Nestled between Pine and Big Black Mountains, the two highest ranges in the state, Oven Fork was named for brick ovens placed on the banks of the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River.
In 1930, the place now known as the Mercantile was a grocery store and gas station. In 1945, one side of the room became the Oven Fork Post Office. It served the community as a post office until 1988. The old building became the Oven Fork Mercantile in 1991.
Practicing the old principles of business through trade (buying and selling), barter and consignment, the mercantile features local art, books, music, crafts, antiques and homemade candies. It is located on US119.
The Mercantile is dedicated to preserving past history. The original counters and shelving remain intact in the old grocery store. A picture on the wall will show you how the place looked in the 1930's with the proprietors behind the counter.
The post office boxes remain where the mail was sorted and you can stand in front of the window where former community people stood to call for the mail over 50 years ago. The flag raised each day now hangs on the wall as a quilt.
The Mercantile has a two-story, hand-hewn log room added on a s part of the shop. The room is dated 1865 and was moved from four miles up the road at Bad Branch. Recycled materials were used in the restoration of the cabin.