Saturday, April 21, 2012


The creeks and rivers were principal highways in colonial Virginia.  Mercantile stores were first situated in principal ports, then were built upon every navigable stream.  Thus, plantations established their own private stores where tobacco could be harvested, then stored, prior to shipping. The store was sometimes a room in the house of a planter.  This was true in the instance of the store of Robert Hodges of Lower Norfolk and also of Newell's in York County. Jerome Ham, described in a deed as a gentleman, in making a lease of his plantation in York County, referred to his dwelling-house, kitchen and store, as if they were grouped very closely together.  The store was generally detached from the dwelling.  As a general rule, the store was constructed of boards with a loft and a shed. In towns, it was usually a rented building. Source: Records of York County, vol. 1675-1684.

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