There are few things House Crazy Sarah loves to do more than traveling the backroads and finding little gems like this one.
Nestled along Northern Michigan’s most scenic highway, M-119 (more famously known as The Tunnel of Trees), is the sleepy town of Good Hart.
The “town” is not much more than a sparse smattering of rural provision businesses that service the surrounding cottage and resort residents. The hub of the area is the Good Hart General Store.
For over 70 years, this distinctive red and white building has housed the U.S. Post Office and general grocery store. It also currently serves as the local bakery, deli, gift shop, and real estate office.
The Good Hart General Store is famous for its homemade jams and preserves, sandwiches, whitefish pate, and signature hand-made “hart” pies.
Imagine driving along the scenic Tunnel of Trees that meanders along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan and coming across this charming historic store.
The current structure was built in 1934 by local Good Hart resident Cliff Powers. He operated it as a general grocer, butcher, and gas station until 1971 when Powers sold the business to current owner Carolyn (Woods) Sutherland who currently operates the grocery, bakery, deli, and post office with husband Jim Sutherland.
In these old photos, you can see how the original roofline was a waved facade, rather than the straight-edged false front that adorns the building today.
The highway through Good Hart is literally a one-lane country road so the General Store is a natural stopping point for tourists.
Although the Tunnel of Trees and the town of Good Hart are favorite summertime and fall destinations, the store is open all year long.
Indeed, the store/bakery fills orders of homemade baked goods, world-famous pot pies, and fresh jams and preserves year-round, getting a bump during the holiday season.
It’s hard to pick a favorite season at the Good Hart General Store because it is so quaint in ANY season!
It’s also fantastic that they are open in the winter because most of these niche tourists places close up shop after the busy summer months.
Let’s have a look inside…
In the General Store, they pride themselves on being “old school”.
To that end, many of the store’s original features remain intact such as the tinted front windows, the glass-front counter bins, the 1901 National Cash Register, and the carved oak “cooling case”.
Here’s a closer look at the original post office boxes:
You can almost smell the home-baked goodness in these photos…
An no country store would be complete without some doggo friends…
Here’s a peek inside the prep room where the pies are rolled and the goodies prepared:
The store is also jam-packed with Good Hart merchandise.
Who doesn’t love those old checkered floors?
The Good Hart General Store is a precious little artifact from rural Northern Michigan’s past that has been lovingly preserved by caring hands.
Stop by and savor the feeling of time standing still.
House Crazy Sarah is definitely heading that way once all this pandemic stuff is over!
For us rural, history & architecture-loving souls, this place is heaven on earth.