Sunday, September 5, 2010

C.B. Caudill Store and History Center

Established by Tessie Mae Hogg Caudill, daughter of Blackey merchants, and her husband, C.B. Caudill, in 1933, the store has been the community center, the unofficial bank, the place to use the telephone, and the social conscience of a community for more than 60 years. When C.B. died in 1966, the business passed to his daughter, Gaynell, and her husband, Joe Begley, who took up the torch of bettering their community and extended their influence beyond Blackey's borders.Their leadership led to stricter regulation of strip mining, formation of a local library, improved health care, and a new Blackey water system.

In 1997, the store closed its doors as a retail business and began a new life as a regional history museum and cultural center. This exciting endeavor includes partnerships with local schools, collection of oral history interviews and old photographs, a permanent exhibit on Blackey history (in progress), and arts programming including exhibits, music and lectures. The most interesting aspect of the project is still Joe and Gaynell, who live at one end of the store and enjoy chatting with visitors about their experiences.

To visit the store: Click Here.

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