The oldest business in all 50 states
Running a business can be unpredictable, and you never know how long success might last. These businesses, however, have proved they have what it takes to stand the test of time. From haunted bars that survived prohibition to family farms passed down through the generations, there’s something special about the oldest business in every state, and some of them have been going strong for hundreds of years.
Do you know the oldest business in your state? Read on to find out as we count down the oldest businesses in our nation state by state. The oldest business on the list has been operating since the colonial days!
50. Peacock Alley
State: North Dakota
Year Established: 1911
Although Peacock Alley didn’t officially open its doors until 1933, it was originally part of Patterson Hotel which opened in 1911. North Dakotans might be familiar with the Patterson because it was famously “under construction” for twenty years in a bid to avoid paying property taxes. Although the hotel rooms were converted to senior housing in the 1970s, the lobby bar Peacock Alley lives on.
During Prohibition, Patterson Hotel was a notorious speakeasy and a home to illegal gambling operations. There are even rumors that there are underground tunnels leading from the hotel to the train station so outlaws could get out of town without getting picked up by police.
NEXT: This hotel is still going strong, even without toilets in all the rooms.
49. Hotel de Haro
Year Established: 1896
On a tiny island off the northern coast of Washington, you can find the oldest business in the state. Hotel de Haro has been operating on San Juan Island in the Pacific Northwest since 1896. A lawyer from Tacoma named John S. McMillin built the hotel and lived there with his family until 1910.
Guests are still enjoying the views and antique charm of Hotel de Haro today. If you want to book your own stay, the hotel website warns that only six of their 19 rooms have toilets and showers in suite. The rest of the rooms share communal facilities down the hall.
NEXT: This jeweler has been putting bling on fingers in the “Sooner State” for over a hundred years.
48. BC Clark Jewelers
Year Established: 1892
Way back in 1892, B.C. Clark set up his first shop in the corner of a five and dime store. Oklahoma didn’t even become a state until over a decade later in 1907. Ever since, BC Clark has been open and operating with the Clark family at the helm. Today, the third and fourth generations of Clarks own the shop.
BC Clark has three locations in Oklahoma and offers a variety of services in addition to selling sparkling jewels. Whether you need a chain repaired or want to register for some shiny wedding gifts, BC Clark can get it done. Plus, they have a century of experience and customer satisfaction to back up their service.
NEXT: This Great Lakes state is home to thousands of lakes and more boats per capita than any other state.
47. Fred W. Radde & Sons, Inc
Year Established: 1886
Believe it or not, going to a weekly auction was once a big social event. Fred W. Radde & Sons was established in 1886, at a time when a Saturday or Sunday auction might have been the biggest excitement in town. Although times have certainly changed, Fred W. Radde & Sons is still holding auctions at the oldest business in Minnesota.
Today, the auctioneering family has a 12,000 square foot indoor auction space with seven acres of secure outside space to auction vehicles. The company runs about 150 auctions a year. In keeping with the times, Radde’s descendants have even run auctions online.
NEXT: If you’re looking for a fancy Gruyere or a nice cut of meat, this long-running market in the Mount Rushmore state is the place to be.
46. Look’s Market
State: South Dakota
Year Established: 1883
Look’s Market first opened its doors in 1883, and it’s still winning awards today. It was recently named the best local market for specialty meat items in Sioux Falls. With a wide selection of fresh meats, specialty cheeses, and fine wines, Look’s Market looks like the perfect place to go to get supplies for the charcuterie plate of your dreams.
Brothers Carl and August Look teamed up to open their market together, and it’s been a favorite in the community ever since. Though the original Look’s building was torn down in 1971, Look’s Market lives on in a new location in Sioux Falls.
NEXT: This copper-rich state is home to a historic bar that will have you saying “yee-haw.”
45. The Palace Restaurant and Saloon
Year Established: 1877
The Palace Restaurant and Saloon is a cowboy bar with real bullet holes in its pressed tin ceiling. It first opened its doors back in 1877, well before Arizona became a state in 1912. Back in those days, The Palace was home to its share of gamblers and ladies of the night. Cowboys and outlaws sat at the bar trading shots of whiskey and tall tales.
