Kentucky Soaps & Such is celebrating their 15th anniversary this month, but the history of its building goes back many more years.
Located on Main Street in Stanford, the brick building was constructed in 1926. It was built to replace a frame structure that was destroyed earlier that year in a fire. The fire began around 3 am on February 23, 1926, and destroyed an entire block on Main Street.
On July 20, 1926, the Interior Journal reported that:
E. Bohon Campbell, whose grocery business was one of those destroyed by the fire… has announced that he will build a new brick building on the original site of the Main and Depot Streets. The new building will be a two-story structure with apartments above and a large basement below… The building will house two stores, Campbell’s Grocery on one side and another business, yet to be named, on the other.
Both of those storefronts now house Kentucky Soaps & Such, and that large basement is where all Plainview Farm products are produced! However, the building’s history begins long before Kentucky Soaps & Such.
After construction finished in 1927, Campbell’s Grocery opened at 205 West Main Street, and that location would continue to serve as a grocery store until 1980.
Severance & Son was the first business in the 203 West Main Street storefront. It was a clothing and dry goods store that supplied the community with clothing, fabric and other essentials. The owners were Albert and William Severance. William was ordained in the Church of Christ and performed weddings for customers in the store’s basement!
The store was passed down from Albert and William Severance to Albert’s son Heath. Ownership stayed with the family until they sold the business to long-time employee Ida Mae Gover in 1970. Severance’s became a ladies’ apparel store until Ida Mae retired and closed the business in 1995.
From 1996 to 2002, the storefront housed the offices of the Kentucky Department of Health Advocacy. In 2003, a mini-mall occupied 203 West Main Street until Merle Miracle opened Hilltop Florist. The florist occupied the building until moving to his current location in 2005.
The 205 West Main Street side of the building spent most of its history as a grocery store. E. Bohon Campbell opened Campbell’s IGA, and it served the community until 1943. From 1944 to 1980, the storefront housed Doan’s Grocery store, owned by Campbell’s daughter and son-in-law, Orderly and Martha Campbell Doan. The history from 1980 to 1995 is unknown, but the Nic-Nac Shack & More Shop moved in from 1995 to 1996. After that, it was the temporary home of The Interior Journal in 1996 while its building was being renovated. Main Street Music used the space from 1997 to 2004.
Kentucky Soaps & Such joined the story in 2004 when Angela Correll opened the store at 205 West Main Street and began producing Plainview Farms goat milk bath products. The store featured these products along with antiques and other crafted items.
The popularity of Plainview Farm products grew, and Kentucky Soaps & Such expanded to 203 West Main Street to become the store it is today. The store provides Stanford with handmade goat milk bath products, books from local authors, products by artisans from around the world, and more!
Pieces of the building’s history remain. The exterior brick and display windows are original to the building. Customers still walk on the original floors that Stanford locals walked on over 90 years ago as they shopped for groceries, shoes and clothing. Visit Kentucky Soaps & Such and see the history for yourself!