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Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

Picturing the Past 32: Back to the square

Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2009, at 8:20 AM

(Photo)
The northeast side of the Shelbyville square from April 24, 1963. (T-G File Photo)
Sticking with 1963 for another week, here's a photo of the northeast side of the Shelbyville square. One of the first Picturing the Pasts I did was of some of these same buildings in the 1940s, when Parks Belk was under construction. At right is Pope's Cafe and Simmons Jewelers, and to the left of Parks-Belk is Bracey's hardware. Across Holland Street, at far left, is Taylor's Drugs.

And today? From left to right, Taylor's building is gone but the foundation -- with the various rooms in the basement -- clearly visible. It's just been sitting in that condition for months; hopefully someone will do something with that area soon.

Bracey's is gone, with the building today heavily remodeled and housing the Norton Law Firm. That building housed a tavern, reachable only through a side entrance on Holland Street, for years. Does anyone remember who ran it and what was its name?

The Parks-Belk building is gone, with only its steel frame remaining -- supposedly the frame is connected with the surrounding buildings in some manner. That brings the question of how interconnected the remaining buildings are on the east and south sides of the square: What happens if for whatever reason one needs to be demolished? We've seen how interconnectivity caused problems on East Depot Street. But a building burned on the south side of the square 10 years with no problems to the surrounding structures.

Also: Was the Parks-Belk building newer than its neighbors? The 1940s photo posted early this year showed a dark-colored upper floor with the ground floor being filled in, as opposed to the white building above which I remember from the 1960s until its demolition. Also, the side of the Pope's building today bears a old, painted soft drink sign which appears to be from the 1920s or 1930s, at a level which was covered by Parks-Belk.

Pope's now sits empty, but it lives on in the memories of many people. The sign's still there. And if the economy improves, maybe someone will reopen it.

About that '63 Galaxie in the foreground: The photo, dated April 24, 1963, is from an event called the Teen-Age Road-e-o, in which high school students competed in safe driving competitions within the square's inner parking loop. Here the driver's maneuvering between two poles.

AT THE MILL

You get two photos in one blog this week, as I've had the next one for weeks and meant to post it.

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These guys are at the David Williams Stave Mill, which contributor Earl Tucker says was "at the corner of East Lane and Thompson Streets by the railroad tracks."

The photo looks older but has "1956" stamped on the back. Earl says it was from the 1950s or early 1960s. He identified a few in the photo: Front row, Wade Vandergriff is at far left, George Hardin is fourth from left and Carlie B. Tucker is to his immediate left.

Second row, Paul Farrar is second from left with T.E. Moulder to his left.

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


Comments
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[Show in chronological order instead]

SIMON WARNER I REMEMBER HEARING THAT NAME WHEN I WAS GROWINGUP.WASNT HE SUPPOSED TO BE A FORTUNE TELLER AND SOMEONE KILLED HIM BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT HE HAD PUT A CURSE ON THEM I REMEMBER HEARING MY GRANNY SAY THAT,

-- Posted by nanax5 on Fri, Oct 30, 2009, at 5:40 PM

marnold1118,1969 T-G book,page 260,left column,center photo, hope this helps.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Fri, Oct 30, 2009, at 12:54 PM

Simon Warner, that brings up old memories. The Warners were unique people. I went to school with Simon Jr. What ever happened to them, are they still around?

-- Posted by chs61 on Fri, Oct 30, 2009, at 11:09 AM

Lew Childre seekers, check Bo's "annoying questions" post for update on availability.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Thu, Oct 29, 2009, at 2:53 PM

That is true about toilet paper oil filter. Have seen my dad do it. And Edgar, are you the infamous KSK-9171? If so, Furface sends his regards.

-- Posted by cherokee2 on Thu, Oct 29, 2009, at 2:42 PM

FlaDon, I never had a '57. I had a '56 with a '64 Corvette engine in it with 3-2 barrels. I never posted a time. The only time that I was going to get a time I discovered that the engine was putting out too much and the clutch would not hold it. I went back and put a super heavy duty clutch in it and never tried timing again.

It vaguely sounds familiar about Tommy but I don't know who or where that happened if it did.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Oct 29, 2009, at 7:23 AM

WILDERNESS 68 IT WAS 65-68 WHEN ME&MY FRIENDS HUNG OUT IN TOWN ICANT REMEMBER WHO DONE OUR HAIR. BUT I KNOW THERE IS NO WAY IWOULD LET MY KIDS DO THAT NOW . TO BAD WE HAD GOOD CLEAN FUN.

-- Posted by nanax5 on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 10:10 PM

FlaDon, Thanks for the confirmation on Safety Motor Service.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 9:21 PM

leeiii, What was your time on The Bridge in your '57 Chevy...Do you recall someone betting Tommy he couldn't hit the Square at 70 MPH???

-- Posted by FlaDon on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 7:48 PM

i like old songs,My Dad was one of the owners of Safety Motor Service....The building still stands east of the old Model Sportswear offices....

-- Posted by FlaDon on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 7:33 PM

ilikeoldsongs, I had heard you mention that location before, and I surely do remember it. I just did not connect the name Safety Motors to it.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 3:43 PM

leeiii, Best I remember they were in the same building as Model Sportswear, on Holland St. It was an auto garage, and I just remember their name on charge tickets for oil, when I worked for Pan Am, about 1956.I always thought it was an unusual name for a garage.

