In the rural Delta community of Money, and next door to the crumbling Bryant’s Grocery, which became infamous as the beginning of the Emmett Till tragedy in 1955, is the Craftsman-style Ben Roy Service Station. Because the Money Store itself is reduced to just a few walls, the Ben Roy store has become the focus of efforts to establish an interpretive memorial to Till. The service station received a Civil Rights grant from MDAH in 2011:
Historic Storefront Restoration: Ben Roy’s Service Station, Money, Leflore County—$152,004.80 to Annette T. Morgan and Harry Ray Tribble
27766 County Road 518, Money
The award will be used to restore the interior, exterior, and grounds of the service station adjacent to Bryant Grocery, where Emmett Till allegedly whistled at a white woman.
I haven’t heard an update on the grant project since I took these photos in January 2013.
Architecturally, the wood-frame building, built around 1930, is a good example of the probably hundreds of similar simple “bungalow type” service stations and rural stores that once dotted Mississippi’s highways, with a long low profile, hipped roof, deep drive through, boxed columns on top of brick piers, and exposed rafters. Here, there are also two service bays in the side wing, so you can almost see a modern service station layout. Meanwhile, the store itself, with its three-bay storefront and breeze windows along the side–indicating tall shelving inside–carries on the traditional footprint of rural stores since the 19th century. Attached at the rear is the owners residence. Buildings like this, seemingly simple and once ubiquitous, can tell many layers of story, if they have the chance.
Can’t get enough of Craftsman?
- Craftsman Style in Mississippi
- Greenville Craftsman: Leavenworth-Wasson-Carroll House
- Lameuse Street Craftsman (Biloxi)
- Hattiesburg Craftsman: Corley Griffen House
- Magnolia Craftsman
- Belhaven Craftsman: N.W. Overstreet House
- Fernwood Craftsman
- Craftsman Porches of Yazoo City
- Purvis Women’s Club
- Brookhaven Craftsman: Y-Hut
- Drummond Street Craftsman (Vicksburg)
- Belhaven Craftsman: Emmett J. Hull House
Categories: Architectural Research, Civil Rights, Delta
That is an interesting layout. I have seen this similar style before, but not one this large.
I was there during a trip to Mississippi in 2014. Interesting building.
I’m surprised nobody thought to preserve Bryant’s Store as a civil rights museum of some kind. There’s a Freedom Trail marker in front of what’s left of Bryant’s (you can see it in one of the photos in the article) but I’m surprised nobody thought to preserve Bryant’s as a museum.
From what I have understood about it from my colleagues, it was not that no one thought to do it, rather the owners of the building did not want to do it.
Ask and ye shall receive. Exterior photos of the completed restoration: http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/Public/prop.aspx?id=20438&x=1440&y=860&bg=white&view=photos&DateTaken=06-27-2014
Wow, great photos! I really liked the preserved service bay.