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A Shelbyville mystery?

Posted Thursday, June 11, 2009, at 3:45 PM

How many of you remember the original White Castle, that little tavern on North Main Street?

It was a small frame building with a large parking lot. Many times 25-30 cars would be parked outside. Over the years I often heard people speculate there surely must be a big basement under the building.

I was inside the White Castle one time, to take photos of a burglary for the Shelbyville Police Department and during that brief visit, well after closing hours, I saw nothing to indicate a basement.

Did each person there on those busy nights drive two cars? After seeeing the inside that one time I would estimate 15 customers would have been packed like sardines inside that little building.

Has anyone ever been there in those hours who can unravel this mystery?


Comments
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Bo, I never was in the building either but I agree with you about the number of cars. The only explanation that I can offer is that not only did they have big crowds, but it must also have been a convenient place to park your car while you went elsewhere with another person or persons.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Jun 11, 2009, at 4:57 PM

Interesting topic, as I have often wondered and speculated about tunnels and hidden areas in Shelbyville history. One such item of interest is the alleged tunnel that ran from the old jail, to the court house. Many of the veteran deputies of the Sheriffs Department say they vaguely recall stairs leading down to a tunnel that led up the hill. Looking at the layout of the land, and noting that there is such a vast drop off where the rail road tracks (which have been there a while themselves) are, the tunnel would have to be quite deep underground and fortified to withstand the weight of a passing train...

-- Posted by driedleaves on Thu, Jun 11, 2009, at 5:06 PM

My husbands family members owned the White Castle for a number of years but I had never been inside either. Steve and Betty Walker owned it and my husbands grandmother Georgie Hillis worked there as she was very much loved by everyone. I miss you very much Georgie.

-- Posted by AmericanWoman on Thu, Jun 11, 2009, at 6:05 PM

I always heard they had a back room poker game going on but we all know that couldn't be true because we don't allow such things as that (sarcasm)

But I was in the place one time only for about 10 minutes to drag somebody out...I can honestly say the parking lot was full but the inside was not.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Jun 11, 2009, at 9:37 PM

No there wasn't a basement. My mother and father lived there. And was in there alot as a young adult. It was just a small place that was as you said packed like sardines. I had always laughed when I heard the one about "if you go into the men's restroom and sit on the toilet and flush you would be lowered to the private club underneath" "Member's Only".

-- Posted by truckindaddy on Fri, Jun 12, 2009, at 7:41 AM

Truckindaddy...I supose if you were skinny enough and flushed as you sat on the toilet that you might be lowered somewhere, but I doubt it would have been into a private club...hahahaha.

-- Posted by AmericanWoman on Fri, Jun 12, 2009, at 8:21 AM

My husband was in the White Castle, and he said it also had a dance floor,and people were packed in there. My cousin and her x husband (now)owned it at one time, I am sure she can answer all your questions.

-- Posted by scd1411 on Fri, Jun 19, 2009, at 10:14 PM


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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette.
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