St. Marks in Wakulla County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Bo Lynn's Grocery
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.
After 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.
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
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,
Bo Lynn's Grocery
Has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places
United States Department
of the Interior
Erected 2017 by St. Marks Waterfronts Florida Partnership, Inc., and St. Marks Stone Crab Festival.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Women. A significant historical year for this entry is 1936.
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. Marker is located at the south edge of Bo Lynn's Grocery/Miss Joy's. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 850 Port Leon Drive, Saint Marks FL 32355, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Port Leon (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Telltale Bones (about 300 feet away); St. Marks Bike Trail Park (about 500 feet away); The City of St. Marks (approx. 0.2 miles away); San Marcos de Apalache (approx. 0.4 miles away); Tallahassee - St. Marks Railroad (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Old Store on the Wakulla RiverFort St. Marks Military Cemetery (approx. half a mile 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 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 Lynn’s Grocery has been operating for nearly a century, long before big-box stores took over the scene. “I’m really proud of the 52 years I’ve been here,” said Joy Brown, current owner and operator. “I haven’t changed anything here. I’ve 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. 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 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.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 309 times since then and 70 times this year. 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.