The Singer Company, Lumpkin

Though it closed its doors in the 1980s, the Singer Company holds the distinction of being the oldest hardware store in Georgia. [It should be noted, however, that the business did not originate as a hardware retailer].

Established by Johan George Singer, who came to Lumpkin from Baltimore in 1838 after initially immigrating from Stuttgart, Germany, in 1835, it remained in the family for five generations. Singer was a cordwainer [cobbler] by trade and initially made boots and shoes.

The store’s first location, a two-story wooden building, was located north of the town square

One of Singer’s older sons, John G. Singer, relocated the business to the northwest corner of the Lumpkin town square during his ownership; he also operated a tanning yard nearby.

Johan George Singer’s youngest son, Fred Sam Singer, was the next owner of the business, and moved it to the present location in 1894.

In subsequent years, Fred’s sons, Jess and Julian, expanded the business, which included general merchandise, hardware, groceries, and farm supplies. The last owner was Julian’s son, Sam Singer.

The structure is soon to become home to a local art gallery. Annie Moye, who’s leading the effort, allowed me to photograph some of the interior.

Lumpkin Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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