Greene County Success Stories

Keeping the Rural Mercantile Tradition Alive in Oak Hill, NY

Keeping the Rural Mercantile Tradition Alive in Oak Hill, NY

I. U. Tripp and Company has been serving Oak Hill as a general store since the 1830s.  Customers arrived with a list of their necessities, sat down at a swivel-counter stool, and were personally served by an attentive staff. The store carried everything from hardware to dry-goods, tools to fabrics, and stocked the items most used by residents of this rural Greene County community.

mercantile shelves in the pastChris Gordon and his parents are excited to continue its tradition of providing relevant goods and services to the community, and think the most exciting vision today is to bring this history into our future- showing how things and ideas from the past can still have relevance and beauty in the present.

mercantile shelves todayToday, newcomers are joining the Oak Hill and Durham community. These include a growing number of weekenders, second-home owners and permanent residents.

The store has been featured in popular NYC blog Brooklyn Doublewide as a hidden gem in the Great Northern Catskills and cites: “ It’s more of a destination than the average antique shop, and it’s well-worth a weekend road trip into the quaint town of Oak Hill.”

The store prides itself on providing things which are useful as well as decorative- like freshly laundered antique bed and table linens, timeless ironstone dinnerware, crystal glassware and silver flatware.

candlesThe folks at I. U Tripp and Company are especially interested in how old things can be incorporated into newly made items- taking 18th and 19th century textiles and making apparel and home furnishings out of them- everything from couture dresses to throw pillows. They bring historic recipes back to life- with an assortment of antique and vintage cookbooks, as well as carrying Heather Ridge Farm Executive Chef, Rob Handel’s root beer syrup (made following an 1876 medicinal recipe using 19 botanical herbs and spices).

Growing plants in 19th century greenhouse pots, making exquisitely-scented candles in re-purposed antique jelly jars and turning found objects into fine art, are just a few of the interests shared by the owners. Local artist Jean Strausman, who arranges modern compositions from bits of antique papers and fabrics, uses the store as a great source of materials.

The local and visiting community can also look forward to a series of ‘Repurposing Workshops’ (on how to utilize antique materials in the making of exciting new things) which are planned for the near future.

Ornaments Doilies

This year I. U. Tripp & Company opened a special holiday shop with a mixed assortment of antique items and treasures made by local craftspeople (many items will be just $5.00 and others range from $10.00 to $35.00 and more). There are Christmas ornaments made of re-purposed wooden thread spools, buttons and ribbons, hand-knitted wool house socks and wool felt mittens, as well as Victorian Christmas ornaments.

I. U. Tripp & Company is located on Main Street, Oak Hill and is open by appointment and every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Visit the Town of Durham Page on and find more unique businesses in Oak Hill, NY like The Yellow Deli, The Dewitt Oak Hill, and Loundsbury’s.

If you want to learn more about how to Make It In Greene, check out our free helpful business guides and contact the Invest In Greene team by email or phone at 518-719-3290.

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Topics: Success Stories