Old-Timey General Stores Part 1: Forbus General Store – Pall Mall, TN

Sumoflam at Forbus General Store

It is always fun to run into an “old-timey” General Store when driving back roads.  These are a throwback to the past and typically have items you don’t see in most other stores.  The “old-timey” stores each have their own personalities and may offer home-style meals, special home-made pies or fudge.

On recent trips (February/March 2021) to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in northeastern Tennessee I had occasion to visit not one, but two of these 100-year old plus General Stores.  What fun!  I’ll cover these in two different posts.

Forbus General Store front porch
Forbus General Store, Pall Mall, Tennessee

This first post visits the Forbus General Store on York Highway (U.S. Hwy 127) in Pall Mall, Tennessee.  The store was built by WM. Johnson in 1892 and was operated by him until his death in 1941. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Forbus Historic District.

Inside Forbus General Store

My wife and daughter were hiking on the Sheltowee Trace in Big South Fork, so I thought I would take a drive down Hwy 127 to visit Static, Kentucky (always on the lookout for fun-named communities!).  Initially, I drove right past it, but immediately turned around.  My hope was to catch a country-style breakfast and I was in luck!

US Rote 127 was surrounded by ice-covered trees. A lovely sight.
Giant wood-burning stove in Forbus General Store

The first thing I noticed when I walked on on this rather cold day (the area had just had the worst ice-storm in over ten years) was the huge wood-burning stove in the middle of the place.  From what I could tell, it was the only source of warmth in the building.

You can see the pot on top of the stove.  It has water in it to keep some moisture in the air.

The floors are all wooden and really add to the charm of the place.  Throughout the store there are old antiques, old pop bottles and canned goods, etc.  Then, of course, there are many other items for sale.  In this case there was an entire counter dedicated to local jams, jellies, sorghum, honey and other goodies.

Lots of local goodies like jam, sorghum, honey and other goodies
Old Soda Bottles
Assorted Old Bottles
The typical goodies for sale in the store
Need stuff? They have it!

Of course, my objective was breakfast.  One can always get a nice tasty meal in a place like this.  And Forbus DID NOT disappoint.  I ordered two eggs (over easy), fried bologna (this is Tennessee folks!), sausage and biscuits and gravy (and the biscuits were homemade, as was the gravy).  Looks yummy.

A hearty breakfast at Forbus…yummy!
There is plenty of seating in this place

I am also a sucker for old wood-carved statues and this place had a few of them, some on the porch and a couple more inside.  Naturally, selfies with the wooden gang are always in order.

The big guy poses with the big guy
This gal sits at the front door to welcome visitors
A wooden soldier guards the old cash register inside the store
There is always a howdy bear!
Another big guy on the porch

The Forbus General Store specializes in homemade fudge.  Though I didn’t take a shot of the variety, I did get a shot of the special fudge.

Pig Butter Fudge – turns out it was a Peanut Fudge.

And here are a few of the old-timey goodies for sale in the store.  Always fun to see these items.

Old-Timey Puzzles
Remember marbles? Some cool “cat’s eyes” and “steelies” in the case
Coon Skin Hats
I always wanted a coon skin hat. Davey, Davey Kravetz…
Need a good bathroom reader?

I had a good breakfast, a good time and many fun quirky things to see.  And, I made it to Static, KY too!

Heading to Static, KY
Coldest beer in Static. I think it is the only beer in Static!

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