In last week’s Throwback Thursday feature for the Wilmington News Journal, this 1987 photo of the Lees Creek Grocery/IOOF Building was a very popular subject for readers. In this Thursday’s recent edition, a follow up report on this photo was provided. Four readers contacted the WNJ and History Center to comment on their memories of the location.
Here’s an excerpt from the follow up: “In 1876 the IOOF [Independent Order of the Odd Fellows] built the two-story 20 x 25 feet wood frame building at the southwest corner of the intersections of State Route 729 and Larrick Road. The upper story was the Hall for the Odd Fellows and the Rebekas – the sister organization. The lot was purchased from Mrs. Stotler for $25. Cost was $36.80 for the foundation and $850 for framework. Lime and stone for the basement cost $17.50, paid to John Caniff. The Hall was insured for three years for $30. Cost for the Lodge Hall furniture (desks and chairs) and a rug was $144.79. It appears from the IOOF record book that finishing of the ground-level story continued at a leisurely pace into year 1878. In Feb 1880 George Pencil tried to rent the lower floor for a shoe shop. First note of an actual renter was the next year, 1881, to Mr. Molenpage for $65 per year for the next three years. No mention of Mr. Molenpage’s business, but it is thought that he or one of the next two merchants operated a clothing store. Community oral history has it that the first business was the clothing store. This is probably true because the two-story brick building next door was apparently built earlier and housed the “general store”. Various merchants and renters of this brick building were Oscar Canter, then O. D. Armstrong in 1896, Oscar Jones, Chancy Cox. The village physician Dr. Shaffer had his office there.”
Read more about the photo’s history and their memories here: https://www.wnewsj.com/news/135134/throwback-thursday-lees-creek-store-take-2?fbclid=IwAR2OgrbtLR_FXkegSZkznVcMhhxTpRjAd9TsFV42YuDps0rqheCDEf4T_yQ
For even more information on this Lees Creek location: https://simonkentonleescreek1960.weebly.com/lees-creek—places.html