Halifax Co. Historical Landmark Makes 2012 Endangered List - WSET.com - ABC13

Halifax Co. Historical Landmark Makes 2012 Endangered List

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Reporter: James Gherardi l Videographer: Jonathan Merryman

Halifax Co., VA - The group, Preservation Virginia just announced their list of top endangered sites in the Commonwealth for 2012.

A building that has quite the history in Halifax County is on it. The Hyco Country store hasn't been in use since the 1950s, but its story until that time was one of rich Halifax history. It's a history many worry could be lost forever.

"Built around 1871, Greek Revival style," said Barbara Bass, the president of the Halifax County Historical Society as she stood in front of the endangered store front.

For nearly a century, the Hyco Country Store was a Halifax County hub of activity.

"You would find late in the afternoon, in a typical country store, farmers would sit around and chat and gossip about the day," said Bass.

Owned and operated by Slate Seed Company, at the time the leading seller world-wide of tobacco seed.

"At one time, sold over 90% of the tobacco seeds that were purchased throughout the world," said Bass.

An architectural icon of history, local preservationists say this building is unparalleled in its uniqueness. Complete with the original, ornate decorations outside, "You can see by the box cornices and the pendants, that it was very finely done," said Bass.

You can see the paint-peeled yellow counter tops and cash register on the inside.

But the store is falling into disrepair. Used now for only storage, it sits vacant, and unless it's bought, it will be demolished.

Historians hope making Preservation Virginia's endangered list will draw some much needed attention to it.

"Hopefully it will encourage our residents in the county to say, 'Look what I have that's historic, I need to keep this up, I need to preserve this, and that helps us save a part of our history and heritage,'" said Bass.

Unfortunately, due to Halifax County zoning laws, the building can't be brought back to public use. That's limited the interest from perspective buyers. For now, the Halifax County Historical Society hopes someone will see this building's potential and offer to purchase it.

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