by Jay Farrell

Since the early 1940s, Cherry’s Grocery was a community staple of the unincorporated town of Moss, Tennessee, where Honest Abe Log Homes and its parent company have operated for more than 40 years.

The intersection that houses the old community store is known as “3 way in”  – a busy three-way intersection where each respective road leads to Red Boiling Springs, Celina and Tompkinsville, Kentucky.

The storefront originally operated as a local cafe, circa 1940. Approximately two years after its inception, restaurant employee, Winnie Cherry bought the property and turned it into a country store. In the mid-1960s, Winnie made arrangements with her nephew, William Cherry, to purchase the business and take over operations.

These small neighborhood, country general stores have always been hubs for their communities, providing families with groceries and other merchandise they needed. Cherry’s Grocery was open seven days a week and sold groceries, basic household items, animal feed, flour/meal, etc.

Bologna and cheese, pickle loaf and liverwurst sandwiches were served to many area factory workers and farmers on a daily basis.

Local children loved walking or riding their bicycles to the store for a cold soft drink, bag of chips, candy, Moon Pie, etc. and being greeted by the shopkeeper. This sense of community simply cannot be replaced by the large retailers.

I had the pleasure of acquiring history of the store from Travis Cherry, son of Winnie and nephew of William. Before the family bought property down the road, they lived in an apartment in the back of the store, where Travis was actually born!

In those days, it wasn’t uncommon for William to pump gas or open the store for customers who experienced an after-hours emergency. The store had two sets of gas pumps, and an attendant even offered to pump gasoline for their customers.

William closed the store in approximately 2015 due to health problems after operating it for 50 years. The sense of community Cherry’s Grocery provided is still remembered by generations and remained successful after many similar businesses faced extinction.

About the author: Jay Farrell, a Nashville-based photographer, author and explorer of the abandoned and forgotten. He is inspired by traveling to places he’s never been, doing some photography of unlikely subjects and learning about the communities and buildings. See Jay’s photography at

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