Revisiting Valley View’s Forgotten General Store

Approximately eight years after Eugene Masters’ passing, I returned with a friend to the now-deserted Valley View General Store.






Approximately eight years after Eugene Masters’ passing, I returned with a friend to the now-deserted Valley View General Store.

Previously, I had visited this Madison County, Kentucky store to photograph its remnants of a past era. The building, with its distinct white wood clapboard siding, narrow front porch, and elevated position above the road, still exuded its old charm. An aged Pepsi cola sign outside recalled its days as a bustling retail spot.

Such general stores were once community hubs, where locals gathered on porches, sipping Ale-8 and enjoying locally grown tobacco, immersed in the social fabric of their community. During that visit, I noticed coal piles outside the store. Looking inside, I met an elderly, soot-stained man mid-meal. As a photographer and historian, I engaged him in conversation. He shared that he was the store’s owner and had continued living there despite the building’s dilapidation.

Our interaction was fragmented. He mentioned a constant buzzing in his ears, hearing voices, and spoke of past times, but his speech was often unclear. Leaving that day, I pondered his fate. He passed away in March 2015.

Now, the store stands more deteriorated than before. The interior floor is on the brink of collapse, and the building has an air of abandonment and desolation. All that remains of Eugene Masters are memories in this once-vibrant location.






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