History of Downtown

Braselton Brothers Store building 1904
The Braselton Brothers Store in 1904

John Oliver Braselton - Braselton, GeorgiaThe Braselton’s first settled in the area now named after the family when William Harrison Braselton of Hall County, GA, married to Susan Hosch, purchased approximately 800 acres of land from Mr. G. W. Smith, Sr.   The land was the perfect fit for Braselton – it was inexpensive and near his wife’s family home.  By 1876, the town was quickly growing to become a center for farming and commerce in Jackson and many other surrounding counties.  In 1887 John Oliver Braselton, the youngest son of William and Susan decided at the age of 10 to start his own country store.  After a horse and buggy accident destroyed his 6x6 foot building, he moved into a larger space and his older brothers Green and William Henry joined the business.  Their success grew and the need for more room continued to be a problem.  In 1904 the young men began work on their 4th store.  A beautiful brick building was completed on September 1, 1904 and was referred to as “the most handsomest and most completely arranged brick structure in this part of the State” by the local newspapers.  By this time the brothers became known as the “three B’s” and grew a respectable business based on perseverance and cooperation.

At one time the store covered over 70,000 square feet of floor space.  The main building housed offices, dry goods, notions, shoes, ready to wear clothing and the bank.  On the third floor could be found linens, housewares, gifts and toys.  The basement contained heavy groceries.  An addition was added for a large modern supermarket and an appliance department.  Then a furniture and hardware/building supply department was added.  A pre-curser to the modern day mall the Braselton Brothers provided one stop shopping for everything local residents needed under one roof. 

Besides the mercantile business the building also housed the local post office, the office and freight depot of the Gainesville Midland railroad, the local express office, the Braselton Bank, the Braselton Chamber of Commerce and the Braselton Commission Company.
Braselton Brothers Store building - The 1904The Braselton Brothers Store in 2021 - Downtown Braselton

Many of the structures from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s still stand in the town and continue to be used to house businesses that service the local residents and visitors to our town. The Braselton Brothers store is currently undergoing renovations to create a modern mercantile, with spaces to house a variety of food and retail merchants. The restored building will be renamed The 1904 and will open in winter 2021. 

Downtown Braselton Historic Walking Tour

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