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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Picturing the Past 31: Depot Street '63

Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2009, at 9:25 AM

(Photo)
East Depot Street as it appeared in April 1963. (T-G File Photo)
Here's a look at the north side of East Depot Street in April 1963, in an area which took on a much different look within the past year.

The photo was actually taken due to street paving, but the background tells its own story.

The side of the Ben Franklin store is at left. Next is Southland Department Store, in a building which was destroyed by the city in 2008 due to its poor condition. You'll also see Hames-Daughtrey Drug Store (please correct the 'Daughtrey' if I've got it wrong); that building was also demolished last year after the remnants of the Southland building fell on it.

I'm still getting used to seeing a vacant lot where those buildings were. The drug store lasted into the 1970s; I remember it well. Southland was before my time.

It's also interesting seeing Depot Street before the brick sidewalks and trees were installed years later.

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog. Reader photo contributions are welcome.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
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David, I am green with envy at you for sitting right in the middle of all these great file photos. If I were in your place I would probably lose my job because I would not be able to stop going through them and looking at the great history of a time gone by but certainly not forgotten.

As for Daughtrey, yes you have it correct. Mr. Daughtrey's daughter was in my class in school.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 20, 2009, at 9:45 AM

What was in the building that is identified as Southland Department Store before Southland. Back in the early '50s there was an alleyway behind the building that is identified as Ben Franklin in this photo. I think that it was when Kroger was there. The short alleyway was for a loading dock where meat, produce, canned goods and other items were unloaded. With the street as narrow as it was you would think that it would be impossible for a tractor and trailer to back in there. However, there was a tall man (I think his name was Raymond and he whistled everywhere he went) who drove for Hoover Motor Express that could back a tractor and trailer in there without even slowing down. He could put that trailer just where he wanted the first time he tried.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 20, 2009, at 2:43 PM

I don't recall what other businesses might have been in the Southland location prior to it's establishment, but Woodson's Cafe was in very close proximity in about 1957, as I recall.

Yes, leeiii, his name was Raymond, for sure, and I think his last name might have been Brown, but not sure at all.

You are right about his skill at backing those big rigs into small places. I always loved to watch him, probably because I'd have trouble backing a car into a creek.

You probably also remember his wife, leeiii, she drove a 1952 Ford, always clean as a pin, must not have been any dirt where they lived.

And you never saw that lady when she was not dressed to the nines, hair perfect, looking like she had just stepped out of a fashion magazine.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Tue, Oct 20, 2009, at 3:26 PM

ilikeoldsongs, You had mentioned Woodsons one time before and it seems to me as if that was about where I had it placed in my mind. I never did think of the policemans name who ran it.

I guess that at one time I knew Raymonds last name but too much water has run over that rock for me to remember now. Yes, I remember his wife and that clean as a whistle Ford. Somehow or another I have it in my mind that they lived in the North Main area or just off it, maybe in the Quarry Street area.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 20, 2009, at 3:47 PM

In the early years I do not recall a Woodsons's. but there was definitely a Locke's Cafe right along there. Can't quite remember if it was to the right or left of Hames-Daughtrey. Seems like Locke's was a narrow cafe...kinda like Popes. Could Woodson's and Locke's be the same location?

-- Posted by steadyeddie on Tue, Oct 20, 2009, at 4:37 PM

Could Woodson's and Locke's be the same location?

-- Posted by steadyeddie on Tue, Oct 20, 2009, at 4:37 PM

Woodson's was also a rather small, narrow cafe, not very "deep" from street to the back, as I recall, so while I don't remember Locke's, they might well have been in the same location.

I even wonder if maybe that alleyway mentioned by leeiii above could have been converted to retail space, and the cafe located there. It was very close to the square.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Tue, Oct 20, 2009, at 4:47 PM

From looking at the picture I can not quite determine where the alleyway was. When Krogers was there I do not remember the side door that is shown toward the back of the Ben Franklin building. When I look up higher on the building it seems that the upstairs windows do not go quite as far toward the back of the building as one would think they should. My best guess is that the alleyway was taken in by extending the Ben Franklin building, however that seems very costly to just add ten feet or so to the back of the building.

By the way, I can not ever remember going into Lockes at that location, but paperboys did not have a large amount of disposable income.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 20, 2009, at 5:41 PM

leeiii....can you not recall any other location of Locke's before it opened on North Main?? I don't believe I'm dreaming about this.

-- Posted by steadyeddie on Wed, Oct 21, 2009, at 10:02 AM

steadyeddie, I am sure that he had other locations before North Main because I have always kind of associated him with the Restaurant business even when Bobby and the twins (Earline and Geraldine) were in high school, but for the life of me I can not remember where.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Oct 21, 2009, at 10:15 AM

My best guess is that the alleyway was taken in by extending the Ben Franklin building, however that seems very costly to just add ten feet or so to the back of the building.

Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 20, 2009, at 5:41 PM

It appears that this is what happened. The windows are way out of kilter from a symmetrical standpoint, I can't believe an original design would have been acceptable, that was as "ugly" as this is.

The side door that you refer to is, in my opinion, the location of the former Woodson's Cafe. I base this on several things, none of which I can prove at this time, but all of which I have confidence in.

During the possible time frame for Woodson's Cafe to have been there, 1956--1958, I often parked on the square and walked down to the Princess Theater. I can't recall an alleyway being there at that time, so I have to assume that it had been done away with by then. Another impression in my mind that won't go away is that this cafe was the last business that I passed before getting back to the square after the movie.

And finally, I drove by there this morning, and with no traffic behind me at the moment, I took in the whole scene, and as I crawled slowly past that building, I could almost taste that burger and see that pretty, dark haired waitress, that was really the reason I was there in the first place.(This was before I met my future bride)

I think I am secure enough in my own mind now about this location, that it would take an actual photograph showing otherwise to change my mind. Of course one has to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect memory, at least among mortals.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Wed, Oct 21, 2009, at 10:35 AM

ilikeoldsongs, Now that is a novel idea. Having an attractive, friendly waitress to ensure having repeat customers. Who would have thought? LOL.

The time frame for my alleyway would have been 1951 and at that time it appeared to have been there for some time.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Oct 21, 2009, at 1:52 PM

From Edgar Shelnutt via Steve Mills:

"There was indeed an alley there. It ran at least as far as Boze Buchanan's Furniture Store. His store faced the Square. Just down from Krogers on the corner, McKee's and then The furniture store.

Beside the alley was a long narrow barber shop. It was owned by a Mr. Mullins. His was the last chair in the back. The other three were manned by a Mr. Bryant, an older man called "Doc", and a Mr. Gardner. I think Mr. Gardner's first name was Allie. He was the brother of Sgt. Gardner of National Guard Fame at the old Armory on Depot Street."

-- Posted by David Melson on Wed, Oct 21, 2009, at 4:30 PM

David, Please say hello to Edgar for me. We were in the National Guard together.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Oct 21, 2009, at 4:53 PM

I remember the alley and believe you could travel all the way to Holland St....We would run through there after watching a good Western at the Princess...... I recall the rear entrance to

Ben Franklin's created some "security" problems...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Wed, Oct 21, 2009, at 8:49 PM

FlaDon, I think that I have just identified the blogger that I had been working to try and identify, and now I will turn my attention to trying to identify you. I will go back and go through your posts to see if I can get a clue, and then I may have a few questions for you.

I always look forward to see what you have to say on any given Picturing the Past blog.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Oct 21, 2009, at 8:55 PM

Was the alley on the 1878 Beers map?

Just looking over this old map again, and noticed a few things that had not caught my attention before, one of them being that there was apparently an alley at this location,at least a space between the back ends of the buildings facing the square, and the first building behind them on Depot St.,as far back as 1878.

Another thing that I noticed was that in 1878 Jackson St. ran all the way to Deery St.,ending beside what would later be the location of the ice plant.

So the railroad then ran a spur line, I guess you would call it that, from about the location of the Engine House on this map, down beside what would later be Seymour & Peck, across Deery St., then built their roadbed on the existing Jackson St.

Can't tell from a modern map where they departed the Jackson St. road bed, but it must have been very close to the present day North Cannon Blvd.

Is it too early to start wishing that Santa would bring me a 1950's Shelbyville City Street Map?

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Thu, Oct 22, 2009, at 7:27 PM

ilikeoldsongs, When you write that letter to Santa Claus please tell him that I have been a good boy too, and that I would like one of those maps please.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Oct 22, 2009, at 8:26 PM

ilikeoldsongs, It is interesting to note on that 1878 Beers map that what I have always known as Riverside Mills is marked as Shelbyville Mills.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Oct 22, 2009, at 8:39 PM

ilikeoldsongs, It is interesting to note on that 1878 Beers map that what I have always known as Riverside Mills is marked as Shelbyville Mills.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Oct 22, 2009, at 8:39 PM

Yes, I had noticed that before, kinda figured that the name change to Riverside might have been the result of a change in ownership. I reckon that at the time of this map the area you and I grew up knowing as Shelbyville Mills was very thinly populated, if at all.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Thu, Oct 22, 2009, at 9:10 PM

ilikeoldsongs, Yes, I am not sure when Shelbyville Mills first started, but I do know that for a long time it was known as Sylvan Mills.

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Oct 23, 2009, at 6:52 AM

Yes, there was a 'back door' located on Depot Street from the Ben Franklin five and dime. However, it seems to me the door did not exist during the tenure of Piggly Wiggly!

