Probably knocking on the door of a hundred years old, give or take a few, Thomas Grocery still stands in tiny Tarry, Arkansas. It has a plethora of nostalgia appeal and is a local favorite for old-store-oglers. More than a few look at it with ideas for gentrification.
Click on the old gin to see more of Tarry
Thomas Grocery was one of four fully operational stores in Tarry, a small but once bustling community between Pine Bluff and Star City, Arkansas. One other of the original stores is still standing, West Grocery, about a quarter mile from Thomas Grocery.
See an earlier Weekly Grist story relating to West Grocery here. While you are in the mood to click around, may we suggest that you go to the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com where this story started and see some additional pictures of the store and other Tarry scenes.
For many years, Thomas Grocery housed the U.S. Post Office for the community. It was also a school bus stop. Few if any general stores of that era were without a bench of some sort on the front porch. And a couple of dogs under the porch. Thomas Grocery fits nicely into that genre.
The store was an important part of the social and economic fabric of the community, a nice way of saying that probably millions of juicy tidbits of gossip and rumors floated in and around the premises. Especially in election years.
I featured the store with a couple of winter pictures in our June 17 Weekly Grist post. I shot those pictures in 2009, so the old store is holding up nicely. We have high hopes this is a continuing trend.
Looking at the hay barn from the east during midday sunlight. There is a chair in the loft at this end of the barn which I suspect is a deer stand.
An old barn and corn crib, off the beaten track, behind the store a few hundred yards offered some unusual photo ops not available without an invitation. The owner and I are friends and he graciously steered me in the right direction. The old barn was built to store hay, tack, and feed. It was completely floored. The floor stands off ground level more than a foot. It does, however, have large overhangs which could offer shelter to livestock.
The west end of the hay barn in late afternoon light. The angular device under the overhang is a hay feeder for cattle with the munchies. And they always have the munchies.
The barn is tall and gives one the feeling of a rustic open air cathedral. All we need is a boom-box holding forth with “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” and/or some Purcell trumpet voluntaries.
Just a few yards from the old barn is an old corn crib. It is bigger than a lot of barns I have photographed. The north end is reasonably clear of weeds and trees, but the south end is cluttered with interloping trees and saplings. We have visited the subject of the hardy Bois D, Arc tree before on these pages. And now we have seen another one with a penchant for survival. Another reclining Bois D’ Arc.
The north end of the corn crib is intact for the most part.
The hardy Bois D’ Arc tree, I believe, is genetically programmed with a superior survivability gene. The Bois D’ Arc is the Dick Butkus of trees. This one decided to take root in the moist, fertile soil under the corn crib, then stretch its branches to the sun to turbocharge its photosynthesis. While laying on its back. This is the south end of the corn crib which is in the process of collapsing. The corrugated metal roofing (aka “roofin’ arn”), leaning on the tree was deposited where it is by a tornado which whistled through a few years back.
While age and the elements have beaten away the the Tarry infrastructure, the great spring-fed fishing pond which has been in its back yard for no-tellin’ how long is alive well and producing “slab crappies” in the spring. Looks like the really good part is holding up well.
The pond is like it was decades ago, except for the cypress elegantly aging. While I was on this shoot, something big broke water in the pond. A good sign.
SEE MORE PICTURES OF TARRY Visit our Weekly Grist Galley to see more of Thomas Grocery, the tree, the corn crib, and the barn, plus a couple of others. Guaranteed enjoyment.
Thanks for dropping by,
Filed under: Behind the Scenes, but wait, there's more | Tagged: barn, barn looks like cathedral, collapsing corn crib, corn crib, cypress trees, cypress trees in pond, fishing pond, hay barn, old barn, old corn crib, old corn crib tarry arkansas, old grocery store, old grocery store front, old hay barn, old store, old store front, oldl hay barn Tarry Arkansas, pond, Tarry Arkansas, Thomas Grocery, Thomas Grocery Tarry Arkansas, tree under corn crib, West Grocery, West Grocery Tarry Arkansas | 1 Comment »