Pitts’ Market on Main Street

Contributed by Evelyn Edson, president, Scottsville Museum

In the 1950’s, Scottsville had four grocery stores.  One of these, opened in 1937, was across Main Street from the Methodist Church and run by W. R. (Robert) and Ruth Pitts.  The previous owners were Edward and Betty Kent, Ruth’s parents.  The building was remodeled after it was sold in 1962 and now houses apartments (James River Apartments).  There used to be two large plate glass windows on either side of the building’s front door.  Pat Pitts, whose parents ran the store, remembers, “My dad spent a great deal of time placing items in the window for display to try and attract customers into the business.”

As you walked into Pitts’ Market, you went to the counter and asked for what you wanted — no wandering up and down the aisles.  The store carried all sorts of edibles, including canned goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and meat.  The store had a meat grinder, and sometimes after-hours Mr. Pitts would grind up some pork or other meat that a customer had slaughtered in order to make sausage.  There was also an ice cream freezer with popsicles and Dixie cups.  Few people had freezers at home, so ice cream was a special treat.

Most customers did not pay cash immediately but ran a tab.  The grocer would write out their purchases and give them a carbon copy.  At the end of the month, Mrs. Pitts would send out the bills, an early version of credit cards.  There was some barter as well.  A customer might bring in fresh produce from their garden and trade it for canned goods.  You could call for home delivery—no charge—and either Pat Pitts or his brother, Billy (children of W.R. and Ruth Pitts) would cheerfully bring your order to your door.
Mr. Pitts was Mayor of Scottsville from 1955 to 1959.  He also ran a real estate business.  When his wife began to suffer from cancer, they closed the store and sold the building.  Pat thinks they just about broke even with the store—real estate was less time-consuming and more profitable.

The building had been a boarding house at one time.  The Pitts family lived behind it in a spacious apartment with extra bedrooms upstairs.  They did not regularly rent out rooms, but during World War II, Doris Glass Graves lived there while her husband served overseas.  It was a question from Amanda Reeves, her granddaughter, that set off this topic.  Thanks to Pat Pitts for being an excellent “historical source.”

Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138