The People’s Mercantile Co.


South Main Street
Sumter, SC


In 1912, businessmen William Berg (1889-undetermined), Sam Myerson (birth/death undetermined), and Joesph Wynne (birth/death undetermined), founded The Wreck Store in Sumter, South Carolina. With their business making “rapid strides,” the trio had a new, “modern department store” erected on South Main Street in 1914. Selling men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes, shoes, and furnishings, The Wreck Store closed in 1922 and was replaced by William Berg’s clothing and dry goods business The People’s Mercantile Co. Short-lived, The People’s Mercantile Co. went bankrupt in 1923.

Main Image: Advertisement for The Wreck Store that includes photographs of its founders. Reprinted from The Watchman and Southron, November 15, 1913.


Above Image: Evidence that Berg, Myerson, and/or Wynne were Jewish comes from this advertisement printed in the The Item on September 27, 1916. It was common for Jewish merchants to print notice of their store closing for Jewish holidays.


Above Image: Advertisement for The People’s Mercantile Co. Reprinted from The Item, February 20, 1922.

The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Henry & Sylvia Yaschik Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation.

JHSSC Office
Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918