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Petition Created to Save Bell's Store

A petition has been posted on Change.org to save the old Bell's Store from being demolished to make way for a convenience store with gas sales.

Credit: Cherokee Market Farm Fresh Produce
Credit: Cherokee Market Farm Fresh Produce
A petition has been created to help save a historic building from being demolished to make away for a new convenience store.

The petition, posted on Change.org, asks Jim Rollins of The Summit Group to "stop the demolition of Cherokee Market (Old Bell's Store) in order to build a Flash Foods gas station."

Created by Alexis Stephens, the petition has nearly 400 signatures as of early Monday evening.

Stephens, who lives in Canton, said she and her family visit the market located in the Buffington community several times a week. She noted it's a "real treat" for her sons as they love the boiled peanuts. 

A hard copy of a petition is at the market's location, but Stephens said she decided to put the petition online since it would have the potential to reach more people.

"I didn't think it was going to get this big," she said of residents rallying the petition. 

Rollins is eyeing the possibility of demolishing the building, which sits at the corner of Highway 20/Cumming Highway and Union Hill Road, to make way for the development. 

Stephens said she's opposed to plans that indicate Rollins would demolish the building for the Flash Foods convenience store.

"I’m very disappointed," the Canton resident said. "There are so many other places (where) they can build this."

Rollins on Monday said he had no comment on the petition. 

According to the book, "Buffington and Macedonia In Days Gone By," the original Bell's Store was built around 1900 and was run by William Freeman Bell for roughly 35 years. It was located across the street from the current structure.

Bell's son, Edwin Bell Sr., in 1927 opened an auto parts store. That store was eventually developed into the new Bell's Store, which opened in 1935. With the exception of the living area added to the building in 1956, the store's current structure is intact. 

The book notes the store was "the hub of the community," and had a supply of dry goods, hardware, building materials, kerosene, dynamite, animal feed and groceries. 

Nejasco Farms, which was located nearby, supplied fresh milk and ice cream for area residents. 

The store remained in the family when Edwin Bell's son, W.F. Bell operated the store from 1979 to 1982. In recent years, it's been used to sell fresh produce and other locally grown items.

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