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Dawsonville: 1917

Dawsonville: 1917

Montgomery County, Maryland, circa 1917. "Ford car in front of Dawsonville country store, probably H.E. French's." Herbert French being the proprietor of the National Photo Company. 4x5 inch glass negative. View full size.


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Some background information

We received the following information from the current occupant of the house seen behind the store.

Thank you for posting the great photo of the Dawsonville store
with our house (Dr. Nourse's) in the background.

The cross you refer to is something I discovered completely by accident while mowing. I saw the edge of a brick showing through the grass. Then I began digging in the yard around it, and soon tore up the entire side yard trying to uncover more bricks and figure out what the shape was. The "ringed cross" was buried under several inches and many many years of overgrowth, dirt, weeds, vines, roots, etc., but the bricks were straight and true, and the cross was bigger - it went all the way to the edges of the old metal fence on the property.

I researched with the granddaughter of Dr. Nourse, and found out that after the general store burned, the lot was "an eyesore" and Dr. Nourse bought it and asked Obie Dorsey to make the garden in the shape of a cross for Mrs. Nourse, and I believe a sundial was at the center. The cross is actually the Presbyterian cross; Dr. Nourse was an elder in the Presbyterian church. After I restored the cross, a neighbor remarked how interesting it was that I had "put in" a cross exactly like the one he remembered from the 1920s, when he was a boy growing up in Dawsonville. I told him that I discovered it underground, and so it has been there
approaching 100 years.

Thank you C.S. for sharing.

Up in smoke

Thanks to an historical preservation inventory of this area of Dawsonville it appears that the combined post office and store (owned by Lawrence Allnut, also the postmaster) was located on the northeast quadrant of the intersection of White's Ferry and Sugarland Roads. It burned in 1922, five years after the date of this photo. What is odd about the site today is that there is a large cross landscaped into the surface, pointing southwest.

Although you won't find this in the historic structure inventory, local newspapers from the time reported that Lawrence's brother Richard Allnut was at the time of this photo serving an 18-year-sentence for murdering his sister and attempting to murder his mother. over a dispute regarding property in Dawsonville. Richard was pardoned in 1923 due to ill health.

The white Colonial Revival style building to the right of the photo would have been the home and clinic of Dr. Upton Nourse, which was constructed three years earlier (in 1914). It remains today.

Poole's / Seneca General Store?

I'm not sure, but this may be the Seneca Store in Poolesville that was previously known as Poole's General Store and is now part of the Montgomery County Park System. See picture (not mine) below and the Montgomery County website on the store.

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