T. B. Sutton General Store
Ben Sutton purchased this store in 1925 and operated it as a general store until his death in 1968. The store dates back to 1870 and operated until the 1970s. After nearly three decades of being closed, the building and its contents were almost unsalvagable when they were purchased and restored as a historically-themed community museum and tourist attraction that is now operated by the Granville Museum.
Backstory and Context
The general store sits in a two story building that exemplifies beautiful, 19th century architecture. The balcony adds a whimsical touch, and the original building structure has kept a several of the original fixtures. Operational for over a 100 years, the store eventually closed in the 1970s. The store remained emptied for several years, until it was repurchased and rehabilitated by the Sutton family. During most of the time the store was in operation, one could purchase things such as dry goods, groceries, agricultural products, get a haircut and much more. The “whittling porch” on the façade was a favorite place for people to visit. Sutton stopped operating the store in 1968. There were also noted changes in transportation and construction of the Center Hill Dam which meant fewer people lived in or traveled to the area.
The building fell into disrepair when its final owner closed the story in the 1970s. Thanks to Harold and Beverly Sutton who discovered the historic building and took an interest in its preservation, the building was restored between 2000 and 2001. This occurred at the same time others were looking at the potential for renovating buildings in the town and beginning “Granville Heritage Day.” In 2007 the Sutton family donated the store building to Historic Granville Incorporated and the organization operates the site as a historically-themed place for locals and visitors to enjoy.
National Register. Accessed December 13th 2019. https://www.tn.gov/environment/about-tdec/tennessee-historical-commission/redirect---tennessee-historical-commission/redirect---federal-programs-for-the-tennessee-historical-commission/national-register.html.
Only in Your State. Accessed December 13th 2019. https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/tennessee/remote-tn-