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Picturing the Past 33: South side square

Posted Tuesday, November 3, 2009, at 10:30 AM

(Photo)
The south side of the Shelbyville square from, probably, late summer or early fall 1958. (Central High Aquila photo)
Here's a photo of the south side of the Shelbyville square, which led off the advertisements section of the 1958-59 Central High Aquila yearbook. Thanks to Vick Avetissian for the e-mailed contribution.

Yearbooks are usually put together during the first half of the school year (Been there, done that...I was on the Aquila staff myself years later) and the trees above still carry their leaves, so I'd guess this photo was shot during September or October 1958.

Notable on the south side are The National Store, which has a second 'SHOES' sign above its main sign. Was that a shoe store or did they sell more?

Further up, going from west to east you'll see a Rexall drug store, a sign I can't read, Farrar's Hosiery and the Kuhn's store which we saw from 1963 a few weeks ago, looking the same five years earlier. I blew the photo up large on my office computer and still can't read any more of the signs.

The southern portion of the east side of the square is visible, including the Ben Franklin store, McKee's Department Store and the famous popcorn stand.

The cars' positions indicate traffic was still two-way in 1958. Look closely at the parked cars and you'll see someone's cool '57 Ford Fairlane convertible.

I've seen the actual '58-'59 Aquila which someone brought by the newsroom a few years ago, and someone did an outstanding job of editing. I particularly remember a tremendous color photo and just a overall well-done look throughout.

Yearbooks aren't copyrighted; do a search sometime and you'll find high school yearbook scans all over the Internet.

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


Comments
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[Show in chronological order instead]

in the 60s a one legged man sat on the street if iremember correctly his last Rhodes.

-- Posted by nanax5 on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 12:38 PM

nanax5, I posted above that I thought you might be getting the name Rhodes from Bill Rhodes, and associating it with the street person, but hold on a minute, YOU MAY BE RIGHT!

A couple of nights ago, a couple of old friends and I were talking about yesteryear in general, as old men do, when something was said by one of them, not me, that brought up the subject of this street person. They immediately agreed that his last name was RHODES, although they couldn't remember his first name. Surely not all of you are confusing the two men.

One friend also stated that when this person died, his family dug up money all around the farm, that had been buried by Mr. Rhodes, which seems to lend credence to my uncle's admonition to keep my money in my pocket, as I posted in an earlier blog.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Tue, Nov 24, 2009, at 4:46 PM

The one legged beggar man, as I remember, would sit on the grate next to the old First National Bank, which was across the street from Fly's Drug Store. He would sell pencils. I was very young, so we are talking about the very early 60's.

-- Posted by Grit on Tue, Nov 24, 2009, at 3:18 PM

marnold1118.....Your Southside lineup sounds about right....In 1954 I also remember Henning Jewelers and the shoe store that x-rayed your feet and maybe Ed Craigs (or something) on the corner. For some reason, I cannot recall the stores named A.R. Johnson or Jacob's. I think your thought about a "Square Directory" is a healthy thought.

-- Posted by steadyeddie on Sat, Nov 7, 2009, at 8:13 PM

Just a thought.

-- Posted by marnold1118 on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 8:49 AM

A good thought, I think.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 9:27 AM

It's interesting to read what each individual remembers about which businesses were on the southside of the square. The truth is that it was a constantly evolving lineup. Every few months there would be some new business, or some business had moved onto, or from, the southside. I've been collecting photos and lists of directories and phone books and anything else that might tell what stores occupied all four sides of the square. Obviously, the toughest were the south and east sides. After reading the blog entries yesterday, I dug out a photo I have from the early fifties and it shows clearly the names of all the stores. On that one there was:

--Fly's Drug Store

--A.R. Johnson

--The Fair Store

--Joe Katz Dept. Store

--Bedford Theatre

--Jacobs

--Standard Rexall Drugs

--Nina's

--McDonald's Furniture

I think it would be valuable to create a "Square Directory" and list all the stores year-by-year, and include as many photos as possible. A couple of other streets that would complement that project would be Depot St. and the late Bridge St.

Just a thought.

-- Posted by marnold1118 on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 8:49 AM

It seems that there was a pool hall next to Fly's.

And I remember that the national Store was operated by Aubrey Wheeler and Nina's was owned by Eli Cooper. The Cooper's had two daughters.the yopungest was Judy.

-- Posted by LarLMoore on Thu, Nov 5, 2009, at 6:09 PM

I can remember going to church as a child and Bill Rhodes was a fixture there. I never saw him without a smile. He was like a vending machine for joy.

-- Posted by superx1250 on Thu, Nov 5, 2009, at 2:12 PM

ilikeoldsongs, I knew Bill Rhodes as well and I want to echo everything that you said. The pool room would not have been near as friendly of a place to gather without Bill.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Nov 5, 2009, at 6:39 AM

in the 60s a one legged man sat on the street if iremember correctly his last Rhodes.

