Jack’s Country Store and Ocean Park are anything but usual.  Visit the 126-year-old retailer, situated in a delightfully quaint oceanside town, and you will quickly understand why some people just can’t quit talking about the place.  

eattle magazine proclaims that, “Jack’s is to the average seaside shop as Tiffany is to Fred Meyer. It’s simply the ne plus ultra of shopping on the coast.” “What’s that?” you ask. Well, this writer anonymously admits to needing to look up that term. The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as,“The highest point, as of excellence or achievement; the ultimate; the most profound degree, as of a condition or quality.”   

Compliments of this grade occur regularly. Superlatives are necessary to describe some of the store’s lines of merchandise. For example, Jack’s has the world’s most comprehensive line of genuine Aladdin mantle-type kerosene lamps. They also have the absolute best selection of American-made cast iron cooking utensils. Even the array of marshmallow forks is impressive enough to warrant a rating by the Wall Street Journal.

The merchandise array is exceptional by any standard. It covers a full grocery selection, housewares, RV parts, sporting goods, a hardware selection that is legendary throughout the western U.S., and everything in between.

Throughout the store you will encounter uncommon items such as hand-crank popcorn makers, graniteware pots and pans, high quality wooden kitchen utensils, ice cream makers, and campfire pie irons. Nostalgic toys, tools, gadgets, and candy are abundant.

Don’t forget to look up. The store covers half an acre, and is absolutely filled with merchandise. Even the ceilings are used for display of items like tin signs, flags, and wind socks. High shelves around the perimeter are packed with everything from galvanized tubs to sundials.

Knowledgeable and helpful people are always on duty to assist customers. If you have looked far and wide for something special, yet couldn’t find it, be sure to ask any of the store’s staff. Caution: Unless you’re serious, be careful not to begin your inquiry with, “I’ll bet you don’t have…” Friendly wagers are frequently accepted and seldom lost. 

Founded in 1885, four years before Washington became a state, Jack’s Country Store has withstood the ages to claim the title of “Washington’s Oldest Store.”  A few steps inside the place are all it takes to convince skeptics that this general store is the real article. Jack’s has expanded numerous times over the years but has not abandoned old time features like wood floors, track ladders, oak showcases, and a beautiful stained glass ceiling.

Very few examples of this traditional American all-purpose retail store can be found today.  It’s one place you won’t want to miss.

    

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