Unique Places to Save needs your help to raise $25,000 to move the Historic Hollow Rock Store to its original location near New Hope Creek off Erwin Road. Once relocated, the Hollow Rock Store will serve as a gateway to the new Hollow Rock Nature Park. The store will serve as a gathering place, information center and archaeological, historical and geological museum for the Hollow Rock area.
Originally, the Hollow Rock Store graced the banks of the New Hope Creek at Erwin Road from about 1930 until 1999. It had two incarnations. The first store, shown in the above 1972 photograph, was built and owned by John Ransom Whitfield. John Brown rented the store from Whitfield and operated it for nearly 40 years. The store sold groceries and gas, and served as a polling place on election days, in addition to being a significant community gathering place.
In the mid-1960s, there were musical gatherings at the store on Friday nights after closing time. Among other local musicians, the lineup sometimes included banjo player Tommy Thompson, later of the Red Clay Ramblers. Tommy and his wife were part of a band known as the Hollow Rock String Band before the Red Clay Ramblers were formed.
Unique Places to Save has secured $7,500 in matching donations from multiple donors who wish to help meet and exceed the $25,000 needed to move and preserve the store. Any funds raised over that amount will go toward the development of an environmental education center in the Hollow Rock Nature Park.
To support the final move of this local landmark, click here to access the a fundraising site. Without local community support this piece of Durham history will only be found in old photos. Funds need to be secured by December 31, 2015!
The project to save the store was featured in the Durham Herald-Sun on Dec 14, 2015.