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Purvis Store, Esmont

Purvis Store, Esmont

Name:  Purvis Store

Date:  ca. 1970's

Image Number:  UVA Library, Purvis Store

Comments: The Purvis Store is located at 7603 Esmont Road and is south of the Esmont National Bank Building and Post Office in Esmont, VA.  This large, two-storied building was primarily a grocery store and had a big front porch with ice and soda pop machines plus chairs where its customers could sit and visit.  Former patrons of the store remember that in the late 1930's, the store was owned by Gilbert and Lucille (Purvis) Goff, and it possessed one of the few telephones in Esmont.  Lucille was the town 'fixer,' who helped with many problems, and people wishing to contact a resident in the Esmont area would call the store and leave a message which Lucille would have delivered to the recipient.  Later, the store had the only TV in the village, running water, and indoor plumbing.

Peggy Purvis Denby remembers that, thanks to the store's TV, "Friday night fights were a big attraction, along with Ed Sullivan, Lucky Strike Hit Parade, and later the soap operas."  Peggy also says that "My parents provided the much-needed service of delivering the groceries which was good for business and was a great service to those without transportation."

Other memories that local citizens had of the Purvis store in the 1970's when Gilbert and Lucille (Purvis) Goff were running the store are:

Kevin Rush:  "I like going there mostly because of the ice cream sandwiches, nutty buddies, wise potato chips, etc.  Whatever you needed, they had, not to mention your weekly dose of Hee-Haw after 7pm."

Sherita Sisson:    "Love Mrs. Purvis so much -- she made the best pickled eggs!"

James Rush, Jr.:   "Oh yeah, I remember riding my bike to this store just to use their pay phone to call to Earlysville every chance I got before i got my Datsun."

Tammy Jackson:   "That bologna (at Purvis Store) was so good!  That was the first time I ever tasted German bologna!"

Purvis Store building, July 2018
The old Purvis Store building (now vacant) in Esmont, July 2018

Scottsville Museum wishes to thank Maxwell Johnson for his research and photographs on this Esmont community business!

1)  Denby, Peggy Purvis.  "Esmont As I Remember It."  Friends of Esmont, 2018.  See:
Friends of Esmont.
2)  MacConochie, Maryann, "Life in Esmont."  The Albemarle Monthly, December/January 1979/1980.  See: Life in Esmont.
3)  Hallock, Jennifer; Gardiner Hallock & Kristie Baynard.  "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Southern Albemarle Rural Historic District."  February 2007.  Section 7, p. 43.
4)  University of Virginia, Purvis Store photo, See: Purvis Store.
5)  "Abandoned in Virginia's Posts", Facebook, Responses to Kevin Rush's question in May 3, 2016 on "Abandoned in Virginia" Facebook Account regarding "Do you remember Purvis Store?" 

Copyright © 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Top Image Located On:  UVA Library, Purvis Store

Bottom Image Located On: MJ41cdMJ01.



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