Chester Martin Remembers Tapp's Valley Store

Friday, February 3, 2017 - by Chester Martin
Tapp's Valley Store
Tapp's Valley Store

William Bomar Tapp was a distant relative of mine who lived well over 100 years ago in northwest Chattooga County, Ga. It is not clear whether he owned the little brick store, pictured, or merely leased it, but it was well-known for being the only such store in the entire area.

That is Georgia Highway 337 in the foreground, with York Road crossing it left and right. It was located just south of the Walker County line, approximately 10 miles below LaFayette.

It is listed as being part of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park complex as it served as a temporary headquarters for both Federal and Confederate sides during the Civil War - though at different times.

This was not far north of Neal's Gap Road - another place of Civil War interest, as it was the road which Sherman's army used to descend from Lookout and Pigeon Mountains when on their way to burn Atlanta.

Eliza Neal, daughter of Adam Neal, married Enos Martin and became my Great Grandmother. As a child, I spent many a Sunday afternoon in an old farmhouse (which I wrote about earlier) where my aunt and uncle lived - in sight of Valley Store. During most of those years the windows were boarded over and the building deserted. After World War II, however, someone re-opened it and called it, "Cordell's Cash Store". Their main product was eggs.

The building had also been earlier used by my Uncle Augustus M. (Gus) Martin for one of his several businesses - but that was before my time. Word is that the Post Office function of the building was discontinued in 1906, but it had served my "original settler" G-G-Grandfather, Joshua Martin, (1796 - 1874) as the source for his mailings. His farm was a few miles to the west, off York Road, at the foot of Pigeon Mountain.

Valley Store was demolished about 1970 and people came from miles around to cart away some of the historic bricks which wound up in planters, or for other decorative purposes. A simple roadside marker - facing York Road - indicates its former location. It is shown on at least one vintage map of Chattooga County as, "Tap's Store" on either "Broomtown" or "Brainerd's" Road.

Some kind-hearted person made sure I have one or two envelopes bearing the Valley Store, Ga., historic postmark. The pictured building sits on the northeast juncture of the two roads. Tapp eventually left the area for Texas, and there is an interesting story of how a Tapp daughter came East to find her roots - a story we will postpone til another day...

(Chester Martin is a native Chattanoogan who is a talented painter as well as local historian. He and his wife, Pat, live in Brainerd. Mr. Martin can be reached at cymppm@comcast.net )

Envelope to Valley Store, Ga., shows a hand-written postmark from Nash, Tex., in 1895.
Envelope to Valley Store, Ga., shows a hand-written postmark from Nash, Tex., in 1895.

Signal Mountain Genealogical Society Meets Nov. 6

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society will meet at 1 p.m. on  Tuesday, Nov. 6 , at the Signal Mountain Public Library.  The speaker for the day will be Linda Mines, a well-known historian within the Chattanooga area and the official historian for Chattanooga and Hamilton County.  She is the First Vice-Regent of the Chief John Ross Chapter of the Daughters ... (click for more)

What Was That Stone Arch Halfway Up Lookout Mountain?

As a child in the early- to mid-70s the majority of our summer vacations were to Tennessee - a stop in Chattanooga then on to Gatlinburg.  We always visited the Incline, Ruby Falls and Rock City.    On the way up Lookout Mountain, I’m not sure of the road, there was a stone/cement type monument along the roadway with what looked to be a tongue sticking out ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Investigating Shooting That Victim Says Happened A Week Ago

Chattanooga Police responded to a local hospital on Friday evening after a person arrived with a gunshot wound.   The injured man told police he was shot on Thursday, Oct. 11. He said he was shot while on the dance floor of a club somewhere along Brainerd Road.   If you have any information about the incident, call Chattanooga Police at 423-698-2525. You ... (click for more)

Charles Pipkens, Lajeromeney Brown Arrested In Series Of Violent Home Invasions In Which Robbers Posed As Police

Chattanooga Police have arrested Charles Dijon Pipkens and Lajeromeney Brown in connection with a series of violent home invasions in which the suspects told their victims they were Chattanooga Police officers.. Pipkens, 27, was charged in an Aug. 11 case and Brown, 40, in an incident on Sept. 19. Pipkens, of 434 N. Hickory St., is charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, ... (click for more)

Teach For America Raises Concerns

For the last several years, many groups, individuals and parties interested in preserving public education for our children have stood firm as a rampantly growing privatization movement has descended upon our local educational landscape.  We saw last year the Department of Education push a plan that would form a partnership zone which could potentially lead to schools in the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Inequality & The Left

The story is told about a liberal politician who was getting a room full of snowflakes all heated up over equity and equality, which is big with the political Left right now. One of his handlers finally got the chance and whispered in his ear, “Use ‘fairness’ instead! That’s what sells … “ Afterwards a newspaper column read, “The liberals love fairness because it cannot be measured. ... (click for more)