When Brooks Shaw & Son Old Country Store opened in 1965, it was a museum...not a restaurant...not a Village...not even very big at all. But now in 2011 the Old Country Store celebrates 46 years and a lot of changes for this little “Mom and Pop” operation that opened in 1965 dedicated to “Mom’s Home Cookin’ and Pop’s Old Country Store”. We developed and moved to Casey Jones Village in 1978 and through the years have welcomed millions of guests and Casey Jones Village has grown into one of Tennessee's Top 10 Travel Attractions.
The story begins with a wonderful man named Brooks Shaw. He was a country boy from Providence, Tennessee about 20 miles west of Jackson who worked in a small country store in his younger years for 50 cents a day and all the hoop cheese he could eat. It was located in an adjacent community next to Providence called Wellwood. We are so proud that we were able to save this classic country store due to the efforts of his son Clark Shaw, our CEO. It was relocated to Casey Jones Village in 2009 and opened as an addition to the Old Country Store here in the Village. It had been closed for a number of years in Wellwood and would have fallen in from disrepair eventually. Today the Wellwood Country Store proudly stands next to the Old Country Store it inspired.
Mr. Shaw and his three brothers served their country in the military during and after World War II. Brooks was stationed in Germany and was a staff sergeant in the United States Army. After service, he returned to Tennessee and worked in sales and management.
He went to work for Kelly Foods in Jackson and became the president of the canned meat company at the young age. A sudden heart attack almost took his life at the age of 32. A wise doctor suggested he get a relaxing hobby from the demands of running a company not realizing that the "hobby" he took up would one day lead to a collection of thousands of incredible Southern general store antiques. A friend of his, Paul Jobe, gave him three antiques that started the collection and led to several years of antiquing across the countryside with his wife, Anne, and their two young children Clark and Deborah Anne.
When the collection overflowed, Brooks and Anne Shaw decided to start an antique museum in 1965. It was called Brooks Shaw & Son Old Country Store and was located on Airways Boulevard in Jackson right across the street from Kelly Foods. The original location is about 2 miles or less from Downtown Jackson where Old Country Auto is located today. Norwood and Joyce Jones were the original Storekeepers who ran the operation day to day. It wasn't opened as a restaurant but rather as an antique museum that had a small lunch counter. The Store originally offered cold cuts, cheese and cracker plates, pickles and such but quickly evolved into a popular local eatery for locals and travelers alike. Later on, an old student union building from Lambuth College was added on to make a full fledged restaurant. Sadly, Mr. Shaw passed away in 1971 but the business was not sold and continued to be owned by his sweet wife, Anne Shaw, who is today in her 80's.
In 1978, the Old Country Store created a new travel experience with a move to Casey Jones Village named for local railroad hero Casey Jones. Located right off I-40, it combined the landmark Old Country Store and the legendary Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum. The Shaws, Anne and her children, Clark and Deborah, were pleased to add Norwood Jones and Lawrence Taylor to the Store family as partners and stockholders. In 2002, they added Marty Jacobus, Bruce Haltom and Dr. Keith Williams to the Old Country Store ownership family. Today the Old Country Store is under the leadership of CEO Clark Shaw who's wife, Juanita, and children, Elizabeth and Brooks, all work in the business. Their children are currently attending college. Miss Anne is still thankfully in great health and is a great blessing to all who know her. Her daughter, Deborah, is the Marketing Director for the Village. Mr. Jones and his wife, Joyce, retired in 2002 from the day to day operation and Norwood has his Land Office real estate business in the Village and Lawrence Taylor and his wife, Norma, are the Director and Historian respectively of the Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum. Read more on the "Leadership Team" page.