Designated the “Oldest Continuously Operating Store in the United States” in 2007 by Rhode Island officials, Gray’s Store was forced to close after the unexpected death of its owner Grayton Waite in 2012. The store was first established by Samuel Church in 1788, and the Gray Family purchased it in 1879. Grayton Waite was the sixth generation of that family to own and operate the store. His son Jonah is now the seventh-generation owner of the store and he hopes to reopen the business in a way that will benefit the community.
Gray’s Store was also the site of the first post office in all of Little Compton. It remained the only post office from 1804 until a second office was established on the Commons in 1830. Both Manchester’s Store and Gray’s Store had post offices inside them, with the official post office rotating between the stores depending on which political party was in power and had the ability to appoint a new postmaster.
Mary Moniz ran the third Adamsville Post Office from a small building on Crandall Road built on family land. The fourth post office, pictured here and still in use today on Crandall Road, was built in the 1950s by George Carr, the Postmaster at the time.