Good Morning! Hope everyone is warm and happy and safe.
I think everyone will agree that grocery and dry goods stores are the lifeblood of a town now just as mercantiles were back in the 1800s. I won't say that it's impossible to survive without them because people can, but it's extremely rough. Especially for this girl!!
Every town on the frontier had a mercantile. Not only were they important places in which to buy things, they were a social gathering place. Most had a potbellied stove where people could gather around, get a cup of coffee and talk or play dominoes.
Many of these general stores also doubled as post offices, dental offices, saloons.
In my latest book TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE, Delta Dandridge travels to Battle Creek, Texas to marry rancher Cooper Thorne. But after learning she'd been duped and Cooper has no plans to marry anyone, she gathers her tattered pride and gets a job working in the mercantile. Because returning to Georgia is not an option.
She has much to offer this dying town and its citizens who have become resigned to watching things fall in around them. Delta sets to work in fixing up the dark and gloomy mercantile. Maybe if she can change one building, it will give them hope.
And it does. Folks begin to see the difference she's made and soon they pitch in, determined to put Battle Creek back on the map.
One person. One vision. One goal. One chance to really matter.
Battle Creek becomes her town and she'll fight tooth and nail to save it. It's funny how in saving it, she saves herself.
Of course, Cooper can't help but be attracted to the dynamo in petticoats. It wouldn't be a romance if he wasn't. But she sure makes him crazy as they navigate the twists and turns.
I thought it would be fun to look at some of the prices of items back then.
A Pound of Tea --- 12 cents to $1.00
A Pound of Coffee --- 15 cents to 35 cents
5 Pounds of Flour --- 14 cents
A Pound of Preserved Meat --- 12 cents to 25 cents
5 Pounds of Sugar --- 34 cents
A Dozen Eggs --- 20 cents
A Pound of Butter --- 25 cents
A Pound of Bacon --- 12 cents
A Gallon of Syrup or Molasses --- 40 cents to $1.15
One can of peaches --- 20 cents
500 rounds of cartridges -- $12.00 (roughly $335 today's prices)
I found a historical site that said cowboys often traded one bullet for one shot of whiskey which is why the phrase "a shot of whiskey" came about. That made one bullet worth somewhere around 25 cents (two bits in cowboy jargon) each. Or $6 in today's prices.
Pretty costly. Bet they didn't waste too many.
How often do you go the grocery store or Walmart? Daily, weekly, twice a month? I usually go once a week and average about $65. Of course there's just me. I hate to think what the cost would be for a family of four. Good Lord!
You can visit me at: www.LindaBroday.com
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