Katie Funkhouser, 15
In 1834 Samuel L. Cootes, who came from Pennsylvania to Harrisonburg
then to Turleytown where he stayed a year, moved to this place now known as Cootes Store.
This section at that time was grown up with timber so that it was
impossible to erect a building without clearing the land. The main part of the Cootes
house now is the building erected by him. It is log, lathed and plastered on the outside.
This was erected for a dwelling. He also built a store room in connection with the house.
A general store was opened under the name of Samuel L. Cootes. He
would drive to Baltimore to buy his stock of goods, and haul them from there. He was the
sole owner of the business until his son Dr. John G. Cootes became a partner. The business
was conducted under the firm name of Samuel L. Cootes & Son until the father retired.
He then devoted his time to the services of his state and county.
Soon after opening business Samuel Cootes was appointed postmaster,.
the office being kept in the store. Dr. John Cootes continued the business after his
fathers death and later took in as partner his son Samuel L. Cootes. They conducted
the business for some years under the name of J. G. Cootes & Son. He moved the store
across the road where it now stands. When his son married the partnership was dissolved
and the business continued under the name of the father J. G. Cootes.
In 1895 the Cootes Store property was sold to John G. Cootess
sons, E. A. and W. N. Cootes. The store is now owned by E. A. Cootes who has as partner
his son D. F. Cootes.
There was another storehouse and dwelling erected across the road
from this store in 1897. It was rented to J. P. Wittig of Dovesville, Virginia who did a
general merchandise business, also in lumber, ties, etc. for some years. Wittig then sold
to D. M. Shoemaker, a Rural Route mail carrier. The property was then purchased by E. A.
Cootes and afterwards sold to Brenneman Bros. who set up a general merchandise store and
are still doing business at the present time.
The above stores are the only stores that have been conducted in
this place. It is remarkable that the same firm name should continue for almost a century.
It is said that more goods have been sold from the Cootes Store than any other store in