Where did Forsyth County’s Jot Em Down Road get its name?


In the heart of Forsyth County, winding amidst its scenic beauty, there’s a road with a name that often arouses curiosity: Jot Em Down Road. This unique moniker has its roots deeply embedded in community, trust, and a quaint old general store.

A Store Built on Trust

According to Michael E. Roper of the Forsyth County Historical Society, the story begins in 1940 with an old general store on what is now Jot Em Down Road.

Barbara Hubbard, whose parents owned and ran the store from 1940 until 1996, lived through its evolution. It wasn’t merely a place to procure goods but a pivotal community hub.

Roper noted, “The owner of the store would make a list of items being charged by saying ‘I’ll Jot em Down’. That expression was used so much that the locals referred to the store as the Jot em Down store.”

Jo Ann Martin, an octogenarian resident of Jot Em Down Road, echoed similar sentiments, reminiscing how customers asked the storekeeper to Jot their purchases down.

A Cultural Connection

Interestingly, the term “Jot Em Down” had a broader cultural significance.

Georgie Pirkle, another local, points to a fascinating link with popular culture. “I don’t know a lot about the store in question,” he said, “but I heard decades ago that it got its name originally from the phenomenal hit nationwide syndicated… radio show that ran from 1931 to 1954: Lum and Abner.” This comedic radio series set in Pine Ridge, Arkansas, had its tales unfolding in the “Jot Em’ Down Store” co-owned by characters Lum and Abner.

The show, a comedic portrayal of two friends trying their hand at various unsuccessful get-rich-quick schemes, inspired other communities as well. Jot Em Down, Texas, Jot-Um-Down, North Carolina, and Pine Ridge, Oklahoma are a testament to the show’s widespread influence.

Legacy Lives On

Though the store ceased its operations in 1996, its legacy endures through the road’s name. Barbara Hubbard still resides near Jot Em Down Road, carrying with her memories of the store’s golden days.

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