Tag Archives: Georgia General Stores

Metasville, Georgia

Robert Willingham maintains a very good local history group on Facebook, Vintage Wilkes County Georgia and the following history comes directly from that source:

…The community was first called Rehoboth, for the church. Not far away was a crossroads and that settlement was called…guess what?…Cross Roads, then Jackson’s Cross Roads, not to be confused with the west Wilkes Jackson’s Cross Roads near Clark’s Station Church, but it was. So when this east Wilkes spot became a post office in 1887, it was christened “Metasville” by first postmaster Thomas Henry Albea. The name derived from Almeda “Meta” Stephens Bigby (1846-1940), wife of B.O. Bigby, buggy maker. One of their daughters was also Meta. Another, Lula, was married to Robert T. Dunaway. The Bigbys are buried at Rehoboth.

Metasville was a busy place. Of course there was cotton. Tom Garrett and John A. Logan had gin houses and grist mills. The timber industry was beginning and would center at nearby Lovelace just across the Lincoln line. By the ‘teens the Washington & Lincolnton Railroad would chug through the area hauling freight.

But what made the place distinctive was a major mining operation just a stone’s throw away–pun groaningly intended! Gold prospectors had identified the place before the Civil war. It had been interesting though not profitable. In the 1870s, Georgia’s State Geologist declared that “specimens of native copper…are the finest I have seen from any section of the State.” The site was listed on Callaway’s 1877 map of Wilkes as the “McGruder” mine [correctly Magruder] and, throughout all its ownership changes, retained that name locally. A New York company came in Feb. 1879 to take charge and that August L. Barber put in the stamps. By October, under Capt. Carlyon, the mine was producing a fine yield. It sold in January 1880 to Chicago and New York investors. That October a huge rock crusher with thirty-ton-a-day capacity was set up. A bonanza of a 4 1/2 foot wide silver vein assaying at $150 to the ton was uncovered in April 1882. A year later proprietor George Jackson and superintendent Major Mills reported boom times though by the end of that August underground operations had ceased. Above ground work continued.

Work proceeded in fits and starts. By 1897 Fred Frank of Colorado had taken charge of the ore production and shipments rolled to St. Louis for smelting. By 1900 Carl Henrich, a native of Germany, and partner Christian Wahl of Milwaukee had assumed control, Henrich managing for the Seminole Mining Co. When the company struggled in March 1904, Henrich bought the property as sole owner. He was a European trained geologist, having worked extensively in the American West and Mexico. He served the Mineral development Company of New York as a supervisor in Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe as well.

Henrich and his wife Martha were childless and, after settling in Metasville adopted ten-year-old Ruby Arnett, daughter of Mrs. Dan Arnett of Lincoln Co. In 1908 Henrich left for Mexico but the mine continued to operate and, upon his return expanded its production. His ill health intervened and he died in Dec. 1917. The estate attempted to maintain the site, with the mine reopening in May 1918, but it could not hold on through diminished results and financial panic.

The economic vibrancy of Metasville may have passed, but the friendly, industrious people remain. And there’s still a lot of history in this hallowed ground.


Danner’s Store, Metasville

Thanks again to the Vintage Wilkes County group for the identification. This was Danner’s Store. Gloria Ulery wrote that the store was operated by her aunt Alma and uncle Albert. Both Danner’s and Powell’s are now used by the Standard Truck Parts business.

Powell’s Store, Metasville

This old shotgun store was first owned by John Maloof but is best remembered for its association with owner John Powell, who had a residence in the back of the building. Rem Remsen was the last person to operate it as a store. Thanks to Bernie Henderson of the Vintage Wilkes County Facebook page for the identification.

Emory Ware wrote: Mr. Powell…was asleep one night when he awoke to see the grill of a Mack truck about 6 ft. in front of his bed , still running! The truck driver was unfamiliar with the road and didn’t stop but drove into the front of the store.

Sybert, Georgia

Sybert is a crossroads settlement in western Lincoln County. Other than the fact that it had a post office from 1899-1905, I can’t locate any history related to the community. I did, however, locate a John H. Sybert in a primary source, Lincoln County Will Book H: 1831-1869, via Historical Collections of the Georgia Chapters, DAR, Vol 1, 1926. Transcribed by Andrew Staton. It’s possible this general store or commissary was related to the historic farm mentioned in the previous post.

Looking at the intersection in online mapping surveys, I think hay has been kept at this corner for several years, at least. It surely makes for a perfect rural Georgia scene.

Historic Storefront, Circa 1910, Godfrey

Lacking a history of this structure, I’m going to guess that it was a grocery or general store. The recessed entrance is a common characteristic of buildings of this era and use.

Price’s Store, Johnson County

This building is located at the intersection of Greenway Cemetery Road [aka Davis Cemetery] and US Highway 319. Janice Godbee writes: This store was owned and operated by Mr. Robert Price, now deceased. His home was at one time to the left of the storefront. He had one son, James, and a daughter, Violet. As a young girl I remember the location very well and our families were great friends.

T. C. Bobbit Store, Dudley

T. C. Bobbitt was a very successful entrepreneur in Dudley, who expanded his grocery business to include dry goods and furniture.

Mr. Bobbitt, who worked in the grocery business for an amazing seventy-four years, started out circa 1914, working for T. J. Gilbert, before going into business for himself in 1927.

This store remained open until 1986.

General Store & Warehouse, Montrose

Like the Masonic Lodge and precinct house in the preceding two posts, this structure is sided with sculptural blocks. I’m not sure of its identification, but it appears to have been a general store and/or warehouse.

McIntyre, Georgia

General Store & Residence, Circa 1900

McIntyre may be best known today as the hometown of Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, June “Mama June” Shannon, and family, but this historic community traces its origins to before the Civil War and has been a hub of the kaolin industry for generations. One of the earliest settlers of the area, in the 1840s, was Thomas McIntyre, who purchased a large tract of land near the community of Emmitt, 1½ miles east of Toomsboro. McIntyre was a native of Ireland who had come to America as an assistant of his uncle, one of the the contractors who built the Central of Georgia Railroad. In 1849 he was accidentally killed while doing repairs on the Oconee River bridge. His widow, Sarah Crowell Floyd McIntyre, a native of Washington County, traded her lands at Emmitt for a home in present-day McIntyre, and a new depot and post office were named McIntyre in 1859. The town was incorporated in 1910. -Abridged from Victor Davidson’s History of Wilkinson County.

The mercantile pictured above was built circa 1900, and the shopkeeper and his family lived upstairs. It’s in unusually good condition for a structure of this type and era.

General Store, Circa 1900, Toomsboro

This is one of several historic stores in Toomsboro. The town has been “for sale” for many years and I’m not sure what the status is at this time. I plan on visiting again in the next day or so.