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B. Williams and Co. Store

The B. Williams and Co. Store, a local landmark since its construction in 1869, is located on the Williams Wharf site, next to what will become the Owens Landing Maritime Education and Rowing Center. It served as a general merchandise store, ships’ chandlery, specialty ladies hat shop and post office during the late nineteenth century and into the twentieth.

Owned by the Williams-Murray family since the last eighteenth century, this site served as a major focal point of much of the activity that took place at this busy port and crossroads for nearly 200 years.

Today, the Store serves as the temporary home of the Mathews High School crew team, with the Mobjack Rowing Association, while the Center is completed. With the framework up, and efforts continuing to raise funds for completion, it is hoped they will be able to move into the new boathouse in the near future. At that point, plans for renovation and historic preservation of the Store will get underway.

The historic site was acquired with the help of a Virginia Land Conservation Foundation grant for $345,000 over a period of two years, which covered ½ of the purchase price set at $690,000. When renovated, the Store will be a secure site for housing and displaying the artifacts and memorabilia associated with the history and activities that have transpired at the Wharf over the centuries.

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources placed the B. Williams and Company Store in the Virginia Landmarks Register and has recommended it for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

Store History

The MLC was awarded a Virginia Land Conservation Foundation grant for $345,000 over a period of two years, which covered ½ of the purchase price set at $690,000.

B. Williams Store is owned, operated and maintained by the Mathews Land Conservancy for the general public. Specifically, the Store will be a secure site for housing and displaying the artifacts and memorabilia associated with the history and activities that have transpired at the Wharf over the centuries.

In March 2009, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources placed the B. Williams and Company Store in the Virginia Landmarks Register and recommended this property for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.