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Picturing the Past 21: Back to 'The Main'Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2009, at 10:25 AM
North Main Street in March 1959, looking south from the middle of its intersection with Madison and Elm Streets.
The crowd in the photo is gathered around a traffic accident, but there's a lot more going on here for today's viewer.
At far left is the traffic light, mounted on a short pole in the middle of the intersection, which a blog reader mentioned a while back. Looks like it has signs listing directions and mileage for other cities on the west and east sides.
Behind the traffic light is a small portion of the Firestone store which occupied the intersection for years; I'm thinking it was owned by Harry Alexander. Next is a neon sign advertising Bedford Court, which was actually located further out Madison Street (and which I think is still operating today as Bedford Motel). Miller's Restaurant occupies part of the building which later housed Western Auto into the 1980s or 1990s; looks like a Schlitz sign atop the main restaurant sign. Further down is a Pure service station.
Crossing North Main and moving from south to north, there's a "Used Cars" sign, then two buildings to the north is Segroves-Daniel-Gordon Realty & Auction, which appears to be in the recently-demolished building used earlier by Locke's Milk Bar and in more recent years by United Cities Gas and the Senior Citizens Center.
Next is Witt Motor Co. (see the Chrysler-Plymouth sign) and Glasscock Gulf.
I've split this photo into two portions to make each side larger and easier to see; look for photos 12 and 13 in the Picturing the Past photo gallery on this website.
Do you remember?
I received an e-mail last week from a blog reader who remembers growing up in Shelbyville in the middle 1950s and early 1960s - the exact period during which the above photo was made.
He remembers Gene Parks' furniture store (in the Holland Street building occupied today by a cab company) and adds:
"How about the sock hops at the old country club, in the basement near the bowling lanes? Or the LEMAC club at Central High? The Dixie Hotel, Mittwede Market, the original Dairy Queen on Madison St., Fly's Drug Store lunch counter, Swing's grocery located in an old trolley car, The drive in movie on Tullahoma highway, the original Pope's café, Or how about Race Horse Haynes, the teens' favorite policeman, Red Gibbs, a well respected highway patrolman killed in the line of duty? Rat Brantley, C. O. Jett, Ned Delk, Dr. Chambers, Miss Sarah Thomas and many others."
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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