.

The shop is currently open to the public and have normal business hours. The store is open every day of the week from 10 AM – 5 PM and go live on Facebook every Tuesday night with live sales with Twig and Berry and broadcast throughout different parts of the store. Be sure to check out their page at @wexfordgeneralstoreantiques and their website at wexfordantiques.com!

Paranormal Experiences

As it seems with historically dated buildings and property, there would be no surprise to hear some stories that have been passed down in regard to some supernatural occurrences and otherworldly phenomena. These oddities seem to reflect the past’s drama and tragedies but mainly lend its hand to the Stone Tape Theory. This theory is most compared to a recording where the past events seem to repeat themselves but instead of a voice or tape recorder, the building and property function as this medium where the past events and energies are imprinted onto them, and they play back either randomly or based on some type of “play” button or reactionary moment. 

 

 

The current employees have experienced numerous occasions where they have seen or felt energies on the upper floor. These stories are repeated by visitors and tend to pinpoint two separate entities in that location. There is an older woman who appears and disappears on a whim all the while seeming to be searching for something and this points toward her losing a personal item to the antique shop – possibly something a family member sold or gave away after this woman’s passing. The second apparition spotted on the second floor is said to be a young boy. He has also been said to appear as though he is endlessly searching but instead of looking for an item, it comes across more of searching for a person. It is unknown who this could possibly be or who he may be looking for, but it is very possible that this is in relation to a missing or perished family member from the Underground Railroad era of the building.

In the neighboring property and, in particular the building, strange lights have been seen here moving all throughout the building. Even when the building is completely closed and locked up, passersby’s have made claims of these lights moving around as if someone is inside with a flashlight. As they alert the antique store and/or authorities, these claims are investigated and there is never anyone found inside nor anything out of place. It is unknown what this could be but there is nothing associated with or written about this location.

 

 

As the owners continued to investigate some of these anomalies, they were actually directed toward more of someone who could deal in the paranormal realm and contacted a local medium. This medium noticed the previous claims but could not identify these spirits, however, she was pulled much more toward the basement. In this spot, there were strong feelings of tragic and disastrous energies dating back to the Civil War era when the original building was constructed. This energy gave the medium certain feelings of former slaves escaping the south through the Underground Railroad and being chased, and possibly found, by their captors or sympathizers. It is still not fully known how many of these slaves’ energies have been recorded and stored here but it also seems to incorporate horses as this medium also heard horses whinnying and neighing as if frightened.

 

 

Between the known history and the verbally passed down stories, this building seems to hold a specific energy and draw. This energy has even drawn us in and given us odd feelings and sensations at one point in time as we visited the intriguing antique shop to simply shop even before hearing about the possibility of hauntings and tragic past associated with it.

During our brief, but effective and necessary pre-investigation visit and walk through, we captured some K2 meter activity which we were able to debunk about 50% of these. One of the more intriguing moments was when we strummed a guitar from the 1960’s, the K2 meter spiked twice. Another moment occurred on the first floor as we were taking a few pictures and the K2 meter jumped and we followed the movements to another location where it jumped once more. Is it possible we were following someone in this area? We’ll hopefully find out as we return this coming Friday night, March 18.

 

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