MADISON, N.C. - Photographs of the Lawson family, their home and crime scene have become closely associated with the murders, but there is another place that played an important role in the tragedy.
"This building itself was built in 1908," said Richard Miller owner of Madison Dry Goods, a retail apparel and country store. "We are very fortunate the upstairs is all intact."
Upstairs you'll find the connection to the Lawson family murder. In what were once hotel rooms, Miller has set up displays of local history.
"This is pretty typical of what you would find in a hotel room at the time," Miller said, pointing to the different historical themes in each room of the hotel that was run by former owner T.B. Knight.
"At one time there were 41 tobacco plug warehouses in Madison -- the most of anywhere in the world -- and men flocked here from miles around," Miller said. "But when that changed, they closed the hotel and opened a funeral home."
The funeral home had the gruesome task of preparing the Lawson family for burial.
"They brought the bodies here, prepared them here, took them down the streets for a viewing and then sent them back to Stokes County for burial," Miller said inside the former embalming room that is now a museum dedicated to the Lawson family.
"We get some people that won’t come down here. They get chills on their arms," Miller said.
The murder of the Lawson family continues to give people chills just like it did 90 years ago.
"It is a sad chapter in the life of a Stokes County family and a sad chapter in the history of this building, but it is what it is," Miller said. "It’s the history of the building and you just can't take away history."
There are upcoming Lawson Family Tragedy Events at Madison Dry Goods.
On Saturday, Feb. 22, author Trudy Smith and film director Dan Sellers will be at the museum.
Photographs of the Lawson family from the original negative will also be sold.
This is part of FOX8's series on the Lawson Family Murder.
For episode 5, click here.
For episode 4, click here.
For episode 3, click here.
For episode 2, click here.
For episode 1, click here.
Listen to the trailer for FOX8's podcast, "Deadly Secrets: The Lawson Family Murder."
Subscribe to "Deadly Secrets: The Lawson Family Murder":