common / Crossroads Weekend

Yankee Mercantile combines history and business

Built circa 1820, Yankee Mercantile's building looks like the beautiful old farmhouse it was for so many years.Built circa 1820, Yankee Mercantile's building looks like the beautiful old farmhouse it was for so many years.

hop historically. That’s the slogan of Yankee Mercantile located just a short (and beautiful) drive away in South Fulton County, in historic Webster Mills, about five miles south of McConnellsburg, Pa.

It’s evident just how apt the slogan is the moment a visitor sets foot in the circa-1820 restored farmhouse and the attached general store. There’s the clear sense one’s stepped back in time, into a store from yesteryear. A closer look, though, reveals a more updated product line.

Yankee Mercantile calls itself a “Purveyor of Fine Gifts, Antiques and Collectibles.” This retro bicycle is an example. Owner Brackbil rarely reorders any items, so if you see something you like, buy it!Yankee Mercantile calls itself a “Purveyor of Fine Gifts, Antiques and Collectibles.” This retro bicycle is an example. Owner Brackbil rarely reorders any items, so if you see something you like, buy it!


Lovely home décor items with a distinct country flavor—the so-called shabby chic style—sit on ornear antique furniture. Collectables such as Byer's Choice figurines share a shelf with locally made arts and crafts. It feels more as if you’ve stepped into someone’s home from another time than store.

That is just the touch owner Becky Brackbil is after. The former Virginia Beach real estate agent was looking over a wide geographic radius for a property to purchase that included an old house and space for her horses. “Fulton County picked me,” she says with a smile. The fact that the property at 15856 Great Cove Road included an attached country store was a bonus. She bought the place in 2009.

Much of the store's merchandise is displayed as it would used in a home.Much of the store's merchandise is displayed as it would used in a home.

The built-in shelves have been a part of the store since its beginnings as a general store and hold both antique and updated merchandise.
The built-in shelves have been a part of the store since its beginnings as a general store and hold both antique and updated merchandise.








It took two years to complete the renovations so Brackbil could move in full time, which included repairing damage from long-ago burst pipes. After researching the history of the house, Brackbill discovered she is only the fifth owner of the property. She also found the memoirs of previous owner David Hunter Patterson, which has proved a treasure trove of information about the place, including its role during the Civil War, in which it was at the center of several Confederate raids in the area.

While Yankee Mercantile carries Christmas items year round, it's more than just a Christmas shop.While Yankee Mercantile carries Christmas items year round, it's more than just a Christmas shop.

Today, though, instead of soldiers, bluegrass musicians might be found on the front porch for summer concerts. Brackbil plans more such activities in 2014, to coincide with 150th anniversary of those Civil War shenanigans.

What’s it like to own a piece of history as well as a business? “I feel very privileged to own this place,” Brackbil says. “It inspires me to learn more about the history of the area, particularly during the Civil War. It also feels like a great responsibility to own and care for a piece of our history.”

“ I feel like my being here now, in this place and time, was absolutely meant to be.”

For more details and hours of operation, visit the store’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/theyankeemercantile .










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