The Country Store Story

The Fuquay-Varina Museums received a large collection of photographs taken by the FUQUAY-VARINA INDEPENDENT many of which were not identified. Numbers of individuals have worked on various images trying to help identify. Others have been filed and may be digitized eventually.

Quite a BLESSING just walked into our door on October 2. We now know the story of the Country Store!

Mr. & Mrs. Aaron Betts brought their grandson Nate to visit the museums. We had given them an extensive tour, visiting the jail, playhouse, school house and barn, when something triggered Mr. Betts to mention his country store collection. Bells went off!

We pulled the pictures filed as “Country Store” and sure enough there was Mr. Betts, Mrs. Betts, daughter Elaine, and school children who had visited his collection in the Cokesbury community of Harnett County. The Independent reporter had taken extensive photos outside and inside the store, the surrounding area, the outhouse, and the visitors of 1995.

Sadly, a group of thieves came to Cokesbury one night. The next morning, Betts discovered much of his collection missing. The Betts family was heartbroken at the loss. A lifetime of collecting and saving was taken from them. Eventually the remainder of the collection was sold and the Country Store was no more.

No one has been caught to date. Maybe someone will have an attack of conscience. Or maybe someone will recognize one of the pilfered artifacts and solve this crime. However, we have “make his day” according to Mr. Betts by showing him this collection and saving his historic efforts for everyone to see again.