COTTAGEVILLE – Cottageville will have a national audience with a segment on a local general store on “American gatherers” This weekend.
The old Hunt General Store will be showcased at 9 p.m. on Saturday, January 8.
Lawrence Otho Hunt opened a general store in the 1930s and his grandsons Brad and Bruce Hunt welcomed Mike and Robbie Wolfe from “American gatherers” to give them the opportunity to find ancient treasures.
“American gatherers” debuted in 2010 and centers around Mark and, at the time, Frank Fritz, who go to junkyards and antique stores across the country to find valuables and collectibles to buy and to resell.
The Hunt brothers have always been fans of the show and Brad has stated that he and their mother Dorothy will watch it together over the years. Dorothy passed away last January and after Bruce and Brad acquired the old business, Brad decided to reach out to the show.
“We have a lot of old stuff that I’ve seen them buy and thought they might like to browse through it. We watched the show a lot (and) it was kind of like (we) knew them before they arrived. They were very nice. They were there to work; they were cordial ”, Brad Hunt said.
Cottageville was one of two stops in West Virginia, and Brad said the episode will delve into his family history and his grandfather’s legacy.
“Many of them are excited to tell the story; it’s a big part of the show besides buying and reselling stuff ”, Brad Hunt said.
Laurent “LO” The store was a catch-all place that sold milk, groceries, hardware, guns, appliances, and clothing. It was also a butcher’s shop.
“It was common at the time. There was no Walmart, and every little community had its own little store that had everything, ” Brad Hunt said.
LO ran the store until his death in the 1990s, except when serving in WWII when his brothers worked in his place. LO was a postmaster in the Navy and Cottageville, and his store was also the local post office at the time.
“He was judge, jury and executioner; he sort of ran the city. He was a servant of the community ”, Brad Hunt said.
Going forward, Brad says he and Bruce want to use the space as a man cave where they can store tools, work on projects, and hang out together.
“We are going to use a lot of old tricks for decoration” he said.
Mark Whitley, Jackson County Economic Development Director, said he was eager to watch the episode because he is a huge fan of the series.
“I never try to miss an episode and when they come into a community it opens our eyes to different parts of the country that we wouldn’t normally get to see.” Whitley said. “Any kind of exposure we can get from it will be very beneficial.”
Whitley said Jackson County has a rich history and that he was grateful that the work of the Hunt brothers was featured on the show.
“The residents of Jackson County have so many interesting treasures, I think they could spend a few days here without even scratching the surface for things that might interest the nation’s people,” he said.
When “American gatherers” presenting a piece of Jackson County history, Brad Hunt hopes people across the country learn something about the culture of the community.
“I wish my mom was still alive so I could see it and participate. It was a fun experience and we hope everyone enjoys taking a little history lesson from the small town of Cottageville and our grandfather ”, he said.
The show will air at 9 p.m. on Saturday, January 8 on the History Channel.
Candice Black can be contacted at [email protected]