David Melson

Picturing the Past 20: Greenfield's

Posted Tuesday, August 4, 2009, at 10:14 AM
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  • David, The location of these stores have me baffled. In 1952 I should remember where they were located but I can not put my finger on the location.

    The truck appears to be a late '30s or early '40s Chevrolet and from the looks of the wheels it might possibly be a 3/4 ton pick-up.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 10:42 AM
  • Just a wild guess, but considering the apparent incline of the road, and the angle of the camera, which seems to indicate that the business was on the right side of the road when moving upward, the only place that it seems to "fit" in my mind is Holland St., next to Martin & Price, in the old Hereford Clothing location.

    -- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 10:54 AM
  • A great old photo. Being two-story buildings eliminates a lot of areas. I guessing Depot Street or somewhere on N. Main between the square and Stewart-Potts building--but it's only a guess. I'm going to run home and see what the 1952 city directory says. I'll report back.

    -- Posted by marnold1118 on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 10:58 AM
  • I was on the right street, but not far enough from the square. Greenfield's and J.B. Cook were on N. Main Street in what I've always called Compton's Block. Comptons Hardware was at 400/402. Bud's Cafe was at 406, then Greenfield's Matag Appliance and Furniture at 408 and J.B. Cook Auto Machine Co. was at 410. So, these businesses are on the right side heading north from the courthouse. Info as published in the 1952 city directory by the Mullin-Kille Co. and The Times-Gazette.

    -- Posted by marnold1118 on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 12:35 PM
  • You know, when looking at these buildings from long ago, I am struck by the thought of what might have been if only we had looked ahead to the future, and been in less of a hurry to tear down what was then the present.

    Most of the places we have discussed, and will probably discuss in days to come, will never be viewed by the younger folks among us, except for the ocassional photo, such as the one above, because they mostly exist in the minds of the older generation. And as each of us passes from the scene, another link to the past disappears, along with the unique memories carried by each of us.

    How great would it be to go to the local library, pop a dvd into a player, and view North Main St. from the square to Edgemont and beyond as it appeared in 1950? This could have been possible with a little foresight and a few thousand dollars invested in the heritage of the city, through photographing of the entire city limit area. The cost could have been minimized, I'm sure, by participation of the various civic clubs in town. Oh well, you know what they say about hindsight.

    -- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 12:37 PM
  • marnold1118, now that you have documented it for us, it seems to me that either you, or David, or ilikeoldsongs had mentioned one time before about Greenfield's Furniture being located in the Compton block so it makes sense now.

    By the way my parents bought a Maytag wringer type washing machine somewhere about that time. I wonder if that is the one they are loading into the truck.

    ilikeoldsongs, I agree with you completely about preserving the past. It is for that reason that I encourage each one of you to write down your memories so that they will not be lost as far as history is concerned. I have started trying to do that for our children. Somewhere in the future there are going to be people in our families to say "I wish I had asked more questions while they were still alive". I regret every day that I did not listen better and that I did not ask more questions.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 1:09 PM
  • Also, I pray that these blogs are going into the T-G archives. They are rich with information.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 1:11 PM
  • Speaking of photographing cities as they are/were for the future, I hope today's Google Earth street views are going to be archived as things change over the years. Today's streets could actually be visible to everyone 50+ years in the future.

    -- Posted by David Melson on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 1:25 PM
  • I agree. I am in love with Google Earth and use it almost every day. Wow, what a resource.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 1:35 PM
  • ilikeoldsongs: You are certainly correct. I cringe when I think of all the old Shelbyville commercial buildings and so many old homes that have been torn down--all for probably good reasons, at the time. We may notice it more in Shelbyville and Bedford County because of our familiarity with the area, but it has/is happening everywhere. Pick a state, pick a city, large or small, rural or urban. Some places have done better than others, but there is no place unaffected.

    However, I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel. The buildings, streets, etc., may no longer exist, but there are photographs, paintings, drawings, books, and other publications, etc., that together represents a wealth of local history. It would take a concerted effort to search out and gather as much as possible, then copy, scan, print, and preserve. It would require a commitment to sharing what we all have, preserving what we find and having it available for the public to access.

