Old Peanut Patch store to be demolished

Published 10:40 am Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The old Peanut Patch store across the street from the post office on Main Street in Courtland will be demolished this Saturday beginning at 7 a.m., according to Anthony Martinette, the building’s current owner.

Martinette, owner of Martinette Properties and Anthony Drake Builders LLC, purchased the building about two years ago with the intention of renovating it but later discovered that the building was non-repairable. He plans to construct a new storefront in its place, which he hopes to rent to the town’s post office and/or another local business.

“I wish I could have saved the building but it’s not repairable because of water damage,” he said. “Hopefully the post office will move there and have more parking; they have no parking where they’re at.”

He does, however, plan to try and save several architectural features of the building, including its doors, beveled glass windows and wide staircase, which was used during the building’s incarnation as a combination furniture store and funeral home.

“The furniture maker back then was also the undertaker; he made wooden coffins and they were stored upstairs and carried down that wide staircase,” said Judy Riddick, the owner of The Peanut Patch Gift Shoppe, which she and her husband, Bob, operated out of the building from 1973 to 1994 before moving the business to its current location next to the Dairy Queen on U.S. Route 58.

She added that the building was once adjacent to several connected storefronts that stretched all the way to Main Street’s intersection with the railroad tracks, some of which included a general store, a billiard room and a fish market.

Martinette said that he has arranged for Bryant Excavations of Smithfield to conduct the demolition and Crowder and White Contracting, located on General Thomas Highway, to haul away the debris. He added that he has encountered no resistance to his plans to demolish the building.