The Coker General Store was established in 1828 by Caleb Coker, Jr. and Eli Gregg and was originally operated as a partnership under the name of Coker and Gregg until 1839 when Gregg moved to Mars Bluff on the Pee Dee River to operate a store at Mars Bluff.
The building now in use was occupied in 1832, and has been substantially enlarged from time to time. A part of the present building was built in 1861, and was enlarged about 1870, and again about 1900. In 1839, Caleb Coker became sole owner until he was joined by a younger brother, Thomas Coker, who died in 1846. Two other younger brothers joined the firm, Josiah M. for a brief time, and Lewis until his death.
At different times the firm was operated as C. Coker, C. Coker and Brother, and C. Coker and CO. until Caleb Coker death in 1869. Briefly, it then was operated as L.M. Coker & Co. When Caleb’s second son, William Caleb, assumed the management, the firm became W.C. Coker and Co. with minor interests held by William Coker Wilson, Caleb’s grandson the Thomas Coker, Jr. In about 1895, William’s son, Allen McIver, joined the firm then known as W.C. Coker and son.
In the early days, the store’s service and credit extended widely over what are now several counties, with flatboats running to Georgetown. C. Coker was one of the organizers of the Pee Dee steamboat Co., which ran side-wheelers from Georgetown to Cheraw. The company ended when the steamboat was wrecked in 1837 and 1838. W.C. Coker died in 1907 and the store was reorganized by his heirs as the W.C. Coker Co., with a few shares held by E.D. Fields who was active in the management until 1964.
In recent years the store was incorporated under the name Coker and Rogers, Inc. with members of the Coker Family holding stock together with Arthur H. Rogers. In 1938 at the death of Allen McIver Coker, the management of the store was vested in his widow, Laurie D. Coker, and Author H. Rogers until his death in 1963. - Darlington County Historical Commission. The property is now owned and managed by Preservation South Carolina who is looking for someone with a serious interest in restoring the Store.
The property also includes a 1700 s.f. lap sided storage building. The Coker & Rogers General Store would be ideal for a destination restaurant and is centrally located between Columbia, Myrtle Beach, and Charlotte, with Florence only being a 35 minute drive. Call or click for more information.