Adams County store included in ‘Southern Places’ calendar

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2001

It may be February at Sam Blackmon’s house for a long time. That’s because an old country store in Adams County belonging to the family of Blackmon’s late wife is featured this month in a scenic calendar of Southern locations. The clapboard general store located near the entrance of Natchez State Park in Stanton is the only representation of Mississippi in &uot;Southern Places,&uot; a 2001 calendar that includes photos of Savannah, Ga., and Charlottesville, Va.

Blackmon said he was surprised when a family friend sent him the calendar a few weeks ago. He was unaware the picture had even been taken, much less submitted for a calendar. &uot;It’s just unique that this is the only place they picked in Mississippi, especially here in Adams County with so many beautiful homes, they picked Mama’s Old Store,&uot; he said.

Jason Saucier Jr. of Cottonport, La., took the photograph last year while searching for scenes to submit to Browntrout Publishers, a San Francisco-based company that publishes more than 700 calendars.

Saucier takes pictures as a hobby, and Adams County is one of his favorite locations. Though he has shot many pictures of antebellum houses in town, he said calendar companies prefer photos of rural barns and buildings.

&uot;They just get fewer and fewer, so when you find those, it’s like a luxury,&uot; Saucier said.

Built in 1920 by the Hightower family, the store wasn’t known as &uot;Mama’s&uot; until Blackmon’s wife Mary took over the family’s business.

For decades, the general store served the Stanton community as a grocery, gas station and post office, but most of all a gathering place.

&uot;Lots of people in the community remember this store being here,&uot; Blackmon said. &uot;This was the only store for miles and miles.&uot;

Mary Grace Gibson said everyone in the community stopped by the store at least once a day. Her father, Sam Harrigill, ran the store for the Hightowers for almost 40 years, and her mother took over as postmaster after his death. &uot;It was a busy place. It was the center of the community there,&uot; Gibson said.

The store has been closed for two years, but Blackmon said he hopes to rent it soon to someone who will return it to the community grocery it has always been.

The calendar can be purchased for about $12 at browntrout.com and at calendars.com.