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Hyco Country Store named an endangered historical site

Hyco Country Store, located in the 6000 block of Hyco Road, South Boston, has been deemed a most endangered historic site by Preservation Virginia.

The late 19th century Greek Revival frame building is one of about a dozen places, buildings and archaeological sites across the state that face imminent or sustained threats to their integrity and survival, according to a Preservation Virginia press release.

The list is issued annually to raise awareness of Virginia’s historic sites at risk from neglect, deterioration, lack of maintenance, insufficient funds, inappropriate development or public policy.

According to Halifax County Historical Society President Barbara Bass, the building retains marvelous architectural elements reminiscent of its days as the site of one of the premier purveyors for tobacco seeds, Slate Seed Company, when tobacco dominated the local and regional economy. 

The site is now vacant and in danger of demolition. Due to the property’s small lot size, Halifax County has denied a variance that would make the property easier to sell and the structure available for rehabilitation, Bass explained.

The Greek Revival building that housed this seed store faces demolition unless restored. Current zoning restricts the owner’s or potential purchaser’s flexibility to return the building to productive use, Bass added.

In placing the store on the list of endangered historic sites, Preservation Virginia encourages the Halifax Historical Society and county officials to work together to make the property and this building more attractive to potential purchasers. 

“Conducting an initial analysis of the stability and rehabilitation potential of the structure would encourage adaptive reuse,” they stated.

Bass said the Halifax County Historical Society is excited to have a local property included on the 2012 Endangered Sites in Virginia list. 

“The Hyco Country Store is one of the many jewels in Halifax County which is at risk. There may be someone ‘out there’ who is interested in preserving this structure which architecturally is outstanding,” Bass said. 

The society’s president said it is that group’s hope this designation will encourage and inspire residents of the county to reevaluate their properties and to realize the importance of preserving parts of the county’s history and heritage.

Bass said she and other members of the county historical society have been working for over two years researching and visiting properties for the society’s future book on an architectural history of the county. 

“This country store is one of many properties visited,” she said. “I am delighted that this country store is being highlighted on the 2012 list.”