H.F. Wright Grocery - Stokes County

In my travels, I have encountered several long-lost country stores.  For many stores, it is hard to find information on the history of a store and or its owners.  Fortunately for the former H.F. Wright Grocery in Stokes County, a good amount of information is available.

The former H.F. Wright Grocery sits on NC 89 at the 'Y' intersection of NC 66 between Westfield and Francisco.  Although the store has sat empty for nearly four decades, it proudly served the two rural communities for nearly 100 years.

H.F. Wright Store during the early 20th Century - Photo courtesy Surry County Digital Heritage - H.F. Wright Grocery Collection.

In 1888, John H. Wright and Melissa Wright purchased the store for $125.  Mrs. Wright would run the store until her passing in 1934.  Their son, Henry Franklin (H.F), took over the store and would run it until 1969.  H.F. Wright's son Cleave - next ran the store until 1974, when he handed the operation to his son Roger and daughter-in-law Sheila.  Roger and Sheila Wright would operate the store until it closed in 1985. (1)

H.F Wright and family inside their store - Photo courtesy Surry County Digital Heritage - H.F. Wright Grocery Collection.

Though long closed, the Wright store still lives on in nearby Mount Airy.  The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History features a permanent exhibit showcasing a turn-of-the-century country store.  The museum uses numerous items from the store, including a glass-cased counter within the exhibit.  The Surry County Digital Heritage Archives has over 250 scanned items from Wright's store - including invoices, receipts, and photos.

Photos taken by post author - unless otherwise noted

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Anonymous said…
My great-grandmother lived down the road from this store. The men of the area would gather at the store in the evenings and visit; the women would go to the owners' house nearby to visit. I hope to see the building before it is gone!

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