Siler City store serves community for 128 years and counting
SILER CITY, N.C. — The Farmer’s Alliance located in downtown Siler City, first opened its doors for business in December of 1888. While much of the rest of the face of downtown Siler City has changed, the Farmers Alliance Corporation has always remained in the same location of what is now 324 S. Chatham Avenue. This small piece of the community couldn’t be more charming, with its picture windows and garden plants adorning the front of the store.
Stockholders own the Farmer’s Alliance and are composed of farmers and nonfarmers. In the early days, it was required that all members were farmers and belonged to an Alliance Lodge. The store operated on the barter system for many years.
The internal aisles are stocked with all kinds of useful, interesting and nostalgic items. Some of the items that catch the eye upon entering include Siler City t-shirts, old-fashioned stick candy, carpenter bee traps, aprons. And moving towards the back, old-fashioned soap, canned goods, golden honey, an array of bulk seeds in brown paper sacks, and so much more. History buffs will also find a lot to look at, newspaper clippings and photographs of Siler City and Farmer’s Alliance historical events, documentation of memorable local sports events, and photos of the downtown prior to the age of the automobile.
Ken McPherson, Interim Manager for the business since 2014, was kind enough to talk to NC Online News about the history of the Farmer’s Alliance and the goods that it currently offers. He took the position of Interim Manager following the retirement of Nancy Tysor, an employee for over 50 years and a manager since 1975.
Mr. McPherson said that the Farmer’s Alliance continues to ensure that they carry many of the items that they have carried for years. There is a large selection of sports clothes, western wear, seeds, garden products, and insecticides. He explained that the store is not there to compete with other businesses, but to serve the customers by providing them with quality merchandise.
The Farmer’s Alliance also carries products that are made in North Carolina. Some of the items produced in NC include canned goods, jellies, local honey, seeds, women’s undergarments and gowns. Additionally, a number of items are made in the USA, including overalls made in Tennessee and boots made in Wisconsin. People come from out-of-state to purchase overalls from the Farmer’s Alliance which are offered in sizes extra small to extra large.
Hoop cheese is a popular item that is sold year-round and shipped out all over the country during the holiday season. Popular novelty items include Happy Home Flavoring and old Rawleigh Products.
Store Hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm and 8:30 to 4:00 pm on Saturdays.