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The Big Red Store In Appleton Tennessee.
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Big Red Store in Appleton, TN

Known as the Big Red Store in Lawrence county but this place is said to be the first mall in America and the place where a Civil War battle was fought with General Nathan Bedford Forrest! It was the largest general store in the world according to records or at least the largest in the country. Today it is privately owned by a man whose relative of the same name as the apothecary that is atop the stairs in the doctors corner. This two story mall was home to the fanciest soda fountain in the south, several clothing makers, and a casket factory. The store opened in 1902 and closed in 1950 with what looks to be the same condition it was left in. The big red store was restored and fixed up in 2006 to become the museum it is now. Mr. Inman is a good man and opens the museum to the public on 4th of July and the 1st or 2nd weekend in December with a Santa Claus for the kids. Below are photos of the outside and the Fourth of July celebration.   

History of the Big Red Store

The house next door to the big red store construction was started around the same time as the store.  Originally this was the location of the post office from 1858 to 1949. The Big Red Store was opened in 1902 back when the area was named Pinhook. It was built by Hall, Kelton and Company where over 500 people came to see this three story building that even had a skylight! The store owners gave out free soda pop that was rare in that time. The store had a milliner and tailor that could make the best clothes for any guy or girl around! The area was already famous for making the best cotton from the local gins. These fabrics and raw materials would move down the highway of that time the Pulaski Florence Turnpike. In Alabama these textiles would become clothing. Billy Reid is a famous clothing maker of this area today as he still designs many of his clothing styles in the southern style he grew up with. Inside the store you can see historical memorabilia items like those in the photos below!   

The Closing and Spreading of the Markets Inside

Once the car was invented, the Muscle Shoals area was to produce the new Ford automobile that attracted a lot of attention to the area. The new TVA dams were built that provided power to houses without electricity and new sections of the state were raising their influence over the older parts. This new industrialization took farmers and made them into factory workers so places like Appleton started losing residents. Eventually the big red store closed in 1950, but you can still see cotton growing in the fields, casket factories in Loretto, textile companies in Alabama, and other places where we still make quality items to this day. In Lawrence County alone they have had sewing factories in the past and still have a few sewing factories in the present! It seems that the Big Red Store didn't close, but that it leaked out into the local population. Today you can see all this history when you walk around the store during its twice per year opening. Follow the Big Red Store on Facebook in the links below!

Enter your address into your GPS of choice and find your way to the Big Red Store for their Fourth of July celebration and the first or second weekend in December Christmas celebration. Each event has a cannon to shoot every hour! Click the links below to see their social media pages to ask questions or see similar museums in the area! 


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We (The Amish of Ethridge) do not guarantee the accuracy of the links shared as the URL may be changed without warning from the original location.  We also do not represent any business listed above or the Amish Community we share. Anyone who consumes our content and acts on what they perceive, is doing so of their own volition. We built our website and trails to show our visitors possibilities to include in their itinerary to experience on their vacation.

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