These days, however, The Palace has cleaned up its act. The bar still operates but the gambling and shooting are things of the past. Old-timers, however, still talk about the night in 1900 when a neglected candle caused the bar to go up in flames. According to the local legend, the bar’s patrons banded together to fight the blaze and save their bar.
NEXT: This state is home to Elvis’s Graceland, but it’s oldest business specializes in a different kind of rock.
44. White’s Marble Works
Year Established: 1870
White’s Marble Works was established in 1870 in Sweetwater, Tennessee, and it’s still in the White Family today and going strong. Brothers Matt and Allen White are the sixth generation of Whites to make a living at the Marble Works, and they recently welcomed a seventh generation to the business.
The business sells granite, quartz, and marble countertops for homes, as well as stone tiles. Plus, they offer design services and installation to their customers. They haven’t been in business for almost 150 years for nothing. According to local reviewers, their service and selection are both top notch.
NEXT: We’re headed to the largest state in the union to check out a local market with real staying power.
43. Alaska Commercial Company
Year Established: 1867
San Francisco merchants Lewis Gerstle and Louis Sloss came to Alaska in 1867, when the U.S. purchased the land from Russia. Gerstle and Sloss were determined to set up shop in the new territory, and so they bought The Russian American Trading Company, a market that was started by Catherine the Great in 1776. Gerstle and Sloss renamed the store Alaska Commercial Co, and the rest is history.
Now, Alaska Commercial Co is one of the biggest employers in the state, with 33 stores serving Alaskans. They offer great groceries and locals are hooked on their famous corn salsa.
NEXT: Our journey back in time continues with a stop in the Gem State.
42. Joyce Livestock Co.
Year Established: 1865
Idaho’s Joyce Livestock Co. holds the title for the oldest business in the state. The family-run ranch even celebrated their 150th anniversary recently, in June 2015. Long ago, Matthew and Mary Joyce established their ranch in 1865 and made a living there with their family raising cattle and pigs and selling milk, butter, pork, and beef to the town.
Paul Nettleton, a descendant of Matthew and Mary Joyce runs the ranch today, raising cattle on the land his family first tamed and tended. In 2015, Nettleton had 600 cows on his ancestral ranch who gave birth to 600 calves.
NEXT: We’re on our way to the state whose official animal is the grizzly bear.
41. Bale of Hay Saloon
Year Established: 1863
Virginia City Montana’s Bale of Hay Saloon advertises “spirits of all kinds,” and they’re not kidding around. A ghost tour starts at this old bar every night at 10:00 p.m. Like many of the other businesses in town, the Bale of Hay Saloon is only open from mid-May to late September, so if you’re hoping to meet a ghost at the bar, be sure to visit in the summer months.
Inside, the saloon is full of history, even sporting the original hand-carved wooden bar the first owners installed. However, their taps are more up-to-date and feature some of Montana’s hottest microbrews.
NEXT: This state is home to the Great Salt Lake and one heck of an old music store.
40. Daynes Music
Year Established: 1862
Daynes Music in Salt Lake City has a very interesting history. The store was founded in 1862 by John Daynes, and it’s said that his son Joseph Daynes was handpicked by Brigham Young to be the first Tabernacle Organist in the Church of Latter Day Saints.
The store remains in the Daynes family today, with John Daynes’ great-grandson Gerald Daynes Jr. running the show. Daynes Music specializes in pianos, offering new and used pianos as well as synthesizers and keyboards. They also connect pianists in the community to piano teachers, tuners, and technicians. For over 150 years, the Daynes family has been keeping the music alive and well in Utah.
NEXT: Head to the first state to give women the right to vote to visit another historical bar.
39. Miners and Stockmen’s Steakhouse and Spirits
Year Established: 1862
Hartville, the oldest incorporated town in Wyoming, is also home to the state’s oldest business. Miners and Stockmen’s Steakhouse and Spirits has been serving up cold drinks and hot meals since 1862. Long ago, it was a popular watering hole for bank robbers, cattle rustlers, and outlaws of all stripes. Locals say that during Prohibition people used to use the bar’s basement as a speakeasy.
Though it’s still in business, these days the restaurant stays on the right side of the law. Miners and Stockmen’s features rustic decor, dinner service Thursday through Sunday, and 35 different types of whiskey behind the bar.