    This octopus has lots of tentacles with each separately possessing various amounts of historical information. We have the archives of the Bedford County Historical Society; we have the large number of publications by the Marshes; we have the museum at the Fly; there is the King museum; there are the microfiche archives of the Times-Gazette; there are numerous private collections, things I've probably forgotten, and then there are those who don't know what they have.

    To illustrate my point, let me give a couple of examples. Just recently, someone gave me a couple of old scrapbooks that they were about to trash. I found page after page of newspaper clippings of obits, etc. from Shelbyville, church bulletins, photos, Shelbyville postcards--some of which I don't have in my 500-card collection. I wonder just how often this scenario plays out?

    Another example, I recall when I edited the Sesquicentennial T-G edition back in 1969, we had scores of old photos brought in for us to use, then we returned them to their original owners without making copies, etc. It was before scans. I know for a fact that a lot of those pictures are gone--people died, people moved, or just cleaned house. That same pattern likely happened when other large historical projects were tackled.

    I don't know what the real solution is, or if there is one, but if there could be one website, or some type of repository where local history could be archived electronically--especially photos--then it would be easy for anyone to use.

    It would be nostalgic for a couple of generations and educational for later generations. It's worth a thought.

    -- Posted by marnold1118 on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 1:53 PM
  • O.K. marnold1118....great research....now break it down to what is located in that area now, so I will be able to kinda picture it, since it was a little before my time. But, I do love these old pictures, too. Thanks.

    -- Posted by Mil0843 on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 2:54 PM
  • 404 North Main would have been Robert Newell's Market, but I am not sure when he opened it. I do know that it was there in 1956.

    This picture would have also been close to the end for J. B. Cook to be at that location. I got my driver's license in 1955 (I was low man on the totem pole at the service station and thus ran to the parts house to pick up parts). I can never remember picking up parts at the 1952 location. I always picked them up at the new J. B. Cook location which was across the street next door to Leonard Parsons Sinclair service station. Austin Couch and Joil Fuller worked the counter.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 3:16 PM
  • Mil0843: The block I'm talking about is on N. Main St. between East Lane and East Franklin. Since it's been 30+ years since I lived in Shelbyville, I'm not 100% sure what's there today, but maybe this will help:

    The used car lot of Stewart-Potts (or its successor) was/is on the corner where the Compton Hardware Store was. What was/is Major's Barber Shop would be the same area. I think Williams Bros. Furniture was the last business in that block, then when you get to the Post Office you're in the next block.

    -- Posted by marnold1118 on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 3:48 PM
  • Going by today's street numbers, Warren & Associates (the used car dealership which occupies what was Stewart-Potts Ford's sales lot following urban renewal) is at 400 N. Main and the adjoining building, Majors Sassy Shears, is at 422 N. Main.

    -- Posted by David Melson on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 4:04 PM
  • Thank you, marnold118...got it, now. At first, I was trying to picture it directly across the street from where you are talking....then I was thinking further on down. I was completely lost. Thanks, again.

    -- Posted by Mil0843 on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 4:08 PM
  • It's worth a thought.

    -- Posted by marnold1118 on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 1:53 PM

    A very thoughtful and in depth reply, marnold1118.I very much appreciate it, and would like to add a few additional thoughts of my own, that I believe will, for the most part, compliment your own views, as expressed above.

    First, let me emphasize that I am in no way anti-progress, but I feel that progress can, and should be achieved without trampling on the opportunity for future generations to look back and see a reasonably representative sample of life during their parents and grandparents time.

    As you mentioned, it would take a concerted effort to gather all the available info and pictures from the many sources, and compile them into a central repository that would be readily available, and easy to navigate.Knowing the political history of this town over the past 60 years, I don't doubt for a minute that resistance would be forthcoming from some politician or the other about the question of funding the project, although I don't see where it would be very expensive at all.

    "It would be nostalgic for a couple of generations and educational for later generations".

    Words of wisdom that tie directly to a simple truth:The farther away, the less interest there is. If we, this present older generation, do not make available the information that we want preserved, the next generation is going to be less inclined, less motivated to do so than we are today, by virtue of being another generation removed from the fact.

