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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Marks in Wakulla County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Bo Lynn's Grocery

“Miss Joy's”

 
 
Bo Lynn's Grocery Marker (<i>front side</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 7, 2018
1. Bo Lynn's Grocery Marker (front side)
Inscription.
(front side)
In 1936 J. T. "Bo" Lynn founded Bo Lynn's Grocery market to serve the community of St. Marks. A wide variety of goods, including groceries, clothing, gasoline, automotive and boat parts, and fishing supplies were made available.

When the building was finished it served as a store and a residence. Bo Lynn married Lillian “Lea” Moore in 1938. She became co-owner of the business and helped run the store. Within a short period of time, Bo Lynn's Grocery grew into the largest grocery store and gas station in town.

The customer base has varied over the years, with the local residents, fishermen of St. Marks, and tourists remaining a constant source of business. During WW II the store provided supplies to many military personnel from the local Coast Guard, U.S. Army's 922nd Rescue Squadron and the workers from the nearby Newport Marine Industries shipyard. More than a 100 servicemen were stationed in St. Marks. As there were no movie theaters in town, Bo Lynn would occasionally project movies against the side of the store's outside wall for everyone's entertainment.

In December of 1957, Bo Lynn and a friend were returning from a duck hunting trip on a small boat when a storm came up. The hunting party never made it back. The boat was found later; however not their bodies.

After
Bo Lynn's Grocery Marker (<i>back side</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 7, 2018
2. Bo Lynn's Grocery Marker (back side)
the war, oil and asphalt facilities expanded in St. Marks. Bo Lynn's Grocery business increased due to tugboats, facility employees and commercial and recreational fishermen.
See back for more information.
(back side)
1965 to Present

From 1936 to 1965 members of the Lynn family operated Bo Lynn's Grocery. Joy Brown purchased the store in June 1965 from Lea Lynn, Bo's widow. Joy never knew Bo Lynn, but maintained the name “Bo Lynn's Grocery". Retaining the name has meant a great deal to the Lynn family. Joy has operated the store for more than fifty years. In the hearts of the local people in St. Marks, it is fondly known as "Miss Joy's".

Miss Joy had three sons, which required her to make two additions to the back of the store to accommodate her young family's needs. She had a great love of history. When possible she preserved the store as it was built in 1936. As you walk through the front door, you take a trip back in time. Miss Joy kept all the original wooden display cases, antique walk-in cooler, chopping block, and the meat case. Even the paint on the walls and the ceiling remains a creamy swath on the thin straight planks. The original white Formica counter top has worn to a brown patina in front of the cash register where nearly a century of customers have paid for items. Quoting Miss
Marker detail: Bo Lynn's Grocery (<i>front view</i>) image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Bo Lynn's Grocery (front view)
Joy, "Mr. Bo Lynn had it built to his perfection." The store remains the same with the exception of the handcrafted tongue and groove floors, which were damaged by years of hurricanes and floods.

Miss Joy has been a hard worker with a strong love for her family and community, opened daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. except for Sundays. Many locals began their day with a fresh cup of hot coffee at Miss Joe's. Her son Michael passed away in 2009. Sons Larry and Jeff live in Wakulla County. Jeff has helped out regularly with the store.

Bo Lynn's Grocery was the first business listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the City of St. Marks. The Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce awarded Bo Lynn's Grocery/Miss Joy's with the Business Excellence Award in 2016. "Bo Lynn's Grocery is the oldest commercial retail store still standing in St. Marks," the Chamber noted.

Miss Joy said the best part of running the store has been serving the community and meeting people from around the United States and many foreign countries. A guest book is filled with years' of interesting signatures from around the world. Just like she hasn't tired of the decor, Miss Joy never tires of being at Bo Lynn's.
On February 14, 2017
Bo Lynn's Grocery
Has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places
by the
United States
Marker detail: Bo Lynn's Grocery (<i>interior</i>) image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Bo Lynn's Grocery (interior)
Department
of the Interior

 
Erected 2017 by St. Marks Waterfronts Florida Partnership, Inc., and St. Marks Stone Crab Festival.
 
Location. 30° 9.303′ N, 84° 12.223′ W. Marker is in St. Marks, Florida, in Wakulla County. Marker is on Port Leon Drive (State Road 363) north of Riverside Drive, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located at the south edge of Bo Lynn's Grocery/Miss Joy's. Marker is at or near this postal address: 850 Port Leon Drive, Saint Marks FL 32355, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Port Leon (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); San Marcos de Apalache (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fort St. Marks Military Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Princess Malee "Milly" Francis (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named San Marcos de Apalache (approx. half a mile away); St. Marks Lighthouse (approx. 5.8 miles away); Wakulla Springs Archaeological & Historic District (approx. 8 miles away); Battle of Natural Bridge (approx. 9Ĺ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Marks.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large white composite panel mounted on tall metal posts.
Marker detail: "Miss" Joy Brown at the counter image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: "Miss" Joy Brown at the counter
Marker and posts are surrounded by a decorative flower bed.
 
Also see . . .
1. Screwdrivers and steaks: Beloved St. Marks grocery and gas station honored nationally. (This link presents some additional photographs of Bo Lynn's Grocery.) Bo Lynnís Grocery has been operating for nearly a century, long before big-box stores took over the scene. “Iím really proud of the 52 years Iíve been here,” said Joy Brown, current owner and operator. “I havenít changed anything here. Iíve tried to keep it the same as it was since I bought it.” (Submitted on May 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. St. Mark's convenience store now on 'National Register of Historic Places'. It's a grocery store that's called St. Marks home for more than 80 years. The current owner, Miss Joy, has run the business for 52 of them. "Weíve been through so many floods and we just kind of bounce back and start all over again and that's what we'll continue to do," said owner of Bo Lynnís, Joy Brown. During Hurricane Dennis in 2005, and Hurricane Hermine just last year, Miss Joy said the business suffered major flooding and structural damage. (Submitted on May 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Bo Lynn's Grocery. Bo Lynn's Grocery is a small general store and gas station located in St. Marks, Florida. When it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 14, 2017, it was the first listing
Bo Lynn's Grocery Marker (<i>wide view; looking south</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 7, 2018
6. Bo Lynn's Grocery Marker (wide view; looking south)
in St. Marks since San Marcos de Apalache in 1966. The store was opened in 1936 by J. T. "Bo" Lynn, and has been in continuous operation since then. It has been owned by Joy Brown since 1965. (Submitted on May 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWomen
 
Bo Lynn's Grocery Marker (<i>back side; wide view; looking north toward Bo Lynn's Grocery</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 7, 2018
7. Bo Lynn's Grocery Marker (back side; wide view; looking north toward Bo Lynn's Grocery)
Bo Lynn's Grocery / Miss Joy's (<i>marker visible at far left</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 7, 2018
8. Bo Lynn's Grocery / Miss Joy's (marker visible at far left)
Bo Lynn's Grocery / Miss Joy's image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 7, 2018
9. Bo Lynn's Grocery / Miss Joy's
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 9, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 87 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on May 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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