The William Anderson General Merchandise Store (also called Anderson’s Corner) was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 18, 1977.
The William Anderson General Merchandise Store (also called
Anderson’s Corner) was added to the National Register of Historic Places on
October 18, 1977.
In days when transportation between settlements in the
country was very difficult, general stores became popular due to the
convenience they added to the lives of those living in remote outlying areas.
By definition, general stores differ from the modern convenience story because
they, more so in the past than in present times, would be the main supplier of
goods to a town or area, rather than a mere nearby convenience. There are
currently much fewer general stores than there once were due to a variety of
factors, including urbanization, urban sprawl, and the introduction of big-box
stores. The term “big-box” store refers to establishments such as Target and
Walmart—large, single floor chain stores that carry a variety of merchandise.
However, some specialty stores, such as Barnes and Noble, are also considered
big-box stores. Urbanization refers to populations moving from rural to urban
areas. Urban sprawl refers to the phenomenon of suburbs, where populations
began to build residences and facilities outside of an urban center.
General stores were dominant centers of business in the
United States until 1910, following the arrival of the automobile. General
stores did not always do business in currency. Often, a farmer would barter
with butter, eggs, vegetables, etc. that they produced themselves, which the
merchant would then sell in the store. The general store became of great
importance in the South following the Civil War because they were one of the
only sources of credit until cash crops came in. There were very few cities in
the South, so general stores, along with traveling salesman, were the main
supply sources. Although general stores have largely become a thing of the
past, they are still common in very remote rural areas, such as
lesser-populated areas in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.