You’ll step back in time when you shop at Penn’s Store, the oldest store in America operated by a single family. Located in the rural town of Gravel Switch, the Penn family has run this old country shop since 1850, but the store can be traced back to at least 1845, possibly earlier, when others were known to have run this historic establishment.
For many years Penn’s Store, which sits at the intersection of three Kentucky counties, has been a popular meeting spot for local folks to pick up necessities and have a friendly chat with their neighbors. Back during the horse and buggy days, Penn’s Store had a doctor’s office and served as the area’s first post office. Today, only general store merchandise remains, but as you walk through the shop you’ll find a diverse selection of goods for sale such as groceries, arts and crafts, cookbooks and clothing items.
The tourist trade is also big these days at Penn’s Store. The Great Outhouse Blowout, which commemorates the 1992 construction of the first bathroom facility in the store’s history, is held every year, bringing in people of all ages for the outhouse races, live music, arts and crafts, motor vehicle shows, great food and more.