-- Posted by garhawk on Fri, Oct 23, 2009, at 7:50 AM

Raymond Ray was the Hoover truck driver and his reputation as a truck driver and a very happy man, witrh his whistling, was well deserved.

-- Posted by Black Swan on Fri, Oct 23, 2009, at 9:49 AM

Raymond Ray.

Posted by Black Swan on Fri, Oct 23, 2009, at 9:49 AM

Sounds right to me, Black Swan, appreciate it, thanks.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Fri, Oct 23, 2009, at 10:09 AM

Black Swan, You are right on target. I think that it would have eventually come to me, probably one night shortly after midnight.

Raymond was a gentle giant, kind, and generous, and he always had time for anyone, even a small boy amazed by his truck driving skills. Raymond was well respected in Shelbyville.

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Oct 23, 2009, at 10:48 AM

leeiii, thanks for the kind words...When I found who you are, I realized how you remember so much since I recall your being "all over the place"...David, I am still looking for pictures of the "Goat Man"...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Fri, Oct 23, 2009, at 12:11 PM

FlaDon, Now you have me at a disadvantage. I am still trying to remember who was the service manager at Stewart-Potts in 1952. So far the only name I have been able to come up with is Coy and I know that does not fit with Don. I will keep scratching my head to see if I can not come up with an answer.

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Oct 23, 2009, at 12:37 PM

I had intended to pursue the Woodson's Cafe topic a little more tonight, but on giving it a little more thought, I think I've beat that horse enough.

Something that has not been discussed yet about this picture is the sign on the left side that ends with what looks like "vice". I can't make out the smaller letters, they are a little too fuzzy to read. I wonder what business was located there, maybe a tax and/or accounting service?

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Fri, Oct 23, 2009, at 9:17 PM

FlaDon, Let me ask you a question please. In your Senior year were you and Ann named Knight and Lady of Sports.

-- Posted by leeiii on Sat, Oct 24, 2009, at 8:24 AM

leeiii, Sorry, that was not me...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Sat, Oct 24, 2009, at 10:41 AM

FlaDon, I get the distinct impression that you are going to be hard to identify. There were so many in your class that would meet my initial criteria. Let me see if I can narrow the field down somewhat. In high school did you play football, baseball, neither, or both?

-- Posted by leeiii on Sat, Oct 24, 2009, at 1:25 PM

leeiii, I played neither....Give up??

-- Posted by FlaDon on Sat, Oct 24, 2009, at 2:12 PM

FlaDon, Nope, not yet. Hang on and let me think a little bit.

-- Posted by leeiii on Sat, Oct 24, 2009, at 3:26 PM

FlaDon, Let me ask you another question. Are you in any way kin to steadyeddie?

-- Posted by leeiii on Sat, Oct 24, 2009, at 6:14 PM

leeiii,sorry but I don't know his identity...Bye the way, Charles Lowe died at a very early age ...I hope my Mom didn't flunk you @ CHS....

-- Posted by FlaDon on Sat, Oct 24, 2009, at 8:14 PM

FlaDon, No, I did not have her in Math. I just took Freshman Algebra. I had Mrs. Mummert both in my Freshman year and my Redshirt Freshman year.

-- Posted by leeiii on Sat, Oct 24, 2009, at 8:34 PM

OK, your give away was thru Doodle's query for your 50th reunion ....I hope we can give David some Boost with these Blogs...I am very close to the Marsh's and still talk to them on Ham Radio...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Sat, Oct 24, 2009, at 8:44 PM

FlaDon, OK, I never thought about that but it would be a dead give away. Did you live over in the East Side area maybe around Moody.

Yes, David has done a good thing. I have really enjoyed reliving those days gone by again, and in these last few days I have really enjoyed trying to discover who people are. I am not really trying to hide my identity. It is just the user name that I have gotten accustomed to.

My wife and I have been dabbling in geneology for the past few years and I have discovered that the Marshes are a Godsend to that community.

-- Posted by leeiii on Sat, Oct 24, 2009, at 8:58 PM

We'll be back after a short commercial break with...."NAAAAME THAT BLOGGEEEEER".

-- Posted by somecommonsense on Sun, Oct 25, 2009, at 10:01 AM

Sorry about that. I have just kind of gotten caught up in naming that blogger.

ilikeoldsongs, For the life of me I am not able to identify that "vice" (maybe service) sign in the photo. I can remember a hardware store, Kilpatricks, and back in the '40s a grocery store in or close to that location.

-- Posted by leeiii on Sun, Oct 25, 2009, at 10:15 AM

No harm meant. I actually like tuning into the show. Pretty neat concept.

-- Posted by somecommonsense on Sun, Oct 25, 2009, at 4:30 PM


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