Monday, May 22, 2006

The Browns' General Store

Orlando has had as many as three general stores in operation at once1. Dexter (WD) and Lila Brown, with the help of their son, Ford, owned the only general store operating in Orlando in the 1950s. The photo to the right shows a young Deck Brown seated, with Lila (Gregory) next to him2. They bought the store from the Conrads and moved from the Burnsville area. Later Juanita (Stutler) Burgett, daughter of Oras and Edith (Skinner) Stutler bought the store and was the last storekeeper.

The store, pictured at the left, was about the size of a livingroom.
In the 1950s and '60s the store had, among other things,
~ at the back a small deli counter with bologna and other lunchmeats.
~ one long wall was shelves of canned goods, household cleaning agents, Prince Albert tobacco and such.
~ I believe the other l0ng wall, which had a door into their living quarters, was used for drygoods.
~ As a kid I was more familiar with the snacks like ice cream sandwiches, Pepsi, Grape Nehi and such.
A gas pump was next to the store and large items, like chicken feed and watermelons, were kept across the street in the big white building by the RR tracks. That building, still standing, contained the post office as well.

The Mr. Brown I knew was a tall, strong old man with wonderful white hair. I thought him kindly and wise. His wife, Lila, (Mrs. Brown to me) was my grandmother's dear friend, staying with grandma after both their husbands had died.

1. See Feb 24, '06 entry: Orlando Businesses Over the Years
2. Nettie Gregory posted this photo at Braxton County, West Virginia Pictures and People at

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