MILLEDGEVILLE — After 126 years of business, the family-run J.C. Grant Company in downtown Milledgeville has continued to thrive and hopes to prosper even more with its newly renovated interior and expanded jewelry lines and gift offerings.
“We have had minor changes in the past, but this is our first major remodel. We have painted twice and carpeted once in 34 years. Our old 1948 showcases were used before and now we have new showcases specifically designed and built for this store,” Co-owner Jean Grant Graham said while filling the new showcases Thursday. “We were kind of crammed before and we just thought it was time for a fresh look. We wanted to make things easier for the customers and make things better for us. We always keep the customer in mind because without them, we wouldn’t be here.”
Graham’s great grandfather, John Clark Grant, first started J.C. Grant Company in 1886 in Monticello.
“He moved to Eatonton a few years later and then he moved to Milledgeville in 1909 with six kids. In 1934, he died and he left it to his kids, which three of them stayed in the business and then it dropped to two when one went into the restaurant business,” Graham explained. “My granddad also went into the jewelry business, but in another town because back during the Great Depression, it was hard to find work, so he moved with his family.”
Always keeping the company within the family bloodline, Graham’s great aunt Minnie and great uncle Joe ran the business until their death.
“My great uncle passed away first and then my great aunt passed away in 1972. The business was left to daddy [John William Grant, Jr.] and he’s been here full-time since 1948,” Graham said. “We were located at 108 W. Hancock St., where Folks Art is now, from 1953 to 1978. We moved to our current location in 1978 and now we’ve been here for 34 years. This is our eighth location in Milledgeville and third location on Wayne Street.”