Lenoir Store – Horatio, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Sumter County Photos | Lenoir Store
The Lenoir Store is a family-owned general store and post office built in 1869. Known as Sumter County‘s oldest business establishment, the store still operates on the property of the Lenoir family’s original store, which opened prior to 1808.
Original owner Isaac Lenoir was an Adjutant of Sumter’s Brigade during the Revolutionary War as well as a signer of the 1775 South Carolina Declaration of Rights. His will, read upon his death in 1808, requested his land be divided equally among his four sons. Lenoir specified this property to include his “store house.”
Today the store remains the center of this rural community, offering modern postal services and staples as well as selling nostalgic and tried-and-true remedies.
The post office is slated for an extreme reduction in hours by the United States Postal Service by October 2014. Because the store and post office are both a convenience and a community hub, residents are hoping the change doesn’t lead to an ultimate closure. Many fear the reduced post office hours will lead to the closure of the store, a local landmark that has been serving residents here for more than two centuries.
The Lenoir Store is listed in the National Register, which has this to say:
The Lenoir Store, built prior to 1878, is a surviving example of the “old general store” and a standing reminder of life before strip malls and modern supermarkets. It is a one-story, weatherboard-clad building on a brick foundation. The gable end metal roof is disguised by a simple false store front. The porch is supported by simple knee brackets and plain square wooden posts.
Though the store now has prepackaged goods on its shelves, it maintains the look of the old general store and all of the equipment used in its early days, including an old cheese cutter, a tobacco cutter, ice tongs and penny scales. The store still serves as the local post office, since 1900, and retains its postal equipment installed at the turn of the century. It continues to serve as a focal point of the Horatio community, a small but readily identifiable community above Stateburg in the High Hills of Santee. The Lenoir family has operated a general store in Horatio since before 1808. It is the oldest business establishment in Sumter County.
Reflections on the Lenoir Store
Contributor James Jenkins provided SCIWAY with this additional insight: “The Lenoir Store has been operated by the Lenoir family since before 1808. The store includes a post office inside with 155 post office boxes, and 124 of those boxes are still in use. The post office is on the list of small post offices for closure. The store and post office represent the center of the social activity for the community and a way of life that is rapidly vanishing from the scene. I spent a delightful hour there talking with Beverly L. Johnson and taking photos of the store, post office, and surrounding area. I hope this site survives the proposed cuts.”
Lenoir Store Info
Address: 3240 Horatio-Hagood Road, Horatio, SC 29062
Lenoir Store Map
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