The Back Chamber has been in operation since 1986. It was started as a summer business by Tracy And Jim Giroux in a building operated by Tracy’s grandparents, Ernie and Genia Way (formerly Ernie’s Sport Shop). When Tracy’s parents (Helen and Mel Kenny) retired, the hours were extended, and a barn shop was added.
The shop is part of an old farm that has been in the family since 1918. Through the years, the shop has been a snack bar, a glass shop, a sport and tackle shop, and now an antique shop. On the property, you will find post and beam construction barns built around 1850. Horses and ponies were raised on the farm as well as traditional farm animals. In the 1950s, the farm offered pony rides to tourists for 25 cents. Way Farm Angus was in operation for 15 years.
The main house (The Village Farmhouse ) was built in 1850 and is located on the site formerly occupied by Ladd’s Tavern (circa 1803). The tavern was a common gathering place for townspeople in the early 1800s. Official town business was often conducted at the tavern. The old stone doorstep can still be found on the front lawn. The Village Farmhouse at the Way Farm was lovingly restored in 2015 and is available for seasonal weekly rental.
After the death of the Ways, Helen moved back to her birthplace. When Tracy and Jim (her late husband) were married in 1982, they built their home on the property. It had been a dream for Tracy to build a home on the farm where she had spent much of her childhood. Helen and Jim have since passed away, and now Tracy and her husband Karl run the store and manage rentals at the farmhouse. Through the years, The Back Chamber has truly been an owned and operated family business. The whole family is involved in buying, selling, and collecting, which continues today.
The shop carries a wide variety of antiques and collectibles and includes gifts and home accessories with an updated country flavor. Also adding to the shop’s appeal are the many gardens, which customers are welcome to stroll through. After you visit the shop, you are encouraged to sit at the umbrella table made out of an old tree stump and enjoy the beautiful lake and spectacular mountain views.
The Back Chamber can be found in the center of historic North Hero Village. You will know you are at the shop when you see the old sleigh sitting on the grass triangle. The sleigh was used by Ernie Way to carry mail to the townspeople in the wintertime. Ernie enjoyed this job for thirty-one years.
Please stop by the shop, chat with the friendly owners, and enjoy the history and ambiance of The Back Chamber at The Way Farm.