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Horne's / Florida Souvenierland Pecans Candies, 22103 US-301 Lawtey Florida: 2000s   11 comments

Posted at 1:27 am in closing

Usually when I come back from the Spring Hill Florida area, I take I-75 North to I-10 East and then I-95 North. On the 4th, I was making pretty good time on I-75 and looking at a map in the Paynes Prairie rest stop, I decided it would be more interesting to skip I-10 and take FL-40 to US-301 to FL-A1A to I-95.

I found this abandoned souvenier shop on US-301 just north of Lawtey Florida. My guess is that at one time it was a Stuckey's and then went independent after both traffic on US-301 and the Stuckey's chain declined. The building appears to date from 1961 and may have also had living quarters.

While a government pollution warning suggests that the place may have been called Florida Souvenierland at one time, currently the only identification is a huge sign proclaiming Pecans Candies.

The creepy and unusual thing about this site is that it is not empty. The store still appears packed to the gills with souveniers and I would not be surprised to find orange juice sludge still in the coolers. My best guess is that this place was a rapid and unexpected casualty of the 2008 crash, but it could have actually happened much before that. It would be fascinating to get a good look inside. However, while I am not above walking towards an abandoned building in such a manner as to make sure I don't pass by any "Posted" signs that might exist, it's pretty hard to claim that you didn't notice the barbed wire fencing off an area, so I made sure to stay outside that perimeter.

Oh, and note the SOU on the roadside sign and the NIR under the shed.

UPDATE 6 July 2016: Commenter Tom sends in this link, showing that this store was in fact a Horne's and not a Stuckey's. There are some very interesting pictures there, including of this store, and you should check it out. Also, I have added Horne's to the post title.

Also, note this picture I took through the windshield and against the sun, so it's not very good, but good enough to point out a salient fact about Lawtey, somewhat reminescent of the old story about Lester Maddox & Ludowici Georgia:

lawtey_tn.jpg

Written by ted on July 6th, 2016

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11 Responses to 'Horne's / Florida Souvenierland Pecans Candies, 22103 US-301 Lawtey Florida: 2000s'

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  1. Actually this was not a Stuckey's but a Horne's which was regional restaurant and motor lodge chain founded by a former Stuckey supplier. It became a cross between Stuckey's and Howard Johnson's. This link will show some photos of it in happier times.

    http://www.highwayhost.org/Hornes/Locations/Florida/florida1.htm#StarkeLawtey

    Tom

    6 Jul 16 at 7:00 am

  2. Whatever became of all of the Stuckey's?

    Homer

    6 Jul 16 at 9:04 am

  3. Homer, Stuckey's nearest locations are in Prosperity, Bishopville, Winnsboro, St. Matthews and Graniteville (and there are a few others such as Summerton, Walterboro, St. George, Gaffney, Enoree, Blacksburg, Inman, Latta and Hardeville).

    There are plenty of others around but those are the main ones in South Carolina.

    Andrew

    6 Jul 16 at 9:37 am

  4. The Exxon on Piney Grove Rd. and I-26 was briefly a "Stuckey's Express."

    Tom

    6 Jul 16 at 7:57 pm

  5. That close, huh. I may have to find an excuse to look for one relatively nearby....

    Homer

    6 Jul 16 at 10:19 pm

  6. @Tom -- that is a great link. I will add Horne's to the post title.

    @Homer -- At one time I heard that Stuckey's found they were running a marginally profitable business which happened to own a lot of very valuable Interstate exit property, and management decided the best value to shareholders would be to sell it. Something like that anyway. I think one of the Stuckey family was trying to get control of what was left and do a revamp of the business as an actual business.

    One thing the have been doing in recent years is putting the Stuckey brand out there as a partner with other convenience stores. For instance there is a convenience store in Conway with a "Stuckey's" isle with Stuckey's branded snacks, and I think the same thing was true at one of the I-20/US-1 convience stores in Lexington too.

    ted

    6 Jul 16 at 11:12 pm

  7. Drive by this location many times since my Dad moved to the Tampa area in 2005. I could be wrong, but I think it was open the first few times we went down 301.

    I was unaware that Horne's was a chain. There is a Horne's Restaurant in Pot Royal, Virginia near Fort A. P. Hill at the intersection of US 17 and US 301. The building looks very similar to this one. I wondered if it were part of the chain mentioned in the comments here, so I Googled it.

    It appears Horne's was headquartered in Bayard, Florida. The owner actually worked for Stuckey's in his youth and made his own candy which he sold in the Stuckey's store before venturing out on his own. During the expansion, Horne's added motor lodges to their restaurants. Greyhound apparently bought out the company in the mid-1960s and the Port Royal, Virginia Horne's is the only remaining store.

    James R.

    7 Jul 16 at 1:13 am

  8. I'm pretty sure there was an old Horne's in Fayetteville NC that was running as a country buffett while I lived there in the late 80s, early 90s. Also think there may have been an old Horne's lodge building on US-1 in Augusta when I worked there.

    You can see this building open (though not as Horne's) in pictures dated 2006 in the link Tom sent.

    ted

    7 Jul 16 at 1:32 am

  9. The Old "Jimmy Carter's" location (long since burned down) outside of Florence was originally a Horne's. Here were the other SC locations:

    http://www.highwayhost.org/Hornes/Locations/SouthCarolina/southcarolina1.htm#top

    Tom

    7 Jul 16 at 6:17 am

  10. I remember that old Jimmy Carter's; some of the buildings are still there. @ted, that would make a good closings to do someday.

    Justin

    7 Jul 16 at 10:22 am

  11. I worked at Horne's Motor Lodge in Florence back in the late 1980s while attending college in Florence.......it became Park Inn International around Thanksgiving 1989. What a blast from my past!

    scott johnson

    21 Jul 16 at 10:16 pm

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