Family General Store Closed Since the 1980s

Parrish Family Store | Irwin County, GA

This old building might not look like much today, but at one point, this place would’ve been the center of a small but tight-knit rural farming community in Georgia called Mystic. Back in those days, it was known as the Parrish Family merchandise store.

During its prime years, Mystic had a handful of businesses that offered critical services to the people of this small town, including a drug store, meat shop, barber, gas pumps, ice house, and train depot. There was also Townson’s store where could make a phone call with an operator or mail a letter.

And while things would slow down here as the 20th century moved along, some of these stores stayed open until the mid-1980s, according to one local. 

Today, the old shop is used for storage and yard sales periodically, as well as housing this charming pair of vintage Volkwagen Beetles. When I first visited here in 2011, I fell in love with the charm and character in the patina of these old rust buckets. When I returned in 2015, they had been sold. 

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How did Mystic get its name?

Sometime around 1870, a businessman from Connecticut named Henry Harding Tift came to the pine lands of South Georgia to manage a manufacturing company owned by his uncles in Albany, GA.

Shortly after moving to Georgia, Tift bought hundreds of acres of Georgia pineland near the newly constructed rail lines and constructed a sawmill. This brought a boom in the local economy and a handful of small rural communities emerged nearby, including Mystic, which he named after his hometown of Mystic, CT.

Henry Harding Tift, the founder of the town of Mystic. (Photo courtesy of Steve Smith on Find a Grave)
The Tift Locomotive Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries
Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of The Tift Sawmill. Georgia Libraries

2 thoughts on “Family General Store Closed Since the 1980s”

  1. My husband, Tom loves these stories and photos. He is very much into genealogy and history. His family goes back to early 1800’s in Union County, SC. I started with your post and now he looks forward to each one! Thanks for what you do. Muriel

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