In 2020, we celebrate the store’s 132nd year in business. Over these years, much has changed. But it’s the old-fashioned, “mom and pop” feel that’s still present in the modern day Snow’s that keeps people coming back.
One of the reasons six generations have sequentially stepped up to help lead the business is that the company itself has the same values we knew as kids. Our grandparents taught us to act with integrity, have respect for others, and to work with our community, contributing in any way possible to make a difference. And as a local, family-owned business, we believe it’s important to give back to our community. In addition to the direct contributions made by the business, we also sponsor charitable giving programs that encourage employees and customers to help support our neighbors in need.
We are proud to support many Cape-based organizations that advocate for health and wellness, homelessness, child welfare, animal welfare, the arts, education, and our environment. In addition to our financial support for local non profits, we are actively involved in the organizations that shape our community. We are a proud member of the Cape & Islands Workforce Investment Board, the Cape Cod Retail Council, Cape Cod Young Professionals, and seven Cape-based chambers of commerce.
The ancestors of the Snow family were one of the seven families to settle Eastham and its offshoot, Orleans. Since 1644, the Snow families have served the town, both in government and business, a tradition that continues today.
In the 1870s, Captain Aaron Snow transported coal, grain, and other items along the eastern coast aboard the merchant ship Nettie M. Rogers. He first conducted business from a shed and wharf he owned on Town Cove. Captain Aaron’s son and daughter-in-law, William and Annie Snow, established the first official Snow’s store in 1887.
Since these early days, local folklore maintained that, when in need of something, you could generally “find it at Snow’s.” And it’s no different today. The business is now run by the family’s 5th and 6th generations, who continue Aaron’s philosophy of “accommodating customers” – well over a century after it all began.
Captain Aaron’s son and daughter-in-law, William and Annie Snow, establishes the first official Snow’s store on Main Street.
Will and Annie Snow dedicated part of their home (which stood in front of the current store) to the business and sold coal, wood, nails, hand tools, household items, gardening tools, and other supplies. Often, customers would find a sign on the store’s door from the proprietor: If you need anything, call out the back–I’ll be in the garden. – William H. Snow
Store expands to accommodate the growing trade.
William and Annie’s son, Harry, who was learning the business upon completion of his studies at Worcester Academy, enlists in the Army Signal Corps, and then transfers to the Army Air Corps. Despite the distance, his thoughts remain on the business.
Letters home were filled with details about training and sightseeing—and a continuous preoccupation with the business. Harry wrote this note, postmarked November 11, 1918: Here Monday A.M. Came through part of Alabama and am in my 24th state. Have seen half of the states of the Union. (like Virginia)–Train late as usual. Cancel Addie Crosby’s order for wood. – Harry
The building gained a reputation for furnishing just about everything one might need to build, maintain, or decorate a house and care for the property around it. Local folklore maintained that, when in need of something, you could generally “find it at Snow’s.”
Store expands again to include a large center section, complete with second floor apartments and a good-sized attic, along with a new wing (an exact replica of the original).
Upon William’s death, Annie and Harry runs the store in partnership.
Harry’s curiosity and keen intelligence made him a natural businessman. His warm and accommodating personality drove the business forward. He truly loved being with his customers and would stop whatever he was doing to find an item someone wanted—whether it was up in the attic or down in the basement.
The store celebrates its 54th anniversary with summer sales and the opening of a new basement store.
Harry considered the expansion a feather in his cap. Not only was it the first basement store below Hyannis, it provided another venue to showcase products, mount sales events and mix with more people across the counter.
After graduating from Boston University, Harry and wife Adeline’s son Bill returns to work full-time in the store.
Harry and Adeline’s son Stan returns from the Air Force to work in the store.
The brothers united to conduct business in the small community. Bill focused on details in the office, Bob built up the domestic heating and service business, and Stan supervised the growing store. Anne Snow, Bill’s wife, worked in the store’s office for more than 25 years. Stan’s wife Bonnie and Bob’s wife Elisabeth also became intricately linked to the store and its success.
Construction of a new, modernized store behind the existing one begins.
The old store could not withstand the company’s continued growth. The building that had been enlarged many times from its modest beginnings was strained to its limits. Harry turned the first spade full of earth.
In April, the old store closes and the new store opens on the same day.
Business flourished under the leadership of the fourth generation.
Harry Snow, who was living quietly in retirement, dies a few months shy of his 90th birthday.
A new addition is added to accommodate further growth.
The store celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Like their fathers, Sidney H. Snow, Susan Snow (Bill’s children) and James M. Snow (Stan’s son) literally grew up in the store and did everything from stocking merchandise to bagging birdseed. While their siblings Penny, Julie and Alan also worked at the store, Sid, James and Susan chose to carry on the family business with the same commitment and dedication as the previous generations.
1st generation: Captain Aaron Snow
2nd generation: William G. Show
3rd generation: Harry H. Snow
4th generation: Willian C. Snow, Robert Snow, Stanley Snow
5th generation: Sidney Snow, James Snow, Susan Snow