    I don't think there is a logical way to deny the need for a "one stop location" if our heritage is to be preserved. Easy access to information is absolutely essential if we hope to enlist younger members of society in the effort to carry forward an awareness of the history and lifestyle of Shelbyville. You don't have to look any farther than the post by Mil0843. Here is a person who is interested in knowing more about the past history of our town, and yet we have to refer this person to a half dozen different sources for information. WE NEED A ONE STOP SOURCE, whether that be printed or digital.

    -- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 5:00 PM
  • Again, another great historical photo and input from readers. This store was a little bit before my time, but I do recall a Cook's Auto parts or something to that effect. I also remember my father often speaking very highly of a Mr. J.B. Cook, who apparantly was very talented when it came to working on automobiles.

    -- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Aug 5, 2009, at 1:47 AM
  • The phone number on the side of the truck is kind of interesting. My grandmother had one of those very heavy, black rotary type phones and I think the prefix typed in the little white circle was MU4? I also recall seeing this prefix painted on the side of Hugh Pierce's old body shop on Depot Street.

    -- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Aug 5, 2009, at 1:52 AM
  • Maybe,the "one stop" could be in the current library/old post office,the depot (if the adult learning center ever outgrows that facility,one of the decommissioned school buildings,the old hospital on Union Street (soon-to-be satellite campus?) or even Pope's.

    Some classic,underutilized or at risk site could house our past and,perhaps,act as a visitor's center and a place to meet with the people we want to participate in our future.

    As technology advances,we could,one day,have a virtual reality record of our town during each of its eras.

    (We'd need to record how things were now,though and continue documentation.)

    Y'all are too right about preserving our past physically,in records and in our hearts and minds.

    It's easy to forget that our present is going to be someone's history.

    All the mundane things we take for granted and all the people who are fixtures of our lives will one day be part of the Shelbyville legend.

    ("Who was the doctor that built a robot?"

    "What business had 'Chicks today!' painted on the storefront?"

    "Which florist had a black dog named Nicodemus?"

    "Who was the reporter that made soap?"

    "Who made chili for all the political rallies?"

    "What year did they build the new theatre on the top floor of the Fly?"

    Perhaps,if we respect ourselves and the events in our lives as much as we'd like to revere our heritage,we might not only preserve what remains of bygone days but create a future worth remembering.

    -- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Aug 5, 2009, at 2:44 AM
  • The buildings look like they are where the Shelbyville Beauty School used to be on Holland. The truck looks like a ford because of the rounded back glass to me.

    -- Posted by abner_t on Wed, Aug 5, 2009, at 8:50 AM
  • The truck is either a 1941 or 1946 Chevrolet, based on side trim. Beginning in 1947 were the more-rounded Chevrolets which are restorers' and customizers' favorites today. I've seen a few 1946 Chevrolet truck street rods and they look great.

    I remember reading somewhere that the 684 (MU4) prefixes went into service in 1957. Interestingly, the Times-Gazette more or less carried over its number: it was 1200 before prefixes and we're still 684-1200 today.

    -- Posted by David Melson on Wed, Aug 5, 2009, at 9:44 AM
  • I think it was on North Main but I am going to forward the link to Donna and confirm that.

    -- Posted by Black Swan on Wed, Aug 5, 2009, at 12:10 PM
  • Black Swan and abner_t: You may have missed an earlier post from yesterday. The 1952 City Directory of Shelbyville lists Greenfield's at 408 N. Main St. and J.B. Cooks at 410 N. Main.

    -- Posted by marnold1118 on Wed, Aug 5, 2009, at 2:59 PM
  • maronald1118

    thats the story of my life a day late and a dollar short. thanks

    -- Posted by abner_t on Wed, Aug 5, 2009, at 7:13 PM
  • Tattoos and scars that MU 4 prefix stood for Murray 4. If someone asked you your phone number you said, Murray 4-6029. or whatever it was. I don't know who Murray was, but he was popular back then, ha. Oh yeah, have you ever gotten your arm caught in a ringer washer? I did when I was about 4 yrs. old and have vivid memories of that. It was up to my shoulder when my mom hit the release mechanism on the top of the ringer. I don't remember it hurting just remember everyone freaking out so much. I thought it was cool watching my arm travel up that roller. Course I stuck bobby pins in electric outlets, too, so you can see why I'm not dealing with a full deck now. ha.

