Somewhere In Time

Main Street, Mt. Pleasant, Tenn

Last night I was watching one of my all time favorite shows, ‘Somewhere in Time‘ with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. I haven’t watched it for at least 10 years but the other day my husband and I and my mother were talking about time travel which led to, “Let’s watch Somewhere in Time”.

It’s a love story based on time travel where Christopher Reeve sacrifices living in the present to find love in the past. It’s such a romantic, love story based on time travel. If you’ve never watched it, I highly recommend it. The Grand Hotel in the movie where it takes place is on Mackinac Island in Michigan. Every year they have a ‘Somewhere in Time’ weekend. This past year was in October 2018.

For approximately $1500 per couple you get the following:

  • Accommodations
  • Full breakfast and dinner daily
  • Thursday evening Welcome Reception
  • Friday evening reception
  • Saturday Grand Luncheon Buffet
  • Saturday evening reception
  • Special showing of Somewhere in Time
  • Free golf green fees on The Jewel (cart fee required)
  • Special discount on ferry boat tickets
  • No tipping within Grand Hotel

Some day my husband and I will make the weekend trip to Mackinac Island for the Somewhere in Time weekend. I think it would be so much fun. But besides the fact that I love this movie, it made me think about time travel and Mt. Pleasant. Here we are in 2019 with paved roads, cars, electricity, A/C , cell phones, computers etc.

But what was it like in Mt. Pleasant in 1824 when the city was chartered?

Would you want to travel back in time to Mt. Pleasant in 1824 if you had the ability? Was it a time when the City was a bustling place filled with people walking Main Street, shopping in the stores, conversing on the streets, attending fun parties and building beautiful homes? I know during the phosphate era it was that way, but what was it like in 1824?

According to the Tennessee Encyclopedia , it was in 1896 that Judge S. O. Weatherly discovered brown rock near Mt. Pleasant. This site contained brown phosphate rock of high grade and proved to be one of the most important mineral discoveries in Tennessee. As news of this find spread, mining and industry moved into the area. Mt. Pleasant became a boomtown with the population increasing from 466 in 1890 to 2,000 in 1900, and fifteen companies were in operation in the early 1900s. Small companies were bought or forced out by larger companies.

But that was in the 1900 time frame that Mt. Pleasant was thriving. But what was 1824 in Mt. Pleasant like when it was first chartered? In 1890 there was only 466 people living here so was it more or less populated in 1824? I would love to hear what you know about that time period. Would you want to travel back in time in 1824 to Mt. Pleasant? Why or why not? Comment on your thoughts as well as your knowledge of Mt. Pleasant in 1824.

It’s fascinating to me to see how places looked and the way people lived and worked back in the day and how it has changed over the years. If I were to travel back in time, I would go to England in the Victorian Era wearing a beautiful dress, eating off of fancy china, living in a gorgeous home decorated with the all the beautiful material of the Victorian era and ornate fixtures. However, I would want it to include the comforts of today like heat, air conditioning and up to date bathrooms and computers. 🙂

I like to ‘have my cake and eat it too“. Why have just one or the other?

Until next time 🙂 Angela

Colonel Robert Melville Cooper Etc.

In chatting with our own Postmaster, Robert Wakefield about the 200 year celebration of the existence of the Mt. Pleasant Post Office happening THIS FRIDAY , August 24th – he told me some very interesting facts about the 5th Postmaster of the Mt. Pleasant Post Office. 

Photo from FindAGrave.com

His name is Colonel Robert Melville Cooper. He was born in 1790 in South Carolina and had 11 siblings. His father died when he almost 8 years old and then his mother packed up the children and moved to Tennessee. First to Nashville, then Williamson County and then settling in Maury County in 1809.

He married Catherine Cooper in 1816 and they had 15 children together. I know that was the norm back in the day but could you imagine as a woman giving birth to 15 babies and raising them and paying for them now a days? Lord Have Mercy!! We definitely live in different times.

