Tag Archives: North Georgia General Stores

Maxeys Landmark Lost to Fire

This historic general store in Maxeys was lost to a tragic fire on 16 January 2021. [Thanks to Jennifer W. Newton for sharing the unfortunate news on the Vanishing Georgia Facebook group. My condolences go to the family who lost their loved one in this tragedy]. It was owned by the Vernor family for many years. It was most recently home to Maxeys Country Store and had been converted to dual use as a residence. The cause of the fire is under investigation. I will be updating with more history of the building soon.

Sally Giles wrote: I have many good memories of going into Mr. Vernor’s store in the 70s and 80s and trying on what my mom called “train suits” that looked like they were from the 60s. These were very sensible skirts with matching jackets that you would wear on the train, or later on the bus. Mr. Vernor had ladies gloves that you would have worn to church that were lain perfectly crossed over each in the long glass cabinet just waiting for glove wearing to come back into style. He told me that his wife would order the ladies things, and that he had not bought anything new for the cases since she had passed. Mr Vernor always wore a black suit no matter how hot it was, and the store had no air conditioning. His shirt was a starchy white, buttoned up all the way with no tie. I can remember feeling hotter than I should have just looking at Mr. Vernor in his black suit. Over time there was not much that was really for sale that anyone wanted except myself buying the old clothes, but there were co-colas (all beverages were called co-colas) and crackers that looked kinda old for sale on the rack. I have other memories that I could tell, but won’t.

Leave a comment

Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Maxeys GA

Farmers Supply Company & Akin Lodge No. 537, 1910, Taylorsville

Typical of many commercial blocks built in late-19th- and early-20th-century Georgia, this structure served a dual purpose as a general store and Masonic lodge.

Leave a comment

Filed under --BARTOW COUNTY GA--, Taylorsville GA

Post Office & General Store, Taylorsville

2 Comments

December 31, 2020 · 12:00 pm

Brewster Mercantile Company, 1901, Esom Hill

A 1994 article by Gordon Sargent in North Georgia Journal notes that as long as most people can remember, this northwest Georgia community has enjoyed a rich reputation for high crimes and high times. Such has been the reputation for the little state line community in northwest Georgia’s Polk County for decades, an image fostered by a long record of illicit activities such as moonshining, gambling, and even darker crimes like murder.  And surprisingly, it seemed the stronger the criminal element became in the township, the less visible was law enforcement. Despite its infamy, Esom Hill, according to many residents, is a friendly community with caring neighbors and a bad name circulated by “outsiders”.  Just like many situations, the truth lies somewhere in
between.

A post office was established in the community, which was associated with the Shiloh Baptist Church, in 1850. It’s only about a mile from the Alabama state line. The origins of the name are unclear. In its heyday, Easom Hill had five general stores, three churches, a school, and a saloon. Two gins and a sawmill were also present.

Joseph Proctor Screven Brewster, who built this store after his first mercantile burned in 1901, was one of the pioneers of Esom Hill. It was one of the first businesses in the county to have electric power, provided by an early Delco System generator. It also served as the post office, with Brewster serving as postmaster.

Leave a comment

Filed under --POLK COUNTY GA--, Esom Hill GA

R. E. Ringer General Merchandise, 1927, Carroll County

This tin-sided false front store should get your attention if you’re traveling on US Highway 27, just south of Carrollton. A sign on the building notes that the store operated from 1927-1957. Like the Johnson Sweet Potato barn, another roadside icon located nearby, the Ringer Store’s Coca-Cola signs and murals have been repainted.

Leave a comment

Filed under --CARROLL COUNTY GA--

Whitesville Grocery, Harris County

Leave a comment

Filed under --HARRIS COUNTY GA--, Whitesville GA

Waverly Hall, Georgia

The historic core of Waverly Hall remains, though most of the remaining structures are abandoned.

Leave a comment

Filed under --HARRIS COUNTY GA--, Waverly Hall GA

Montour Mill House & Store, Circa 1857, Sparta

Montour Mill House, Circa 1857; photographed in 2014. 

When I photographed these forlorn structures in 2014, I felt they had an important history but also realized they probably didn’t have a promising future. My fears were confirmed last week when James Woodall reported they had been torn down.


Montour Mill Store, Circa 1857; photographed in 2014.

Further conversation with Karen West and Sistie Hudson highlight their importance and the tragedy of their loss. The structures were apparently the last two survivors of the antebellum Montour Mill village. The mill, chartered in 1857, was anchored by a four-story brick factory building. It was likely devastated by the Civil War and attempted a return to production, but was finished by 1884. The property and village was large enough to have been considered as a location for Georgia Tech in 1883. In Houses of Hancock 1785-1865, John Rozier notes: Even in ruins, the big brick factory was a Sparta landmark until it was taken down in 1951.

Karen West: It was originally a mill store owned and operated by a Jewish immigrant. He wrote 15 articles for the Sparta Ishmaelite about life in Czarist Russia. He extended credit to whoever needed it, regardless of race or religion. So sad to see a piece of Sparta history so disregarded. Hopefully someone has pictures of earlier, happier times for that little store.

Sistie Hudson: I took pictures, too—have admired it since I was a little girl…Jacob Nagurya [also written as Nagiiryn] was a Polish Jew. He was a favorite of Editor Sidney Lewis, hence the articles in the Ishmaelite. He owned the first phonograph in the county and sold them as well. He also served as rabbi for the Jewish Community in Sparta. I remember when there was still a row of mill houses across the street from this store. I am so sad about this loss—I have admired it for over 60 years.

4 Comments

Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--, Sparta GA

General Store, Jewell

Jewell Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --WARREN COUNTY GA--, Jewell GA

Reese, Georgia

This historic farmhouse and the adjacent general store/commissary are about all that’s left of the Reese community. Since 1971, the property has been known as the Strother Farm.

Leave a comment

Filed under --WARREN COUNTY GA--, Reese GA