Stancil’s Store – Ball Ground, Ga

Today’s blog post is on the now shuttered Stancil’s Store and Amoco station in Ball Ground, Ga. Stancil’s opened in 1912 as a general store, and sold a little bit of everything. They were the local gas station, hardware store and shoe store. They pretty much carried a little bit of everything that a family could need from dry goods to firewood, coal and most small appliances for the home.

The signs on the outside of this decaying building show that they were the local Red Wing shoes and boots store and from what locals have told me, they were also the local “hangout” for people to gather and have a cup of coffee and just chit chat. Although they were in business until 2012, when the latest recession forced them to close and “Big Box” stores made it difficult to be competitive, they stopped selling gas and diesel sometime in the 1970s since the last price for diesel was 33 cents and it hasn’t been that cheap in ages, in addition, their gas pumps are the much older analog ones from that time period.

One of the reasons I love this building is it not only had a little bit of everything and was the center of the local community for a little over a century, but I also really love the very old invisible gas pump that sits out front and is a piece from the early 1900s. This store reminds me of one the father of one of my childhood friends had. Back in Alba, Pa was Chopak’s General Store which was a store very much like Stancil’s as it was the only store in town for decades and was also the local Post Office and hotel, so my friend Mike’s dad wore a lot of different hats, from being the owner of the store and hotel, but was also the Post Master for the whole town.

According to the Cherokee County Historical Society the Stancil family is trying to find a new use for the building or a new owner that can renovate the structure and hopefully put a new, more modernized store in place of what is there now. The following is a quote I found about this property on the Historical Society’s website:

“Stancil’s Stores have become a landmark in north Cherokee County. The original store was built as an office in 1885 for Dr. J.M. Roberts. It was converted to a store around 1912 and operated until 1952 when it was rolled on pine logs and moved across the street. The new store was built on the old site and served the local community until closing in recent years. The main threats to the buildings are vandalism and neglect, although the family is doing what they can to safeguard the properties until a new use is found.”

I really hope the family is successful in selling the property to someone who can bring it back to life and make it an active part of the local community again. For anyone interested, this building sits just a couple miles down the road from the famous Gibbs Gardens, which is one of the largest Botanical Gardens in Georgia. If you venture up to Ball Ground, Ga be sure to stop and take a look at this large old store, but PLEASE DO NOT VANDALIZE IT!!!