Rupp's Store on Third Steet
Jacob Rupp moved his business from the Miami and Erie Canal in 1904 to a building he had built at 26 North Third Street. He operated it as a general store. The canal traffic was waning and it was no longer viable to sell his goods there. His son, Herman, started clerking at the new store in 1906 and eventually bought half interest in 1924. He bought full ownership in 1937.
The Rupp General Store dealt with everything a homeowner would need to run their home. On one side of the store were dry goods and groceries on the other side. They even took orders by telephone and made deliveries in a Model T. Ford for many years. It is amazing that one could run a household in a small store but today we have huge stores and still it is difficult to find what we want. Under the ownership of Herman the store’s name was changed from Rupp’s Store to Rupp’s Canal Store, in recognition of Jacob’s original store on the canal.
Waterville Historical Society has some of the items from the Rupp Store in our replica of a Canal Store at the Wakeman Hall. On display are the scales, coffee grinder, canal lantern and in the Archives we have some of the original ledgers listing items bought, name of persons buying the articles, also the name of the Canal boats when the Rupp Canal Store was located on the canal. The Third Street store closed in 1970. Most of the Rupp Store items we have were generously donated by Herman’s daughter Alice Rupp.