John Henry Oden, from the Hunter's Bridge Community in Beaufort County, NC, owned a saw mill and cotton gin, and in 1896 decided to expand his family business by opening a general merchandise store. With wood from his saw mill, he built Oden's Store on Tankard Creek in 1904. At the time, this community had a post office, meat market, and retail shop. Travel to and from the store was by foot or horse, but folks from outside of the area had to travel by water since the roads weren't paved until after 1926.
The store sat on the creek for the convenience of travelers and for obtaining the merchandise by boat. Once the roads were paved and improved, the store was rolled by logs to its present location on US 264. Again in 1955 it was moved back another 20 feet to allow for the widening of US 264.