Monday - Thursday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
The Squire-Bates Store is now on the west side of Main Street, just north of the Elias Austin House. It originally stood on the site of the present-day First Church
of Christ. A l 1/2 story barn with vertical flush-boarding stands behind the building.
This historically commercial building was moved to its present site in 1847. The facade doorway is flanked by fluted pilasters which rise to a simple crown-moulded lintel. A modern exterior chimney is on the north side. A full-length addition has been made to the rear of the building.
The Squire-Bates Store, now a residence, is a simple l 1/2 story, 4 bay, Colonial period building which rests on a sandstone foundation. It was built in 1796. Its post-and-beam frame has an asphalt-shingled gable roof and is clapboarded. The facade entryway is off-center. In January 1796 Phineas Squires bought a Main Street plot, with dwelling house and barn, from Martha and Robert Fairchild of Fairfield. The First Church of Christ stands on this lot today. Only a month later in 1796, however, Squires sold the lot, with a newly built store upon it, to Daniel and Guernsey Bates. Dennis Camp received the property in 1835. In that year and the next, the store building was used as a schoolhouse by Gaylord Newton. In 1847 Camp conveyed the property to the First Ecclesiastical Society of Durham, “for the purpose of building a Church thereon” (DLR 19:310). Guernsey Bates’ old dwelling house was pulled down, but the store building was moved to its present site. It eventually became the dwelling house of Sereno Leete, a Durham farmer. This building is important as one of the earliest extant commercial structures in Durham.