Johnson’s Grocery & Post Office, Circa 1898, Norristown

norristown ga johnson grocery photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

Though it may have originated as a depot of the Bruton and Pineora Railway, this building is best known as Johnson’s Grocery and the Norristown Post Office. Postal service originated in Norristown in 1898, about the same time the railroad came to Norristown. The structure originally sat further back from the highway, near the old rail line.

The first postmaster was Norris Nathan Durden (20 October 1839-4 March 1933), the namesake of Norristown, and the store and post office remained in his family throughout its long history. The last owner was Durden’s great-granddaughter, Eloise Johnson, who took the reigns upon the death of her sister, Lenora Smith Sumner, in 1961. During Lenora’s ownership, she moved the post office into the old bank building and another commercial structure [neither of which is extant today]. Eloise moved it back into the store building after Lenora’s death.

Eloise Johnson shared this history with the Swainsboro Blade in the 26 January 1987 issue, in an article entitled “Norristown Post Office is a Family Tradition”.

 

10 thoughts on “Johnson’s Grocery & Post Office, Circa 1898, Norristown

  1. Jerry Von Wilson

    This old store was moved to present location from 1/4 mile west down Kea’s Mill Pond road.It sat near the two story house where Gabby Hudson lives now.I remember the old depot .It sat just west of the warehouse beside the gravel road that was the train track.I was told the building was circa 1890.

    Reply
  2. Clint Braswell

    Do you have any info on Peddy near Norristown? There was also a place I hear tell of called Durden near Peddy. I think Peddy was a stop on the railroad between Adrian and Norristown.

    Reply
  3. Dudley Flanders

    Brian, I have large family history and many good memories in Norristown.
    If you want some more old places to photo, go north on hwy 221 and take a left on John R. Flanders Road. The old Flanders Home is still standing, and it is well over 100 yrs old. This land has been in the Flanders name since
    the revolutionary war. Check it out Brian the next time you are in this area.
    Dud Flanders

    Reply
  4. darla

    My grandmother lived in Norristown, as did other relatives of mine. I remember going down to the store as a girl to collect the mail. The gas station was open as well. There used to be a bank and a hotel too. I remember going into the hotel and seeing old ruined piano and guest ledgers. I was in awe of the ledgers and wanted to take them but of course didnt. Could kick myself now! There was also an old church on a path in the woods and the pews and pulpit were still in the building as were hand fans with the face of MLK Jr. on one side and advertising for Soperton funeral home on the other. My grandmother lived just behind the store/post office. I have been back there a couple of times in the last 10 years or so, as our family cemetary is actually there. The old Brinson Holton homestead and cemetary on cemetary rd.

    Reply
  5. Art Chance

    It’s been a year sine anyone posted here, but I’ll give it a try. Anyone know the history of the Johnson’s Store building? It has some hints of railroad architecture and I’m thinking it might be what once was the Bruton and Pineora Railroad depot in Norristown. Yeah, Norristown once had railroad service! You could go east as far as Statesboro and west to Dublin and there connect with larger roads and the whole wide world.

    Reply
      1. renee littlewood

        its been 4 years since anybody posted here so i give it a try,,,,come to norristown and find mark mimbs,,,he can tell you bout anythang you wanna know,,,,von wilson, gertrude ackiss, jerry wilson is some others can tell you stuff,,,

      2. prdwilson

        if you wanna know bout norristown find mark mimbs,,,he can tell you most anythang you wanna know,,,also von wilson, gertrude ackiss, jerry wilson,,,von owns the post office now,,,

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