Our story begins with the purchase of nine barrels of apples. It is the proverbial “cloud with silver lining” story.
Our founder and his wife, Willie Cecil (“W.C.”) Hill and Sarah McCraw Hill were married in 1922 and lived on their family farm in Cana, VA. In 1924, W.C. bought nine barrels of apples intending to sale them in Winston-Salem, NC. He set out to Winston with the hopes to raise enough money to buy fertilize for their farm. When he arrived in Winston the next day, the apples were to quote W.C., “ever one black, just scalded ruined.” After unsuccessfully trying for two days to sell them, W.C. returned home and told Sarah he “might go down to Mr. Dowell’s he runs a big store in Mt. Airy, and might sell’em to him. He might give me some’im.” Mr. Dowell bought the apples at a considerable loss to W.C., but Mr. Dowell told him about a couple of acres of land in the Cana area that he would like to sell. So, while suffering a terrible loss on the apples, he ended up purchasing the land that would support them the rest of their lives.
W.C. Hill Tells Our Story:
On July 1, 1927, Hill’s General Store on U.S. Highway 52 in Cana opened its doors for business. In 1946, WC and Sarah moved from the family farm, giving the farmhouse to their eldest son, Osler (“W.O.”). Joining them in the move to the back of the little store was their five other children: Opal, Olin, Ozia, Oscar, and Orene. Later, they moved into a cabin behind the business, and in 1949, they built their permanent residence next door. read more