Editor's Note: We have attempted to verify original years of operation as accurately as possible, but due to a lack of authentic documentation, we have in some cases taken colloquial history as veritable evidence. We welcome any disagreements and/or amendments, and in fact, encourage them. We excluded places of worship, schools, and newspapers from these rankings.
Down every main street in America, the old guard of independent “Mom and Pop” business are an increasingly endangered species. Doors are closing and windows shuttering, with glossy chains, yoga studios, and 24/7 banks popping up between our antiquated favorites and local stalwarts.
These 50 bars, businesses, and firms have emerged as the exceptions to the rule, thanks to clever strategies, impeccable track records, and sometimes, simple, dumb luck. We dug through periodicals, scoured historical records, and uncovered cryptically buried secrets like interweb Indiana Joneses to find what we believe to be the oldest surviving businesses in every state.