I suppose it dilutes the concept and Columbia-anity of this blog a bit to do Grand Strand posts, but I said I would way back in the Mission Statement, and I've always considered the Grand Strand as a disjoint suburb of Columbia anyway.
The Hammock Shop (now "Shops") has been a Pawleys Island landmark since forever, and for most of that time (or for most of my life anyway), it has been anchored by two unchanging shops, The Original Hammock Shop (which sells the famous Pawleys Island rope hammocks) and the General Store.
The product mix at the General store has changed over the years, (it doesn't have the "horehound" candy canes we used to get there as kids) but it's always been identifiably the same place, with the same feel. In fact, the local paper, The Coastal Observer printed a story last year that pointed out the historicity of the place:
While doing renovations at their business, David and Alicia Norris made a discovery.
They knocked down a wall in the back of the General Store at the Hammock Shops to make way for a coffee bar and found a wallet they suspect has been hidden there for about 36 years. Based on the contents, it appears to have belonged to a child.
The wallet is made of brown, embossed leather with stitching around the edges and contains four photographs and $2.65 in change, two silver dollars, a 50-cent piece, a dime and five pennies.
The photos are of a young boy and girl, who David believes are the wallet's owner and his older sister. The boy looks to be about 5 and judging from the style of clothing in the photos and the dates on the coins, David said he thinks the wallet was lost sometime around 1971.
The section of wall that was torn down had built-in waist-high cabinets with a few inches of empty space both behind and underneath the cabinets, David said. He suspects someone either set the wallet on top of the cabinet and it fell behind it, or it was dropped on the floor and got kicked underneath.
There was a followup story later about finding the (now middle aged) man who lost the wallet and returning it to him.
That's a rather roundabout way of saying I was shocked in January when I stopped by the Hammock Shops, and the General Store building was empty.
A sign on the door pointed me South down US-17 a few blocks (and on the other side of the road) to the new location. As it turned out, I was able to talk to the owners for a little bit about what prompted the move, and I see how it made a lot of sense from their point of view, but it's still very odd to see a new tenant in that particular spot. Actually it seems to be two tenants. The Candy Cottage has been in the Hammock Shops for a number of years now, off to the right of the General Store building. I like it a good bit, and have gotten a number of presents for my neice there. I think Pawleys Island Mercantile is a new operation, and seems to be trying to fill the same general niche the General Store filled. I wish both operations well, but am still sad to see the General Store move.
UPDATE 17 Nov 08: Well, that didn't last long. The General Store didn't even make it through the Summer in its new location. I guess that moving an established store with 40+ years of history and strong associations with its original site was always going to be fraught, and the new location was not very eye-catching, but I had hoped for better. Oh well.