A little military background on the Colonel:

  • Private in Capt. Bird S. Hurt’s Company, 1st Regiment Tennessee Militia(Col. William Metcalf) Smith’s Brigade, Carroll’s Division
  • 1814 joined State Militia to fight with General Andrew Jackson’s Army from Nov. 13, 1814 to May 13, 1815
  • He wrote that he participated in the Battle of New Orleans on Jan. 8, 1815
  • On June 6, 1817, he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel and commandant of the 51st Regiment of the State Militia of Tennessee
  • He is noted for identifying the remains of Meriwether Lewis, by the nails he made for the casket in a letter written to Col. Draper

In 1810 Cooper opened the first store in Mt. Pleasant (maybe it was a General Store?).  He moved to Mississippi for a while and then returned to Maury County in 1825  where he owned a farm six miles south of Mt. Pleasant.

Photo from FindaGrave.com

He served as Postmaster in Mt. Pleasant and was very active until his death  in 1878 at the age of 87. He died at the home of his daughter, Ellen Houser. He is buried in McClain Cemetery  in Hohenwald, Tennessee. (information found here was listed on FindAGrave.com)

Don’t forget this Friday, August 24th marks 200 years the Mt. Pleasant Post Office has been serving the community. Stop in and mail yourself a letter to get the special cancellation; something to treasure for years. It will only be available on August 24th. If you can’t make it to the post office on Friday to drop off your self addressed stamped envelope,  feel free to drop off today or tomorrow to me at the store and I’ll be sure to bring it over on Friday. Just make sure your letter is addressed and has a stamp on it.

NEW COURTHOUSE FOR MT. PLEASANT APPROVED 

According to the Columbia Daily Herald, the courthouse was approved from the County Commission.  It will cost $2.9 million paid through the county’s litigation tax.

Photo Credit: Columbia Daily Herald

The new court will be located right down the street from our store on Bluegrass Ave and Olive Street.  It will be 5,500 square-feet and include a single 160-person courtroom and two conference rooms. An important aspect of the design is to keep incarcerated folks away from the non-incarcerated folks. Keeping safety in mind!

So we get a new court building and a safer one for all concerned in building safety and personal safety.  YAY!! In addition, another benefit is there will be parking spaces available on Main Street for people visiting the shops. Every week on busy court days, the streets are lined with parked cars; mostly for court parking not shopping in our cute town. So, this should free up spaces for people to come and park easier and stroll through the shops.

SPLASH PAD GRANT AWARDED

Example of a Splash Pad

Another wonderful grant awarded to Mt. Pleasant. This award is for $75K and will be super fun for kids; a splash pad. Thanks to Mt. Pleasant Parks and Recreation for taking the lead on this project and for all who were involved.

 

I believe the high school students will be designing the splash pad which makes it even cooler. 🙂

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)  announced a series of grants totaling more than $15 million to help fund parks and recreation projects in Tennessee communities. Mt. Pleasant was 1 of 51 communities receiving grants.

“Easy access to parks, trails, walking paths and other recreational facilities can make a good community a great community,” said Haslam. “These grants provide the resources needed to help make Tennessee an even more desirable place to live, work and raise a family.”

TO THE MT. PLEASANT COMMUNITY, MADE IN TENN VENDORS AND ALL VISITORS! We had a great turnout at our Made in Tenn Tasting Event on Saturday, August 18th. The vendors had a great time chatting it up with everyone and  my family and I had a great time with all of you. Thank you for coming out and supporting our event.  YOU ROCK!!!!!!!

THURSDAY, AUGUST 30TH: TEEN NIGHT AT HAYLONG HALL

  • Teen night at Haylong Hall (101 Haylong – Old Church)
  • Open Mic Night
  • Ages 13 – 19 years old
  • 7:00pm – 9pm
  • More details to follow next week

Until next time 🙂 Angela

Who’s Celebrating 200 Years Old?