NEXT: We’re on our way to the “Mountain State” to see the first business on the list established before the Civil War.
38. The Greenbrier
State: West Virginia
Year Established: 1858
Near West Virginia’s White Sulphur Springs, The Greenbrier hotel has stood since 1858. As early as the 1830s, politicians, merchants, and other prominent bigwigs made a habit of summering in the mountain retreat to escape the lowland heat. Although the resort closed from 1861 to 1865 and was used as a Civil War hospital during that time, it has been open ever since.
In 1914, The Greenbrier changed from being open seasonally to operating all year round. President Woodrow Wilson has stayed there with his wife, and so have Joseph and Rose Kennedy. In more recent years, The Greenbrier has updated their golf course and added a new casino.
NEXT: We’re heading “Rocky Mountain High” for a little R&R at this long-running establishment.
37. R&R Market
Year Established: 1857
In the town of San Luis, Colorado, you can find the oldest business in the state. The R&R Market was built in 1857 and has survived two fires, one in 1895 and another in 1947. The original building was made of adobe bricks. Many of the original bricks still stand and have been reinforced with stucco, concrete, and plaster.
Colorado Preservation lists R&R Market as an important historical site, but they also note its continuing importance to the community. The town of San Luis and its surrounding villages are considered a food desert. If not for the R&R, many residents there would have little to no access to fresh fruits and veggies. Even more reason to make a stop to support the historical R&R next time you’re passing through.
NEXT: This state is home to the oldest bank west of the Mississippi River.
36. First National Bank
Year Established: 1857
In 1857, brothers Herman and Augustus Kountze started Omaha’s first bank, the First National Bank of Omaha. Originally called Kountze Brothers Bank, the bank originally traded in gold dust and buffalo hides. In 1863, the bank got their national charter and began doing business under the name First National Bank of Omaha.
Today, it has grown into the largest privately held bank in America. The First National Bank of Omaha has 101 locations in the midwest, $17 billion in assets, and 5,000 employees. Not too shabby for a bank that started out as a small, family-run operation.
NEXT: This “Sunflower State” business has taken care of some notorious killers over the last century and a half.
35. Davis Funeral Chapel
Year Established: 1855
They say the only constants in life are death and taxes, so it makes sense that we’d find a funeral parlor somewhere on this list. Davis Funeral Chapel was founded in 1855 by James B. Davis, and it’s been in the family for seven generations.
It’s rumored that the second generation, Thaddeus Davis, was friends with the famous hunter Buffalo Bill Cody, but the Davis Funeral Chapel boasts even more famous connections than that. The chapel helped lay to rest mobster “Bugs” Moran, perpetrator of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, and the killers Richard Hickok and Perry Smith who were immortalized in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.
NEXT: This western bar is still heated by a wood burning stove in the winter months.
34. Genoa Bar
Year Established: 1853
Built in 1853, Genoa Bar bills itself as “Nevada’s Oldest Thirst Parlor.” The bar has changed hands many times, and in its early days it was known as a “gentlemen’s saloon.” Genoa Bar still has many of its original oil light fixtures in place though they have been converted to electrical power. There is also one special red oil lamp that the owners light every New Year’s Eve.
Notable figures like Mark Twain and Clark Gable have visited the bar, and it’s said that Raquel Welch’s bra hangs on the antlers behind the bar as a memento of her time there. Genoa Bar can also be seen in the movies. It appears in Misery starring Kathy Bates and Honky Tonk Man with Clint Eastwood.
NEXT: Speaking of cowboy movies, the next state on the list is John Wayne’s birthplace.
33. Breitbach’s Country Dining
Year Established: 1852
Breitbach’s Country Dining is another family business that was built to stand the test of time. Originally opened in 1852, Breitbach’s has been in the family for six generations. The original Breitbach’s building stood for over 150 years until fires caused it to have to be rebuilt twice.
That’s right, it was rebuilt two times. After a gas explosion and fire in 2007, the original building was completely destroyed. A new Breitbach’s was built only to burn down again less than a year later. Locals chipped in and Breitbach’s current location was complete in 2009. Here’s hoping that the third time’s a charm for this community favorite family business.
NEXT: This state was named by the explorer Ponce de Leon in honor of the Spanish Feast of the Flowers.
