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What will happen to (Bobby) Duncan’s General Store in Strunk, KY?
It is a question for McCreary Countians to ponder.
The local landmark was bequeathed to The McCreary County Heritage Foundation by Anna Mary Creekmore upon her passing. Creekmore was a local historian who cherished the history of McCreary County and was instrumental in establishing the McCreary County Museum.
Members of the MCHF recently voted to place the landmark up for auction.
“We are putting it up for auction because it is beyond our capacity to restore it to what it should be,” MCHF Chairperson Ray Moncrief explained. “With what we have going on with renovation of downtown Stearns and a future RV Park, we felt it best to auction the property so that an interested party can develop it for its best purpose. Proceeds from the sale will likely go to the Museum as well as establishing a possible display honoring Anna Mary Creekmore.”
Duncan’s General Store has sentimental and historical value to those in the local community and beyond. Locals and tourists alike visited the store for decades as a means of time travel-stepping back into a remnant of days gone by. Old-timers gathered there to catch up on politics and share tall tales as they warmed themselves around the pot-bellied stove. Shoppers browsed amongst a plethora of tools, housewares, and other goods. Folks from all around advised, “If you can’t find what you are looking for, then try Bobby Duncan’s General Store.”
The landmark resurrected memories of a simpler, gentler time. Tourists enjoyed getting a pop, a sandwich, and a bag of chips while they chatted with the locals. Stockpiling a variety of nostalgic items throughout the years including fencing, nails, jam makers, pressure cookers, ladders, sleds, wash boards, and more, the store opened in 1946 and continued under Bobby’s proprietorship until poor health and his passing in 2016 forced the store’s closure. Bobby’s daughter operated the store as it went out of business.
Perhaps, someone who cherishes the history of McCreary County and has the foresight to recognize the fondness that tourists and locals have for local landmarks will see the value of restoring Duncan’s General Store to its former down-home glory. One can only hope so.
What will happen to Duncan’s General Store? Will it go by the wayside as have so many of our gems of our past? Will its glory be lost, without restoration, like those of other McCreary County landmarks including one-room schools, gristmills, the Stearns smokestack and hotel? Only time will tell.
Regardless of what happens, Duncan’s General Store will survive in the hearts and memories of those who visited the store to browse and shop or just gather ‘round the pot-bellied stove to feel the warmth and charm of days gone by.