"THE LAST COUNTRY STORE" - Chloe Emporium Stacked High



Chloe general store is among the last standing

Chloe's historic Mollohan, Chennoweth
and Knotts store goes back to 1874

Mallie Sampson, a former owner of the store, purchased this
delivery truck in the early 1950's, which was owned for several
years by Carl Jarvis, now restored and photographed in front of store

By Bob Weaver 2010

Through the 1950s in Calhoun County there was a country store in virtually every small community, sometimes more than one. The stores often had a post office. Nearby was the the other center of the community, the church.

See CALHOUN'S FADED VILLAGES - How They Got Named, Other Fascinating Stuff

In the Village of Hur, few days went by without a visit to the McCoy Store or Charley Starcher's emporium a short distance down the hill, the old-timers were the greeters, sitting out front on a bench in warmer weather, telling tales and passing on vital information about their well-lived lives.

Such vital centers of community and social life can rarely be found these days, at least with such flavor, as John and Barbara Rose's Chloe Auto and Hardware.

The well-worn, rejuvenated building along Rt. 16 at Chloe is likely Calhoun's last genuine country store. It dates back to post Civil War days, its' list of operators is a who's who of Washington District.

The store, not unlike the dozens that once dotted the landscape, has a little bit of everything one might need without driving to "town."

John and Barbara Rose (John is now deceased) have been operating the store for ten years, admiringly coming to the rural area from Pennsylvania looking for a life in the country.

"We found it here," said John (shown left). "We know everyone in these parts, It's a place where everyone knows your name," referring to the theme of the long-running TV show "Cheers," still exhibiting an exuberance for being in the store business.

The store has some of most everything rural customers might need. "People come from all over looking for items," Rose said, "And often we can help them."

The Roses admit its often a challenge to keep the business going, particularly during the recession. "We really try to stock things people need, and are always changing and adding," said John.

John had just returned from Spencer, finalizing a deal to sell hunting and fishing licenses, with the store being a game checking station.

Sharon Settle (right) makes a purchase
from clerk George Dysert and Barbara Rose

Melissa and Dawn Boswell enjoy
a few minutes on the store swing

Store is piled high with everything from groceries
and nails to auto parks and gardening supplies

John once worked as a general contractor, and said, "I like helping people solve their problems. I pass on what was given to me."

Barbara Rose said, "It's a lot of hard work and long hours, but we really do like our customers."

A brief history written by Robert P. Mollohan said his father Perry Mollohan (1845-1898) and R. J. Chenoweth established a general store ten miles above Arnoldsburg at Chloe.

The next closest store was at Newton in Roane County, and another at Servia in Braxton County.

Marlene Potasnik said her father, Lambert Cooper, worked in the store about 1905, a close friend of Robert P. Mollohan.

Robert Perry Mollohan was the father of the late Congressman Robert Mollohan of Calhoun County.

During that time Cooper met Rebecca Mollohan, a cousin of Roberts from Nebo, Clay County, they were married July 4, 1906. They resided in Nebo "Where my 12 siblings and I were born," wrote Potasnik.

The store once operated by Mollohan, Chennoweth and Knotts, and much of the original structure is today's store building, with the store being operated for many years in the 20th Century by Mallie Sampson and the Cooper family, among others.

Storekeepers John and Barbara Rose


The floors were dark and very rough,
Where oft times badly treated;
For hobnailed shoes were scuffed about,
Near kegs where men were seated.

A cracker barrel; a hoop of cheese
And a pot bellied stove for heat,
There was green coffee to be parched
And a side of pork; salt meat.

A bag of feathers in the corner hung,
Perhaps a hide or two,
A tobacco cutter setting near by,
To furnish the men a chew.

Flour was then sold by the barrel
And sugar by the hundred weight,
Then canned goods were scarce
And black eyed peas they ate.

Bartering then was a common trade
For hides, eggs and wool,
In exchange for calico;
Which kept the ladies cool.

The hosiery then was not so fine
Mothers knit at home you know,
Wool was worn by young and old;
And they were not for show.

No tailored suits, nor ladies slacks
Were common in those days;
There was coarser cloth for underskirts,
Would this modern day amaze.

Jeans were woven at home on looms
Which the stores then did not keep;
Yet the spools of thread which they sold
Was large and strong and cheap.

The candy one bought; they called for then
As there was no candy case
For most all stores were very small,
You see there was little space.

Most men were happy in those days,
They would gather at the country store;
To talk their problems over
And maybe wished for more.

For then they loved each other
The time slipped by too fast
And when their parting time would come,
Each tried to be the last.

Most all of them would take a chew
While others looked around;
Not many cigarettes in those days
But several pipes were found.

They chewed tobacco; mostly sweet,
Which gave them lots of juice;
The cracks were most welcome then
With all the men turned loose.

They did not say good night as now
But said "Go home with me"
They hated to leave the country store
Where all were welcome, you see.

We now have all conveniences;
We could not wish for more;
Except the love these people had

- © Helen C. Wallen