Bailey family works to honor Powell memories while looking ahead to community's future

The Bailey family's history in Powell dates back to the late 1800's. Today, the family continues to preserve the community's history to help build an exciting future.

For generations, Powell residents have visited the J.E. Groner building for life's necessities.

"You could buy everything from nails to baloney here," said Justin Bailey, a life-long Powell resident and principal broker with Bailey & Co. Real Estate, which is located in the Powell Community.

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J.E. Groner operated the corner grocery store and welcomed generations to his business. After he closed, the building changed owners a few times before Bailey purchased it and began renovations.

"When we took the front off the stucco and revealed the old general store, the J.E Groner sign, it was amazing; the people who would stop and say 'oh my gosh, I remember going there when I was a little kid,'" said Bailey. "We pulled back some of the old metal and sheet metal that had been put up there, J.E. Groner had put his name up on the side and that was pretty neat to see."

Justin even found a personal link hidden inside the walls of the building.

"When we took down the sheet rock inside where 'Reap the Sow' is now, my grandmother use to cut hair for a while, that section was a salon and so when we pulled it off, that old wallpaper was there," he said.

Not only did Justin renovate J.E. Groner's building where he worked, he also worked on the building where J.E. Groner lived.

"The house had just about fallen apart," Bailey said.

Justin enlisted the help of his family to help turn the old farmhouse into a modern home for the Smith family.

"We knew the Smiths wanted the old farmhouse look," said Justin. "We did change some things. We took out brick columns and added the wooden and kind of kept the farmhouse look."

Rachel Smith and her young family enjoy their new life in the Powell Community.

"The front porch, I love that I can go out there and drink my coffee in the mornings, my kids can run around out there and it's safe and a good area. It's just a really good community," she said. "One of the rooms we turned into a playroom upstairs. We spend a lot of time in there and it's just a sweet place for our family."

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The one thing inside the home that no one touched - the original staircase that Rachel says almost takes your breath away.

"We wanted to keep it white but Laura and Larry were like 'don't do it, don't paint it. Leave it wood!'" laughed Rachel. "So we did and that's another thing I'm really happy about."

Although the family hasn't lived in their new home long, they have already see plenty of visitors who remember the Groner family living there. One visitor in particular had a question about the home.

Rachel admits the family never found any money but the memory gave her family a chuckle.

Stories like the Smiths' are a special part of Justin Bailey's work in the Powell Community to help take their rich past and move it towards an exciting future.

"We've seen a lot of people move to the Powell area, this is a large zip code, it's growing like crazy," Bailey said. "It's really just a suburb of Knox County that kind of has that small town feel and I think that's something people probably like about it."