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Picturing the past 2

Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2009, at 2:29 PM

Clift's Feed Mill, from a photo negative dated April 14, 1963. (T-G file photo)
Second in a series

I have vague memories of standing outside and in the front office of Clift's Feed Mill on Holland Street.

Clift's old location is today a large, empty lot, directly across from where Holland intersects with Deery Street.

Seems like when I was a very young child there was a lot of agricultural-type activity around that downtown intersection, more than just Clift's.

Across the street was Stockmen's (or was it Stockman's?) Cafe, next door to Bedford Cheese in a building which still exists but now has blocked-up windows. On the other side of Holland was a long-gone factory, and next door to Clift's was/is the original location of Kincaid Service Co., in the small, red-brick building.

The flooring of the old factory building still exists.

And so does, I think, a remnant of Clift's. Along Deery Street, in the area where Clift's was, is one concrete step, by itself next to the sidewalk. Look closely at this photo. Does Clift's front step still exist?

Although there are businesses near the old Clift's location -- a street rod firm, in particular -- too much of the area around Deery and Holland is empty or rundown. It's sort of a downer to drive through that area.

There's been some talk of a new downtown judicial building to relieve overcrowding in the courthouse. Seems like that location -- near lawyers' offices, within an area in need of a boost -- would be the perfect place. (As if we don't have empty buildings and "dead areas" in too many other areas of Shelbyville as well...)

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R.A. Clift, no even though I remember the feed bag well I do not have any of them. Also I do not have any of those photos that you mentioned. I sure wish that I did.

-- Posted by leeiii on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 9:37 AM

Hey leeiii,

Do you have any feed bags from the Clift Mill with advertising on them? What about any old photos from inside the feed mill or Ebb and Joe? My grandfather use to call me "Little Devil," and I think he got it right! LOL

-- Posted by R.A. Clift on Sat, Jul 10, 2010, at 8:31 AM

R.A. Clift, no I do not have a picture of it but I remember it with great fondness. Quite often I would make that trip down there from the service station up on the corner for one of their hamburgers. I also remember the little store building that the Cunninghams had in that area, and I also remember you.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Jul 8, 2010, at 6:49 AM

I loved that place! My dad use to let me ride in the delivery truck with Ebb and Joe. It seems like yesterday. After delivery we would go to Stockman's (we called it the greasy spoon), and I would order a grilled cheese and chocolate milk. Does anyone have a picture of Stockman's?

-- Posted by R.A. Clift on Wed, Jul 7, 2010, at 11:03 PM

Lee Clift is living on the Lewisburg highway with his wife Dot.

He is doing well and spends his time tending his cattle and going to auctions.

You might catch him at one of his yard sales he has twice a year at his home.

-- Posted by womblefc@bellsouth.net on Tue, Apr 21, 2009, at 12:09 PM


Sorry I missed this one. You've got to keep these coming.

Every Monday morning in the early-mid 70's this particular part of town was the hub of activity if you were one of Bedford County's dairy farmers.

The routine for my father and I went like this: drop-off the week's milk at the Cheese Plant (in cans), say hello to Mrs. Margret (the Administrative Assist. at Bedford Cheese) then, stop over to buy feed and yuk-it-up with Lee for a little while at Clift's Feed Store before our drive back home to Wartrace.

As a small boy I used to enjoy watching the old-timers sit out front of the stock yard, spit tobacco and whittle. I also used to look up to the guys that worked the stock pens as heroes. (Anyone in close, confined, proximity of a Santa Gertrudis bull knows what I'm talking about.) I remember, too well, the combined fresh smell of tack leather and feed molasses in Clift's Feed Store.

I understand Lee Clift passed on a few years ago. We who remember that era will sure miss him. Thanks for sharing David.

-- Posted by Cornelia.Marie on Thu, Apr 9, 2009, at 9:18 AM

The honeyland actually was where wessoner motors is the ascend buildind was tillet bros. construction and the newly remodeled building used to be lowes oldsmobile then the honeyland set next to the road then there was the red ace gas station on the north side of the honeyland. i can remember getting gas for my motorcycle for 22.9 a gallon

-- Posted by tn.moonshiner on Mon, Apr 6, 2009, at 1:01 PM

Don't forget the malted milk shakes!

Each flavor stood out perfectly with no one aspect overshadowing the others.

The fresh milk,syrup and the sweet burn of the malt combined to make a thick,velvety chill that wasn't half ice and half artificial additives.

Maybe,we should look at today's businesses (and people) and bear in mind that we're creating some future's memories.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Apr 4, 2009, at 5:15 PM

Brown eyed girl. You have just made my mouth start watering. I can remember when Leslie Little built Honeyland and served that Honey flavored ice cream. I can also remember when Al Davenport made that fabulous BBQ, and served it at Honeyland. I used to go out to his place on Wartrace Pike and get a whole pork shoulder and take it back to North Carolina when we lived over there.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 5:52 PM

If you run across a picture of Honeyland I would like to purchase a copy. My husband's grandfather owned the place and it would be a great framed Xmas present. For what I understand it used to be in the area where the Ascend office (close to Aramark) is now. It used to be a place to get the "Best BBQ in town" and I think it said so on the front of the building. I have his BBQ recipe it is one of the best.

-- Posted by brown eyed girl on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 3:54 PM

David, thanks for the old photo. Keep them coming. I am enjoying them. Clift's Feed Mill was previously known as Hawkins Gin and Feed Mill. That is where farmers brought their cotton to market. The tall porch on the right side of the building covered the scales where you could have your wagon load of cotton weighed. Directly behind and to the right was the Bedford County Stockyard. Sometime in the early 50's cowboy movie star Roy Rogers was passing through town when the Dodge truck pulling the horse trailer with Trigger in it had trouble. They pulled the truck and trailer to Yearwood Motors (site of the present Times-Gazette) to be worked on and Trigger was stabled at the stockyard while the work was done on the truck. The factory you mentioned across Holland from the Stockman's Cafe was Woosley Knitting Mills and the next building on down Deery across the railroad tracks was the Ice Plant. I know that I have a picture of the Rebel Maid somewhere. I just have not been able to put my hands on it yet. When I find it I will send it to you.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Apr 1, 2009, at 3:29 PM

It is amazing how far we have come from then . . .

Great photo!

-- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Apr 1, 2009, at 8:21 AM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.