After retirement, Glen Morgan built this country store on his property in Mobjack and filled it with family heirlooms, vintage collectibles, and knick knacks from the early-to-mid-20th century. His collection grew, so he constructed another building beside it to hold the overflow. Photo by Sherry Hamilton
Glen Morgan left Mathews County as a young man, pulling time in the Coast Guard and working for Thalhimers Department Store in Richmond before settling into a 20-year career as a scenic designer and manager at WHRO Public Television in Norfolk.
But Morgan never forgot his roots, and in the years after moving back home to Mathews in 1986 he created a homage to his very first job—that of a clerk in a country store.
On his property in Mobjack, Morgan built a facsimile of the store where he worked—the old Howard Brooks country store that once operated in Laban—gradually filling it with a plethora of objects that might have been found in a general store in the early-to-mid 20th century.
On the porch of the store are shoe lasts, an old wagon with wooden wheels, a cistern pump, a child’s sled, a tobacco grinder, a milk can, and other old items. Inside are toy cars, dolls, games, dishes, grocery boxes and cans and bottles and jars, tobacco products, an old cash register, and the scales from an old general store at Bohannon. There are pots and pans, an icebox Morgan grew up with at his parents’ home, a 1943 tube radio that gets better reception than many modern radios, and unopened beers from the Mobjack Brewing Company. There are also lamps and lanterns and baskets, a spinning wheel, furniture, Morgan’s great-great grandmother’s pie safe, his grandmother’s china cabinet that was shipped from Baltimore to Fitchett’s Wharf, rolling pins and paintings and prints and vases, and other items too numerous to mention.