100-year-old Pike County building, former general store reopening under new name

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 9:02 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2023 at 9:29 AM EST
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Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6

PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - In the Wolfpit community of Pike County, one building has been occupied in one way or another since the 1920s. Formerly a YMCA, bowling alley, movie theater and general store. Now, the grandson of the previous owners is reopening the building to the public under a new name and is doing new business.

Christopher Epling’s grandparents and great-grandparents owned “Johnson’s Store” in Wolfpit since the 1940s.

“This this building has been in my family for three generations. Four, possibly, now with my daughter and son,” said Epling.

Now, Epling inherited the building and is giving it a much-needed facelift. Rebranding the once general store to an antiques shop.

“It’s not changed that much, like, it’s almost predestined that Johnson’s would one day turn into something else, so that’s Johnson’s Antiques,” said Epling.

Taking a building that is important to the history of the community and finding new homes for several pieces of that history and his family’s history to folks who will cherish them.

“They did everything, like, they were clothed by Johnson’s, they were fed by Johnson’s, they were- you know, they worked with tools they bought from Johnson’s. It was pretty important,” said Epling. “I’m just trying to breathe new life into this place and share some of this stuff because, like I said, we can’t keep all this, there’s just so much. Now, some people look at it and be like it’s totally junk, everywhere, and it might be, but what is that old saying? One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, right?”

Epling added the store will officially open in April but said you can find some of the items online on the Johnson’s Antiques Facebook page.