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Reflections by Sammy Way: Former site of McLellan's has long history

By SAMMY WAY
Posted 5/19/19

Reflections presents a brief history of McLellan's 5-10-25 Cents Store, one of Sumter's most remembered department stores. It is torn down at present, and a new building is being erected at the site to house Sumter Original Brewery. The author of …

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Reflections by Sammy Way: Former site of McLellan's has long history

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Reflections presents a brief history of McLellan's 5-10-25 Cents Store, one of Sumter's most remembered department stores. It is torn down at present, and a new building is being erected at the site to house Sumter Original Brewery. The author of Reflections has used several articles from The Sumter Item archives to recount the history of McLellan's 5-10-25 Cent Store, which occupied the southwest corner of Liberty and Main during mos of the last century.

The first old frame structure built on that corner of Main and Liberty streets was destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1883 or early 1884 that raged through the area extending from the Masonic Temple - where Brody's Department Store once stood - on Liberty Street to the former Gallagher and Foxworth Store, formerly the Men's Shop, on Main Street.

After the fire, James Barrett constructed a one-story building on the corner, a general merchandise store that became McLellan's in 1916. The other buildings located on West Liberty adjoining the McLellan's site were the O'Connor Bakery, a two-story building with a family residence on the second floor; William Bogan's general merchandise store; and Thomas Feeny's establishment. On Main Street, businesses located adjacent to what was to become McLellan's were the following: W. G. Pate, cotton buyer and general merchandise; Hoyt's Jewelry Store; Thomas C. Scaffe's tin ware; C. T. Mason's Jewelry Store; DeLorme's Drug Store; and Suare's Furniture Store.

The 1884 fire burned itself out when it reached the lot once occupied by Penney's Department Store - formerly the O'Donnell & Co.

"This lot was formerly the front garden of the William Bogan residence, which stood about midway in the property and extended to Sumter Street." An article published in The Sumter Daily Item in 1939 noted that the building was acquired by McLellan's in 1916, underwent renovation and expansion in 1927 and was upgraded again in January of 1939.

"The store was one of the most modern in the state, having added 40 feet to its length facing Liberty Street and additional storage at the rear of the building." A modern cooling and heating system and indirect lighting were added for customer convenience.

Another new feature of the store was the addition of a new candy case measuring 34 feet long. Also, the store featured a hardwood floor which added to the overall attractiveness of the interior. In 1953, rather than renovate the store again, the owners decided to raze the building. In addition to McLellan's, structures housing Fishel's Jewelry and Sibert's Drug Store - which moved to its current site on West Liberty Street in May 1952 - were also razed, adding retail space to the new building. The construction of the new building was scheduled for completion in the early fall of 1953.

The new McLellan's had its grand opening on Aug. 27, 1953, under the management of Albert Patterson. The two-story building was constructed of brick, concrete and steel girders. The first floor consisted of 10,000 square feet with offices and storage on the second level

According to research, McLellan's was acquired by McCrory Enterprises and remained in business until January 1996. Victory Baptist Church, and later Standard Music, moved into the facility until it was purchased as the future site of Sumter's first brewery and tasting room.