TexasEscapes.comTexas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1400 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
FORUM
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
 Texas : Features : Columns : All Things Historical

Nethery's Store

by Bob Bowman
Bob Bowman

In hundreds of small towns in East Texas, the general store was the hub of the community--a place where neighbors visited, made purchases of everything they needed, and usually put it on credit.

Few, if any, of the old general stores remain today. Most were simply victims of changing times.

However, in the little town of Milam near the Texas-Louisiana border, you can sample the flavor of what old general stores looked and felt like.

The Nethery family owned such a store, starting as early as 1880. Today, it has been converted into an antique store, but much of the fixtures, some of the merchandise, and even the old ledgers where customers made credit purchases are still on display.

Nethery's Store stood on the old El Camino Real (now Texas Highway 21) where people poured into Texas by the thousands after Texas won its independence from Mexico. Nethery's was the forerunner of a trading post called "Red Mound" built in 1834 by John S. Roberts. The name was later changed to Milam.

The oldest continually operated business in Sabine County, Nethery's was begun by C.A. Nethery, who came to Milam from Patroon as a young man. He and his wife Amanda built a home on Main Street and later opened a general store and saloon.

The first store burned during a snowstorm in 1913, but a new store was quickly built. The "new" building is still standing.

After his father's death in 1942, C. A. (Buddy) Nethery, Jr., operated the store until his death. His nephews, Gene and Doule Nethery, kept the old store open until 2000, selling hardware and providing a place for local domino players to meet.

Wanting to retire, but not wanting to close the store, the Netherys choose to keep the store open as an antique place. Ellen Melton, Laura Tichnekl and Susan Nethery came to the rescue and opened the store as Nethery's Antiques.

Today, the store still offers a step back in time.

The old pot-bellied stove still works and is surrounded by chairs in much the same fashion as it was in the 1880s. The walls are lined with relics like oxbows, crosscut saws and scythes. And the counters are stacked with old tobacco tins, antique photos of people long deceased, kerosene lamps, old radios, a corn sheller, earthen ware and glass ware, and much more.

Even Nethery's old store ledger, dating back to the early 1900s, rests on a counter near the pot-bellied stove. People put their purchases on credit and usually "paid up" at the end of the month.

James Allen, for example, bought 65 cents in potatoes and a five-cent hinge on credit on February 16, 1917. Robert Henderson bought $1.60 in flour and 25 cents worth of corn the same year.

In 1918, Miss Pearl Dowdy made a major purchase, a rocking chair that cost her $3.50. And A.B. Russell purchased four sacks of flour for $14.00 the same year.

Each May, Nethery's holds its annual Trades Day, a good time for East Texans to relive the uniqueness of an old-fashioned general store.

All Things Historical >
June 11, 2006 Column
Published with permission
(Distributed by the East Texas Historical Association. Bob Bowman of Lufkin is a former president of the Association and the author of more than 30 books about East Texas.)
 
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS
Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South |
West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | State Parks | Rivers | Lakes | Drives | Maps | LODGING

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII |
History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books | MEXICO
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators |
Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Corner Stones | Pitted Dates |
Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS
TEXAS HOTELS | Hotels | Cars | Air | Cruises | USA


Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Links
Contributors | Staff | About Us | Contact TE |
TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE
HOME
Website Content Copyright 1998-2006. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: August 17, 2006