Bart's Store
 
Looking for a little history with your fishing tackle? Well, Bart's is a good place to start. Today this convenience store/gas station/outdoors shop is a great place to find out about the best places to fish on nearby Carters Lake. But when it was built more than a hundred years ago, Bart's was a general store and meeting hall for the rural farmers of the area.

Governor Roy Barnes grandfather owned the store for a time, then sold it to Mac Kelly. Mac eventually gave the store to his son, which at the time was considered part of Talking Rock. Hoyt Kelly was well known in Pickens County. His wife was a school teacher in a one-room county school.

Pickens County would become notorious for its moonshine, and unlike its eastern neighbor Dawson County, running fast cars to Atlanta was not a key part of the operation. Instead, Hoyt Kelly would entertain guests at his general store and invite them around back if he felt it was safe. Hoyt kept his moonshine in a large metal bowl, just high enough so that a stray child couldn't reach it. You could even "try before you buy."

Hoyt passed away, but the store provided income for his wife, who leased it to the current managers. She passed away at the age of 96 in Oct. 2000. Today Hoyt's daughter and husband own the store, leasing it to the same couple who have managed it for years.

The store, still owned by Hoyt's family, serves as a gateway to Carters Lake. The rapid increase in the recreational use of the lake makes this store a popular spot for local fishermen and a great place to sit on the front porch and swap fishing stories. Inside the store, well, is hard to explain, but the folks are friendly. Take a minute on your next trip to Carters Lake and spend a few minutes at Bart's.

Directions:I-575 north to Highway 136 (about 5 miles past Jasper). Turn left on 136 west.

Pickens County history
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