Gas, Grub & Gossip: Good, Honest Help

Country stores are good places to get what you need and to see everything from friendly faces to ghosts.

By: Drew Bratcher

Owner Tom Newman’s stepdaughter Katie Hill at McDaniel Country Store in McDaniel, Maryland.

McDaniel Country Store in McDaniel, Maryland, has been a car dealership, a post office, and a tavern. Owner Tom Newman knows that the store—with its array of hand-dipped ice cream, bait, and automotive supplies—isn’t going to make him rich. He says his daughters and mother are the only “good, honest help” he can find—and if it ever got to be “too much of a pain to run,” he’d probably sell it. But his Eastern Shore customers keep him in business. One of them, Buster, comes in once, sometimes twice, a day to talk baseball. “When the Nats swept the Orioles a while back,” Newman says, “he ripped me pretty good.”

Photgraph by David Deal