Thursday, April 9, 2015
The Hollis Country Store, since 1930.
The original building was constructed not long after Arkansas renumbered its state highways to comply with the then-new Federal Highway Administration back in 1926. The store was opened to serve the resident of Hollis, a mountain community named after Hollis Britt Aikens, a Union soldier who served in the Civil War. A year after it first started serving residents, construction began on the structure we see today - a sturdy and everlasting single story structure created from layers of mismatched rocks and mortar with an overhang porch. It was built by Mike Gross and William "Bill" Furr. Gross, a country doctor, operated the store and the local post office, which was south of the grocery. Electricity came from a Delco generator housed in a shed behind the building.
When Dennis Crain died in 1980, Lillie Crain sold the store to their son Harold and his wife Louise. In 1989, they sold it to Loyd and Gulelma Hawk's son Berl and his wife, Connie. Berl died in 1999, but Connie still runs the store to this day.
The site is up for historic preservation. You can read more about its history here.
The first thing I noticed when we got out was that there was a truck out front... and a gentleman operating the late-1960s era gas pump. I haven't seen one of these in operation in years.
Hunter immediately gravitated towards the chips stand, and she perused the selection while I looked around. I haven't seen a store like this in ages, but recall many set up like this when I was a kid. There was everything available, including fishing equipment and bait, motor oil and baking supplies.
Hunter chose a bag of Cheetoes puffs and I paid at the register, and we were back out the door. I made a note to add it to my travels, and caught Hunter at the old fashioned pay phone out front before we left.
Here's a link to the listing, if you are interested.
And if you want to keep up with the Hollis Country Store, check out this page on Facebook.