If you enjoy going to yesteryear buildings that are still in use, you’ll want to stop by here. The general store and gristmill are on the National Register of Historic Places.
The original store that sits next to the 1895 building was built in 1869 as a trading post for the settlers and Choctaw Indians. In the original building, the gristmill is still in operation, grinding corn into cornmeal. The mix for the cornmeal is an old variety of Indian white milling corn and popcorn.
When the 1895 store was built, it also held the medical office of Dr. Billy Anderson, a country doctor. Not only did he have a medical practice, but he was also the first postmaster.
Many of the original fixtures are still in place. Upon entering the front door, you get to check out the 1890s street-vendor peanut roaster that was restored and is used daily. As you move to the back of the store, they have a wonderful player-piano collection of the late owner Leslie Hagwood. All are one of a kind. There is a silent-movie nickelodeon that came from the Grand Opera House in Meridian. It was purchased in the 1960s and had more than $65,000 put into its restoration and preservation. Prior to Mr. Hagwood's death, he offered it to the Riley Foundation, who purchased it and placed it in the opera house in Meridian after the building was restored. There is also a barroom piano known as the Egyptian, built by Wurlitzer in 1912. It features stained glass and a hand-carved cabinet. There were only two Egyptians built, and one was burned in the Cliff House Hotel in San Francisco in 1936. The other pianos on display include a home-model player with a built-in turntable and a Reproduco, which is a piano and pipe-organ combination.
Some of the other interesting things you can check out are a 1947 television set (the first of the mirror-image type), a 1936 Stromberg-Carlson floor model radio that still operates, and toys from the 1930s through 1990s.
Behind the deli case you’ll find the cheese cutter used to slice the red-rind hoop cheese that has been made in the same area since 1898. The display cases are original, from the store buildings or other old stores in Mississippi. Back in the 1920s, there was a marble backbar and soda fountain.
The store has been seen in commercials and photo setups. It found itself featured in television specials about the gristmill. A national New York show, "Collectible FX," did a live show from the store. The store is featured in several travel books, with the Associated Press and some travel magazines having featured it as a glimpse of the past store.
Hours of operation are 6am to 7pm Monday through Saturday and 8am to 5pm Sunday.
Directions to the store from I20-I59, Meridian, MS: Take Hwy 19 south approximately 7 miles, watch for state highway sign for right turn to Causeyville, follow signs for about 5 miles.