Tag Archives: Georgia General Stores

Sawdust, Georgia

Saw Dust, as its post office was known when it operated between 1852 and 1895, was the first settlement in the area that would later come to be known as Harlem. Its name came from the presence of three sawmills, which derived their power from Big Kiokee Creek. The town had a raucous reputation for its numerous bars and saloons and this prompted a name change from community leaders. This structure was likely a commissary or general/grocery store.

Athens Street, Carnesville

Carnesville isn’t well-known outside the area, and is one of the smaller county seats in Georgia, with between 500-600 residents. As county seats should, it sits smack dab in the middle of Franklin County, which was the first county in the state established after the Revolutionary War [much larger at the time, encompassing multiple modern counties]. While the location of Franklin County’s first seat of government is lost to history, Carnesville gained that designation in 1807.

It was named for Thomas Petters Carnes (1762-5 May 1822), whose service as a colonel in the Maryland Line during the Revolutionary War earned him a land bounty in Franklin County. He served in the Georgia House of Representatives, as a state court judge, Attorney General of Georgia, and in the U. S. House of Representatives, from 1793-1795, representing Athens [located at that time in Franklin County].

Tallulah Point Overlook, 1920s, Rabun County

This well-loved tourist stop was known as Harvey’s Famous Overlook from at least the 1920s [some sources say 1912] until the 1980s.

It undoubtedly hosted millions of visitors in its long history. This vintage postcard likely dates to the late 1930s. [Public domain image]

It was next known as Tallulah Point and closed in 1989. It reopened as Tallulah Point Overlook in 1994.

In 2020, the shop relocated to downtown Tallulah Falls, signalling the end of an era, but not of the business.

Peter Joseph’s Store, Circa 1900, St. Simons Island

This was the general store and boarding house of Peter Joseph, a leader of the historic Black community of South End on St. Simons Island. Built circa 1900, per the Glynn County Historic Resources Report [2009], it was razed circa 2016. The only Peter Joseph I can locate on St. Simons was born in 1903 and died in 1966; if this is the same Peter Joseph, it would mean the store was built by someone else, perhaps a member of his family. I will attempt to update this if I can find out anything more.

These photographs were made in February 2015.

As the images confirm, the structure had long been abandoned when I photographed it. It was an important resource for a long lost community, so I’m glad I had the opportunity to document it.

Shotgun Store, Circa 1900, Graysville

This is a great example of a “shotgun” store, the most common vernacular store form of 19th and early-20th-century Georgia. It was also a common form for small town offices and warehouses, but a resource survey identifies this as a general store, circa 1900. It’s been well-maintained.

Graysville Mercantile, 1930s, Graysville

This general store, in one incarnation or another, was the gathering place for Graysville throughout much of the 20th century.

Hotel & General Store, Circa 1883, Talking Rock

I’ve had trouble locating much information about the structures in Talking Rock, but read that this was built in 1883. In its early days it is said to have served as a railroad hotel and boarding house, In 1924 it was purchased by the Hobson family and became a general store, open until around 1980.

Stancil’s Store, 1912 & 1952, Cherokee County

The little shotgun store at the corner of Yellow Creek and Conns Creek Road is a landmark in Cherokee County. Bill Ringle notes on his blog, Remnants of Southern Architecture: The old store was opened in 1912 by William and Mary Ann (Holcomb) Stancil. On February 24, 1915, their tenth child of eleven was born and named Broughton. A fixture of the store, Broughton was a World War II veteran having served in the U.S. Army fighting in the Pacific against the Japanese in British New Guinea. During his time there, he was cited for courageous conduct in action. Mr. Stancil passed away November 30, 2011, just shy of the 100 year anniversary of the store.

He also identifies the store across the road: The demands of the small store became so great that they had to build a larger store on the eastern side of the road in 1952. The rural location…allowed it to thrive during the “old days”. However, the combination of the rise of the automobile, and the era of the large big-box stores, forced the family to close the doors in 2012.

General Store, Chestatee

This was a crossroads store at one time, I believe. It’s one of just a few rural resources of this type remaining in Forsyth County, the fastest growing in Georgia over the past decade.

Franklin Store, 1896, Starrsville

This structure is the last remaining store building in the historic Starrsville community, which was settled circa 1821. It has had several uses throughout its history and is also referred to as the Franklin and Banks Store. One resource notes that it was used as the Starrsville post office for a time, but I haven’t been able to confirm this yet.

Starrsville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places