-- Posted by nanax5 on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 12:38 PM

nanax5, I think you might be confusing two different people.I probably knew the name of the street beggar at one time, but it seems to have escaped my memory at this point in time. Since I can't remember his name, of course I can't say for certain that it wasn't Rhodes.

However, I knew a Bill Rhodes very well, and was in and out of contact with him for the better part of twenty years, I guess. He had polio as a youngster, and suffered very severly from it, to the extent that one leg was shortened and partially paralyzed, causing him to have to"drag" it to walk. Also,one arm was left frozen and the hand turned in at an awkard angle. His speech was greatly affected, to the point that he strained to speak each word.

If anyone ever had a reason to be a little bitter about the hand that life had dealt them, it would be Bill Rhodes, in my humble opinion. And yet no sign of self pity did I ever see in Bill, just a happy, friendly and outgoing person who seemed to truly be glad to see you each time you met him. I consider myself to be fortunate that I had the opportunity to know Bill,and to take from his example, a better understanding of appreciating that which we do have, and not dwelling on that which we don't have. Thanks, Bill.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 9:30 PM

On the West end of the block may have been

Joe Katz men's store. If it was not there then,

he did own the all the buildings west of the National Store.

-- Posted by knox on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 2:25 PM

Hi David,

I believe the National store was owned by Auburn Wheeler,he and Evelyn ran the store.

It was a department store with clothes, shoes, coats, and hats. I really enjoyed shopping there. They had cildern's clothes,too. Hope this helps.

-- Posted by Wilderness 68 on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 2:16 PM

I remember downtown Shelbyville from about 1950. Surely there are older-timers who can fill it in better than I. Let me give the 1958 South Side a try. Starting at Fly's on the east end:

Fly's Drug Store

don't remember

TheFair Store

Hastings Shoes

Kuhn's 5&10(before them The Bedford Theater)

Farrar's

Knox Pitts Hardware

Rexall Drugs(known as the Blue Front Drugstore)

Nina's

The National Store

The Waffle Shop(may not have been there by 1958),

Hennings Jewelers

not sure(at some time Ed Craig's furniture store)

Chitwood Jewelers in the basement on the end

-- Posted by knox on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 2:10 PM

Way back when I patronized the popcorn stand in the 40's and 50's, I can recall only two sizes. A bag of popcorn was a nickel...and a big box of popcorn was a dime. Does anyone recall any other sizes or prices?...Just can't remember any big tubs of corn like the movies have now.

-- Posted by steadyeddie on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 1:50 PM

in the 60s a one legged man sat on the street if iremember correctly his last Rhodes.

-- Posted by nanax5 on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 12:38 PM

Did Fred Marsh work in the popcorn stand after Howard Loudermilk?

-- Posted by bomelson on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 10:31 AM

I can remember, as a young girl, shopping in Shelbyville and begging my grandmother or mother to buy me a bag of popcorn. It always smelled so good as a new batch was being popped.

-- Posted by reilly on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 8:09 AM

FlaDon, As I try to think about it I can not remember the popcorn stand ever not being there. My guess would be somewhere in the '40s, but I am not at all sure about that. My world only goes back to 1939. It is possible that ownership has changed several times over the years, but I can not be certain about that either. I remember the Loudermilks and the Pruitts very well, and someone mentioned another name as proprietor here a while back.

I remember the One Legged Beggar Man very well but I can not tell you his name. Someone, maybe ilikeoldsongs, had some information on him in one of our earlier blogs, but I do not think that he named him.

There was always someone coming around the Service Stations with "the latest and greatest" gimmick that would double and even triple your gas mileage. Some of them gained quite a following and customers would demand their favorite additive.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 6:51 AM

David

Just want to say thanks for the great pictures.Shelbyville is my home town.I moved away in 1976 joined the USMC was stationed in Beaufort S.C. for many years,left USMC after 14 yrs.I stayed in Beaufort.Now I'll be moving back home in a week or two.These pictures make me anxious to get home.

-- Posted by sand-flea on Tue, Nov 3, 2009, at 10:57 PM

Does anyone remember when the "Famous Popcorn Stand" was built? I remember when Howard Laudermilk worked there and then the Pruitt's were there for many years....Who owns the structure? I remember a guy pulled in next to it one day who was selling a device to "Double Your Gas Mileage".... There was also a One Legged Beggar Man who was always near there on the sidewalk in the late 1940's...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Tue, Nov 3, 2009, at 8:26 PM

The step-down's not there anymore. I'd guess it may have been removed when the square's sidewalks were replaced with red brick some years ago.

-- Posted by David Melson on Tue, Nov 3, 2009, at 2:59 PM

David, Thanks for yet another great picture. I have a question. Just to the West of the store next to the Rexall Drug Store there is an approximately eight inch step-down that I remember very well, and could be used as a landmark for identifying what was where. My question is, is that step-down still there or has it been removed?

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Nov 3, 2009, at 10:47 AM


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