Whenever I’m headed to Columbia or KC, I always stops at Crane’s Store just off I-70 at Williamsburg (pop. 1,500). Take Exit 161 and you’ll find one of the oldest country stores in the nation. It’s a living museum of the old general store that served small rural communities years ago.
Just look for the highway signs that read: “Boots, Bullets, Britches, and Bologna.” You’ll also find red union suits, camp gear, gloves, knives, blankets, bridles and worms. Yep, they have all that and far more.
All ages will find this a fascinating roadside stop. Here are some photos I took this week and others that I’ve taken on previous visits.
Crane’s is famous for a couple of things out of this era: its 1-Meat, 1-Cheese, $2. Sandwich served only on Wonder Bread (The sandwich used to be just $1, but time moves on even in an old-time store.) You can shave a dollar off the price, if your selection is bologna or cheese.
There’s one self-service gas pump. You pump your own without paying and then walk inside and tell the clerk how much you owe. There used to be an old pot-bellied stove in the middle of the store, but I I haven’t seen it recently.
The Liar’s Club chairs still encircle the area for those wanting to pass the time of day. While the store is from a previous era, it’s worth noting that the new bathrooms are clean, spacious, and upscale.
A Little Bit of Everything
Crane’s carries well-know brands of outdoor wear, i.e., Wolverine, Carhartt, Pendleton, Filson hats, as well as Mizzou paraphernalia, and Lodge cast iron skillets-good-looking tomatoes and fruit that heaps about 2-foot of counter space. I treated myself to a Pendleton sweater that was 20% off.
Whatever you do, be sure to note the vintage Anheuser-Busch advertising poster of Custer’s Last Fight.
This is worth a stop, folks. The old store is a great leg-stretcher for travelers. If you’re wanting a step back in time and a $2 sandwich, you can’t beat Crane’s.
’s Country Store, 10675 Old US Hwy. 40, Williamsburg, MO (Exit 161 off Hwy. 70). Open Mon-Sat 8a-6p. Closed Sunday.