Then again, the way my memory seems to have gone away recently, maybe they were something else and not a garage, but whatever they were, they did exist as Safety Motors.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 3:36 PM

ilikeoldsongs, Safety Motors is not ringing my bell. Where was it and when was it?

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 3:18 PM

Edgar, the oil filter thing could very well be true. On the older model cars that an oil filter system had been an added accessory, a sock fabric like filter was used. It is conceiveable that a reduced roll of toilet paper could have been used as a filter.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 3:17 PM

From Edgar Shelnutt via Steve Mills:

Harry Finney had a grocery before the hardware store was beside Parks Belk. The City Cab Co. was owned by Grady and Mitty Maude Hyde at one time. They moved it out on North Main.

It set up on a rise alongside their Tavern. He used to brag that he used toilet paper rolls as oil filters for his cabs. I don't know if that was so or not. He sometimes embellished.

-- Posted by David Melson on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 3:06 PM

Hi Nanax5,

I worked at Studio of Charm from Aug 59 till Sept 60. We may have known each other, who did your hair? Hope I have met you.

-- Posted by Wilderness 68 on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 2:22 PM

Who remembers Safety Motors?

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 12:37 PM

WISH LIFE WAS THIS SIMPLE TODAY . I FONDLY REMEMBER PARKS-BELK& POPES CAFE CAUSE MY DADDY WORKED OUT OF TOWN ,IF SOMETHING CAME UP AND INEEDED CLOTHING ARTICLES OR SOMETHING TO EAT WHILE IN TOWN THEY WOULD MAKE A BILL OR TICKET I WOULD SIGN AND DADDY WOULD PAY IT WHEN HE CAME HOME.I WOULD MEET MY FRIENDS IN TOWN EVERY SATURDAY WE WENT AND GOT OUR HAIR DONE AT KITTY'S OR STUDIO OF CHARM.WE DIDNT KNOW THEN HOW GOOD WE HAD IT.

-- Posted by nanax5 on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 11:54 AM

FlaDon, I have played in that same sawdust pile many times, and I have also taken the scraps from where they made pencil slats, that people used for kindling wood, and made toy boats to float down the ditch after a rain storm.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 8:53 AM

FlaDon, I am not sure but I think it was before he destroyed the Pink and Gray Chevy, and by the way it was also before I destroyed my Dad's Blue and White '55 Chevy.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 27, 2009, at 9:04 PM

leeiii, did Tommy compete with you after he wiped out his family's '55 Chevy??

-- Posted by FlaDon on Tue, Oct 27, 2009, at 8:32 PM

I remember Bracey's being big in sporting goods and bicycles and he was really into UT football....I was in that "Dugout" once and recall the Bar with a pool table to the east and "City Cab"?? toward the Square.. Marty Stephens either owned it or drove a Cab there... David Williams,Jr and I stopped by and played in /rolled down the sawdust pile at th Slat Mill..

Talk was bad that the slats were for Whiskey Barrels...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Tue, Oct 27, 2009, at 8:11 PM

Hi everbody,

Well I just don't seem able to stay off the scene. I think the taveren by Parks-Belks was Spot cafe and at one time I think it was owned by Simen Warner and latter moved to the corner of Holland and South Britton. Hope this is right. See you on the flip flop.

-- Posted by Wilderness 68 on Tue, Oct 27, 2009, at 6:21 PM

You've given us another excellent glimpse of the past.

Maybe,we could have some safe driving events again.

I don't know of any rule that says practical, "socially appropriate" things like working bees,blood drives,safe driving contests,etc. can't mix the constructive with a little recreation.

"Fun runs",benefit shows,craft fairs and such can provide painless "edutainment" and make charitable acts an upgraded version of a guilty pleasure.

We may not need to be bribed with games,food,music and the like to do good things for ourselves but why not indulge ourselves with enjoyable activities in ways that accomplish something positive (like improving public safety) at the same time?

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Oct 27, 2009, at 1:24 PM

David, I had completely forgotten about Bracey's Hardware even though I was in there many times, as well as the various grocery stores that had occupied this location in the past. You were talking about the tavern that was located around the corner. I can not remember who ran it or what the name was. The thing that I do remember was that it had a screen door and a step or two going up into the tavern. I also remember that there was a set of steps going down into the basement to a cab stand that was also just around the corner.

As far as the buildings being interconnected, I can not answer that question. As I look at the Beers 1878 map it does appear that there are a few spaces between some of the buildings on the square, so it would not surprise me if some of them shared a common wall.

I can not tell you what was in the Parks-Belk store building previously. Maybe someone who is about 5 or 10 years older than myself would know. The facade appears to me to have been there for a while before Parks-Belk.

Ah yes, the Teen-age Road-e-o. I have been looking this morning for my newspaper clipping from the T-G but so far I have been unsuccessful in locating it. It told about the Teen-age Road-e-o (sponsored by the Jaycees) that was held in either 1955 or 1956. I think that the first four places were recognized. I can remember that Tommy Milton won it, I was second, and Freddie Shoffner was either 3rd or 4th. I can not remember who the other one was at the moment. The picture you used today appears to be showing the line that you were supposed to stop as close as you could to without going over it.

Back in May fancy100999 had asked about David Williams' stave mill. She said that her husband's Father worked there in 1958-1960 so this stave mill photo should be interesting to her and her husband might be able to identify some of the others.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 27, 2009, at 10:17 AM

David, Thanks for two more great pictures. You have brought up some good items for conversation. Let me think about it for a little bit and I will get back with some comments.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Oct 27, 2009, at 8:34 AM


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