Driving down the long steep Creighton Hill to Sycamore Valley, thoughts of years gone by began to creep into the mind. At the bottom of the hill in a beautiful tree-filled valley sat the little town of Sycamore Valley, Ohio. Located in Monroe County, this small town has a rich history centered around their meeting place, Morrison’s General Store.
Built back in the 1880’s, this was the supply center for most of the people of that valley. No other towns were close by so at Morrison’s General they found not only groceries for the family, but also feed for their livestock at an adjacent feed mill. Included on the shelves were everything needed for the home, farm, and even boots and hats for the farmer. When looking through the old ledgers for the store, total sales for the month of December, 1943 totaled $1,429.32. An unusual sign on the scales inside summed up the philosophy of the store:
We have no quarrel with those who sell for less They know what their merchandise is worth.
Even though there was a gas light at the entrance, inside the store was dark and gloomy cheered only by the friendly folks of the Valley. Many remembered coming to the store two or three times a week to get everything they needed for their family. No matter if you needed eggs and cheese or nuts and bolts, this was the original one-stop shopping center. One man said he came from the age of three to the store where his mother met with some other ladies for quilting. This was a time when folks would gather around the old Warm Morning wood stove, prop up their feet and share the latest Valley news.
The store here in Sycamore Valley also served as a one-pump Ashland gas station as well as the post office, which served over 100 addresses at its peak. Inside you can still see the post office boxes where mail was kept for pick-up. While there Morris, the last postmaster, told about his 34 years running the post office. Morris’ dad owned the store previous to that time.
Times were rough in the Valley and keeping the store open was a difficult encounter during the best of times. Finally, the store was closed but the post office continued for several more years. Morris did sell candy, pop and a few small items until it finally closed in 2008 when the government shut down many small post offices.
Across the narrow road, this concrete marker was the vertical support for a bridge that went across the creek. The store owner kept his cattle on the other side of the little creek and the bridge was firectly across the road in front of the store door.
Leaving Sycamore Valley, long time residents of the area told stories about going back up the steep Creighton Hill to the ridge top. When someone was wanting to buy a car back even in the early days, Creighton Hill was the test site. If it could make it up the hill, then the car was worthy of being purchased. The speed with which it climbed the hill determined its price! This was one of the original test strips for automobiles.
At times it is interesting to explore what used to be, but we are certainly lucky to have the improvements that we have today – electricity and indoor plumbing come instantly to mind.
Sycamore Valley can be found in Southeastern Ohio on the perfect Gypsy Road Trip. After leaving I-77 in Ohio at exit 25, you will enjoy a scenic route of twists and turns. Better get out your road map or GPS (if it can get a signal) to find the way.
Comments on: "End of an Era: Morrison’s Store Sycamore Valley, Ohio" (18)
What an interesting tale from the past and a picture of life back then. It’s sad to see old special places disappear from our landscape.
There seems to be a little piece of history around every bend. It’s always interesting to take a step back in time for me. Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for this reminder. It brings back memories for me… of a number of stores like that, that I got to know in my youth.
My grandfather had a store much like this one and I used to help him when I was a child. So there were lots of happy memories here for me as well.
Serena Morrison, are you still around? We were pen pals for years during elementary and junior high school. My Mother, Father and I came to visit you one summer. We fished for perch in the creek across from the store. We went to the ice cream social and had a wonderful time meeting all your friends that lived there. If you read this and reply with the name of my state or city, I will know it’s really you. Ginger Black
Virginia, Serena lives in Columbus.
My aunt knew Serena, said she was the kindest person…my grandmother grew up in sycamore valley across the creek from the Morrison’s
Enjoy seeing former residents making connections with each other because of the Morrison Store. Enjoy your connections.
You should have came on down the Valley another 3 miles and looked at the Parks General Store, still in operation. Est. 1874 — Has been in my family since 1938. Grist Mill across the road. Built in 1875
Google: Parks General Store, Marr Ohio
William E. ‘Bill” Parks
We were there for the auction but maybe I will come down that way again. I like those back country roads and your store sounds like a step back in time. Thanks for stopping by.
My grandmother, who is now 95, grew up in Sycamore Valley..Have heard many wonderful stories of her days growing up there.
Those old stories are so important as they are a piece of history that will be lost if not retold. You should write down some of those stories for your family.
[…] general store and gas station. You can see someone else’s photo of it here. It was called Morrison’s General Store or just Morrison’s Store. The store itself may have dated back to the late 19th century and was […]
This is my husband’s family and the Morrison family was and still is wonderful people. So happy to see someone give them a little notairity. This is of an era long by and as everyone says, “those were the good ole’ days”.
So happy that the family has noticed the story. That was such an enjoyable visit as my grandfather had a store in the mid 1900s and the Morrison’s store reminded me of times I spent with my grandpa in his store. This is a way to keep those stories alive for years to come. Thanks for stopping by.
Hi Tammy, this is also my husbands grandmother’s family…His grandfather was a minister, teacher, plus, ln Monroe co. He married mary evelyn Morrison…don’t have my notes butI think this originally was her fathers store. Are you interested in exchanging some family info? contact me at:email@example.com Looking forward to hearing from you. Judy
Do hope you are able to make some family connections. The older I get, the more important these seem. Good luck!
Hi Judy, my grandmother is Edna Evelyn Ayers she grew up across the creek from the morrisons and often talks about her grandpa who was a preacher/teacher her grandmother was Mary Evelyn McFadden also….would love to exchange some family info and photos with you.. firstname.lastname@example.org