Since Lincoln was president people have gathered at .
Whether it was to get their mail, get their dry goods, or even civil war news. The front porch of that historic building has had many a person sit, read, talk and munch on it over the last 170 years. The sounds of the seasons, the feel of the country, and the smell of fresh baked goods have always been the sensations felt on that front porch. After decades in the hands of the Miller family, Kristi L. Hood, a Springs mother of two, now carries on the tradition of keeping the Springs General Store the cornerstone of the Springs community. Over the years its been, horses, horse and buggies, Model "T" Fords, and the huge cars of the 1960's that parked in the lot in front of the store where the Prius's, BMW convertibles and the other trucks and cars of today park. Kristi said she is proud to be the proprietor of the store that her children Molly and Hunter read about in their history classes at The Springs School.
is the type of woman you might expect to find stepping out of a covered wagon back in the Oregon Trail days. A Californian with catering and restaurant experience she purchased Springs General Store around ten years ago, "when my daughter's friend said her mom was thinking of selling it." Now managing one of the treasures of the past Kristi comes to work every day to make her store everything it always was and better each day. "I am always fine tuning, but I love the history associated with it, I love that it was and still is, a community gathering place, a place where people come to see and be seen. I pride myself on knowing my neighbors and greeting new people." The fresh food baked on the premise daily, along with the wonderful breads for the sandwiches, the lunch specials, the potatoes, egg, chicken, tuna, and other special salads are wonderful. The coffee section to the right when you walk in is what Starbuck's tried to be, an easy quick place to get your coffee and meet your neighbors with atmosphere.
The store has become such an icon many wear its promotional hats, tee-shirts and sweatshirts proudly like they were Ivy league college mementos.
During the renovations to the upstairs apartment Krista believes a ghost was re-awakened. The spirit manifests itself in different ways. The Springs General Store encompasses two and a half acres of property. Besides the Kayak rental business Kristi has going on the waterfront portion of the property (Accabonic Harbor) the property has fresh gardens, fish ponds, and of course space for the family dogs and rabbits. In the old oil shed behind the antiquated gas pumps of yesteryear Paul Hamilton operates the Springs farm Stand that so many visit weekly for variations of new available fresh produce and plants. Kristi says she has "the best" help from so many in the daily operations of The Springs General Store. It opens at 5:30 a.m. for the early risers closes at 7 during the week and 8p.m. Fridays through Sundays.
In come the patrons; mothers with babies, groups from a bike ride looking for cold drinks, seniors looking to buy newspapers, others looking for a quick snack, or custom made lunch, a cup of coffee, a six pack of cold beer.
Many times neighbors meet on the front porch and discuss the local issues or just catch up before entering. First time visitors seem to always openly enjoy the campiness and love the feel of being in such a place for the first time. The word enthusiasm best describes the feeling a Springs General Store customer has walking up to the historic porch to enter the swinging screen door. Once entering almost everyone smiles and this is the what makes this place so special. Kristi understands this.
She says, "I want it to be a cultural center, a community center, a gathering point. That's important to me." What she means is that she enjoys creating and maintaining a positive vibe that many flock to daily as part of the ritual of living in the Springs. It is a tradition that goes back to Civil War days and continues to today. Kristi Hood made a huge work commitment five years ago when she stepped up to the plate to take over and personally run the Springs General Store. With a wry smile she looked around at her success and said, "Fate conspired and here I am!"
She says she makes the effort to know her patrons recognize them by name, make then feel at home when entering. She has a very country polite way of going about her business a trait the world probably could use more of. She and the store are both authentic.