By age 18, my father had taken on the store because of his father’s death in 1933. Bill proceeded to turn the store eventually into a more modern day appearance (for that day) moving more into canned, box grocery items as they became more readily available.
Bill was also known as the Garden Seed and Plant Man, Down by the Mill (which is now my retail store).
The days of folks curing their own hams had become less as time grew on, so Bill, my father, cured more and more hams for sale to townsfolk at the store.
By 1975, years later and several “hams cured” later, our father of gourmet cooking, James Beard had laid the ground work for national sales of Bill’s hams through his writings of the extraordinary Colonel Bill Newsom’s Hams.
Dad designed his first brochure in 1975; and I, a young mother -- from home –- stuffed, stamped and mailed it out!
What seemed to be disaster struck our family to the core -- I sat at 4:30 a.m. and watched H.C. Newsom Store burn to its ruin! It was fall, Oct. 4, 1987.
How could I forget? That was the year that the legacy of full service mom and pop stores crashed -- seemed like they all went out of business in the area after that! Yes -- it was the end of an era!
Saved from the disaster of that fire were the Ham Files (addresses of national customers), my grandfather’s chopping block, a picture of a pig playing a flute in the garden, a very few meat production utensils and the most important component … the AGED CURED BILL NEWSOM'S HAMS, still intact in another location -- nestled near the woods in a quiet, safe area.