Charlotte's Web: Hundred-Year-Old Family Business Rooted in Comm - New York News

Charlotte's Web: Hundred-Year-Old Family Business Rooted in Community

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Charlotte has a web of undiscovered stories within it, and it all comes down to finding them I approached a stranger at random to ask about his life experiences. It ended up being a story of survival and family heritage.

Silas Davis says his family business, The Davis General Store, opened up in 1890 by his grandfather. His brother Leslie stops by on a regular basis to help him around. They’re both in their 70’s. When you ask them what kept this place open for more than a hundred years, they both responded, “loyalty”.

“Everything is not cast away, some things do last longer than others. It’s been very good for the community,” Leslie Davis said.

As the world grew up around the Davis General Store, it’s been able to stand still like a broken time machine.

Miles Freeman, an archeologist, says it all comes down to being rooted in the community.

“They want something that’s traditional, that’s good, that’s going to last. They’re always going to gravitate to that. Not because it’s old. It’s been around for a while, and it’s traditional, it has to be something that they deem as good and valuable,” Freeman said.

Silas Davis says the hard part is adapting to all the change.

“It’s hard to operate something like this from Mecklenburg County. Mecklenburg County does not like anything old. And the city of Charlotte is even worse. They want everything sanitized. If we were out in the outline counties, we would do better,” he said.

But they’ve managed. This place has had three generations of owners, but the question that lingers in their mind is who’s next in line? That part hasn’t been figured out

“If Silas is through with it and no one steps up, and says I want the business, I want to continue it, I’m afraid that it’ll pass,” Leslie Davis said.

Silas agrees with his brother.

“I guess we’ll stay here as long as I can get here and come to work,” Silas said.

The brothers hope the store won’t vanish and fade like an old photograph. One that Silas has learned over the years is the era will move on with or without you. For now, he’s moving with it, as long as we can hold on.


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