Monday, February 18, 2008

Our Old Country Store

In response to Kris's comment yesterday, saying she'd like to see photos of our store: Here you go! :-)

The only photos I have of it are from the day we came to look at the farm to see if we wanted to buy it, so a lot of things have changed on the property since then. But the store is still pretty much the same.

I'm not sure when the store was built, but I do know it was built by Charles Agee who, as far as I can tell from the records I have, bought the farm sometime around 1890. From the shape of the store, I guess that it was built in several stages: small first, then expanded several times as business grew.

The building also served as the local post office for the area known as Alcoma. I've been told by neighbors who have lived in this area all their lives that the store sold shoes, cloth, tools, seeds, and all manner of other things---a true old fashioned country store.

After Charles Agee died, his unmarried daughters continued to run the store. Miss Nora Agee continued to live here and run the store for the rest of her very long life. Every now and then, neighbors will still refer to this as "Miss Nora's place," which I think is sweet.

After Miss Nora died, the farm changed hands a couple more times. We bought it from an elderly gentleman who had been using the store as an antique shop. When he moved out, he left a lot of junk behind in the store. Unfortunately nothing really nice or valuable, though!

Here's the store as seen from the road. The tree has been cleared out from in front of it now, and---because the sheep are often loose in the yard, mowing our lawn for us---we now have a gate across our driveway, which runs right up past the right edge of the store.

Here's the store as seen from the house. All that green field you can see between the house and the store is now fenced horse pasture. That would be the area we're going to eventually reseed and add sheep paddocks to.

A few pictures of the interior of the store, complete with the junk the former owner left behind.

As you can see, the place will need a lot of fixing up. It'll need rewiring, repainting inside and out, floor repair, windows replaced, heat and air conditioning added, etc., etc. There is a little room in the back that is the perfect size and location to turn into a bathroom, but the store currently has no plumbing or septic system, so that would be another big expense.

Clearly, if we ever do decide to open the store again, we would have to plan for the long term and make the improvements gradually as we can afford them. Maybe it'll be my "retirement" job! Not that I ever plan to retire from farming until I'm too infirm to get around any more. But it's nice to have options.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yay! Thanks for the photos, and in response to my comment too! :o) I can see the work (ack!) but at the same time, what potential it has to be a really unique draw to your farm. More space than you could ever need, it appears, even with sheep in part of it, and a great commute from your house. Can't wait to follow this story, too. I love the "living vicariously" part of blogs! -- Kris