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Historic Thompson’s Store is the oldest grocery store in the state of North Carolina. This family-owned store was founded in 1890 and is now celebrating its 127th anniversary year. After recently going through its first major renovation since opening at the current location way back in 1940, the store is now better than ever! This old-timey family grocery store has expanded its famous full-service meat market, added a delicious deli section along with new selections of wine, beer and cheese, all to compliment the traditional fresh produce and staple food sections. New lines of healthier foods and imported foods are also being added weekly as we expand the selections of products our customers request. We have also added a small section featuring our official Coon Dog Day merchandise (t-shirts, ball caps and visors, sweatshirts). Read More…

What’s with the coon dog?

Coon dogs, like Thompson’s Store, have been an important aspect of old-timey Saluda since its founding in 1885. So important, in fact, that over 50 years ago several local coon hunters organized a town event to raise money for restocking the rapidly depleting supply of native raccoons. That first event, held in 1963, subsequently expanded into an annual daylong celebration. Held the first Saturday following each July 4th, the Coon Dog Day Celebration has become the iconic event for Saluda, swelling the town of 713 residents by up to 15,000 visitors. Highlights of the occasion include judging of champion class coon dogs, food vendors, craft booths, a 5K run and a parade that travels the entire three blocks of downtown!

To show appreciation for the economic benefit derived from the coon dog, we chose this black and tan as our mascot. All of you dog lovers have to admit that Rattler is one beautiful hound… pretty you just want to give him a hug and kiss.

Thompson’s exclusive Coon Dog Day gear is now available!  Please see the “Shop” section of our site.

♪♫  Listen to “Fireball Mail” in its Entirety♫♪ – The custom version of the country classic “Fireball Mail” was written by Clark Thompson and Larry Keith of Lonesome Road Band.  If you like this song and good bluegrass music, click on this link to learn more about our store’s custom 10-track cd.

The Railroad and Saluda, NC

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The small mountain town of Saluda, North Carolina (historically known as the “Gem of the Blue Ridge Mountains”) literally owes its existence to the railroad. Since the 1870’s, railroad pioneers had been tirelessly seeking a suitable rail passage over the mountains from the lower elevations of the two Carolinas. The first range of the Blue Ridge Mountains presented a formidable barrier to a route into Asheville and points west and north. Read more…