Vidette Country Store

Vidette Country Store Burke County GA Americana Ghost Town Independent Business Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

There may not be much left from its former heyday but the crossroads town of Vidette still shows signs of life with this busy little country store. The sign lists many available items, including: Grocery, Ice, Cold Drinks, Cig., Snack Bar, Bait, Fishing Stuff, Health, Beauty Aids, Belts, Hoses, Tires, Hardware, and Plastic & Galvanized Fittings. It seems like a lot of stuff for a little store but it’s the kind of independent business that typifies American enterprise, even in the fast-paced world of today. I’m always excited to find places like this.

Even better are these memories from Ouida McBride Malon, who writes:  I was born about 4 miles from Vidette and moved into Vidette when I was eleven. I graduated from Vidette High School. I am Ouida McBride Malon and I would say I am the oldest surviving person that ever lived in Vidette. I will be 94 years old this year. My relative Sally Peel told me that Vidette was named after a Mr. Videtta. There were 2 grocery stores owned by Mr. Russell Smith, Mr, Shivers. The barber shop, which once was a bank, was operated by Oliver Daniels. A couple of the stores were empty from as long as I could remember. The last one was owned and operated by John Railey and then there was a little blue wooden post office. The postmistress was Miss Johnnie Causey and was a relative of mine. Martha Peel who was a Home-Ec teacher in Vidette, who married Gilbert Peel had electric lights installed so we could play tennis at night. Our home was the green house across the railroad. I graduated in 1942. I know the names of every teacher that taught in Vidette . The town doesnt have a single house in town that was not there when I lived there. The filling stationed that still stands was owned by Pap Burke but later Roland Dunn and Mary Susan owned it. Roland Dunn was a brother of my sister-in-law Elizabeth Dunn McBride. If any one wants to know any thing about Vidette you can answer. It was such a great small town to be raised in. I only know Frank Agerton and one of the Peels that owns the home I was raised in.

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14 Comments

Filed under --BURKE COUNTY GA--, Vidette GA

14 responses to “Vidette Country Store

  1. Chuck wilson

    It’s my understanding that a young brick layer name Harry Peel did all the fancy brick work in that store. It’s my understanding down the road toward Louisville a Doctor live on the left side and Harry Peel was hired to put in a brick wall along the sidewalk parallel with the road. And I thought the doctor hired him to do the store also.

  2. David Irwin

    I also was raised around and in Vidette. I never thought there’d be a day when I did not not know every resident. Today, Minonites have bought the A.R. Presbyterisn Church, there’s only the one store and most of those I ever knew are dead or gone and, new families moved in. A few Bailey’s, Peeles and younger family members can still be found. I will always have good memories of those that helped raise me, fish fries in the park, church activities, and Roland Dunn’s candy counter.

  3. Ouida McBride Malon

    I was born about 4 miles from vidette and moved into VIdette when I was eleven. I graduated from Vidette High School. I am Ouida McBride Malon and I would say I am the oldest surviving person that ever lived in Vidette. I will be 94 years old this year. My Relative Sally Peel told me that VIdette was named after a Mr. Videtta. There were 2 grocerie stores owned by mr Russell Smith, Mr, Shivers. The barber shop, which once was a bank was operated by Oliver Daniels. couple of the stores were empty from as long as I could remember. The last one was owned and operated by John Railey and then there was a little blue wooden post office. The post Mistress was Miss Johnnie Causey and was a relative of mine. Martha Peel who was a home ec Teacher in Vidette, who married Gilbert Peel had Electric lights installed so we could play tennis at night. Our home was the green house across the railroad. I graduated in 1942. I know the names of every teacher that taught in Vidette . The town doesnt have a single house in town that was not there when I lived there. The filling stationed that still stands was owned by Pap Burke but later Roland Dunn and Mary Susan owned it. Roland Dunn was a brother of my sister in law Elizabeth Dunn McBride. If any one wants to know any thing about Vidette you can answer. It was such a great small town to be raised in. I only know Frank Agerton and one of the Peels that owns the home I was raised in.

  4. Pingback: Vidette, Georgia | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

  5. Shannon

    That store used to be called Roland’s and was run by Roland & Mary Susan Dunn who lived one street over behind the store, IIRC. But I think the land was owned by Frank Eggerton. When you walked in there was a refrigerated case to your left where they sold Pet and Sealtest milk and other dairy and meat items. To your right against the wall by the door was a freezer case where ice cream and Popsicles were sold. Immediately in front was a tall counter with glass cookie jars. One I remember was for Byrd’s cookies. The counter had a glass front where candy bars and tobacco products were sold. If you looked to your right there was another door and a corner with a couple of chairs where people came and sat. Outside to the right if the front door was a Fanta drink machine.

    It was hit by a 16-wheeler in the 80’s and had to be completely remodeled and a large back was added. It looks nothing like it used to.

    Those abandoned buildings across Hwy. 24 are only two of several that were there that the state made Eggerton tear down…or did it themselves, in the 90’s. My mother grew up there and I spent every holiday from 1971 to 2000 in Vidette at my grandparents. The mayor, Rosemary Baughman, is my mother’s cousin.

    I wish I could find pictures of Roland’s. I loved visiting that little store. Mary Susan always let me come behind the counter and get a piece of candy.

  6. This image brings back memories. My father served as pastor of the Vidette United Methodist Church from June 1980 to June 1982. I recall going into that store often. Thanks for the photograph!

  7. Wendell

    City slickers, we had the old “rolling store” bus. for those who don’t know, this was an antique converted school bus that made regular rounds throughout rural Long County (and others). You would not believe the items on board. A small candy nook, canned goods shelves, coffee, tea, sugar, flour and more. They even had a freezer (ice box) in back with some fresh meat, milk and eggs. All brought right to your front yard at roadway. Talk about convenience!! Nice work Brian, even if we all got off your subject.

  8. Vickie Davis

    I remember walking to little stores like this as a child to get snacks.Children of today have “convenience stores”. I guess that is what it was to us also!!

    • Ben

      Remember when all the “little” stores, both in town and in the country, had a “pay to play” punch-board game? I’m sure they would be considered illegal gambling today.

      • Red

        yeah I remember. Punch out a number and win whatever was listed for that number. Anything from a “teddy bear,” to a box of “Queen Ann” chocolates.

      • Ben

        Exactly. I remember, as might be expected, the most common prize was another punch for free!

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