City Directories and History: “The old Cone Store is a two-story clapboard Victorian Commercial style building with double four-panel doors flanked by large windows above wood panels. The facade is accentuated by four pilasters, a flat parapet and six over six (6/6) light windows on the second floor. The upper panels of the double doors could be opened to conduct business or allow for breezes to pass through the building.
Built ca. 1885 by G.W. Cone as a general merchandise store, the structure originally had a three-story building attached to the south side. The third floor of this building served as living quarters and later as the Masonic Hall. The three-story structure was demolished in 1957.”
Information from: Historic Resources of the Lowcountry, The Lowcountry Council of Government, Cynthia C. Jenkins, Preservation Planner – Published, 1979
“Directly across the street from the Legatsy Caroline home is the site of the Cone’s Store, which was torn down some time ago. The original three-story section housed the very successful mercantile business of Mr. George W. Cone for fifty years. It has been said that Mrs. Cone’s daughter used to try to sneak up the outside back staircase and peep in to see what went on the Masonic meetings, which met on this floor. She wanted to see all the mysteries, including the coffin and greasy pole. Incidentally, when the lodge moved to Fairfax, each member was given a chair from the hall. Mr. Cone’s chair was willed to his great-grandson, Bill Cone. The two-story section was built for Mrs. Cone when they married and was used by her as a millinery store, which carried the very latest in ladies’ fashions. A fashion sheet advertising this business was published in 1901. The small one-story section of the store was once the law office of Julius P. Youmans, who served two terms as a member of the House of Representatives of Hampton County. Later this section served as a barbershop and was reported to be the location of a violent argument between the barber, Furd Stanley and Brook Priester over a ladylove. It seems Mr. Stanley chased Mr. Priester with a knife to the back of the row of stores on Railroad Ave. to Mr. Henry Dowling’s Meat market and cut his stomach open. Dr. Willie Mole performed surgery without sterilizers, anesthesia, or operating table; nevertheless, Mr. Priester’s life was saved.”
Editor’s note: When I was a child, living across the street (as pictured above), I received permission from Mr. George Cone for a friend, Grace Cook, and me to play in the cotton which was being stored in the store (which was no longer in use as a store). During our play, we found some safety matches, which had been left in the cotton sacks by the cotton pickers, and began to see who could hold the lighted match the longer. Somehow, the cotton caught fire. I remember distinctly running home and my mother “Cooey” Preacher’s yelling, “Fire! Fire!” to alert the volunteer fire department, which extinguished the fire with no structural damage to the store, just scorched cotton and an intimidated child.
Courtesy of the Brunson Riding Tour Guide – Brunson Family Reunion Committee, 2006
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