Mother Knows Best...

“This was our Mom’s idea!” The building alternately owned by H.R. Morris in 1839, then Joseph Holmes and James Fulton in 1869, had been run as a general store, post office and trading center. When Joe Holmes’ son Lyman O. retired in 1958, the store closed. Though the building remained in the family, it stood vacant for 18 years. Yet, something gnawed at family Matriarch, Doris Holmes.

She knew all too well, just what the store meant to her, to her family, and to the community where they’d built a life. So, Doris took matters into her own hands. And in 1976 Canal Towne Emporium was born and family tradition was re-established.

Doris and husband Lyman brought in designer Gary Eckhart, who removed past attempts to modernize the store and restored it to its original turn of the century atmosphere, using equipment and furnishings from the original store. Doris passed in 2004, but her sons Lyman and Gary, the fourth generation of Holmes’ now carry on the tradition.

Today the store specializes in AMERICAN HAND-CRAFTED, ONE-OF-A-KIND GIFTS, FURNISHINGS, JEWELRY, HOME DECOR AND MORE, with specialties from around the world, as well. Our shelves are lined with history and fine gifts. Step back 100 years and discover painted furniture from Vermont, crafted candles, regional foods, linens, candles, hand crafted toys stained glass, and so much more! With penny candy and a pickle barrel, too!

We feature many REGIONAL AND NATIONWIDE CRAFTERS, over 200 at last count!  Also, many popular collectibles abound, such as Willow Tree Angels, Byers Choice Carolers and more. In addition to distinctive and unique gifts, Canal Towne features the finest in hand crafted and specialty American furniture, lamps, prints, and decorative accessories.

Old Fashioned Service is a hallmark at Canal Towne Emporium. Everyone is always available to help you. We offer free gift wrapping, complete shipping services, mail and phone orders, gift certificates, bridal registry, and special orders.

Words From Our Customers

Some Photos from the Canal Towne Emporium

Some of What We Offer



Renaissance Glass










  • History Photo of the Week: Postcard view of the Phillipsport station and dam. Compliments of the Mamakating Historical Society.
    August 4, 2018
  • THANKS to all our customers. We were voted 2018's BEST GIFT SHOP in the Record's Reader's Poll. Thanks to you! They even did an article on us for the "Best of" edition yesterday, July 27. We've attached the article below.
    July 30, 2018
  • History Photo of the Week: Birch Lodge, an interesting summer cabin, as featured in the Wurtsboro Board of Trade's early 1900s booklet. We have no idea where it was or whether it still exists. Any ideas?
    July 28, 2018
  • History Photo of the Week: A colorized photo of Wurtsboro. We believe Fulton and Holmes, now Canal Towne, is on the other side of the street behind the trees.
    July 21, 2018