MARENGO COUNTY, Ala. (WTOK) -- Old time general stores are hard to find these days, but there's one in Marengo County that's been serving the community there for over 60 years. Jefferson Country Store is featured on County Road 11.
Jefferson County Store (Photo Source: WTOK-TV)
The Jefferson Country Store was built in 1957 and has been run by members of the Compton family in this tiny community ever since. Five years ago, Betsy Compton Luker and her husband, Tony took over the store after Betsy's aunt retired and the store actually closed for about a year.
"We were kind of joking around one Sunday about opening the store and how it needed to be opened and how people missed it ," said Tony Luker. "We just kind of started rolling with it, and everything just fell into place."
Jefferson Country Store is also a popular place for locals to grab a bite. In fact, Alabama 11 Magazine recently named its hamburger the best in the entire state. You'll also find unique items you can't find many other places, like hoop cheese, rag bologna, and ribbon cane syrup.
It also provides folks here a retail post office.
"It allows us to keep that national identity," said Betsy. "We connect with Demopolis, so our zip code is Demopolis, but we're the Demopolis/Jefferson post office."
What sticks out to most about the store is the decorations, both inside and out. There's signs and banners from all over the place. Vintage items from days gone by. Autographed pictures from celebrities and some famous coaches around these parts.
Collectibles by the thousands. Visitors could spend hours just looking and reminiscing.
"We're always happy to get stuff," said Tony. "When they come in, they show it to their relatives 'hey this is mine or whatever,' so this is kind of a little museum."
"It's cool to us to think that that old beer can or that Pepsi can was sold in this store maybe decades ago, but it came from here," said Betsy. "Snuff bottles and things like that. It's cool to think the life of that product was here. That's cool for us."
The Jefferson Country Store. Unique and off the beaten path. A gathering place in this rural part of West Alabama, and a link to the rich heritage and history of the Black Belt region.
Jefferson Country Store is open every day but Sunday. It is located on Highway 28 in Jefferson which is near Linden and Demopolis.
The phone number is (334) 289-0040. It's listed on Facebook as Jefferson Country Store.