32. Pensacola Hardware
Year Established: 1851
Sunny Florida’s oldest business started as a humble hardware store in 1851. Pensacola Hardware was founded by Albert Lord Avery in 1851, and like other businesses on this list, it’s no stranger to fire. On Halloween night in 1905, a fire at a confectionery destroyed about 80% of downtown Pensacola, turning Pensacola Hardware’s original location to ashes.
The shop relocated to a new spot in downtown Pensacola where it has served the community ever since. The business has certainly changed with the times, however. Where once the hardware store also sold home goods and china, they have since expanded into industrial supplies due to competition from big box stores over the home market.
NEXT: On the other side of the country, another company started as a general store but ended up in the aerospace industry.
Year Established: 1849
When Charles Louis Ducommun founded his company Ducommun during the California gold rush, there’s no way he could have imagined that someday his Los Angeles general store would be supplying aluminum to the pioneers of aviation, yet that’s exactly what happened. Over the years, Ducommun sold essential supplies to the likes of Lindhberg and Lockheed.
Now, the business is focused on aerospace, defense, and industrial manufacturing, creating components for aircraft and spacecraft alike. In 2008, the company’s revenue was over $4 million and it employed 2,000 people in eight states. Its headquarters are now in Carson, California.
NEXT: Say “aloha” to the oldest business in this island state.
30. Kaanapali Land Management
Year Established: 1849
Kaanapali Land Management is another business that got its start in a completely different form. In the beginning, Heinrich Hackfeld and his brother-in-law J. C. Pflueger opened a sugar and dry goods store called H. Hackfeld and Company in 1849. Hackfield later got involved in a Kaua’i plantation as business manager, bringing land management into the company umbrella.
After World War I, the company was bought by a group of businessmen who changed the name to American Factor, later shortened to Amfac. In 2005, the company was reorganized into Kaanapali Land Management. Today, they run a resort and Kaanapali Coffee Farms.
NEXT: The next business operates in the same town where The Goonies was filmed.
29. Van Dusen Beverages
Year Established: 1849
Located in the lush greenery of Astoria, Oregon, you’ll find that state’s oldest business. Established in 1849 as Van Dusen Mercantile, today Van Dusen Beverages is a bottling plant for Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and a variety of other soft drinks and water. However, the company was already almost one hundred years old when they started bottling soda pop in 1947.
They also have a division devoted to our favorite thing: coffee. 1849 Gourmet Coffee is a full line of coffee, cappuccino, and tea drinks. Van Dusen Beverages supplies local convenience stores, hospitals, offices, and other businesses with cold drink needs.
NEXT: Ready for a sip of the hard stuff? We’re going to take a look at the 13th largest craft brewery in the country.
28. Minhas Craft Brewery
Year Established: 1845
Minhas Craft Brewery in Monroe, Wisconsin is the oldest business in the state, and it’s survived the Great Depression, Prohibition, and a fire to get there. Founded in 1845 by a man known as Mr. Bissinger, it’s had ten different owners over the years. Today, it’s owned by brother and sister team Ravinder and Manjit Minhas.
If you shop at Trader Joe’s or Costco, odds are you’ve actually seen Minhas products on the shelf. The brewery cans Trader Joe’s Simpler Times beers as well as Costco’s Kirkland brews. The Minhas family also runs two other locations in Alberta, Canada.
NEXT: We’re on the road to the Lone Star State for a taste of something sweet.
27. Imperial Sugar
Year Established: 1843
One of America’s largest sugar mills Imperial Sugar was founded in the fittingly-named town of Sugar Land, Texas way back in 1843. The company was originally founded by Samuel May Williams, a member of one of the original 100 families to colonize Texas. Now, the company is owned by the Louis Dreyfus Group of the Netherlands and has refineries in California, Louisiana, and Georgia.
In 2008, an explosion at their facility in Georgia tragically killed 14 people and injured 40 more. Despite the terrible accident, Imperial Sugar was able to get back on track when the Louis Dreyfus Group purchased the company to keep making things sweet.
NEXT: This barbeque-loving state is home to another bar that’s over 150 years old.
