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This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Twofer Tuesday - Bennett's Bar and It's "Two" Owners

Today's Twofer Tuesday features an old County country store owned by a husband and wife team back then and is currently owned by another husband and wife team. Hence the twofer!
   
Saturday a few weeks back, I was heading up Rt. 5 when I noticed that Bennett's Store/Bar was open for a Yard Sale.  I immediately pulled in to check it out because recently I have talked to current owners Sandra and Layton Moore and was happy to have a chance to re-visit the old place.

(For those of you who don't know where this is, we locals call it Redgate.  For you GPS skewed kinda folks, it is located just north of Whirlwind Road and roughly one mile south of the County's Fairgrounds.)  Here is Frankie Tippett's photo of it:
Photo by Frankie Tippett

The following is my photo from that Saturday morning when I stopped by during their sale.  Apologize for the cars parked in front, but I didn't have the time nor the patience to wait for their owners to move them and allow me to take an unobstructed pic of the place.

However, persistent Ridge boy that I am, I revisited a few days later and took this unobstructed photo of how it now appears:

Bennett's Bar was owned and operated by Dorothy and Woodrow Bennett.  While I couldn't locate any photos of Dorothy, Frankie Tippett found this one of Woodrow and reprinted it on Massey's FB page. 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/YouKnowYoureFromStMarysCountyIf/permalink/4558004687547736/
Although the store's sign in the pic above reads Bennett's Grocery, it was the small bar inside that eventually made it known more popularly as Bennett's Bar.  (Like Buzzy did when he switched from focusing on groceries to selling primarily booze, the Bennetts also made that move and switched over to a booze based operation once the bigger food stores started rolling into the area.)  Hence, this Bennetts' ad in a 1957 issue of the St. Mary's Beacon. 

Another item I found while scrolling thru the old newspaper archives was Mr. Bennett's obit from 1990:
I talked to my buddy Jack Wise about his Aunt Dorothy (she and Jack's Dad Albert were brother sister) and he told me that the Bennetts were buried at St. Andrews Church.  I stopped by the Church graveyard the other day and found the two of them resting there peacefully.  (However, I made a note to self to re-call Jack to try and find out how Aunt Dorothy got that middle name of Bethsheba.)
After Woodrow and Dorothy stopped running the store/bar in the late 80's, several of their relatives, including their daughter Jane, ran it for a number of years.  They made a go of it with the addition of a ball field behind the store and by sponsoring several softball teams to play there.  

Eventually however, the business was sold to my friends Sandra and Layton Moore.  Today they open it periodically to host what Sandra refers to as "Jumble Sales" i.e. a mixture of odds and ends for sale.  Frankie took this photo of the store's interior during one of his visits there.  (I think that may even be Sandra and Layton over on the right side of the photo.  Another note to self - stop by and get a decent photo of Sandra and Layton in their store.)  As I thought during my visit there the other day, the old place looks pretty good even if there is no longer a small bar that you can belly up to.  
Note:  Sandra and Layton are not open on any regularly scheduled basis.  When they do open occasionally for one of their Jumble Sales they place a notice on the marquee in front of the store to advertise it.  If you drive by and see their display saying they are open, drop in to visit and check it out. 

No Jumble Sale songs to be found but here's a funny one about Yard Sales:

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