“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.