George Harper Store
Main Street & Still Pond Road (MD 292), Still Pond, Kent County
The George Harper Store is a late 19th century five-bay frame commercial structure, two stories high with a central entrance and gable roof, to which is attached a series of later additions, believed to date from about the turn of the 20th century, creating a three-part structure on the south facade. The east portion is a two story frame building with a gable roof with the gable end facing the street. These buildings are connected by a one story structure with large display windows. The three sections are tied into one unit by a flat-roofed one story porch supported by ten square posts. The windows of the original building have 6/6 lights on the second floor and large panes on the first. The east building has 2/2 lights. The interiors of the buildings consist primarily of a large store and storage rooms with a turned balustraded staircase rising up in the center of the original building.
The George Harper Store in Still Pond, Maryland, achieves significance from three primary sources: the architectural character of the building, its role in the commercial history of an Eastern Shore community, and through association with William Medders who operated the store from 1894 to 1959. Architecturally, the George Harper Store is an intact example of a type of structure, the simple frame commercial building, once commonly found at crossroads communities in Maryland throughout the late 19th century and well into the 20th. The building is characterized by a utilitarian design marked by a broad porch across the front to protect customers and goods from the weather. Commercially, Still Pond, at the turn of the 20th century was a thriving community with a cannery and warehouse for produce from the surrounding farming area. The George Harper Store supplied the needs and luxuries of the citizenry of the area. Medders, who originally managed the store for George Harper and was responsible for enlarging the structure and expanding the business from groceries into a general department store, was an influential citizen of Still Pond from his prominence as a successful businessman and owner of nearly a thousand acres of farm land in the area which was in cultivation.