    -- Posted by ridgeroamer on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 5:03 AM
  • I can ask my mother some more of the history of Greenfield's. Her first husband was Ed Greenfield, one of the owners.

    -- Posted by cherylrichardson on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 10:56 AM
  • cherylrichardson, In the mid to late '60s Greenfields was located on Madison Street just a little bit towards Tullahoma from the Best Western Celebration Inn. My wife and I bought a dining room set w/hutch (that we still have today) along with some other pieces of furniture from him in 1968 at that location.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 11:16 AM
  • cherylrichardson, if you do discuss the Greenfields history with your mother, would you mind asking if they were from the Greenfield Bend area of Duck River in Maury County, Tn., before moving to Shelbyville? Thank you.

    -- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Fri, Aug 7, 2009, at 11:27 AM
  • To David Melson,

    That is indeed my Father Ed Greenfield and a MR Craddock, My Dad ran this store with his Brother V.K. Greenfield, my father later had some health problems and had to retire the store was located, near the old Studabaker building still standing and where the store was ther is a cr lot there now..the truck was mor or less a Dodge or Plymouth cause my family were big Chrysler product fans...the store was later rebuilt out on Madison near the Ols Wall Mart...it's still standing it's one of those metal building which is bright yellow...known as a steel building..I cannot remember , whats in there now, Uncle later relocated to the old Model Laundry Building, with declining buisness...he closed. VK I think did run for city counsel and one a term.

    Someone asked about Greenfield bend..yes it's still there it's in Maury County near Willamsport, To my KNowledge there are not many of us left..Dad had me...VK had two Daughters Named Cindy and Donna..one married the old Dr Rodgers son and moved to Alabama..I may have an Aunt still living in or around Williams Port..and anothe in Indianapolis

    Hope this helps..as I have asked numerous times to older people in this community if they remembered my dad..who passed away at 56!

    Thanks for the memories

    -- Posted by Ed56 on Sun, Aug 23, 2009, at 2:12 PM

    (This comment somehow got posted under another blog. I've copied it here. - David)

    -- Posted by David Melson on Sun, Aug 23, 2009, at 9:23 PM
  • David, Thanks for posting it her. I was wondering if ilikeoldsongs would see it where it was posted.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Mon, Aug 24, 2009, at 6:40 AM

    -- Posted by Ed56 on Mon, Aug 24, 2009, at 8:11 AM
  • Ed56, Don't worry about it. There are usually enough people staying on top of things to help out. Thanks for the information.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Mon, Aug 24, 2009, at 8:56 AM
  • To David, let me echo leeiii's thanks for tidying up.

    To leeiii, thanks for your concern as to the possibility that I might overlook the post in its previous position. Fact is though, I've just about become a "stalker" here, and doubt that anything will get by me. This is the most enjoyable part of most days, especially when the 'traffic" is high.

    To Ed56, let me again echo leeiii's comment,don't worry about it. I'm sure that the placement of at least a couple of my own posts has been a little short of ideal. Some of these posts get so many responses, and such diverse information, that it can become a little confusing as to where to post.

    But the main thing is to just keep the information coming, and we will get it sorted out. Thanks a bunch for the Greenfield Bend confirmation.

    Ed56, you mentioned a Mr. Craddock, and that stirred up a little activity in my dormant memories file. The name "Harry" Craddock immediately came to mind, but I seem to remember him in two different categories. First, I want to associate that name with the church I attended in Columbia, Tn. back in the 1940's, but secondly, it seems that the name fits with being an insurance salesman here in Shelbyville in the early to mid 1950's.

    Is there any chance that you would have any additional information related to this gentleman?

    -- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Mon, Aug 24, 2009, at 10:16 AM
  • ilikeoldsongs, Sorry about that. By now I should have known that you check all possible avenues. You mentioned Harry Craddock. There was a Harry Craddock in Shelbyville, and in my feeble memory it seems to me that he was the same one who worked for Greenfields, at least when Greenfields was at the Madison Street location.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Mon, Aug 24, 2009, at 11:10 AM
  • leeiii you may well be right about Harry Craddock. Without question, there was a gentleman named Harry in the congregation of the church, but the Craddock part, in my own mind seems more strongly related to Shelbyville.

