On the Road in Effingham--Guyton

WTOC is on the road this week in Effingham County, one of the fastest-growing areas in the Southeast. According to census data, Effingham has grown from over 25,000 people in 1990 to more than 37,000 in the year 2000. New buildings are going up all over the place, but on the western side of the county, the town of Guyton is one of the places where things haven't changed much over the years.

Mack's Country Store is in an old house that was built in 1865. It's a place where you get friendly service with a smile. "You can pretty much get anything that you need from here," said local resident Robin Edenfield. "She's always friendly to you whenever you need something and she can order whatever you want pretty much."

There are a few modern convenience stores in Guyton, but most of the older folks love to shop at Mack's. "I think they like to look at the older stuff that we have in here, and then we have fresh fruits and vegetables and stuff like that," said store owner Linda Edwards. "We just got a great town here in Guyton."

Almost everyone agrees that Guyton is a great place to live, including Julia Cooler, a retired hair stylist who has lived here most of her adult life. "Everything is free and you can just go where you want to go," she said. "You don't have to worry about even leaving your house unlocked sometimes. You can just walk on out and come back and it's the same as when you left."

Reported by: Ron Wallace, rwallace@wtoc.com