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Monday, November 7, 2011

A Trip Back in Time

Have a Seat and Take a Trip Back in Time

My husband took me on a drive back in time today. We barely went 4 1/2 miles off of Rt. 21,  but it took between 25-30 minutes to get there. It wasn't bad traffic, in fact we only met one other driver on the road going there. It was a winding, pot hole filled, one lane country road. We have lots of those in West Virginia.

This was our destination:

This old mercantile was built in 1914. Mary Chancey's store up Plum Orchard Road. My husband's family used to go here when he was little and fish in Grass Lick Creek. They drove past the store down to the creek and as he says, 'caught some of the biggest catfish.' They'd spend the day and come up to the store for candy and pop or whatever else they had a yearning for.
 The windows and doors are all boarded up now and the porch floor is in bad shape, but my husband's memories of the old store are vivid.


The foundation stones are still there, but they look  like they could topple at any time.
The current owner let us take a peek inside. It still has the original tin ceiling and pot belly stove in the middle of the store.

We drove down the road a small ways until we came to the creek  crossing, where the road goes through the creek. I wouldn't let Charley drive through the creek. The road continues on the other side. The road on the right goes up on the bank where Plum Orchard School used to be. There is nothing left of it now.
This is the view of the store on the way back. It used to be a  very popular store in its time. The post office was also located inside the store. (Just like Ike Godsey's Mercantile on The Waltons) A blacksmith shop was across the road from it. I believe the current owner of the store said it fell down last year. He plants his garden there now and he finds horseshoes in the plowed earth. He has them hanging on the fence.

When we travel these back roads in our county, it makes it easier to understand why school gets delayed or cancelled so much in the winter time. I would not like riding or meeting a school bus on these little roads, especially when they are covered with snow. The school bus does travel up this road, there is a sign in front of the store telling you not to park there because it is a turn around spot for the bus.

Hope you enjoyed our little trip back in time.


  1. This is right up my alley.If I didn't know better I'd say this was right in my door. We have a little country store with a creek behind it. I so love things from the past. Thanks for allowing me to come along..

  2. I wish we had no Walmarts, but still had those little country stores!

  3. That tin ceiling is beautiful. I would like to have that in my kitchen. What wonderful memories and what a nice trip back in time.

  4. The front view of the old store looks like a barn; how cool! And that old tin ceiling is to die for; it's beautiful. I've enjoyed this little ramble down a country road with you Janet!

  5. Oh, I did enjoy it so much!! I hope the owner of the mercantile doesn't just tear it down or something and destroy what's inside. Wouldn't you love to have something from inside to keep!

  6. I enjoyed this story as we've been down many of those back roads in WV.
    I envy the tin ceiling. Beautiful.Great that Charlie remembers so much of that place.
    I love listening to R when he talks about times past.
    The photos you add give your story such depth. I'm not good at putting them on yet but need to learn.
    Bless you for sharing this.

  7. What a gem that little store must have been, and still is in its own historical way. We used to have a five and dime here in town, with creaky wooden floors and lots of interesting merchandise. But it's gone now, and I think lots of people miss it still!

  8. I loved this blast from the past. When I was a little girl I used to run the candy counter at the neighborhood store after school. I got paid ten cents, which equaled a bagfull of penny candy.

  9. Hi Janet! Love your post and pictures today. Just like Susie said, we also have a little country store like that around the corner from us too! What a coincidence. I will post some pictures over on my blog tomorrow so you can see. I have never got to go inside though. I would love to see it. The country is beautiful where you live! Have a lovely evening tonight! Delisa ;)

  10. Janet, just wanted to let you know that it takes over a year to develop a Chicken Soup book. I submitted my story September 2010 and received an acceptance Nov. 2011, so don't give up hope!

  11. Hi Janet,
    One of favorite things to do is see these old buildings and wish I could turn the time back and see what went on there. When I lived at home in the country growing up, my Aunt and I used to find old houses that were left empty and go into them, we found one old house that had everything in it, looked like someone had just walked out. We went home and asked My Grandma about it, and she said the couple that had lived there had died two days apart during the 1918 flu out break.
    Nancy Jo

  12. Loved the trip back in time.
    There are lots of places like this I would love to visit and snoop around.
    Not far from me was an old train station. Just a one room building. I never got to stop and go inside before it was torn down not long ago. It was falling down and in bad disrepair. But I hear there was an old safe in there. I would have loved to have been able to peek inside.

  13. It all looks so beautiful! What a wonderful trip and great memories. I especially love that tin ceiling.

    Our small corner shops are vanishing in the UK and a lot of people miss them. It's easier to go to the big stores but not as much fun.

  14. I've forgotten how many times I've said I was born in the wrong time - I LOVE that ceiling!

  15. This was a beautiful post! I love the old store with all its memories. That original tin ceiling is a treasure! This is the kind of drive I like to take!

  16. Great pics, Janet. I'd like to see that store sometime. I've heard much about Mary Chancey and I think I met her once, years back. There was a great article about her in Goldenseal a few years ago--did you see it? I have a copy here. She knew a lot about the Pfost-Greene murders.

    1. She knew a lot about the murders because John Morgan worked for the Chancey family. She was just 9 years old, and actually sat on Morgan's lap! Mary was my great aunt, and I was blessed to hear the history straight from her own mouth. She was tickled to death to be featured in Goldenseal magazine. Back in the old days of the store, Mary used to get up VERY early to light the stove so that the local schoolchildren (my mother among them) could get in out of the cold while waiting for the bus. The last time I was in the store was when Mary was alive. It's nice to see pictures of it once again.

  17. No, Susanna, I haven't seen that article, but I'd like to.

  18. Thanks, Janet. That's just my kind of outing. In Sharyn McCrumb's Foggy Mountain Breakdown (a collection of short stories), she has a story titled "Telling the bees." I think anyone who could (or would) write this post would enjoy that story. I told Sharyn it was the saddest story I had ever read! Jim

  19. Oh I so enjoyed it! Makes me wish I could have went too : )Love that ceiling tile-so pretty.


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