Kernersville History: The P&N Store

By Kelly Hargett

Excerpt from Haunted Kernersville:
This property, located across the street from the tavern that sat at the crossroads of what is now Main Street and West Mountain Street, was orginally part of the tract of land Joseph Kerner purchased from the Schober family. It has seen several different businesses over the years. One of the most desirable locations to place a business, William Henley purchased the property from Joseph Kerner’s son Phillip, when he purchased the inn at the crossroads in 1851. The property would pass hands, and play host to millinaries and grocery stores. In 1907 Moses A Stone purchased the property. Moses was a chewing gum salesman who had recently married Carrie Pinnix, daughter of a local reverand and school teacher, Joseph W. Pinnix. Carrie’s brother, J.M. “Neighbor” Pinnix, would eventually acquire the property diagonally across the square from this property and place his drug store.

Carrie must have gone into her marriage with the high hopes of most brides. Just nineteen years old when she married the 31 year old Moses A. Stone. We can imagine that Carrie had her entire life planned out. By the age of 19, Carrie had been working for 4 years as a school teacher, so marriage at her age would have been the next logical step. However, things would not be easy for Carrie. She would spend the early years of her marriage traveling back and forth from Kernersville to Asheville, NC where her husband Moses was being treated for tuberculosis. They were blessed with one child, Mary, in 1910. We can imagine their joy at the birth of their daughter. But, their happiness would be short lived, as Moses sucumbed to his disease in 1912, leaving Carrie a young window with a two year old daughter.

Although she was widowed at a young age, Carrie must have had a head for business. By 1925 a brick building was contructed on her property on Main Street in Kernersville. The second floor of the building housed apartments available for rent, while the downstairs was home to a variety store operated by W.J. Johnson. By August of 1940, H. C. Porter and E.T. Nash purchased Johnson’s stock and opened the popular P & N Department Store. The P & N would serve as one of the main department stores in Kernersville. It closed in the 1970’s and the building was then available to rent by other businesses.

Carrie never remarried and always listed herself as Mrs. Carrie P. Stone. She passed away in 1972 and left the building to her own child, Mary. Her daughter sold the building in 1976. In 1980, local artist Richard Hedgecock purchased the building and opened his art gallery and framing stuido. Rooms continue to be rented on the second floor of the building to this day.

If you are interested in learning more Kernersville History and the haunted stories of the past, please visit KernersvilleMuseum.org/ShopMuseum to purchase your copy of Haunted Kernersville. The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday 10am to 4pm, Saturday 10am to 2pm. If you have questions or would like to learn more about The Kernersville Museum call 336-497-4869.

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