Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Dollar Generals

dollar general
When I was a kid-there was one Dollar General, it was in downtown Murphy. The store seemed huge to a little skinny girl like me. The floors were wood and every step one made squeaked and creaked. I used to wonder what it would be like to work there and hear the non stop creaking and squeaking all day long.

Years ago the old Dollar General closed up shop and moved out of downtown. Now 3 more Dollar Generals have sprung up along the roads I drive. One in Peachtree-one in Ranger-one in Marble. It seems like the Dollar Generals won’t stop till every community has their own. Now I’m wondering where Brasstown will put theirs and if I can request it have squeaky creaky floors.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    Aaron Patterson
    March 1, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    I don’t like General Dollar. Their prices are way higher than Wal mart for the same identical products. We have a General Dollar 6 miles up the road. Wal Mart is 25 miles in the opposite direction; but I save enough by shopping Wal mart to more than pay for the gas

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    February 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    I always thought the poorer the community the more “dollar” stores there were. Now we are surrounded by those stores. I shop at the one in Peachtree 2 or 3 times a week. I chuckle to myself every time I go in.

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    February 16, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    That’s funny! I never saw a Dollar General until I was grown. But, today, it’s one of my favorite stores. I remember a dime store downtown that had really creaky floors and it had some kind of smell, that I can still remember today.

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    February 15, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    There was a Jack’s five and dime in Canton years ago. Probably the one Miss Cindy was trying to remember. We used to walk to town and check it out often. Nana

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph. D.
    February 15, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Tipper: All these comments by folks who lived a much more progressive life than I makes me realize just how fortunate we were to have Mrs. Pearl’s Store. It was there we traded our fresh eggs for SUGAR AND WHAT NOT! Of course it was just across two pastures which we could cross safely – no bull in the herd! There probably won’t ever be a fancy store in the Matheson Cove!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    February 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I like stores with creaky floors, too. It kind of takes you back in time.

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    February 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I heard the one in Brasstown is going in Wilson Holler! No squeaky floors; just concrete and tin. I think they’ve figured out how to compete with Wal-Mart.

  • Reply
    February 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I know I’m a day late but wanted to comment a bit anyway. Nice
    pictures of your family on the
    upper left. Years ago I got to see
    the Grand Ole Oprey and Porter
    Wagoner was the MC that night and
    he did that famous commercial of
    The Dollar General store. I had
    heard that many times when I was
    younger and I always liked him.
    I just came from our Dollar General awhile ago, picking up some things that you can get much
    cheaper than most places…Ken

  • Reply
    Debora Kerr
    February 14, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I guess my equivalent to Dollar General in my childhood was good old Woolworths! I used to love going to the lunch counters.

  • Reply
    February 14, 2011 at 10:20 am

    We had a KResses and Woolworth’s dime stores, They both had the creaky wooden floors and some weird smells. But I loved those stores. We didn’t get Dollar generals until muc later.
    Sorry I’ve been absent lately, this wedding is taking a lot of time.
    Happy Valentines Day!!

  • Reply
    February 14, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I remember an old store, not a Dollar General(that was around the corner and down the street) that had an upstairs with creaky wood floors. I loved going in there with Christmas money looking for something for Mom for Christmas. Wish I could remember the name, but it was a locally owned department store.

  • Reply
    February 14, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Growing up we had McCrorys,Perrys and Duke & Ayers.The Duke & Ayers had those old creeking floors and it stunk. Mama always wanted to go in there so we did. Remember it having a large variety of candy that you bought by the weight. It was really good. Now we have Dollar General,Family Dollar and Freds.

  • Reply
    February 14, 2011 at 6:41 am

    We’ve got them all here in OH too; Family Dollar, Dollar General, Deals, Dollar Tree, etc. I remember the one in Murphy. Was it called Lay’s? It had a red sign with gold letters, I think. I remember the floors and the smell. The toys were in the front left. That’s where I always went. Also, there was a little cafe/restaurant next door. I can’t remember if I was ever in there, but I remember how good the food smelled out the door.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    February 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    I remember the old dime store in downtown Marshall and the pattern books at the back. That was in 1975 — it closed soon after when a Family Dollar came to the by pass.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    A Dollar General store opened up near my farm this past fall. I can now drive 10/15 minutes and actually buy milk, paper towels, and coffee. My husband sees this as a bad development as he thinks DG is preying upon poor rural areas. I think it is the handiest thing to happen to me in a long time.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Those types of stores really do carry good stuff at a good price sometimes.
    Around here we have one called the “Dollar tree”
    Whitetail Woods Blog / Deer Hunting and Blackpowder Shooting at it’s best.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Vermont Country store online has the Tangee lipstick Miss Cindy mentioned. They have lots of items you can’t easily find anymore. Tigress cologne, penny candy, etc.
    We had Wigwam, Woolworth and Fuji dimestores. There may now be some Dollar General stores but I’ve never been to one.