    It might take me a while to remember the last name of the Columbia Harry, if it is not Craddock, but it will pop into my mind sooner or later, I'm sure.

    -- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Mon, Aug 24, 2009, at 12:13 PM
  • Hey all that is indeed Hary Cradock and wh sold Insurance and had a wife that worked on the second floor of the old castnor Knotts buildng, I did make a mistake taking this from memorie it was not Model laundry building he moved into, it was located in that strech of buildings starting at Philpots Printing and Model Laundry

    Thanks for the kindness Guys ED 56

    -- Posted by Ed56 on Tue, Aug 25, 2009, at 1:50 PM
  • alos hope you guys will excuse my typing , I have osteo arthritus and it's painfull sometime , but hey thahks for the memoriies one and all

    -- Posted by Ed56 on Tue, Aug 25, 2009, at 1:52 PM
  • Ed56, thanks once again for this information confirming the insurance business.

    About V.K.'s Depot St.location, it was just a little way past Model Laundry, it was across Myer St., next door to I believe, L.L. Edwards.

    Let's make a deal on this typing thing. I'll be more than happy to excuse your mistakes, if you'll excuse mine.

    Really sorry to hear about the arthritis, it has been an unwelcome visitor to some members of my own family.

    -- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Tue, Aug 25, 2009, at 3:20 PM
  • ilikeoldsongs, On one of these blogs a while back I was trying to think of the name of the mechanic with one leg named Joe that worked for Leonard Parsons, and then later worked for one of the parts houses (J.B. Cook) I think. The name Nash has been rolling around in my head so now I am ready to place a guess. I am guessing that his name was Joe Nash. I could be wrong but it seems to fit.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 5:49 PM
  • I am guessing that his name was Joe Nash. I could be wrong but it seems to fit.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 5:49 PM

    Still doesn't ring a bell, leeiii, but then the only person I recall knowing real well that worked in a parts house, was Ernest Limbo, before he got into the paint business. He worked at the parts house on North Main St., close to the Locke's Restaurant that was discussed some a while back, can't think of the name of it at this time.

    -- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 6:16 PM
  • You all have a better memory than me but here goes.Im thinking it was Henry Craddock,It was Joe Nash.Joe later had the parts store on Madison St.where Copy Express is now.Greenfields was in where Hockaday has his repair shop.Time can mend a broken heart,but it steals your memory.Your quote for the day.

    -- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Tue, Oct 6, 2009, at 1:25 PM
  • mytaxesaremine, thanks for the correction on Henry Craddock instead of Harry Craddock. Now I wonder if they were kin (maybe brothers)?

    You will have to give me directions to Copy Express. Is that directly across the street from the old bowling alley (Freeman's Shoes)?

    Also is Hockaday just a little toward Tullahoma from the Best Western Celebration Inn?

    Thanks for the quote for the day. That helps to explain a lot about my memory.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 6, 2009, at 1:46 PM
  • Copy Express is across from the bowling alley/Freeman's.

    The Hockaday repair shop is on the south side of Depot Street a block east of Thompson Street.

    -- Posted by David Melson on Thu, Oct 8, 2009, at 8:02 AM
  • Thanks David.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Oct 8, 2009, at 8:26 AM
  • Well my bifocals were not working good.The Harry that sold insurance was Harry Finney.I think it was Home Beneficial or Woodsman he worked for.Sorry I did not see your cry for help remembering that ilikeoldsongs.We look to the past for smiles and tears,not knowing we are living in the wonder years.You quote for the day.

    -- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Fri, Oct 9, 2009, at 11:40 AM
  • back to Greenfield's location: looking north from the square, if Compton's h'ware was 400-402 then Newell's Market would have been 404 north main, then Bud's café and Greenfields.Also, I remember Mr."Cash" Register's business was somewhere close in that block: Bedford calendar and novelty Company.

    Bobby Newell .

    -- Posted by bobbynewell on Mon, Jul 22, 2013, at 3:27 PM
  • bobbynewell I still get a hankering for 3 or 4 of Uncle Bud's chili dogs.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Jul 24, 2013, at 7:41 PM
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