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Picturing the past 4: Bridge Street

Posted Tuesday, April 14, 2009, at 2:26 PM

Bridge Street in the late 1940s, looking east toward the west side of Bedford County Courthouse. (Photo by Doyle Landers)
Here's the second of two photos from the late 1940s e-mailed to me by Doyle Landers, of Knoxville.

From the pre-urban renewal days, here's a look at Bridge Street, which would have disappeared sometime in the early 1960s.

It apparently ran from where today's alley between the Gunter Building and Regions Bank is down to today's North Cannon Boulevard intersection.

Arnold's Texaco (or, at least, its sign) is at the left of the photo, Doyle says -- where were the pumps? -- and the large building on the right side of the street, across from the courthouse, still exists next to the Gunter building.

The Texaco station was apparently between where the Regions Bank drive-up branch and West Depot Street are today, judging from an attempt I made the other day to stand exactly where the photo was made (Bridge Street was before my time).

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

David, the Texaco sign was on the upper side of where the service station stood. In fact this picture was made from in front of the station. If my memory serves me correctly. The station was the corner lot of Bridge Street.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Apr 14, 2009, at 3:48 PM

I'm confused; none of the roads now aim straight at the doors in the center of the courthouse. All the streets now aim around the outside of the courthouse. Was their a road their before that was closed and perhaps buildings built on?

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Wed, Apr 15, 2009, at 11:51 AM

"It apparently ran from where today's alley between the Gunter Building and Regions Bank is down to today's North Cannon Boulevard intersection".

Oops' I see now. LOL. Amazing!

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Wed, Apr 15, 2009, at 11:54 AM

Yes, it was the only place on the square where a road came off the square in the middle of the block. After Urban renewal what I would refer to as West Holland (formerly more of an alley than a street)came straight off the square and made a couple of curves because of the land necessary to install the flood gate and made connection with Atkinson Street (now North Cannon Boulevard) at almost the same point that would have been Bridge Street. Actually that connection point is most likely where the physical Texaco station previously sat.

The buildings would have been; corner of West Side Square and Bridge (on right in picture) Gunter Hardware, and coming down bridge Gunter Lumber Company, then a street (West Depot) that came down beside the Riverview Hotel and Riverside Mills to make a curve and tie back into Bridge Street. Another notable building in that area would have been the Times-Gazette press building where the paper boys actually picked up their papers. Coming off the square on the other side of Bridge Street would have been; Taylor's Grocery on the corner of West Side Square and Bridge. I am not sure of all the occupants but the original location of Landers Quality Recappers was about half way down Bridge and the original location of Arnold's Texaco was the corner building.

The other two most notable business concerns that I can remember. On the site of the former Bedford County Bank was Huffman Appliance, and further down the alley was Wheatly Lumber. Huffman Appliance actually faced Spring Street most notably known to locals as "jail hill".

By the way, where Regions Bank now sits was formerly from left to right Taylor's grocery, a small restaurant, City Hall and City Jail, and the Shelbyville Fire Department with a rather large (and loud) siren mounted on top of a tower on top of the building.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Apr 15, 2009, at 2:46 PM

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