Appalachia

History Preserved from Days Gone By

Brittain's store

A few years ago I shared the story of Brittain’s Store with you. Blind Pig reader Don McCoy recently sent me the link to the following video about the store and I thought you might enjoy seeing it too.

I have never been to the store, even though its right here in my own backyard.  If you’d like to see the guest post I share about the store go here.

Tipper

 

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 12, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Tipper,
    and Cindy…If you have a Kitchen aid mixer you can buy a corn mill that fits it…Also there are counter top electric mills too, but some are a bit pricy…$399.99 One could make a few trips to the mill for fresh ground at that price….ha
    I too love a more course-ground yellow corn meal…
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…I would love to set up and easel and paint a few different still life scenes inside that store…dust and all….ha

  • Reply
    TimMc
    June 11, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Loved seeing the Old Store. There was a Feed and Seed Store years ago in Decatur I would frequent, they had a lot of the old Stuff hanging in the Store just like it was back in the day, you could buy anything from seed to boots.. I cannot remember how long they had been in business but it was a long time.. It has since been torn down, the Older Folks died off and the Young ones didnt probable see the need with the big box stores coming into town.. Sad.

  • Reply
    Jean
    June 10, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Tipper,I’m as well as common today-well no I’m even better after the trip you took me on to Brittain’s store.Thanks Tipper.God Bless.Jean

  • Reply
    Dolores
    June 10, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    I really enjoyed the tour. Like you said it is a time capsule, set back in time. I was surprised to see the goodies still in the jars. I did wonder what was upstairs; were they living quarters?

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    June 10, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Tipper, Your post today is great. You always have something that I can think about during the day. I like old things, old people and like to learn new .
    Tomorrow I’m going on a field trip with some of the people who were in Prof. Bret Riggs of WCU history class. We are going to see the location of Fort Armistead. It was located on the Unicoi Turnpike on Coker Creek. Armistead was one of the more than 25 forts that was used as a stockades to hold the Cherokee before removal.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    June 10, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Loved the store tour.

  • Reply
    Ken
    June 10, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Tipper,
    I called and asked our Radio Gal on WKRK to play “Angels Rock Me to Sleep” by them gorgeous Pressley Girls. And as she was going off the air, I heard my favorite instrumental “New Birth.” I love our Christian Radio Station…Ken

  • Reply
    Marg A Mackall
    June 10, 2016 at 11:55 am

    What a great find!! Thank you!! I can’t imagine why a historical organization hasn’t come in and officially given it their stamp of approval and registered it. Something that is so detailed is a rare find.

  • Reply
    ncmountainwoman
    June 10, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Fascinating! All the more so to me because my maiden name is Brittain, spelled the same way and I know my dad’s grandfather lived in the Murphy area.

  • Reply
    Roy Pipes
    June 10, 2016 at 10:49 am

    My wife and I recently took a tour of the Brittain Old Country Store. His daughter Verdi Ledford kept it open until the fifties. I have shopped there, and for a couple of eggs Verdi would swap me candy.
    Lots of bartering went on as she would swap groceries for perhaps a chicken or eggs. The store had, other than stick candy such things as medicines, hay, shoes, and even baby coffins.
    A few years ago the magazine, Our State had a real nice article with pictures.
    I mentioned Ms. Verdi’s store in my novel, Doodlebug, Doodlebug, Your House is on Fire.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    June 10, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Loved this!! It made me think of the country stores I knew growing up. The one in the little town nearby provided just about everything–I remember they sold shoes and piece goods, animal feed and sugar to the moonshiners ( the owner always denied it but there was a train stop down the hill from the store & everyone knew that sugar was unloaded in some large sacks) as well as groceries.
    This store supplied many of the area farmers, letting them charge stuff like seed, fertilizer, hog & people food until the cotton came in and was sold–hopefully for enough to pay off the store. I remember getting shoes there and fabric that my grandmother made dresses for me out of. I still have a dress she made for my doll out of scraps from one of my dresses.
    Most of the little stores would let people have a “ticket” and pay it off when they got paid. As I remember it, these were little books bound at the top. Surely the buyer got a copy but I can’t remember that. Even the bigger grocery store in the nearby town would let trusted people “run a ticket”–a lot of people would have gone without if they hadn’t.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    June 10, 2016 at 9:07 am

    That’s cool as grits. What a treasure it is and the fact that the place is just as the owner left it when he went home to lunch that day. I would love to go inside and try to imagine life back then.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    June 10, 2016 at 9:00 am

    That was an unbelievable tour! It’s amazing how the store and it’s contents has survived weather, rodents and vandals.

  • Reply
    Jack
    June 10, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Are the girls now getting into a honky tonk tour phase? It may be the next step to stardom.

  • Reply
    Ken
    June 10, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Tipper,
    I guess all our friends that live in Appalachia have their own memories, but the video reminds me of those stories daddy told me when he was young. Like the store run by Mint Smith and owned by Percy B. Ferebee in the Nantahala Gorge. He told about the Spit-toons sitting around the old-timers used. People came there not only to buy things, but it was a social gathering as well. Everybody knew everybody…Ken

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 10, 2016 at 8:44 am

    How cool, we have a store preserved like that at our historical museum. The building is still being used and the contents down to the counters are set up in the museum.
    Love this stuff, will check out this one next time I make it up this way

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 10, 2016 at 8:44 am

    How cool, we have a store preserved like that at our historical museum. The building is still being used and the contents down to the counters are set up in the museum.
    Love this stuff, will check out this one next time I make it up this way

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 10, 2016 at 8:44 am

    How cool, we have a store preserved like that at our historical museum. The building is still being used and the contents down to the counters are set up in the museum.
    Love this stuff, will check out this one next time I make it up this way

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 10, 2016 at 8:44 am

    How cool, we have a store preserved like that at our historical museum. The building is still being used and the contents down to the counters are set up in the museum.
    Love this stuff, will check out this one next time I make it up this way

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    June 10, 2016 at 7:58 am

    As Mr. Sudderth says, “A lot of good living but a lot of hard living.” This store closed right in the Depression. And it closed just at a time when everything was poised on the edge of great change; the deep reach of government with the New Deal, America’s emergence as a world power, the decline of rural America, the coming of electricity and America’s love for the automobile as well as many other changes. Those changes led to the decline of local community ties that had been maintained by the country store, the community school, the grist mill and even the local church. We don’t really know how to do the math to reckon up whether the net effect was good or bad. But for many of us, we suspect it was more bad than good.
    Thanks for the trip to the past.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 10, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Wow, that’s pretty amazing that they saved the store intact like that. One thing that caught my eye as they made the sweep around was the corn mill. I didn’t realize that there were small corn mills and I am assuming it was hand operated. That would be a fine thing to have if you like fresh ground cornmeal for your cornbread.
    Thanks for sharing that living history.

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