Adams Country Store: History
Adams General Store was founded by Confederate Captain Robert Watkins Adams upon his return from service in the American Civil War. He had been wounded and captured at Gettysburg, and was unable to return to farming due to his injuries. It took him about two years to make his way home, on foot, so the store was opened circa 1866-1867,
In 1885, Capt. Adams had two store locations -- one on the present site and one across the Spring Beach near the entrance to Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center. He operated the store across Spring Branch and his son, Frank, ran the downtown store. After the death of the family patriarch, his three sons kept the family business going, along with their mother, Sophia Jane Broward Adams. After the Fire of 1893, the present building was constructed.
Frank Adams opened a store in Jasper, while Robert Jr. opened a store in Lake City, and Nathaniel remained in White Springs as proprietor. In 1905, the brothers incorporated as Adams Brothers & Company. Their sister, Julie, did not participate in the business.
Adams Brothers served the citizens from the cradle to the grave for merchandise, carrying both christening gowns and caskets. The store offered staple groceries, farm equipment, medications of the era, clothing, live chicks, building supplies, and house wares and was a popular gathering place, with its shaded porch.
Adams Brothers bartered for goods, sold and bought for cash, and advanced goods and cash to planters, farmers and other townsmen who gave their land, mule, or crops as collateral.
When "Nat" Adams died, his estate passed to his nieces and nephews borne by Julie Adams Saunders. Watkins Adams Saunders carried on the family business until the late 1950's.
The building sat empty until the mid 1960's when the Suwannee River Crafts Guild opened, offering a wide selection of the area's crafts including quilts, baskets, jams, jellies and other country-style items. They dubbed it "The Adams Country Store".
When they moved into their own building, the building became a storage space for the Saunders family.
In 2010 the Adams Brothers Store was purchased by an entrepreneur, Raymond Cheshire, who had fond memories of the place from when he visited his grandparents there.
Cheshire replaced much of the building's foundation timbers, shored up the sagging portions of the structure, and put a new roof on the venerable old lady.
Around 1999, the storefront of Adam's Country Store (now Suwannee Hardware & Feed) was featured in the music video for Alan Jackson's "Little Man". (See around the 3:12 time of the music video).
Now used as Suwannee Hardware & Feed Store, the space is filled with many of the same items as a customer would have seen in 1893, along with local art, crafts, and curiosities. The grounds, formerly used as a cotton warehouse have once again come alive as a place of commerce. Suwannee Hardware & Feed, in Adams Store is a "must visit" in White Springs.
Please enjoy our collection of images from our historic location. For ones that may have photographs of our building, please feel free to bring them to our location or email them to us for consideration to be added to our archives.