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EXPLORING COUNTRY STORES – Where you’ll find the most amazing things!

This issue’s stories about Some Favorite Things Gallery and Hoss’s Country Corner comprise Part 1 of 2. Follow my trek to Adirondack Country Stores in our upcoming October issue of American Roads and Global Highways.

Part I

Hoss’s  Country Corner Store
142 Main Street, Long Lake, NY 12847

You’ll find center of Long Lake, New York, at the intersection of state routes 30 and 28N, and presiding over that intersection is Hoss’s Country Corner Store,  a must-see for travelers.

“Hoss’s”, as most call it, is located in an old building that dates back to the Great Camp Era, and has served travelers on foot, horse-drawn conveyances and automobiles from the model “T” on up. Like many an old general store, it has a history of selling goods as varied as groceries, livestock feed, logging supplies, lamp oil and fishing bait.

In 1972 John “Hoss” Hosley and his wife, Lorrie, were visiting the North Country to take in some skiing at Tupper Lake. As usual when they passed through Long Lake, they stopped at the old corner establishment to pick up a few items. John looked around, turned to the owner and said, half jokingly, “So, when are you going to sell me this store?”

The owner’s unblinking response? “Well, if you want it, you’d better sign papers today, ’cause I’m s’posed to talk to another fellow in North Creek about it next Monday.” A deal was struck on the spot, and the old store on the corner became known as Hoss’s Country Corner. The previous owners had used only a fraction of the building, but John and Lorrie began expanding, gradually filling the entire downstairs with a wide variety of merchandise.

The Hosleys' children grew up in the store, meeting and greeting the public and finding ways to serve them—while wearing name tags that bore the subtitle, “Slave.” But if you think they hated it, you would be wrong. All of them went on to work in the hospitality industry in various parts of the country, and daughter Julia operates Hoss’s with Lorrie today. Son Trip is credited with coining the phrase, “We put the ‘Hoss’ in ‘hoss-pitality’.” Every guest at Hoss’s will concur.

A wide selection! Meats and cheese to tempt the palate!

 Over the years, the Hosleys have added a campground and ice cream stand at the corner, and the store’s inventory has grown to include a fantastic array of handmade gifts and home décor items, Adirondack-wear, and delectable gourmet meats and cheeses, as well as maps, hiking, fishing and camping gear and beer. And yes, you can still buy bait.

Hoss’s is the go-to place for books written by and about the Adirondacks.

What else? Books. Lots and lots of books, ranging from children’s pictures books, regional recipe collections, historical novels, stories of the Great Camps, fishing, hiking and camping guides—all Adirondack-flavored. And it was a love of books that spawned Authors’ Night.

One summer author Maitland De Sorma (Noah Rondeau: Adirondack Hermit) suggested that he’d enjoy doing a signing at the store. Not long afterward the late writer Dr. Anne LaBastille (Woodswoman, vols. I-III, Beyond Black Bear Lake) voiced a similar idea, and before long the Hosleys hosted their first Authors’ Night, with six writers parked here and there throughout the store signing books. The idea immediately caught hold, and the next year more authors were involved. As popularity grew, the event moved outdoors, a circus tent was purchased and Author’s Night in Long Lake was established for the second Tuesday of every August.
Hoss’s annual Author’s Night is a magnet for local and traveling readers.

This summer on August 9th, the red-and-white striped big top will once again arise on the hill at the corner of routes 30 and 28N, erected by a team of young folks, both local kids and those from abroad, all spending the summer as “slaves” at Hoss’s. Each new crew looks forward to being initiated into the annual ritual of the tent-raising. From 7 to 9 p.m. that tent will overflow with lovers of Adirondack books, along with more than seventy-five of their favorite authors who will be chatting, answering questions and signing books.  Adirondack melodies will float to the night sky, mingled with excited chatter and laughter until the 32nd annual Authors’ Night fades into history as all depart, promising, “See you at Hoss’s next year!”

But don’t wait for Author’s Night to visit. Hoss’s Country Corner is open all year, with marathon hours during the summer (8 a.m. to 9 p.m. most days, but 8 – 10 on Fridays and Saturdays and 8 to 6 on Sunday. In winter the shop opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 4, except Friday and Saturday when hours extend to 6. You’ll be glad you stopped in for some “Hoss-pitality.”

 

 

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