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Uncle Sam’s celebrates 105 years in business

November 25th, 2013 10:43 am by Debra McCown

Uncle Sam’s celebrates 105 years in business

BRISTOL, Tenn. – It lived through two world wars and the Great Depression, survived downtown through the age of strip malls and suburbs, and the arrival of the online era. In the midst of the Great Recession, it remains a busy place.

Uncle Sam’s Loan Office is today what it’s always been: a place to pawn, buy, sell and barter.

“We’re called the poor man’s bank,” said manager Cheryl Ann Brown. “We serve a needed spot in the community.”

The longevity of the business speaks for itself, she said. Uncle Sam’s follows the law and does things properly – and guarantees all of its merchandise. It’s a member of the Tennessee Pawnbrokers’ Association and the National Pawnbrokers’ Association.

Top-selling items at the State Street shop are guns, jewelry, and musical instruments – with a unique selection that clearly reflects Bristol’s heritage as the Birthplace of Country Music. But the shelves at Uncle Sam’s are also filled with tools and knick-knacks, movies and unknown treasures.

The shop is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For the holiday shopping season, it’s open on Wednesdays, too. Also inside is the Memory Lane Café, an all-original Woolworth’s lunch counter that offers old-fashioned plate lunches, floats and banana splits.

Uncle Sam’s advertises a six-month layaway with no service charge – and some holiday deals.

“When the economy goes down, our business gets busy,” said Brown. “People need money or need a bargain on something, so this place is full of bargains.”

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