The Hidden Resident of Valley View’s Forgotten Store

In the secluded community of Valley View, Kentucky, lies an old, long-closed general store. My visit there revealed a surprising inhabitant.

Many years back, I glimpsed through its grimy windows and saw remnants of its past as a general store. The building, once splendid with its white wood clapboard siding, slim front porch, and elevated position overseeing the road, had maintained its charm. An old Pepsi cola sign, a reminder of its retail days, still hung outside.

Visiting this place sparked imaginings of a bygone era, where locals might have relaxed on the porch, enjoying Ale-8 and tobacco, immersed in community life. This general store, now overshadowed by modern, impersonal supermarkets, was once a vibrant center of community interaction, a place for exchanging news, picking up the newspaper, and discussing vital local matters.

Last summer, passing through Valley View after many years, I noticed changes at the old store – a new blue tarp and what looked like coal stacks. I parked and approached, peering inside as I had done previously, only to be greeted by a gruff voice.

“Hey, who are you?”

Confronted by an elderly, soot-covered man with a sandwich in hand, I introduced myself as a photographer and historian interested in the store. He revealed he was the owner and former operator, still residing within despite its worn exterior.

Our conversation was disjointed. He mentioned a persistent buzzing in his ears, imaginary conversations, and made references to the Japanese, mistakenly assuming my heritage. Beyond small talk about the store, his words were often incoherent.

As I left, I was concerned for his welfare, especially given the harsh winter. I hoped he remained warm and safe in that old general store in Valley View.

Update: The individual, Eugene Masters, passed in March 2015.


Add Yours →

The store originally belonged to my grandfather, A. Burgin Howard and his wife Bessie Howard. Burgin Howard drowned in the Kentucky River, as did his father before him, crossing the river from Jessamine to Madison County, during a December storm in 1926. My mother, June Howard Snowden, and her four siblings grew up in a two story home in Valley View and after my grandfather drowned, they moved to Nicholasville.

I love finding and photographing these little country stores.. Is the building still there to be photographed?

Wow, I been doing family research, and a few of my relatives lived on tates creek rd . Valley View ferry first owner was John Million in late 1700’s his daughter Henrietta married Peyton Foster. Then he married into the Perkins. They had a daughter in 1833 Elizabeth who married Peyton Kidwell that also lived there on tates creek. Who had a daughter Susan Kidwell that married Samuel Portwood . The Portwoods also was from the area. I would love to know how old the store was and the owners from the past and and information on the family’s and other place of the area.

Liz, I believe this is the store my Grandfather, Henry Clay Howe, owned in the early 1900’s.
My mother said he went out of business from issuing too much credit and not getting paid during WW1.
He went on to own a carnival which operated seasonally till his death in 1940. My mom was born in Valley View and the family moved after Henry Clay’s death. I would love to be sure if this is the same building and/or site of the original building he owned.
Do you know good places to research?

Leave your comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Abandoned

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading