MADISON, N.C. (WGHP) — It’s one of the Piedmont’s favorite old-time stores. 

“Everyone that comes in here talk about what a treasure it is,” said Michael Smith, better known as Smitty. “The more you come here the more you realize how rare this opportunity is to have something like this still around.”

When Smitty was a little boy Richard and Karen Miller opened Madison Dry Goods.

“Came into Madison one day and this building was empty,” said Richard. “I put my face up to the window and 28 years later here we are.”

The Miller’s created a store that’s become a destination location.  It reminds folks of stepping back in time when life was simpler. 

“I just love the hometown feel here and Madison is really welcoming here,” said Richard. “People are friendly here and everyone that comes through our door is family.”

But to everything, there is a season.

“When people come in and knew that we are retiring … and start crying, makes us cry,” said Karen.

But the Millers knew Smitty would be the right person to keep it going.

“I visited a few times growing up, I had a friend that lived down the street and we would walk up here,” said Smitty whose love of the store and its history made him the perfect old soul. 

“Smitty is like an old soul which is very much like Richard and OCD like I am,” laughed Karen. 

Smitty doesn’t plan to change anything only add to it. The building has been a hardware store, hotel and even a funeral home, which prepared the bodies of the infamous Charlie Lawson Family murders of 1929. That connection to the tragedy landed the store on Netflix.  Smitty plans to expand the museum dedicated to the family and tragedy and he’s adding a community room for meetings and live music.  Smitty is calling it the Richard and Kathy Miller Community Room. 

“Running the store has taught us a lot over the years,” said Richard. “Be true to yourself and your customers and it will come back to you.”

The new Lawson Family Murder Museum will open for the first time Sunday, March 12. 

To reserve tickets visit Madison Dry Goods and Dry Goods Country Store on Facebook.