Could it be that we are celebrating Mt. Pleasant City becoming 200 years old? Nope! Because our store 1824 General Store is named after the year the city was incorporated so that celebration won’t take place until 2024. So, who or what else could it be? Certainly not a ‘person’. If that were the case – Mt. Pleasant would get all kinds of publicity to see if there was something in the water that causes people to live to 200 years old. There would no longer be the need to ‘market’ Mt. Pleasant. We would be famous and flooded with people.

Well, some of you may have already guessed it but for those of you who are clueless like I was, I’ll tell you. 🙂 Mount Pleasant’s Post Office will be servicing Mt. Pleasant for 200 years on August 24, 2018.  (1818-2018)

Mt. Pleasant, Tenn Post Office

That’s incredible.  That’s six years before the city was chartered. While the Postal Service has no official motto, according to the USPS blog, the popular belief that it does is a tribute to America’s postal workers. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”.  THANK YOU for servicing our community for 200 years!!

Postmaster Robert Wakefield said, “On this day (Friday, August 24, 2018), the Post Office will celebrate its 200th year by offering a ‘special cancellation’.

 

But wait.. what is a cancellation?

cancellation (or cancel for short; French: “oblitération”) is a postal marking applied on a postage stamp or postal stationery to deface the stamp and prevent its re-use. Cancellations come in a huge variety of designs, shapes, sizes and colors.”

Post Office Entrance

So mark your calendars for Friday, August 24th to stop in at the Mt. Pleasant Post Office at 201 North Main Street in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee and get your special cancellation on your stamp.  I’m going to mail myself a letter with a note inside it about this 200 year celebration so  in years to come I won’t forget why I have it or why I’ve been  saving it. Then when I get it in the mail not only will I have the special cancellation on the stamp to treasure but my  kids and grand-kids for years to come will know why it’s an important letter and hopefully not throw it away but rather appreciate and remember the history it represents.

I suggest you do the same. What a great way to celebrate Mt. Pleasant’s  Post Office and say hi to the friendly postal employees while you’re at it.

Congratulations!!!

It’s No Longer a Marathon; It’s a Sprint

Sprinting and Focus

When I first moved here and started looking into the feasibility of owning a business in downtown Mt. Pleasant – I heard from a few people that the revitalization of the town is a marathon. That it will take many years for the city to revive and thrive again. Having my business for 9 months now (time flies) and learning about those who started the revitalization process like Jim Barrier, MCI, Mt. Pleasant City and countless others – I see how much work, time, effort, money, love, caring and vision over 8+ years has gone into this town. A huge THANK YOU to all of you!!!

This is my own perception from what I observe and believe – but I think those before us have run the marathon (the slow, steady pace) for the City and now we as residents, owners of businesses and the City are willing, able and excited to sprint the rest of the way. We have so many positive things going for us right now, that it’s important to keep that momentum going.

With all of us doing something, the momentum will continue and before long we will have a thriving downtown not only for the benefit of residents but for visitors. With new people moving every week it seems to Mt. Pleasant, not only are they excited to live in this quaint town, but they shop our stores and become involved in the community. They go to Ace Hardware for home repair items, they eat at Pepe’s, they shop at Nelipot Boutique, they attend our churches; all of which are good for our community and businesses. THANK YOU  to each and every one of you for moving here and supporting our community and for all who have lived here for years.

We are sprinting that’s for sure. With all the great news about Mt. Pleasant, grants being given to the City for various projects, industry moving here and the list goes on – momentum is happening. I’ve already listed several positive things in my blog over the weeks for our community and today I have the pleasure once again to announce more good news for the City.

$1,250,000 Grant for the City’s Downtown Revitalization Project 

 

This  grant  was awarded to the City of Mt. Pleasant by TDOT. It will include work on all infrastructure, sidewalks, streets, street lights, roads, ADA compliance, traffic lights……….all things towards improving transportation on foot and vehicle on a section of Main Street and hopefully will include underground utilities. Our historic downtown Main Street will be even better than it is today and easier for people to navigate through. Just so EXCITING!!

