Monday, February 19, 2007

Orlando General Store in the 1970s

by Sandy (Burgett) Conrad

In 1971 my parents Lee and Juanita (Stutler) Burgett bought the Orlando General Store from Ford and Bee Brown. They carried a little of everything starting with pop, candy, ice cream, canned goods, cigarettes and Prince Albert in a can. Lunch meat was sold by the pound, which they sliced. They carried the best long horn and hot pepper cheese I ever ate. They also had old-fashioned loaf, bologna and chopped ham. In addition to food they sold hardware, nails sold by the pound, screws, hinges, etc. were also sold. An assortment of material was sold to make dresses and curtains, knives, watches. 8 track tapes, all sorts of household items like soap, tissue and shampoos. They even sold medicines such as toothache kits, Ramon’s Pink Pills, Castor oil, iodine, Merthiolate and Doan’s Kidney Pills. In the second room clothing was sold. They sold dresses, jeans, overalls, tops, shorts, shoes and Wolverine boots. They lived upstairs.

Top left is the store about the time the Burgetts bought it. Top right is the inside of the store when the Burgetts ran it. The products ran from the very new, like the 8-track tapes to the right to the staples frome another era, like the Prince Alobert and Velvet tobaccos and the toothache remedy to the right and Ramon pills at the bottom left. Click on the photos to see them in greaer detail.

Over in the warehouse they kept feed for hogs and chickens. They also kept roofing, stove pipe, shovels, rakes, scythes and many other things in the warehouse.

The Orlando post office was also located in the warehouse. Pete Henline was the Postmaster. A bench my grandfather (Oras Stutler) made sat outside the post office door where many people would sit and talk.

Some of my fondest memories were around Christmas time, when they would get get big boxes of chocolate drops, orange slices, gum drops and hard tack candy. This was sold by the pound. They would also get a barrel of salt fish each winter. This was sold by the pound.

In the spring they would get seed in for planting. Yes this store had just about everything. They even sold gas, oil and kerosene. At the end of the year they would get the Ramon Brownie Calendar in and everyone loved it, for it had a weather chart, planting signs and zodiac on it. I never knew just how much I would miss the people coming into the store, sitting on the counter and talking for hours.

These were good times.

For more on the history of this store see the May '06 entry The Browns' General Store

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