Barbee Gilliam’s Store

Gilliam’s Store Gilliam’s Store Gilliam’s Store Gilliam’s StoreThis store although just outside of Chuckatuck proper is in fact in Isle of Wight County now at the head of Cherry Grove Road on Route 10.  Mr. Ray Gilliam who lived in Chuckatuck adjacent to the old Godwin home built the store shortly after the turn of the century.  According to Judith G. Cobb, Mr. Gilliam’s daughter, her father closed the store during the depression when it became impossible to keep it open as money was tight and most of his clientele were unable to pay.  He like many others did not have the financial capability to compete for the limited dollars available.  It was very tough during the depression when many of the people in the area had little or nothing and it was hard to turn them away so, after giving as much as possible, he just closed his doors.  What follows in a paraphrased manner was provided by Carolyn Keen, a free lance historian from Isle of Wight County.  The building burned to the ground sometime later and at that time the land was purchased by Charlie Duke of Suffolk for Southern Oil Company and the present store erected.  Mr. Barbee Gilliam remembers the store as having one room downstairs, two upstairs and a porch all the way across the front where dances were held every Saturday.  In 1950 Barbee Gilliam purchased the current building and added 16 feet across the back and an apartment upstairs.  According to Ann G. Lovell, Barbee’s daughter, the woods came right up to the back of the store and they were filled with “bootleggers”.  Barbee ran the store until 1980 when a back injury prevented him from continuing.  The upstairs tenant, Mr. Dick Gibson, kept it open for a few years but ultimately closed it.  The building still stands across from Cherry Grove Road at the intersection of Route 10 and Longview Drive.