N.H. Byrd’s Store

N.H. Byrd’s Store & Garage The ultimate location of this store would be the second store as you entered Chuckatuck coming from Suffolk.  Mr. Byrd’s first store was just beyond the grist mill on the left hand side going toward Smithfield and was primarily a gas station built by Mr. W.C. Mathews for his sons circa 1916 and leased to Mr. Byrd in 1928. That building was still in existence and in 2007 had been used for several types of businesses.  Mr. Byrd’s ultimate destination was directly across the road from Chuckatuck High School and was in operation from circa 1938-1960. In discussions with Jack Byrd he noted that although built as an auto repair garage and gas station it was a local grocery store and restaurant as well.  The restaurant did not fare well and was closed after a year or two of operation.  Bill Harvell who was instrumental in starting the local fire department was the main mechanic for Mr. Byrd at one time.  N.H. Byrd’s Store & GarageThere were many local patrons, but the location was significant for many CHS students as it allowed a number of older boys to go over and have lunch off the school grounds.  There were times when the Byrd boys were there and music was the venue of the day.  On many occasions Charlie, Oscar (“Popeye”), Jack, and Gene would be sitting around the pot bellied stove strumming and singing songs.  Charlie Byrd became an international sensation with his 12 string guitar and the Bossa Nova.  He even recorded an album with a song entitled “Chuckatuck”.   Like many of the other stores it was sold and in this case to Jimmy Brasfield.  Ultimately the building was torn down in the 1960s.