The Long Store
The following is a web exhibit on The Cassels Company, Inc. Store. Often the store is referred to as The Long Store and it was a general store in Ellenton where residents could purchase anything from Groceries to Gas. The store was owned by H. M. Cassels, Sr and later by his son Mike Cassels, Jr. The narratives about the store are excerpts from the SRARP Heritage Series Books #2 Memories of Home: Reminiscences of Ellenton.
I can write you a history of the Long Store. We had two means of heat in this building, which was, gosh, I don’t know how long it was and that was one of them right there–a pot-bellied stove. The other one was in the front. We had three fans too and you never did worry with heat or air conditioning. You see this picture right here? That’s me right there and there’s F. L. [Eaves]. That’s Mike Cassels–the Bull! That’s the Bull right there. That there is Mr. Arthur Foreman and he was the fellow that ran the farm part of Cassels Co. and he ran the dairy. They had a dairy that brought a truck load of milk every day, seven days a week, up here to Augusta to Borden to make ice cream out of. They also had an asparagus farm that shipped asparagus during the season on Fido.
The train was called Fido! When Fido would go toward Beaufort, we’d put all the asparagus we could on Fido, and when Fido would come back that afternoon, we’d load it up again with asparagus. They had a peach farm as well–acres and acres of peaches. They also owned a large lot of land, where they had cotton, and they leased a lot of land that they planted cotton on.
Mike Cassels, the Bull, right here, he dealt with the wholesale and retail grocery end of it, and his right-hand man was F. L. [Eaves]. It was F. L.’s and Mike’s responsibility to handle the wholesale and retail grocery business, and anything you can think of, they sold. I could name plowlines, fences, posts, and anything. They sold it all! Another job for Mike was the oil company–Esso Standard Oil Company. They sold all the gas, all the oil, and all the tractor fuel for that area.
Wallace [Cassels] dealt with the cemetery. They had a white cemetery and a colored cemetery, and a white funeral home and a colored funeral home. They also had the dial telephone system, and that was Horace’s [Cassels] job. p>
That’s Mr. Harold Buckingham, and that is Mr. Stanley Eubanks, who was a rural mail carrier and he worked at the Long Store on Friday and Saturday afternoons. That is Mr. D. C. Bush and this fellow was Sugar Blake, and he was the manager of the dry goods department in the front of the Long Store. That fellow is Glenn Franklin and he drove the oil and gas trucks for Mike. He delivered gas all through Dunbarton, Meyers Mill, Ellenton, and Jackson. But the Cassels were a generation ahead of themselves. I am told that they used to buy bananas by the boatload and they’d hang them down in the basement of he Long Store and let them ripen in the moisture and the atmosphere, before they’d bring them upstairs and sell them.
Nobody else did that, but they were a generation ahead of themselves!
–William Stephen Harley, 1994
The store was 210 feet long, approximately forty-one feet wide, with no partitions, and was known, quite appropriately by all, as “The Long Store.” Within its lengthy confines could be found anything from a toothpick to a coffin, a piece of lace to a bolt of organdy, a penny pencil to canvas oil paintings, the latest women’s fashions to everyday overalls, patent leather slippers to swamp boots.
If you needed something, it could usually be found at The Long Store (O’Berry 1990). I lived almost directly across the street from the depot and only a few steps from where I worked. I used to work at the Long Store for Mr. Mike Cassels. I was in charge of the grocery department. See, the Long Store was set up in different sections. In the front on the left was the bank, then came clothing and shoes and dry goods, which was run by Mr. Blake, and then the grocery and hardware in the middle of the store. I ran the grocery, while Horace Cassels ran hardware. In the back of the store was wholesale groceries and I ran that too.
–F. L. Eaves, Jr., 1994
all images copyright Savannah River Archaeological Research Program, 2010
images cannot be reproduce without the written permission of the SRARP