Here is a picture of Callis Wharf taken from my car while waiting for the Gwynn's Island bridge to open. This wharf was once a bustling center of commercial activity. Speaking of a center of commercial activity, although not a bustling one, I'd like to talk about Mathews Court House.
On this episode of Chesapeake Bay Woman Freaks Out Over Blog Fest we'll cover more information intended to prepare incoming Blog Fest guests for what Mathews is really like so they don't riot and stage protests after they arrive and find out what this place is really like.
Our primary downtown commercial area is called the court house by locals. For example you'll likely here me utter this sentence at least
"I have to run down to the court house for a minute to pick up some ____________."
Fill in that blank with whatever grocery item, beverage or other item you need to buy--the court house is where you buy it. Going to the court house means going to town, not going to court--at least not until such time as The Law shows up at Blog Fest and hands out citations for noise and other miscellaneous violations.
Anyway, the courthouse is rather small, and some people have been known to miss it altogether if they blink while driving through. Just about the time most people say, "Is this the main part of the village?" we've already driven clear through town and are halfway to Port Haywood.
Some of the key businesses in the court house include the following:
Best Value - An independent grocery store, very small but with very good prices. I like this store because it's easy and quick to get in and out of, unless it is Sunday after church lets out and then all bets are off.
Food Lion - A major grocery chain with the best selection of most things including wine, which is to say there's more than 2 brands, none of which is Shur Fine. (Although I admit I like the Best Value's Shur Fine line; it's just the spelling that irritates me.) Avoid trips to Food Lion on a Friday, a Saturday, any holiday, Sunday after church, or during Market Days and the Christmas Parade unless you have several
Restaurants - There are a few, some of which may or may not be open depending on the day of the week; the time of year; the time of day; the alignment of moon and stars and the whim of the owners.
Various gift shops
A couple of hair dressers
Several doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants
The county offices
Va. ABC Store- In Virginia you can buy beer and wine in the grocery and convenience stores, but liquor must be purchased at this state-run store.
The Historic Court Green - a topic for another time. It's historic. And green. It also houses our only public bathroom besides the local woods.
Dollar General - my favorite store. Like most dollar stores it carries all your basic necessities, such as Liquid Plumber, garden gnomes, Chia pets, the complete line of Goya food products, faux Vera Bradley pocketbooks and Louisiana Hot Sauce at fifty cents a bottle. You can't beat it. Not with a stick.
There is more but I think I've covered most of the major businesses. Study up because there will be a quiz a week from Friday for those of you who did not blink or fall asleep while reading this post.