Coffey's General Store
Edgemont, North Carolina
Coffey's General Store is a landmark in Edgemont, North Carolina and is the centerpiece of attraction in this isolated community located in the middle of the Pisgah National Forest. For a number of years the store was owned and operated by Archie Coffey who is still remembered and revered by all that knew him. Archie Coffey's father, Gus bought the country store from Charlie Curlee in 1919. Curlee had bought it from Judd Coffey, no relation to Gus, in 1895. The history of the store before 1895 is sketchy. In 1936 Archie Coffey took over the Edgemont Store and ran it until he died in 1986. The store has been the mainstay of the community and center of activity of the goings-on in Edgemont.
Edgemont is located in Caldwell County, North Carolina and is located in the Grandfather District of the Pisgah National Forest. It is located on Wilson Creek, recently designated in October of 2001 as a Wild and Scenic River. It has survived the great depression and the '40 flood, although the flood once moved it down stream until it came to rest against a tree where it still remains. The water line is marked inside the store and can still be viewed. Several articles have appeared in newspapers throughout the years giving the history of the store and proprietor, the post office its postmasters (postmistress), its charm and lore. A short bibliography is given at the end of this article. Once it served as the post office which still exists much as it did when it was last used as the post office.
The white frame country store with a false front and known as Coffey's General Store, has a nice front porch and bench for relaxation and friendly encounters with customers and visitors to the store. Inside the store has a rare galvanized metal ceiling that is of interest to many.
Dewayne Pyatte and his wife Virginia currently operate the store on weekends during the spring, summer, and fall months of the year. Dewayne is the nephew of Archie Coffey and is a year round resident of Edgemont. Dewayne is also the grandson of Gus Coffey who had the store before Archie. Dewayne is a source of much information and keeps up with current happenings in Edgemont. The store has soft drinks, a selection of old time drinks, "nickel candy," canned goods and supplies for the weekend camper and visitor. The store has a collection of reproductions of old photographs for sale that were taken in the early 1900's of Mortimer and Edgemont.
The store fixtures and shelves are the originals. The store has a number of antiques most of which are not for sale as they have been there long enough to become a permanent part of the store and its personality. Dewayne and Virginia have had a craft business and were frequent participants in craft shows in North and South Carolina. They have some of their items for sale in the store along with other craft items by other regional artists.
Pictures of the old post office follow and are still a part of the old store.