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.
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.