Recently I took a road trip that included traveling on Highway 85. I passed through Gaffney S.C. that has a cool giant peach for a water tower. What’s cooler is that when you pass that giant peach, you know you’re almost to Mary Jo’s, the largest fabric store in the United States (at least it has been in the past).
Exit COX Road in Gastonia N.C. and BAM!*#+ YOU ARE THERE. It’s still in the same location and building even though the old mall surrounding it was torn down with a new shopping center added on to it. Amazingly, the store stayed open during all the construction. In the last few years online sales has been added but there is nothing quite like a visit to the store. There is an extensive quilting section along with apparel, drapery and bridal fabrics filling up the rest of the store.
Mary Jo actually started in the business of selling fabric as a teenager at her father’s store. I think she turned 83 this past year and still shows up on the store floor occasionally. She saw the fabric mills of America, especially strong in North Carolina, shut down when the making of fabric shifted to other countries.
It’s a ‘MUST SEE’ stop if you’re going that way. I could easily spend 3 hours just looking but I normally get about 1 hour for a pit stop when traveling (then my family starts pushing me out the door!) You can visit it in less time but it will leave you drooling for more.