Wednesday, November 30, 2005

W. H. Hatchett Store

Many families in Caswell County operated a store. It seems that every crossroad community of any size had its own. See the CCHA article on community stores at: Community Stores

(click on photograph for larger image)

W. H. Hatchett Store: This store in Caswell County's Locust Hill Community (Allison Road) is believed to have been owned and operated c. 1930-1950 by William Harrelson Hatchett (1903-1970). He married Florence Duke and had at least one child, William Harrelson Hatchett, Jr.


Here is a remembrance of the W. H. Hatchett store by Tom Gunn (6 September 2010):

"When I was a kid visiting my grandparents, whose farm had a corner that bordered the back of the Hatchett property, my granddad and I would trek from his home at the end of Thompson Road almost back to Jones Road and then cut across through a field and some woods and cross a small stream with stepping stones and come up by Harrelson's tobacco field and some apple trees and grape vines behind the store to the right in this photo. The Hatchett home was to the right with the driveway between it and the store. Granddad and Harrelson Hatchett would sit and "chew the fat" while Granddad allowed me to fill up on soda, candy, cookies, and everything else that a kid would love to eat, including Moon Pies. Eventually Granddad would say to Harrelson, "Now total it up" and he would pay him and pick up his walking stick and off we'd go back to his house.

At that time, the store also had a gasoline pump, the hand-crank type with a glass container on top that measured the gallons. The soft drink machine was immediately to the left of the door inside the store under the window - a cold water bath type of dispenser with bottles of Coke, Dr. Pepper, Grapette, Double Cola, etc. submerged in ice cold water. Near the back of the store were several straight chairs with worn woven bottoms where customers sat and chatted. Of course as a kid in the 1940s, I thought the store was much larger than this photo indicates. In the 1940s, my grandparents had no telephone, and I doubt that few, if any, had phones in this part of the county. Getting together periodically like this was part of the social interaction of good neighbors, and I was the beneficiary of all the junk food I could eat! . . . very fond memories of those times and of this store."


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