COTTON CO-OP CROPS UP ON COMMON GROUND
Colonel J.C.’s cotton mill gave Magnolia Bend a firm foothold in the wide world of cotton and, as Dixie Landings evolved and thrived, so did its status as a commercial capital. Growers, brokers, shippers and buyers would often gather along a stretch of grassy land next to Fulton’s to discuss current prices, talk technique and even negotiate deals.
Amelia Fulton, having developed quite a keen marketing sense, saw a shining opportunity to supplement the General Store’s modest profit margin by selling refreshments to the gentlemen wheeling and dealing, mingling and meandering just outside her door. Of course, in those days the business of barkeeping was certainly no work for a lady, so she encouraged her husband the General to cater to the cotton crowd’s thirsts.
He did, and the popularity of the gathering place grew faster than grass, and soon the couple’s refreshing sideline grew into a full-fledged business. To accommodate the boom, the General had a building built and by 1857 it had become known throughout the cotton community as the Dixie Landings “Cotton Co-op.” More than a place to conduct business conveniently and comfortably, the Co-op was soon a place revered as a respite from the rigors of rural life. It was just the place to relax and listen to the General recount his glory days in fanciful stories from his favorite spot near the formidable stone fireplace.
To this day, the Cotton Co-op is a welcome way-station for folks in search of a bit of rest and relaxation, a tasty bite to eat and a cool drink to soothe the spirit. The General, and surely the lovely Amelia, would be proud to see that their enterprise has thrived.