BETHEL, N.C. (WNCT) — The damage left behind by the tornado in Bethel included the destruction of a 100-year-old building that was more their just a vacant structure to those in the community.
“This was the County Store for many years,” said Clayton Everett, who owns the property. “It was built in 1916.”
Although it had been closed for several years, when it was open it served as a place to get a bite, buy groceries or just hang out.
Now, it sits in rubble. Built by Everett’s wife’s father, the building was not only a memory of good times but for Everett, a reminder of his wife.
“It was, of course, a part of my wife’s family, and she was a big part of my life, and it meant a lot to her,” said Everett.
Darlene House grew up near the store and said she treated the building almost like a member of the family. Darlene House grew up near the store and said she treated the building almost like a member of the family.
“It’s a part of our memories that will be gone forever,” said House.
She said she remembers the kindness of those who ran the store.
“If you came up here, and you didn’t have money you left with a bag of groceries,” said House. “That’s the kind of character these people had.”
House said the store was the backbone of what family means to her.
“It was our roots,” said House. “…That is what family is all about.”
While Everett said he doesn’t have any choice but to demolish the building due to the impracticality of repairs, he said the memories will last forever.