Cecil’s Country Store has been a St. Mary’s Country landmark for over a century. Back when Cecil’s first opened, their customers were local residents who arrived by carriage, horseback, or on foot to do their shopping. Nowadays, visitors are attracted from as far away as Virginia, Pennsylvania, and beyond. They stop by to enjoy the nostalgic surroundings of Cecil’s Historic District as well as shop the many unique and interesting products offered at Cecil’s Country Store.
During the days when it served as the local general store, Cecil’s carried everything from groceries and produce to household sundries and utensils. It was also the location of the Great Mill Post Office, and a favorite meeting place for sitting on the porch, gossiping and catching up on all the local news. In that same neighborly tradition, chatting with customers about the area, the history, and local current events is a big part of the friendly customer service which makes shopping at Cecil’s so enjoyable.
The general store ceased operations in 1976 and soon afterwards reopened as The Christmas Country Store. The store was renamed Cecil’s Country Store in 1996 when it was leased to St. Mary’s Antiques.
Cecil’s Country Store is now home to an eclectic mix of antiques, home decor, Mary Lou Troutman original art and prints, designer jewelry, Yankee Candles, beautiful handmade pottery, and much more. The historic Cecil’s Old Mill across the street became home to St. Mary’s County Art Association selling locally produced arts, crafts, baked goods, honey and homemade jellies.
Dawna Wible, owner of St. Mary’s Antiques, credits her staff of dedicated sales associates for the success of Cecil’s Country Store over the past 20 years. “This is a team effort,” she says. “There is no way I could accomplish any of this alone. Most of my sales people have been with me since the beginning and we really are like a family.”
A special Cecil’s tradition that practically the whole region looks forward to is the Cecil’s Country Store Annual Christmas Open House. Held the week after Thanksgiving, this event features the store decorated in all its holiday glory, with special window displays reminiscent of holiday store windows from yesteryear and traditional Christmas carols filling the air. Weather permitting there is usually a live demonstration of the antique sawmill at Cecil’s Old Mill. The steel double overshot waterwheel located at the Old Mill is probably the last existing waterwheel of its kind still operational in the State of Maryland, and a favorite experience for many visitors.
This year’s Open House will be held on December 5th from 10am – 5pm, so mark your calendars!
To help customers with their shopping , the staff at Cecil’s Country Store put together a list of their “Favorite Things” for gift giving:
Owner of St. Mary’s Antiques
Luminara Candles – “When I first saw these, I had the same reaction everyone else does – I couldn’t believe it wasn’t a real flame dancing around, giving off such a beautiful, natural light. You can now enjoy beautiful candlelight in your home without the hazards of live flames or soot. These candles are made of real wax and will last for years and years. I think anyone would be thrilled to receive a Luminara candle as a Christmas gift.”
Sales Associate and Visual Display Creator
Antique Items –“I love mixing old and new items in home décor; for example, pairing antique hurricane lamps with books. It visually gives new meaning to “repurposing” and lets me appreciate an earlier time in our St. Mary’s County history. At Cecil’s Country Store we not only carry Antique Furniture, we also have Antique and Vintage dishes, glassware, candlestick holders, wall art, clothing items, accessories, and more.”
Melissa and Doug Educational and Classic Toys – “Some things are truly timeless. Melissa and Doug toys incorporate early learning with classically designed toys. All their products are made with the highest quality materials, and are designed to last for years. Their toys will stimulate your child’s imagination and help make the “work” of playing even more fun! Here at Cecil’s Country Store we have a large selection Melissa and Doug products for all ages, from infants to older children. “
Sales Associate (Retired)
Maryland items from Route One – “What a great way to celebrate being a Marylander! These are such great gift ideas and some of our best selling items. Cecil’s Country Store has almost everything you can imagine; scarves and gloves, ties, hats, purses and tote bags, glassware, yard flags, dog collars…you name it! On a recent cruise, I met a fellow Marylander who came over to admire my Route One handbag – so these may even help you make new friends! “
Mary Lou Troutman Prints – “I think one of my favorite gift ideas has to be one of the beautiful framed prints by Mary Lou Troutman. We have a huge selection of MLT prints available in different sizes and prices. The gift of art is such a thoughtful, personal gift, and giving one of Mary Lou’s uniquely Southern Maryland prints is always appreciated. If it’s someone really special, you may even want to consider an original Mary Lou Troutman painting. We have those in stock as well, here at Cecil’s Country Store.”
Genuine Oyster Shell Home Décor – “We carry a very nice selection of charming home décor accessories made from genuine oyster shells, including wreaths, oyster balls, candle holders, ornaments, and more. Incorporating these beautiful oyster shells accessories into home decorating brings authentic Chesapeake charm to any room, and is a lovely homage to the history and culture of our state.”
Ronaldo Designer Jewelry – “Without a doubt, my favorite gift idea would have to be the beautiful new bracelets we now carry as the exclusive authorized retailer for Ronaldo Fine Jewelry. Each piece is not only beautiful to behold, but carries a special message of inspiration that is reflected in its design. Made with the finest materials like 14K Gold Artist Wire and Argentium Silver, Ronaldo’s bracelets are filled with exquisite details. You really have to see these bracelets in person to appreciate their unique beauty.”
Mary Lou Troutman
Tervis Tumblers – “These are quite literally the greatest drinking glasses ever invented. They keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. They don’t sweat all over your furniture, they can go into the dishwasher, and they have handy-dandy lids to keep the liquids in the cup when you’re not drinking. I love Tervis Tumblers so much; I even designed a special Mary Lou Troutman Tervis Tumbler which you can purchase here at Cecil’s. That would be a perfect Christmas gift for anyone, if you ask me!”
Sales Associate (Retired)
Finchberry Soap – Finchberry soaps look so beautiful you almost can’t tell if you’re supposed to bath with them or serve them as dessert! This is perhaps the most luxurious soap I’ve ever used. The rich, creamy lather leaves your skin soft and moisturized. And the fragrances are heavenly! Finchberry Soaps are definitely my pick for favorite Christmas gift of all!
For directions, store hours visit: cecilscountrystore.com