26. O’Malley’s Pub
Year Established: 1842
Missouri is famous for slow-cooked barbeque and thick, tangy sauces, but this state also loves keeping their good old bars alive. O’Malley’s Pub, for example, first opened its doors in 1842. Today, the bar is in the basement of its building, but originally upstairs was a brewery as well.
Though O’Malley’s was forced to close during Prohibition, the good people of Missouri brought it back. Now, visitors can tour the historic cellars, learn about the brewing process, and get tastes of ice cold beer from the brewery. Though the brewery is now next door to accommodate modern brewing processes, the lines still run into O’Malley’s Pub.
NEXT: For our next stop, we’re checking out some jewels from the state whose bird is the cardinal.
25. C.D. Peacock
Year Established: 1837
Jeweler Elijah Peacock came from England to set up shop in the New World in 1837, and that same shop has been in business ever since. His son Charles D. Peacock inherited the business, and his name C.D. has remained attached to the store. Though much of the store was burned in the great Chicago fire of 1871, the vault managed to survive.
In the 1970s, C.D. Peacock actually became the first jewelry store to sell mail-order jewels. The shop has had many famous customers over the years too, from Mary Todd Lincoln to Mick Jagger. These days, C.D. Peacock has three locations, all in Illinois.
NEXT: This state is the birthplace of Rosa Parks and Helen Keller.
Year Established: 1836
Bromberg’s in Birmingham, Alabama has been going strong and keeping it in the family since 1836. Founded in 1836 by a Prussian immigrant named Frederick Bromberg, today the jewelry store has four locations in Alabama and is still owned by the sixth generation of Bromberg’s, brothers Ricky and Frank.
According to its website, the store even managed to remain successful throughout the Great Depression. During the 50s, 60s, and 70s, Bromberg’s bought out other local stores to become a major source for fine jewelry in the area. They offer custom pieces, high-end brands, and even home furnishings and wedding registries.
NEXT: We’re headed to the Hoosier state to get the latest news.
23. Register Publications
Year Established: 1836
Since 1836, Register Publications has been reporting all the news that’s fit to print in Indiana. Register’s various papers all trace their roots back to The Dearborn County Register, a weekly paper that hits the stands every Thursday, and has for over a hundred years. Each week, Register Publications prints 3,500 copies of their flagship paper, and two-thirds of these papers are delivered directly to their subscribers.
Today, Register Publications owns six other papers, including their former rival The Journal Press. The company also prints papers in Ohio and Over 50, a periodical targeting older members of their community.
NEXT: The next state on the list is home to the “Green Chile Capital of the World.”
22. El Farol
State: New Mexico
Year Established: 1835
New Mexico’s oldest business is still an award-winning bar and restaurant today. El Farol in Santa Fe served its first glass of tequila back in 1835, when it was known as La Cantina del Canon. Though the restaurant has changed hands a number of times since then, it has carried on a proud tradition of serving great food and drink New Mexico style.
On the menu at El Farol, you’ll find Spanish style tapas, paella, and big juicy steaks. At the bar, you can treat yourself to margaritas and sangria. Plus, the walls are adorned with murals created by renowned local artists. If you stop in on a Friday or Saturday night, you just might catch some live music while you’re at it.
NEXT: This company quite literally built the city of Detroit.
21. George Jerome & Co
Year Established: 1828
Long before Detroit came to be known as the motor city, George Jerome & Co set up shop in the Michigan frontier. The land surveying and civil engineering company that Edwin Jerome founded back in 1828, went on to help build much of what would become the city of Detroit.
According to local legend, Edwin Jerome was headed west toward Wisconsin during the Black Hawk Indian Wars, and trouble on the trail made him decide to settle in Michigan instead. The company has since been passed down through six generations of the Jerome family and is currently run by George G. Jerome Jr.
NEXT: This southern state’s official state bird is the mockingbird.
20. Rose Law Firm
Year Established: 1820
Rose Law Firm isn’t just the oldest business in Arkansas. It’s also the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi River. The practice was established back in 1820, before Arkansas was even a state. The firm was founded by two young lawyers, Robert Crittenden and Chester Ashley. Crittenden was actually appointed Lieutenant Governor of the Arkansas territory by President James Monroe when he was just 22 years old.
