General Stores of Renrock

Renrock General Store -- Furmin Dye - Samuel J. Paxton - James Harvey Paxton Proprietors

[The following was written and published in Some Glimpses of Old Renrock, page 12-13. The author is unknown but cannot be Silas Thorla as he would not have been a "young, candy hungry boy, in 1913] According to the stories narrated to us by our elders and our own dim memories of our youthful days, there were two general stores in Renrock from the 1800's until past the turn of the century. One of these stores was located on the main highway west of Dyes Fork Creek and the other was across this creek on the east side reached by going through a covered bridge.

The one below had many owners through the long period of its existence. The highway in front of the store was first called the McConnelsville-Barnsville Road. Later it became part of State Route 76, but this has recently been changed to Route 83. This combination house and store was build by Furmin Dye. He eventually sold it to Samuel J. Paxton who in the 1880's turned it over to his son, James H. Paxton. He married Anna Dye, great-granddaughter of Ezekiel Dye, Sr. When "Jim" Paxton (as the was called) retired, he sold the store to Abner Barnhouse who in a few years sold it to Clifford Lyons. The last owner who served the community many years was Owen Reed.

The store has been raised twice. Samuel J. Paxton had raised it about two feet but the 1913 flood still did tremendous damage to its contents. The writer remembers being taken as a small boy to see the ravages of this flood on the day after the flood waters had receded. The candy showcase had been pulled from the building into the sunshine to dry. He was disturbed to see those trays of brown haystack chocolate drops being discarded. The flood waters had contaminated them. In the eyes of a candy hungry boy, this was a terrible waste. Shortly after the flood, the store level was raised several more feet to protect from future floods.

On the inside of this store was a potbellied stove around which the tobacco-chewing loafers gathered each evening to settle the political and religious questions of the day. One spring day the storekeeper was observed cleaning out the old dried tobacco cuds from underneath the stove with mattock and shovel. During the summer the loafers sat on the front porch of the store where they could expectorate freely into the open air.

A picnic shelter now stands near the location of this store.

[I inherited a number of arrowheads and one "spectacular battle ax" from my great aunt Rosa Dye Paxton. She told me that her father (James Harvey Paxton) used to trade candy for arrowheads and other artifacts found by the children in the community. These are all that I have as a reminder of the store which played a significant role in the history of the Paxton Family.]