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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Currin Grocery: 1939

Currin Grocery: 1939

July 1939. Granville County, N.C. "Country filling station owned and operated by tobacco farmer." Our second look at this establishment offering combustibles and comestibles. Medium format negative by Dorothea Lange. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Hi, I have some strange questions related to the picture. Is anyone aware of other areas in the country where gas stations where built off the ground like this and on dirt roads like this? Are homes in the area from this time period also off the ground like this? Were these homes 1 story with only one small bedroom? Would an African American woman been able to work in the evening at a place like this? My questions are super strange but any insite is greatly appreciated. You can email me at or just reply on here. Thank you!!

Sinclair gasoline

The H-C on the Sinclair pump stands for Houston Concentrate. The H-C was Sinclair's "regular" gas grade at the time.

Re: Cola Wars

No Pepsi advertisements as mentioned by skylark68. Pretty ironic, considering North Carolina is the birthplace of Pepsi.

The swing

This is an upgrade from the usual bench or old sofa. I'm surprised it isn't occupied. Missing: bucket o' sticks for whittlin'.

Looks like home

I was born in 1939 (same year of this photo) in a store that looked like this; Except it was in WVa. My dad worked in an orchard. My mother worked in the store/post office,pumped gas,etc. in exchange for a room in the rear for us to live. We used the neighbor's outhouse across the road. We left there when WWII started and my dad got a job in an aircraft factory.

Cola Wars response

Actually, Pepsi is a North Carolina creation. Invented in 1898 in New Bern, NC.

The H C

on the Sinclair Oil pump stands for High Compression or high octane.

The original C-stores

I grew up in rural South Carolina. These stores were quite common, and as a kid you were lucky if you lived within walking distance of one. You could spend your meager allowance there, visit with friends and check out the travelers that stopped for a cold drink and a fill up.

I left SC for good in 1963, and up until then all of the houses that I lived in were built on brick pillars.

Found the shopkeeper

Lucius Aaron Currin, born 1879, died 1958, husband of Lelia Bobbitt, and father of at least three sons (all of who appear in the WWII draft records).

They were buried in Creedmoor, NC.


I live in the deep South (rural upstate South Carolina). putting buildings on bricks is still a very common practice. These days it's usually a pre-fab storage building or an old double-wide, but bricks are still the order of the day.

Cola Wars

Looks like Coca Cola was the leading cola force in N.C. with this past series of photos, but RC Cola was definitely coming on strong.

Pepsi is nonexistent. I suppose it was still more of a Northern thing at the time.

The empties sleep outside

The empty bottle returns are stacked outside in front of the building, a practice that still goes on at the small general store at the village near my summer cottage in the middle of nowhere.

Some things truly never change!


These buildings were simply built on piles of bricks and not really anchored into the ground? Were they connected to the bricks somehow?

[Yes. By gravity. - Dave]

Bonnie & Clyde

Looks like the place they picked up C.W. Moss in the 1967 film.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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