|Country stores in Edwards, Mississippi. Map drawn with ESRI ArcMap software.|
|The Betigheimer country store on Betigheimer Road and MS 27.|
A coworker who grew up in Utica told me he used to shop there as a child. He remembered buying his first cookies there, two for a penny (I didn't ask what century this might have been). He was intrigued by the fact that Germans ran a country store in a rural African-American community. How did they end up in a place like Utica? At the time, it was a classic country store, selling hardware, seeds, food, tools, nails, and useful supplies. He could not remember when it ceased business as a general merchandise store. The Betigheimers lived in a large wood house just east of the store, but it was struck by lightning and burned down sometime in the 1980s. A modern house is on the lot now.
When I returned in 1997, the antique business had closed, but there was a lot of old-fashioned machinery (junk) strewn about the yard. Nice stuff, but not much was happening.
The store burned sometime around 2000. I rarely drove on Hwy. 27, and one day in the early 2000s, it struck me that the store was gone. Sad, another piece of our heritage gone.
|1986 Tri-X photograph of the Betigheimer store taken with a 4×5" Tachihara camera and 180mm ƒ/5.6 Caltar IIN lens.|
Update June 2020: the last photograph is a black and white Tri-X frame from a 4×5" camera.