Ruins of Jenkins General Store, 1906, Harris City

harris city ga ruins of jenkins general store photogrpah copyright brian brown vanishing north georgia usa 2016

George W. Jenkins, Sr., built Jenkins General Store with hand-cut rock to replace its wood frame predecessor. Jenkins was a successful merchant, drawing shoppers from all over the area to Harris City. The business thrived until the early 1920s, when the boll weevil signaled a collapse of the cotton-based agricultural economy. George, Sr, moved to Atlanta and established a small grocery store, less susceptible to the ups-and-downs of the agricultural economy. In the meantime, his son, George, Jr., graduated from Greenville High School and moved to Florida in 1925 to seek his fortune in real estate. He took a job with Piggly Wiggly, however, and after just a couple of months as a clerk he was promoted to manager.  In 1930 he left Piggly Wiggly and opened the first Publix store in Winter Haven. Today, Publix is one of the largest grocery store chains in the nation. I like to think that lessons Mr. Jenkins learned here in Harris City, at his father’s side, helped make him into the successful entrepreneur that he became.

7 thoughts on “Ruins of Jenkins General Store, 1906, Harris City

  1. Missy gibson

    Wow! This is my momma’s family from Ga.. Mr. George was a distant cousin of Sylvia Anne Jenkins, ( momma ) Macon Ga., so interesting reading all this Jenkins history to my 85 year old momma, she is so happy to learn this history. Though she already knew they were cousins, she never knew the history. No wonder Publix has always been a pleasure, you just can’t find people much better than the Jenkins! Proud to have some in me😊

  2. John

    The original Publix building in Winter Haven, FL still stands without as much as a simple historical marker denoting its past.

  3. Allan Hamilton

    There are a total of about 10 residences dotted around this interstection and beyond them, nothing but farm land. There’s not enough of anything to support a new venture and this was amply evident in 1929 when the bank here closed.

  4. Marty Mitchell

    Publix is missing the boat by not building a Publix in Harris City!! I’ve written to them twice – if they made it a tourist attraction and build it like Publix was in the early days and also serve the locals it would be a big hit!!

  5. Donna Hagerty

    Shopping is ALWAYS a pleasure at Publix!!
    A few years ago, I needed a specific dish for a luncheon at work. I went to Publix mid morning on the day of the luncheon and they had the dish prepared for me within an hour! Now that is WONDERFUL customer service and great business!!
    I would not shop anywhere else!!

    Thank You So Much, Publix!!


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