The General Store

The General Store

The store building was first constructed in c. 1805 by Joseph Waterman when he built his home and Saddle Shop next door. It wasn’t until John Moore rented the building in 1822 that it was first advertised as a “store establishment at Sugartown,” with an inventory of “dry goods, groceries, liquors, glass, china and Liverpool ware, oils, paints, drugs, iron monger, etc.” In 1835, Isaac Powell ran the store, and was appointed as the first Post Master of Sugartown. The store continued to change hands until it was finally purchased by Sharpless Worrall in 1847. Worrall reopened the store and was named Post Master. In 1874, Sharpless’ daughter Hannah married Hillery John, and together they took over proprietorship of the General Store. The John family operated the store well into the 1910s. It later became part of John’s Antique Shop.

 

The Ivanhoe Lodge

In 1850, Sharpless Worrall constructed a third-story addition to the General Store to serve as the home of the Ivanhoe Lodge #432 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. It was formally dedicated in September 1851 with several other lodges in attendance, featuring a procession and music by the Philadelphia Brass Band. The Odd Fellows were committed to the welfare of their members, providing a safety net for their membership by offering assistance to orphans of members, assistance to members in need, death benefits, and care of widows. Sharpless was an active member throughout his life, serving as an officer and treasurer over the years. His son-in-law Hillery John also served as treasurer of the Ivanhoe Lodge.

Worrall’s Odd Fellows Lodge also became home to other local organizations and activities. Groups included the Willistown Union Association of the Detection of Horse Thieves, which formed in 1854 as a local police force, and the Washington Camp of the Patriotic Order Sons of America in 1847, which focused on instructing youth on American patriotism. The Lodge meeting space later became the meeting space for the Knights of the Mystic Chain, a Juvenile Temple of the Masonic Lodge that offered music and literary programs for children of their members in the 1890s.

Today it houses a “school room” exhibit with items on loan from Chester County Historical Society. The exhibit interprets the role of education at the crossroads village and the history of the Quaker School across the street.