TN Vacation.com

The TN Department of Tourist Development asked for a list of women-owned businesses in Mt. Pleasant as they wanted to write an article on them. From the list they chose the following women’s stores to feature:

 

1824 General Store          Nelipot Boutique

Dari Gem      Jernigan’s on Main

Buckhead Coffee       Tailored Tumbleweed

You can read the article ‘A Day in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee’ by Melissa Corbin.  Thank you TN Vacation for featuring Mt. Pleasant and the women-owned businesses.

Together we will sprint!

Until next time 🙂 Angela

FB/Instagram @1824GeneralStore 

FB/Instagram @smallbusinessrevolution

 

 

Weddings, Events, Music, and Plays – OH MY!

This week has been a great week here in the store and in Mt. Pleasant. We continue to have such a positive response to Coco’s Italian Grab-n-Go products and so glad people are enjoying their delicious food.  We are so fortunate to have such quality food from the Coco’s Italian Restaurant and Market in West Nashville right here in our small town for all to feast on.

In case you haven’t tried it yet or heard that we have it, I’ll give you a quick rundown. We have frozen grab-n-go pizzas, ravioli, baked ziti and tortellini. In addition we have Italian bread, home-made gelato, marinara sauce and more. People are loving it!

Here’s just one customer’s response on social media, “Perfect homemade crust, out of this world sauce and tons of cheese. Picked this bad boy up at 1824 General Store, added the pepperoni (comes with, you add) and popped it in the oven for 13 minutes. Dinner is ready and it is wonderful! We tried the ziti earlier and it was delicious too! Later this week we are going to try the lobster ravioli. Can’t wait. Oh, almost forgot…only $11.00!????” D.M.

HOST OF THE TOWN 

The Mt. Pleasant Chamber of Commerce features the ‘Host of the Town‘ from time to time. This is where a business ‘hosts’ residents and other business owners to tell about their line of business and to share their vision.

103 Hay Long Ave

On July 24th, an old historic church located at 103 Hay Long in Mt. Pleasant was the featured ‘Host of the Town’. Service and construction on the church began in the late 1890’s and was completed in 1903. But yesterday wasn’t about prayer and worship or hosted by a clergyman/woman. It was more about what it will become. With Mt. Pleasant’s revitalization efforts, who knows what might be popping up around here! What I’m excited about is that the owner of this exquisite historic church is giving it a lot of love.

 

Michelle Morgan

The owner of this beauty is Michelle Morgan. She moved to Mt. Pleasant about 18 months ago and has become very involved in the community.  She doesn’t just talk about supporting the community and small businesses and the importance of that, she DOES it. If you haven’t met her, you may very well have heard of her name because she is constantly coming up with ideas and a vision for making Mt. Pleasant a better place to live and work. She loves connecting people together for the greater good of the community, she always shops locally first and involves herself in community goodness wherever she goes. I’ve gotten to know her pretty well over the months as we both moved here to Mt. Pleasant about the same time.

Michelle fell in love with this historic church and her vision for its use started coming together (of course built around her love for the community). I wouldn’t expect anything less. 🙂 The building is a work in progress right now and a little rough around the edges. But even with the rough edges, it’s still a beauty in my opinion.

Craig Morris

 

 

 

As the Host of the Town, Michelle shared her ideas to those in attendance. The event had a great turnout.  Before entering the church, local bluegrass musician Craig Morris serenaded the attendees as he described himself as ‘The Pied Piper’.

 

Professor and the Bull

Once inside there was a  great Southern potluck buffet provided and more live music for the audience to enjoy by duet, Professor and the Bull“I am Professor, I am The Bull, we are Professor and The Bull, made in America!”

