Wednesday, May 15, 2019

McCauley's Store (Anderson Township, Caswell County, NC)

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McCauley's Store (Anderson Township, Caswell County, NC)

"Another early store was McCauley's. The first known reference to it by this author was as of October 2, 1818. (See chapter on 'Schools' herein.). Recently James L. Florance, Jr. of Route #1, Mebane, N.C. and grandson of Effie (Boswell) Florance (Mrs. John), born 1895, questioned his grandmother about the store. She well remembered and described it as about 20' X 40'. The location according to her, was on the west side of present highway number 119 and about six tenths mile north of the Alamance-Caswell County line. She also stated that there were no trees surrounding it. At that time the old road was slightly east of the present highway.

"On December 9, 1983, the same James L. Florance, Jr. visited this writer and stated that he had conferred with Eugene 'Genie' Murray, about age 90, concerning the same store. Following his interview with Murray, this writer made a visit to the home of Mr. and Mrs. L. D. Hall, with whom Murray resides with his sister on the Union Ridge road at the old Fletcher O'Ferrell homestead. The story which Murray told both parties coincided as described here.

"About 1919 George Christopher and Murray moved an old abandoned store from its original site for and to the property of Moss W. Miles and near the late Silas E. Kimbro residence. According to Murray, the back of the building was about five feet high and over a steep slope, which gave some difficulty in making the initial move. They jacked it up, inserted two long poles as a track. Other poles were placed crosswise thereon. The jacks were then released which let the building down. Another set of tracking and cross poles were placed at the front. At some distance forward stobs were planted in the ground to which a block and tackle was attached to move the building its length. The tackle was operated by a hand sweep pole. The process was repeated until the destination was reached, some two tenths of a mile.

"Official records show that a post office was operated at 'Tony, N.C.' from 1890 until 1908. Therefore all the mail received and distributed was at McCauley's Store. In conclusion, the original location of the store and post office was across the pond from the present John W. Huffines residence. The back part of the store projected out over a part of the slope leading down to the pond. The front part faced directly east.

"The building continued to be known even today as 'Old Tony.' While the building was located at the second and third sites it was operated by Lorenzo Smith, partners Moss W. Miles and Thomas E. Smith, Bill Fitch, Jim Kimbro, Silas Kimbro, and others. The third and present location is on the west side of highway #119.

"Tradition says that a 'man of color' carried mail from Tony, N.C. post office on mule back to Pinson's Store on Pinson Creek, and while enroute some of the citizens along the way asked for their mail. Reports indicate that the carrier agreeably complied."

Plumblee, Millard Quentin. From Rabbit Shuffle to Collins Hill: Stories of Southern Caswell County, North Carolina. Burlington (North Carolina): Full Service Printing, 1984, pp. 20-21, and 28.

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