Today, six former members of the Rose Law Firm now sit on the Arkansas Supreme Court, and the firm can also boast that former member Hillary Rodham Clinton went on to serve as a U.S. Senator and as U.S. Secretary of State.
NEXT: The next business on the list is the first to be over two hundred years old.
19. The Golden Lamb
Year Established: 1803
Lebanon, Ohio inn The Golden Lamb can proudly say they’ve been serving up great food for over two hundred years. How many spots can say that? The restaurant was founded in 1803 by Jonas Seaman, who spent just $4 to get the permit to open his business. In those days, the sign outside was just a picture of a golden lamb, as many patrons did not know how to read.
Today, The Golden Lamb remains proud of its history and stays true to its roots. Guests can visit the museum rooms filled with Shaker furniture and artifacts, order a pint at the tavern, or have a meal in the restaurant.
NEXT: This Fortune 500 company comes from humble beginnings.
Year Established: 1802
Today, DuPont is a gigantic chemical company. In 2018, the company posted over $85 billion in revenue, and it’s considered to be one of the largest chemical manufacturing companies in the world. However, DuPont didn’t start out as a giant, and in fact, it’s the oldest business in the state of Delaware.
DuPont was founded in 1802 by a Frenchman named Éleuthère Irénée du Pont. He had fled his country to escape the French Revolution and soon set up shop in the States as a gunpowder manufacturer. His original worksite at Eleutherian Mills is now a National Historic Landmark, and at one time his company was the US Army’s largest gunpowder supplier.
NEXT: This maple syrup-loving state is home to the first business on the list founded in the 1700s.
17. Fort Ticonderoga Ferry
Year Established: 1799
Every day, the Fort Ticonderoga Ferry shuttles passengers and cars across Lake Champlain, from Shoreham, Vermont to Ticonderoga, New York. Rain or shine, the ferry runs all throughout the warm Spring and Summer season in all but the very worst weather. The ferry isn’t just the oldest business in Vermont; it’s also the oldest continually operated ferry line in the country.
The ferry crossing was first established in 1752, during the French Indian Wars, but it wasn’t until a few decades later that local tavern owner John Larrabee would begin offering regular crossings as a service.
NEXT: This southern bourbon brand is known all around the world today, but it started as a small family business.
16. Jim Beam
Year Established: 1795
Jim Beam bourbon is sipped worldwide thanks to the incredible success of their two-hundred-year-old recipe. The company began when Jacob Beam, the son of a German immigrant in Kentucky, started making and selling bourbon, using a corn-whiskey recipe perfected by his father. He sold the first barrel of Jim Beam way back in 1795.
Today, Jim Beam’s parent company, Beam Suntory, also owns the small batch Kentucky bourbon Maker’s Mark. The Spirits Business reports that in 2018, Jim Beam sold over 10 million cases of their famous corn liquor. That adds up to a lot of mint juleps!
NEXT: This old tavern was the site of a bone-chilling discovery.
15. King’s Tavern
Year Established: 1789
King’s Tavern in Natchez, Mississippi, has more claim to a haunted past than most restaurants. According to locals, during a renovation in the 1930s, the skeletons of two men and one woman were found entombed in a wall behind the fireplace. Townspeople believe the woman was Madeline, the unlucky mistress of the tavern’s original owner Richard King, and they believe she was killed by King’s wife.
People have reported some eerie happenings in the tavern, like seeing strange reflections in the mirror and feeling unexplained warm spots of air. In addition to potential brushes with the paranormal, the tavern still serves up food and drink just as they have since 1789.
NEXT: This restaurant in North Carolina will make you feel you’ve really stepped back in time.
14. Tavern in Old Salem
State: North Carolina
Year Established: 1784
If you’ve ever wondered what it would have been like to live back in 1784, the Tavern in Old Salem in North Carolina can give you a taste for daily life in the past. Servers at this long-running restaurant dress in traditional Moravian garb just like the pilgrims and guests get to enjoy meals by candlelight in small, intimate dining rooms.
The Tavern’s menu appeals more to modern tastes than it would have to our forefathers. They serve upscale farm to table cuisine, craft cocktails, and draft beers that please the modern palate. And unlike the actual 1700s, if you get bored you can always look at your phone.
NEXT: This southeastern state is known for its golf courses and sunny beaches.
