The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Old Joe Meadows Store

By Olyer W. Turner © 1986

Issue: November, 1986

The Old Joe Meadows Store.The Old Joe Meadows Store.I know of very few still living that traded at this store as children so many years ago. I carried eggs, butter, dried apples and dried blackberries there to sell to Mr. Joe Meadows from the time I was about five years old. I bought dress goods and many other things there until I moved. I don't remember what year he passed on, but it has been many, many years ago. The store was still standing the last time I passed, but it was going down. It is on road 605 [in Franklin County, Virginia], near the bridge.

The store had a big loft where Mr. Meadows poured the dried fruits and oh, what a big pile he had. Many people sold their dried fruit there. Mr. Meadows weighed the fruit and paid by the pound. He had sheets spread out to put the fruit on. Many times I sat by the fireplace in the back and talked to Mr. Meadows on a cold day when Granny would send me to the store with some eggs or walnut kernels or butter.

Oh yes, sometimes I took a live chicken. There was a house at the back to put the chickens. I think all stores bought and sold live chickens them days. There were no freezers, no electricity.

Mr. Meadows always had a red striped stick of candy for the kids, so I was always glad to go. Weather didn't matter when a pretty sweet stick of candy was waiting for me. Pennies were very scarce, so I could not buy candy very often.

This old building holds many childhood memories for me. The Meadows family was our nearest neighbors. I have a picture of their son, Edd, carrying the mail two years before I was born. He was still carrying my mail until I moved off his route several years after I married.

He has been dead many years. I am 77 years old, so I will soon be going home also. This is why I would love to share some memories with others.