Fluvanna History

Historical Markers

Fluvanna Marker | Presbyterian Marker | Mercantile Marker

The Roscoe, Snyder, and Pacific Railroad was given the line from Roscoe to Snyder, but the length of track was only about thirty miles and to build a new line, there had to be a minimum of fifty miles of track. When the service was established between Roscoe and Snyder in 1908, work was begun on the extra twenty miles. The track proceeded northwest of Snyder toward the town of Light, but that was not quite twenty miles.

A real estate promoter from Abilene, J. M. Cunninghan and an associate named W. L. Powers, began buying all the land adjacent to and northwest of Light. When Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Powers were through buying land as the Townsite Realty, they owned nearly two sections of land. They then brought in a team of surveyors and had the land surveyed and laid the town.

When the track was finished, a special excursion train was run in August 1909, that was celebrated with a three day picnic. When the train passed by Light, it came to a stop about a mile further on, almost in the center of the new town that had just been laid out and staked off. There were several lots raffled off at this picnic, and the new town of Fluvanna was about to spring forth. Regular train service commenced in September 1909.

The people and businesses moved their establishments the mile on to the railroad and Fluvanna. The name of the town, Fluvanna, was submitted by one of the surveyors, Mr. Telford, because he was from Fluvanna County, Virginia. The Town boomed almost immediately, and enjoyed a steady prosperity. This prosperity was enhanced when, in 1911, The Sante Fe railway extended its Snyder line to Slaton. This made the Roscoe, Snyder line a connecting link and insured Fluvanna's position as a shipping point for the area.

This prosperity continued until the methods odds shipment changed. When the highways began to be paved, and trucks began to haul more and more freight, the dependence on a tie to a railroad was broken. With the need for rail shipment decreasing, Fluvanna began to decline. From a town with lumber yards, a two story, six room school, a newspaper, several grocery and general merchandise stores, and a bank, the town has become a proud, quiet farm and ranch community; proud of its school, churches, and history.

Fluvanna Merchantile Company

The Fluvanna Mercantile Company, a pioneer general store at Fluvanna, Scurry County, sold clothing, fabrics, groceries, hardware, millinery, patent medicines, seeds, and shoes. It also sold quantities of flour, block salt, and other staples. The enterprise was founded in 1915 by D. A. Jones and John A. Stavely, who first settled in dugoutqv homes after they arrived in the area just after 1900. The Jones and Stavely families helped to build the community's first Presbyterian church, a school, and a bank.

Original shareholders included J. E. Park, S. P. Smith, and W. R. Craft. Jones was the firm's first president, and Stavely was vice president. The company freighted in its stock on the Roscoe, Snyder and Pacific Railway, which also shipped cattle, and received flour and feed by rail from Sherman. After the tracks were removed in 1942, supplies were delivered by truck. During the Great Depressionqv the company reverted to barter, allowing local people to trade cream and eggs for store-bought goods.

In 1958 the owners sold the firm to J. D. Patterson, who renamed it the Patterson General Store and took up residence on the store's balcony. Its third owner, Clyde A. Smith, who bought the enterprise in 1966, restored its original name, converted it to a grocery store, and with his family also lived in the building. In the 1990s the store continued in operation. Examples of merchandise sold there in frontier days are on display at the Texas Museum in Canyon. An official Texas historical marker was placed at the site in 1970.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Charles Anderson, Reflections: An Album of West Texas History (Snyder, Texas: Snyder Publishing Company, 1990). Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.

Last Updated: December 12, 2010