Man uncovers historic coin used at store

Published 8:00 pm Friday, July 6, 2012

It’s not often you find a piece of history in the normal course of a day, but that’s exactly what a Bogue Chitto resident did.

     While digging up a foundation during renovations to his parents’ house, the Rev. Mitchell E. Redd found an old coin.

     “It rained the day after we dug it up,” he said. “It (the rain) uncovered it from the dirt.”

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     The coin he found read “B.E. Brister Sawmill Co.” Redd then went to talk to Bogue Chitto resident Buddy Brister.

     “I just wanted to know more about it,” Redd said. “He told me that’s how they paid them at the sawmill.”

     Buddy Brister is the great-grandson of Vas Brister, who along with his brothers Vince and Benjamin, opened B.E. Brister & Company.

     The sawmill was opened in the late 1800s, and was in operation until 1914. But before that there was the B.E. Brister & Company mercantile store, which sold everything from clothes to food to household items.

     The coin served as a $25 ‘gift card’ that employees could use at the store. Any change would be given back in cash.

     “That was once-a-month pay,” Redd said Brister told him.

     Redd said he doesn’t know what he’ll do with the coin, but that he’s glad he found a part of history.

     “We’re all born and raised [in Bogue Chitto],” he said, “so I’m glad I found this coin.”