  • Reply
    Shirley Owens
    February 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I liked the dime stores so much maybe I’ll start one right here in Jay, FL.

  • Reply
    Shirley Owens
    February 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Tipper, I remember the stores in Canton and Waynesville, NC, they all seemed to have those creaky floors. I noticed recently that I seem to go into old stores with those floors left from those days. Mast and so many others on main street Waynesville have managed to keep the original buildings as they were. But alas, there’s not a dime store to be found. There used to be one on Main St. that had stairs leading down to the back door. Right inside that back door we could buy material for 4 yards for $1. Yep, those really were the days. The times were not easier but most certainly simpler.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2011 at 10:56 am

    We didn’t have any Dollar General stores when I was a child, now there are two, along with a Dollar Tree – and this is a small town! What we did have then was the G.C. Murphy Company, though most people just called it the five and ten (never five and dime). It was on State Street, in one of our storefronts that was built in the mid-1800’s. The wooden floors were indeed creaky, and well worn! They carried most of the same sort of inventory as the Dollar Generals do, plus yard goods and my favorite – pets! One of the Dollar General stores is in the same old building but, alas, they have long since replaced the creaky wooden floor with some modern tile.
    Way back in the misty recesses of my childhood memories, I can just recall when one of our other uptown stores had overhead wires and little baskets that were used to shuttle cash and sales slips back and forth from the counters to the upstairs cashier’s office. Thanks for setting my feet on the path of another pleasant trip down memory lane!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    February 13, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Tipper–Your identification with Dollar General stores basically reveals the gap between generations. In my youth it wasn’t Dollar General stores but 5 & 10-cent stores which held sway. Along with generational change, that also says something about inflation. If memory serves, during my boyhood Bryson City had not one or two but three 5 & 10-cent stores. Of course it also had four or five grocery stores–all for a town with a population under 1500 souls. Time have changed dramatically, and I’ll exercise my codger status to say I’m not at all sure the change has been for the better.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    February 13, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I don’t remember Dollar General stores but what I do remember were the old stores in Canton that all had the wooden creaky floors – like Rhinehart’s and John Graham and Belk’s. Those old floors were kept oiled too. We lived in Winston-Salem then but would come up here to my grandparents house to visit. I remember it was always so much fun to go in there – and the thing I always bought was some kind of gooey stuff in a little tube that looked like a miniature toothpaste tube. You squeezed it out onto the end of a straw and blew on it and it made a balloon sorta thing. Also loved the candy cigarettes. Oh what fond memories you’ve stirred up today.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I remember about 5 years ago that my (now ex) father-in-law bought stock in DG after hearing that they were growing in leaps & bounds. I thought it was funny, but now I see that he was smart to do so.
    There is one near my moms house that just went up. It’s on my old bus route & I remember the family that used to live on the property. That house was pushed in to make the new Dollar General. It’s so bizarre to pop out of the back road that runs behind the church & past the grave yard into a Dollar General store. It seems about an natural as a space ship landing in my yard.
    It makes me sad to see this kind of development. I just want to buy as much land as I can to preserve it. Maybe if I had bought those stocks when ole’ Rick was bragging about his, I could afford to.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 13, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Tipper, I don’t remember any Dollar stores as a child but no matter where we lived there were dime stores. Stores like Woolworths and Kress. There was even one in Canton but I do not recall the name.
    I always loved going to the dime store. I can remember buying lipstick called Tangene ( I think) It didn’t have any color when you put it on but it turned kind of pink/orange after you wore it a while and it had a very distinctive smell. I would remember it today if I smelled it.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Love Crooked Still!!!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    February 13, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Hey Tipper,
    Ask for a Dollar Tree or a Family Dollar…that will give a variety!
    I find some good unnecessary items to buy in those dollar stores…LOL
    I have to be careful those dollars add up to big bucks…of course that’s what they are counting on..I try my best to contribute to the economy even if it is one dollar at a time!
    Thanks Tipper…

  • Reply
    February 13, 2011 at 8:03 am

    we have dollar generals here in FL, several of them around town, but in FL they are fairly new and have concrete slab for floors so no squeaking here if you want to vist.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I lived in a little northern Michigan town, and there was a Greens and a Woolworth with those exact floors. What a flashback.
    As for Dollar General, they are everywhere, we even have them in the Detroit Suburbs.

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