Host of the Town Event

Owner and visionary, Michelle Morgan said, “The (still unnamed) church on Hay Long will be a live music, live theatre venue and will also be  available for weddings and private event rentals. We hope to serve the community in meaningful ways so I’m open to requests! A recent submission was to use the space as a movie theatre and we are exploring the possibility of showing older films once a week in the evenings. Perhaps rotating and having a kids week, family week, date night week and horror/thriller week.”

With live music and theatre, weddings to celebrate and parties to have – there are countless future memories to be made in this beautiful, historical church. The work continues on the restoration of the floors, pews, walls etc. and when it’s finished – it will be even more amazing and quaint than it is in it’s current state.  The Un-named Church is scheduled to open for business sometime in the Fall of 2018.  It will book up quickly so you may want to get your name/event on Michelle’s calendar soon for all your Fall and Holiday get togethers’ and weddings. You can reach out to Michelle directly by emailing her at mmfranklin@live.com. 

Until next time 🙂 Angela

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @1824generalstore

‘Small Businesses are Saving Our Main Streets’

I was talking to a friend of mine this week about the revitalization of downtown Mt. Pleasant and she asked how my store was performing. I told her about my efforts on social media and print media to reach both local residents and visitors.  I also told her my desire to share information about my store’s products and Mt. Pleasant City in general through a blog I recently started writing.

She pointed out that starting a new retail business is not an easy undertaking even in an established town of developed foot traffic like downtown Franklin, TN, for example. When one opens a business in a busy town, marketing focus is on the store, the products, the service and the customers. Opening a retail business in a town that is experiencing a revitalization effort has less foot and car traffic. The businesses cannot and do not just focus on marketing their store but in addition the owners find themselves marketing the town itself; an additional challenge for the small business owner.

It was one of those things where I knew that was the case for me and others in our small town but it didn’t hit me until she presented it that way.  As I thought more of it, I realized this is so true. Many of the downtown businesses market not only their store products and specials, but things happening in the City of Mt. Pleasant or events merchants have planned in order to draw more visitors and shoppers to downtown.

According to Small Business Revolution’s website, ‘Small businesses are saving our main streets.’ As we traveled the country capturing the inspiring stories of 100 small businesses we recognized that nowhere in America are small businesses more critical, and more under siege, than in our small towns. We created the Small Business Revolution – Main Street to help those small businesses, and in turn, those small towns, reignite the spark that drives them and keeps people coming back.

American Express supports and helps market the ‘Shop Small’ movement as they recognize the importance of small business in America.

‘Small businesses help ensure local economies stay strong and vibrant’.

 

Did you know….

  • There are 580,453 small businesses in Tennessee
  • Of these there are 80,234 businesses that employ 1-20 employees
  • Small businesses make up 99.5% of all Tennessee businesses
  • 42.09% of all employees in Tennessee were working for a small business in 2014
  • Businesses with 1-4 employees had the largest loss (closing their doors) in 2014 (Data from SBA)

It’s quite amazing how many small businesses there are in the State of Tennessee.  I so enjoy doing business with our suppliers of ‘Made in Tenn’ products as they too are small companies and many family run just as we are here in downtown Mt. Pleasant. They understand the challenges we face and the desire to bring a product or service to Tennessee communities and be a small part of the local economy.

There are so many unique and quaint small businesses in Mt. Pleasant’s Historic Downtown Area to visit.  In case you weren’t aware what makes up this area, the area runs from Bond Ave to First Ave and one block east and west of Main Street. Within this historic district there are several businesses; retail shopping, restaurants and services. So…………..

What can you and I do to help Mt. Pleasant become a vibrant, bustling, place for people to live and work again?

