Evans lost one of its oldest landmarks and a little slice of history recently.
W.Q. Rountree's old store at the corner or Washington Road and Belair Road was torn down.
The store was one the first businesses in Martinez and Evans. His first store was down by the railroad tracks on Old Evans Road, and then later he moved the store to top of the hill - sometime in the 1940s, I think; I'm not sure about the exact date. It was one of the main stopping points for people traveling from Lincolnton, Washington and Clarks Hill on their way to downtown Augusta to go shopping.
Many people stopped there to drink one of the coldest 6 1/2 ounce Cokes they ever had in their life. In those days, you stayed right there to drink your Coke; it was just one of those hang around, pull up a chair and relax kind of places. You did not have to worry about being chased away. A good old visit was expected. I have talked to a lot of people over the years who have been in there at one time or another. The first thing that comes to their mind are those little cold Cokes.
Mr. Rountree even offered "credit" to some of his local customers way back when. Imagine going in and telling him to put the Coke you just washed down on your "tab." His store offered a lot to many people: feed and seed to the local farmers, groceries, gas, small talk.
The store stayed opened until sometime in the 1980s. ... The News-Times did an article on him a few years back. He was one of the few store owners around Evans, with Roper's, Morris's, Garrett's, Pollard's and a couple more.
I remember my mother-in-law used to take my kids in the store every day after school and let them attack the candy. It was OK - her father owned the store, and I did not have to feed my kids any supper and the candy was just put on my "tab!" I remember going to the store almost everyday myself after high school to get one of those ice cold Cokes. I remember watching Mr. Roundtree cut a slice of cheese from the old round cheese block in the cooler; he could cut a slice exactly the amount someone wanted without having to weigh it on the scale. The customer would just smile when he saw the slice was cut exactly to the amount he asked for.
Lots of memories. I am just glad I had the chance to know him, his family, and his old country store. The building may be just a pile of bricks today that will soon be just part of the new Lowes parking lot, to those of us who remember, it is history and I was part of it. I will never forget Mr. William Q. Rountree, his short little cigar and his little round glasses.
Tony Favro, Evans
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