Due to the continuation of the COVID pandemic, an almost 60-year holiday tradition has been put on hold.
The annual Country Store Bake Sale at the Stephen D. Lee Home and Museum in Columbus will not take place this year. The event presented by the Association for the Preservation of Antiquities in Columbus and Lowndes County supports maintenance of the Mississippi landmark built in 1847.
It was also canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Traditionally held the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the Country Store is known for enthusiastic patrons who line up early for the opening bell that signals shopping begins for homemade cakes, pies, candies, breads and more for holiday tables.
“After much discussion between the board members, it was decided that the Country Store should be canceled,” said Rita Douglass, association president. “This would have been the 60th Country Store at the Lee Home, but due to the coronavirus, it was decided for the health and safety of the community not to have our fundraiser this year.”
Proceeds of the sale have supported upkeep and improvements to the home at 316 Seventh St. N., listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They include roofing, installation of handicap access ramps and a kitchen remodel in the venue available for community events and rentals.
“We are asking people to, instead of buying one of the beautiful bake sale items we always have, make a donation to the Lee Home,” Douglass said. “A new air conditioning unit had to be installed upstairs recently. Some ceiling repairs and painting in the upstairs area also had to be done. Donations we receive will go to offset these expenses.”
Donations may be mailed to Charlotte Stripling, 1803 Pine Knoll Drive, Columbus, MS 39705. Checks should be made out to the S.D. Lee Home or the Association for the Preservation of Antiquities.
Douglass said they hope to be back in 2022 with a bigger and better Country Store.