Become involved in the town’s revitalization efforts by:

  • Following us and the other businesses on Instagram and Facebook
  • Tell friends and family about Mt. Pleasant
  • Share this blog with friends and family
  • Attend community events and meet and mingle with neighbors and strangers
  • Attend and get involved in City Commissioner meetings
  • When in need of food, gifts, clothes, a place to eat, flowers, auto body work and mechanical work, hardware, computer repair……. check out the Mt. Pleasant businesses to see if they have what you need or want first before going elsewhere. Every service/store has a variety of products and prices sure to fit different budgets.
  • Share your ideas on how we can all help and participate in the revitalization of this quaint, historic small town.

Thank you for supporting local businesses in Mt. Pleasant and throughout Tennessee.  By shopping local, it helps improve the business owner’s chances of serving their communities for years to come.

Until next time 🙂  Angela

 

First Blog Post: My Story

This is my first blog post for 1824 General Store. I’m so excited to put this together for people to read and enjoy.  In our store we have so many wonderful Made in Tennessee products and artisans. However posting on Facebook or Instagram only allows for a short caption and sometimes a longer one is needed in order to describe these wonderful artists and products in addition to other topics of interest. In giving thought to how I can offer more than a short caption when appropriate; I thought ‘why not a blog?’ The grammar may not always be perfect and I’m sure a typo from time to time will happen but you’ll get the gist of it. 🙂

I thought it would be best to start my first blog with a little information about myself and why my husband Matt and I opened this quaint General Store in Mt. Pleasant, Tenn.  My background is not in retail but rather healthcare business. I started out pursuing my nursing degree many, many years ago but during that time I had an opportunity to work on the supply chain/business side of healthcare and fell in love with it. I changed my focus from a nursing degree to a business degree and obtained a Masters in Business Administration. Since that time I’ve worked in various leadership roles in healthcare businesses.

Then back in 2016 , my husband Matt and I were meeting our daughter at a halfway point which happened to be in Mt. Pleasant; a town neither of us heard of but what the heck we were going to check it out. The Mt. Pleasant Grille looked like a good place online so we stopped there for a bite to eat and drove around. We fell in love with the historic downtown area and the historic homes surrounding it. Over the next few months – we met again a few times at the halfway point. I started looking online at homes for sale; just for the heck of it!  Well, one thing led to another and before we knew it our home was for sale and we were moving from Cheatham County to Mt. Pleasant in an historical home.  We were very excited to be in our new-old home and be a part of this small, quaint community.

A dream of mine for many years was to someday open a local retail business in a small, quaint downtown. Maybe that dream came from my many years of watching the Hallmark Channel where downtown shops were owned by the locals and where locals shopped and visited with each other. I know it’s a TV show (one I still watch by the way) but nonetheless why couldn’t it exist in real life? After all, many small towns already have that so why not Mt. Pleasant?

Mt. Pleasant’s downtown area is going through a revitalization in hopes to bring it back to the old days of when the streets were filled with people mingling, shopping, laughing, and hanging out.  From what long time residents tell me, shops filled each building and locals and visitors shopped for their goods and services in their hometown.  It was a bustling place. Many locals that have lived here a long time, remember those days and hope that one day Mt. Pleasant will be that way again or something similar.

So, why not be a small part of the downtown revitalization effort by opening a general store I suggested to my husband. Well, again, one thing led to another and before I knew it we were having our grand opening of 1824 General Store on November 4, 2017.  (By the way, the 1824 in the name is the year Mt. Pleasant was incorporated as a city.) We just finished our 6 months of being open and I can honestly say I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the people that come in from Mt. Pleasant and visitors from other cities; many who have become repeat, returning customers.

For all of you who have visited our store, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, continue to shop here and tell others about us and bring friends and family here to shop and visit; a huge THANK YOU! I so much appreciate it.  For those of you who have not yet visited us, I look forward to meeting you in the near future.

The more people that become aware of our historic downtown and all the cute shops and restaurants to frequent – then we’ll have a chance to be that thriving town once again for all to enjoy.

Please follow us on Facebook or Instagram @1824generalstore.

Until next time 🙂 Angela