Loving an Old Time General Store in Charlotte

This weekend, while we were in Charlotte for Easter, my sister-in-law took us on a tour to see the neighboring farms. Their southern spring comes a little earlier than ours, and spring means baby animals!

We did see lambs and calves, but we were most taken with this amazing general store, which has been standing since 1908 and is still run by the same family. A peek in the windows had us drooling for time to run about in the dusty aisles, but the hours of operation are a bit erratic and it was closed. So we had our fill of taking photos of the outside, and of the building next to it, from where home goods are said to be sold. Notice the rusty, lovely old details.

This is from the store’s own website:

Until the 1920’s, all of the goods in the Davis Brothers General Store were delivered by rail. Before 1894, when the Southern Railroad was formed, the track through Croft was owned by the Atlantic, Tennessee & Ohio Railroad (A. T. & O.). The A.T. & O. Railroad became the spine along which commercial and industrial development occurred in northern Mecklenburg County during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The Croft District is, as a whole, representative of the time when Mecklenburg was still largely rural, and when a significant part of its economy was based on agriculture. During this time, country merchants, such as the Davis brothers, acted as suppliers, middlemen, and bankers to area farmers. In keeping with the patterns of life in rural North Carolina in the early years of this century, Saturday was the busiest day in Croft. Farmers would bring their cotton for ginning and for shipment on the railroad to markets near and far away. During the week, a boxcar filled with large bags of items such as sugar, flour and fertilizer would have arrived on the siding in front of the Davis Brothers General Store. The farmers would load their wagons directly from the boxcar.

The Davis Brothers sold wagons, harnesses, shovels, rakes, hoes and other general farm supplies. Groceries were also available. One could buy canned fruits and vegetables, chewing tobacco, cigars, snuff and coffee. The brothers had a cotton gin to process bales for local farmers. Part of the cotton ginned by the Davis brothers was sold directly to area mills and cotton brokers, and could be distributed to these customers easily by train.

It’s fun to think about such a different time and place. Thanks for taking us out, Cyn!

On our drive I collected rocks that I plan to using in making rings. I can’t wait to get back to my work desk.

K. found some little bits, too.

I hope you had a happy weekend!

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2 thoughts on “Loving an Old Time General Store in Charlotte

  1. Cynthia says:

    Had so much fun! Wish there was more time…theres lots I’d love to show you. Glad we got to spend time together, and its so cool you will build some beautiful pieces out of bits of Charlotte! xoxoxox

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