In the late 1800’s, tuberculosis, a dreaded disease, was rampant in the large cities of New York and Philadelphia. People were urged to flock to the mountains for clean air which was thought to be a remedy for the disease. It was at that time, in 1870, that a general store was built on Sterling Road (now Route 191) in South Sterling, Pennsylvania. The purpose of the general store was to sell provisions to those seeking to spend months in the refreshing atmosphere of the mountains. The sick and their caregivers flocked to the Poconos to rent cabins or to stay in many of the small hotels which dotted the area at that time. The general store prospered and was a mainstay of the region as it also included a post-office where the new arrivals could pick up and send their mail and at the same time buy their groceries. This store continued until the late 1960’s when there were no longer city dwellers seeking the pure environment of the Pocono Mountains. Automobiles changed all that with the advent of the expressways, but the store remained. Finally shuttered in the early 1970’s, the store, intact, remained – but closed, leaving only memories behind.
It was in May, 2015 that the general store reopened as the Swan Antiques at 424 South Sterling Rd., So. Sterling. The current proprietor of the store saw it as a time warp where nothing had changed for over 100 years and felt that an antique store would be a fitting tribute to the building and its history. This store and the antique shop can be visited. The antique store is stocked with beautiful treasures from America, France and England and is worth a trip not only to purchase antiques but also to take a step back in history by admiring the old architecture and speaking to the sales staff about the workings of the store in the late 1800’s. An architectural and historical adventure await the visitor who opens the door of this fascinating structure, not to mention the treasures contained within.
424 SO. STERLING ROAD,
SO. STERLING, PA. 18460
HOURS: Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.
Weekends: 12 noon – 5 pm.