Think you've got what it takes to build a legacy brand? Here's a look at some of the oldest companies in the United State. Of course, these companies don't even shine a candle to the world's oldest brands (a Japanese hotel chain founded in the year 705 is still operational), but several of these are nearly 350 years old.
Back in 1632, King Charles I gave John Tuttle a land grant to open this farm, which continues to produce corn and cheese. A 2010 NPR interview with Lucy Tuttle, the 11th generation of Tuttle to run the farm, announced she'd be putting the farm up for sale. "We have about--probably 35 to 40 employees, depending on the time of year," she says. "We have tractors that were purchased in the 1950s, and irrigation equipment that was purchased in the early '50s, and buildings that need repair and maintenance, and so on." Originally priced at $3.35 million, the Tuttle family reduced the selling price in June 2012 to $1.48 million.
Founded in 1752 in Newport, Rhode Island, by William Hunte, a Scottish-born doctor, Caswell-Massey first opened as an apothecary shop that sold perfume and personal care products. In 1780, George Washington visited the shop, and selected Perfume No. 6 as his scent of choice; he would later give it as a present to Marquis de Lafayette, who served as a major general in Washington's revolutionary army. The company opened its first store in New York City in 1833; its flagship, on 48th and Lexigton, opened in 1926.
Field View Farm was established by the Hine family in Orange, Connecticut, in 1639. The dairy farm, which opens its doors to the public for daily viewing sessions, produces milk and ice cream. The farm continues to be run by the Hine family--Walter and Dorothy Hine and their son. In the late 1990s, the farm suffered a "devastating barn fire," but continues to earn additional revenue through the family's trucking operation, Field View Farm Transportation Inc.
The Seaside Inn, established in 1667, is the oldest hotel in the United States. The cottage is situated on the Atlantic coast about 30 miles south of Portland in Kennebunkport, Maine. According to the family, the first owner of the inn was John Gooch, who was commissioned by King Charles II to "reside on the oceanfront peninsula at the mouth of the Kennebunk River and ferry travelers across the River." There, Gooch opened the Seaside Inn. The current owners, Trish and Ken Mason, are the 12th generation of the Gooch family to run the inn.
The White Horse Tavern, now a bar and restaurant, was originally built in Newport, Rhode Island as the residence of a Francis Brinley, a wealthy Brit. Twenty one years later, Williams Mays, Sr. bought the house and converted it to a tavern. British troops used the tavern as lodging during the American revolution, according to the Architectural Heritage of Newport, Rhode Island. Today, the restaurants offers three private dining rooms and dress is "business comfortable."
Towle Silversmiths was founded in Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1690 by William Moulton II, the first silversmith in the region. For the next six generations, the Moultons continued making silverware, and in 1882, the family incorporated the company as the Towle Manufacturing Co. In 1990, the company was acquired by Syratech, a holding company, which was then acquired by Lifetime Brands, a bigger holding company, in 2006. However, Towle silverware can still be purchased directly on TowleSilver.com.
The Lakeside Mill was built in Spindale, North Carolina, in 1736. The mill, which produces corn meal products, was used to supply the Continental troops in during the Revolutionary war. In 1929, the Lakeside Mill was purchased by the King family, which continues to operate the company.