Moving with the times, old store still caters to a friendly community

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Apr 03, 2013 - 01:28 PM

When Arthur W. Tabb built what is now called Nuttall’s Store in Ware Neck in 1877, I’m sure he never envisioned such an extraordinary party as was held within its walls recently for its March wine tasting. Surely, if Mr. Tabb by any chance happened to be looking down on this gala and saw this grand old building packed with people enjoying such tasty treats, and of course buying products, a smile must have spread across his face.

Deanna Murphy, a native of Nebraska who has lived in Gloucester for 10 years, is store manager. For three years she’s been the chef delighting the evening guests with gourmet hors d’oeuvres that were the perfect accompaniments to the many flavors of wine served at the tasting.

As friends and neighbors sipped and tasted, some conversations must have been about this historic community landmark. Surely, topics such as that this building used to sit on a nine-acre parcel of land, where today there are only 3.5 acres.

The Taliaferro brothers bought the store in 1884, later adding one-story wings and the post office in 1886, which still operates as Ware Neck Post Office 23178. (Hats and shirts are available for purchase so you never forget your zip code.) J. Earl Taliaferro inherited the store in 1928 and began renting it to several tenants who included Joe Brown, Guy Smith, and Charlie Robins. In 1946, E. Rudolph Nuttall bought the business, operating it as Nuttall’s Store until 2002 when he sold it. There were three subsequent owners until it was purchased by the Ware Neck Preservation Co., a group of local landowners who wanted to preserve the landmark.