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SC Institute for Archeology and Anthropology

Jean Shaw's Store

The following is a web exhibit on Jean Shaw’s store in Ellenton, South Carolina; one of the favorite gathering spots in town was Jean Shaw’s store and pool room. Her store served food, mostly hamburgers, and her pool room was a “hangout” for some of the people in town.

I may not be correct on this, but Jean went to work in Mr. Norman Brinkley’s store at an early age, perhaps even working for Marion Brinkley later on. To me, Jean was somewhat of a mystery–for as long as I knew her, she worked very hard in the grocery business, and it was seldom one saw her in a dress–she always wore a pants outfit which, of course, was much more befitting her chosen occupation than frills when handling heavy cartons of grocery supplies, shifting crates of soft drinks, sweeping floors, and managing her poolroom.

When Jean decided to go into business for herself, her store was just a dozen steps away from the front door of our theater. It was a small L-shaped store and was attached on the left-hand side by a much larger two-story building. The very enterprising Jean Shaw cut a door between the larger building and the adjoining smaller one, and created an entrance from the store into her poolroom.

Jean and her mother were always most kind to me, and I can still recall her mother’s laughter and sparkling eyes–and those wonderful thick hamburgers she’d make on Friday and Saturday nights! Eating one of Mrs. Shaw’s superb homemade hamburgers, along with a Coca-Cola, must have been the epitome, the sheer ecstasy, of blending together excellent food, a hungry stomach, and wonderful friends!

–O’Berry, 1990

The main entertainment, in those days, was just to get together and talk about your farm and about what was going on. And back then, you didn’t worry about what was going on in China or in Russia. You didn’t care nothing about that, not a darn thing. The only thing you wanted to talk about was somebody who was sick or either you just sat there and talked about the farm, the weather, and all that kind of stuff, just laughed and talked. We’d sit around the store on Friday and Saturday nights and there would be around a hundred people there.

–Nixon Tutt and Carl Brinkley, 1995

all images copyright Savannah River Archaeological Research Program, 2010
images cannot be reproduce without the written permission of the SRARP

SC Institute for Archeology and Anthropology

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