State: South Carolina
Year Established: 1778
In downtown Charleston, South Carolina, a historic brick building is home to a very old restaurant. McCrady’s was established in 1778 by a barber and vitner named Edward McCrady. McCrady built out the tavern, adding a long room which would eventually be used for theater troupe performances and hosting luminaries like President George Washington.
Today, McCrady’s looks historic on the outside but modern and sleek on the inside. The restaurant is the proud winner of a AAA five diamond award, the only restaurant in the state to hold that honor. It’s also known as one of Wine Enthusiasts’ top 100 restaurants in America.
NEXT: This business is the first on the list that’s older than the Declaration of Independence.
12. LaFitte’s Blacksmith Shop
Year Established: 1772
Jean Lafitte and his brother Pierre were French pirates and privateers who operated in the Gulf Coast region in the late 1700s. Their “blacksmith shop,” which opened in 1772, is thought to have been a cover for smuggling and other nefarious operations. Today, their shop remains one of the oldest buildings still standing in New Orleans, on the corner of Bourbon Street and St. Phillip Street.
The bar has survived two fires and withstood the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It’s a favorite dive bar among locals and tourists alike, and another bar down the street also bearing Lafitte’s name has a claim to fame as the oldest gay bar in America.
NEXT: Over two hundred years before the first Woodstock festival, this business opened up shop in the same state.
11. The Old 76 House
State: New York
Year Established: 1755
The building housing The Old 76 House was built way back in 1668, and thanks to its location in New York state, the building has seen quite a bit of early American history. The building was originally a house used as a meeting place by the patriots in the Revolutionary War, and famously the spy General John Andre was kept imprisoned there.
It became a tavern in 1755 and the beers have been flowing ever since. The building was restored in 1987 by the Norden family, who took great pains to preserve its historic character. It is a designated National Historic Landmark, and we hear the food is well worth a taste.
NEXT: Arr matey, time to walk the plank into the top ten!
10. The Pirates’ House
Year Established: 1753
In the seaport town of Savannah, Georgia, it was only natural that an inn catering to visiting seamen would flourish and thrive. The Pirates’ House, first founded in 1753, catered to that clientele and its history is littered with tall tales of sailors and pirates.
By the 1940s, the building had grown very dilapidated. The Savannah Gas Company acquired the building in 1945 and planned to demolish it, however, a certain Mary Hilyer had other plans for it. Her husband was the president of the gas company, and she convinced him to preserve the building and keep it operational. Under her guidance, it was transformed from an inn to a restaurant without losing its historic charm.
NEXT: This restaurant serves up crab cakes with a heaping side of history.
9. Middleton Tavern
Year Established: 1750
Middleton Tavern in Annapolis, Maryland, has seen more than its share of Founding Fathers patronize the inn and restaurant. Opened in 1750, the tavern has hosted George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and many more. Middleton Tavern was also a meeting place for the Freemasons and the Maryland Jockey Club. Fifth president James Monroe is also thought to have frequented the Middleton Tavern.
The Middleton Tavern has changed hands many times over the centuries, but its name has always remained the same. In 1983, the tavern was remodeled and expanded to include the oyster bar and upstairs dining rooms.
NEXT: Betsy Ross made the first American flag in this state, sixty years after the next business was founded.
8. The Rowland Company
Year Established: 1732
The Rowland Company was founded by Benjamin Rowland in 1732. Rowland was a descendent of a settler who had come to the colonies with William Penn, and he made and sold things like wagon springs and shovels. In the centuries to come, The Rowland Company adapted to changing customer needs, and by the 1950s most of their business was in making parts for cars and trucks.
Though The Rowland Company is no longer family-owned, they continue to operate in Pennsylvania. Their main products today are parts for industrial applications, including brakes, clutches, and other mechanical materials.
NEXT: Our next stop is in The Garden State for a stay at an historic inn.
7. Barnsboro Inn
State: New Jersey
Year Established: 1720
The Barnsboro Inn in Sewell, New Jersey, was built in 1720 by a man named John Budd. He built the original structure from local logs, and it still offers great views of the forest today. The cabin still stands today, and it is the oldest part of the inn. He secured a tavern license for the building, and that license has been active ever since.
