This store was in operation before the Civil War. Philip Dailey’s great grandfather, Michael Gordon Dailey, bought the store and associated land in 1909 from J.D. Corbell for $250.00. In 1909 Michael Gordon and his son, W.C. Dailey, bought the Crumpler farm just outside of Chuckatuck for $3650.00 from the estate of Samuel Webb. W.C and Michael Gordon ran the store in Sandy Bottom. However, the older Dailey could not read or write so when left alone in the store they possibly lost some money. Seems the clientele would know when Michael was in the store alone and would make their purchases at that time knowing of this disadvantage. However, Michael would do his best to keep track of what was sold in the absence of W. C. There were gas pumps (gravity drained) and kerosene tanks. The store operated until 1918 and was closed, most likely, due to the economy. A good picture of the store and its stock will provide a good visual display of the goods and services offered by this store. Stanley Pruden operated it off and on for several years and then Charlie Pitt rented it. Mr. Pitt talked with Sam Chapman and offered him the store for $10.00 per month rent to see what kind of business trade he would have. Sam accepted and was living over the store when his son Gibson was born in 1927. Sam continued to operate the store until 1928 when he bought four acres across the road to build his house. He then followed in 1929 with a store, currently Nansemond Marine owned by Gib Chapman, Sam’s grandson. There was a railway system that ran from the Dailey store down to a wharf on the Chuckatuck Creek to facilitate the movement of supplies in both directions.
Lona Dailey McKinley informed us that in 1929 one of the Dailey’s, most likely W.C., made a trip to New York and purchased a large amount of sugar. While en route back to Sandy Bottom via boat with the sugar the stock market crashed and the price of sugar tumbled. Only two of those who had ordered the sugar paid which left the Dailey’s with a very large financial deficit. In order to make their payment they had to mortgage the farm in Chuckatuck as collateral to borrow money to make the payment to the New York sugar seller. It took until 1942 to pay off this mortgage. Although it’s only a rumor the right hand side of the store in those early years was possibly a bar or speakeasy. When Granddaddy Dailey died in 1963 his sons W.C. and Philip worked the store for a period of time and then sold it in 1990. W.C. and his wife lived in the house next door which was built circa 1909.
Lona Dailey said Georgia Thompson would not marry W.C. until she had a house of her own. Philip Dailey, Lona’s father, was born in that house. The store has changed to a work shop, although the exterior is in a state of disrepair and continues to deteriorate.