Today, the inn serves classic bar food with a twist, like their spicy cajun calamari or crab cakes on a brioche bun. You can also order a craft beer or a glass of fine wine to sip with your meal. It’s a popular spot among the locals and a great place to visit for a glimpse into the past.
NEXT: The next business on the list has been around since the 1600s!
6. Seaside Inn
Year Established: 1667
The Seaside Inn on Kennebunk Beach, Maine, has been in the same family for nine generations. Founded in 1667, the inn was founded by Jedidiah Gooch and was passed down through his sons until the fourth generation, when a daughter inherited the business. Today, the inn is owned by Trish and Ken Mason.
The Seaside Inn on the coast of Maine is a popular destination in the summer, when many tourists come to take in Maine’s rustic beauty. The Inn features 22 rooms, complimentary continental breakfast, and oceanfront views. There’s also a hot tub on the deck with a view of the water and misters on the patio to keep you cool on the hottest summer days.
NEXT: We’re breaking into the top five with this business in the Old Colony State.
5. Barker’s Farm
Year Established: 1642
North Andover, Massachusetts is home to one of the oldest businesses in the country. Barker’s Farm has been growing crops and local people have picked apples in their orchards since 1642. Incredibly, the farm is still in the Barker family. Diane Barker, the current owner, is the eleventh generation of Barkers to run the farm.
Every fall, North Andover families love visiting the orchards at Barker’s Farm to go apple picking and enjoy the changing seasons. The farm also has a roadside stand that sells produce, pies, and local honey. Locals also love the apple donuts for sale at the farm stand.
NEXT: The Nutmeg State is home to a dairy farm that’s over 300 years old.
4. Field View Farm
Year Established: 1639
Field View Farm in Orange, Connecticut is another family farm that’s managed to keep going through twelve generations. Thomas Hine established the farm in 1639 and his descendants are still raising cattle there today. The three hundred-year-old farm is known for its dairy, and to this day locals rave on Yelp about the generous portions of homemade ice cream they serve.
Today, the farm also makes a good share of its money selling agricultural equipment. They started this side hustle after a fire in 1996 wiped out a good portion of the farm and left the Hines family scrambling for cash. Luckily, they were able to get back on their feet and keep the ice cream coming.
NEXT: This 300-year-old barn stands in the state whose motto is “Live free or die.”
3. Tuttle’s Red Barn
State: New Hampshire
Year Established: 1632
In 1632, with a grant from King Charles I of England, John Tuttle came to the New World and founded his family’s farm. From that time on, the farm stayed in Tuttle’s family for eleven generations, operating seasonally and selling fresh fruits and vegetables. The latest Tuttle generation expanded to year-round operations and added cheeses and other goods to the farm’s selection.
However, in 2013, the Tuttles finally sought an outside buyer for their long-held family farm. Matt Kozazcki of Newbury, Massachusetts bought the farm for $1 million and continues to work the land there.
NEXT: We’re almost to the oldest business on the list! Next stop, the smallest state in America.
2. Kenyon’s Grist Mill
State: Rhode Island
Year Established: 1632
You might be wondering, what is “grist” anyway? Well, it’s the whole grain that’s ground to make flour, usually corn or wheat. At Kenyon’s Grist Mill in Rhode Island, folks have been making flour for over three hundred years. In the beginning, farmers would bring their grain to the mill to be ground and pay the miller for the service. In 1909, the mill was bought by C.D. Kenyon who had another idea.
Kenyon started to grind and package grain and sell it at the mill and various markets all over the state. Today, Kenyon’s is known for its quality cornmeal, called Johnny Cake Meal, and other packaged flours.
NEXT: Are you ready to see the oldest business on the list? If you’ve been keeping track, you already know what state it’s in.
1. Shirley Plantation
Year Established: 1613
Shirley Plantation, founded in 1613, was the first plantation to be established in the state. It was first owned by Edward Hill I, but the current plantation mansion wasn’t completed until 1738. The great house remains much as it was then to this day, and direct descendants of Hill still own and live on the plantation.
Shirley Plantation has been passed down through eleven generations of the Hill family, and it is still a working cotton plantation today. The plantation is also designated as a National Historic Landmark, and visitors can pay to tour the grounds and see the historic house, fields, and even the old slave quarters.