[Masthead] Mostly Cloudy ~ 90°F  
High: 91°F ~ Low: 67°F
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Picturing the Past 37: Depot and the square

Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2009, at 9:40 AM

(Photo)
The old First National Bank building in January 1959. (T-G file photo)
Last week someone commented on First National Bank's old Depot Street location.

Here it is from January 1959, just across the street from the Ben Franklin store. Until recently -- and actually, it still may be there -- was "1924" engraved in the facade.

Interestingly, in those days when air conditioning was still relatively uncommon, note that almost every other window on the bank's second floor had a room air conditioner.

Look through the window of Ben Franklin and you'll see part of H & H Department Store's sign. Also visible is part of a neon sign that says "shoes" - was that H & H's sign, or did that belong with another store?

The old Peoples National Bank was two or three doors east of First National on Depot. I can remember the old Castner Knott, which was still in business as late as the late 1970s and maybe into the 1980s when it was closed due to the Castner's in Tullahoma's Northgate Mall. But I don't remember where it was in relation to H & H and Castner Knott. Was Castner's (as people called it) directly between H & H and Peoples Bank or was the bank first?

Look closely and you'll see a barber pole near a telephone booth (remember those?) next to the bank. I remember a barber shop in a basement on the east side of the square, but was there another barber shop under the bank?

Also of note is the Willys Jeep station wagon parked in front of the bank. I'd guess those were somewhat uncommon even then, back in those days before four-wheel-drive vehicles were commonly seen. You'll get bonus points if you can identify the model year of the Oldsmobile next to the bank.

ACROSS THE STREET: I also had a phone call last week from a man who remembered a Finney's grocery store across the street on Depot in what's now the recently-vacated lot. It was in or near the building some commenters remember as Southland Department Store.

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


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

David, Thanks once again for a terrific photo from a time gone by. It is very familiar to me.

If I might let me give some input as I remember it. First of all I want to put a guess in on the Olds parked on the side of South Main. I guess it to be somewhere in the '52-'54 time span.

Secondly, I do not remember a Barber Shop under the bank, but that does indeed look to be a railing for a descending stairway just in front of the lady and child.

As I remember it, the H & H (Hayes & Haynes) men's store was the only business between the two banks. Castner-Knott was the next store past Peoples National Bank to the East.

It is possible that the Willis Jeep station wagon could have belonged to Mr. Haynes at H & H. I know that he drove one at one time. Some of your readers may remember him as a long-time TSSAA referee.

It seems to me that I can remember there being a Finney's grocery on the East side of the square located at the same place where we have mentioned Bracey's Hardware, but I can not place it in my mind at the Southland location.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 8:10 AM

I'll be the first to say that it is a '53 Oldsmobile. The Willys Jeep is of interest to me also as my father had one during that time frame. He had a winch on the front of his and of course that doesn't show in the picture.

-- Posted by dianainnc on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 8:28 AM

Mr. Gene Hayes had a novel sales gimmic called a "Suit Club"....Every Monday morning he would go around town and collect a dollar from each of the merchants...When he had collected enough money from someone he was invited to come and pick up his suit...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 9:00 AM

David, Do you have any pictures of the Square back when they really decorated with all the lights strung across the street. Does anyone remember the mechanical Santa that popped out of the Chimney. I think it was in Tip Thompsons window. That looks like a 53 Olds to me as well.

-- Posted by MyMrMarty on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 9:43 AM

MyMrMarty, I haven't come across any old Christmas on the Square photos yet. I have found a Christmas photo that'll really bring back some memories -- but you'll have to wait until Dec. 22 for that one!

-- Posted by David Melson on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 10:32 AM

David, I really enjoy your old photographs. There was indeed a Barbershop in the basement. The entrance is where the handrail is located. The shop was owned and operated by Mr. Doak Loyd, the father of the late Mort Loyd who was elected to the House of Representatives and died in his private plane in a crash on Monteagle Mountain on his way home in Chattanooga from visiting his parents. Mort's wife Marilyn Loyd, ran for Mort's seat in the House and served many honorable years there. She is currently retired, and living between her daughter in Florida and her son in Chattanooga. Mort was a news anchor on Chattanooga television and a very popular personality. Mort was bald as am I and we had a lot of fun visiting Doak's barber shop on Saturday when he had a full waiting room and telling his customers he has cut our hair since birth, (absoluty true) look what happens when you get our age. Doak would take his razor strap and start swinging it toward Mort and me and run us out of his shop. It always brought the customers to tears of laughter. I had a great childhood and nearly every old photograph brings back great memories. Thanks David, I enjoy and appreciate your posts.

-- Posted by chs61 on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 3:54 PM

chs61, Thanks for the word pictures. I can almost place myself in the barber shop and in the barber chair listening to the tall tales that every barber shop was heir to. I very well remember Doak and his son Morton from when he had the Alamo Plaza Motor Court, as well as when Morton was at WHAL. I as well as you, had a great childhood, and now I am getting to relive it each week with David's pictures, and with the stories that all of you are sharing. Thanks to everybody for letting me walk down those trails once more.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 5:00 PM

There was a Finney's mrkt on the square. One of the owners was Harry Finney.He was my baseball coach for the Kiwanis team in little league in the early 50's. I believe he had 2 daughters. One being Betty.

-- Posted by eyeavol on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 5:34 PM

eyeavol, And the other one was Nancy. I remember one night in the old gym (cafeteria) we were playing someone and we were down by one point. Nancy was fouled and had two shots coming. Nancy had been struggling with her foul shots, and my heart sank as she came to the foul line. Her first shot had way to much arch in it and she shot it too hard. It hit way up on the backboard and because of the arch it dropped straight down through the basket to tie the game. She hit her second shot also and we won the game by one point.

You and I must be about the same age. On the street where I lived one side of the street played for Kiwanis and my side played for the Jaycees. Dorman Jordan was my coach. That was the year that Little League was formed in Shelbyville.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 5:46 PM

Another great photo David!I can remember the Ben Franklin store, though I'm having a difficult time recalling the bank. Now the phone booth behind that stairwell I remember well! I used that phone many a night after leaving Brown's pool hall, which was located directly across the street in the basement. Now that old stairwell is still there, though the pool hall closed many years ago.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 6:17 PM

eyeavol and leeiii, let's not leave out the other two Finney girls -- Mary Lou and Amy! All four very pretty girls. Mary Lou was my classmate and played basketball for CHS also.

-- Posted by dianainnc on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 8:44 PM

dianainnc, You are absolutely right. Sorry, I did not mean to slight Mary Lou or Amy.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 6:27 AM

leeiii,we must be close in age.Dorman was my coach in American Legion ball.

-- Posted by eyeavol on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 10:11 AM

Yep, that looks like a 53 Olds alright and I'd venture to guess that the Chevy parked in front of the phone booth was about the same year or maybe a 54?

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 10:54 AM

eyeavol, Yes, Dorman coached a lot of young boys. He was also my coach when I was on the Lions in Little Bigger League. He also coached me one year on the RC slow pitch softball team. The next year he coached Jostens in slow pitch softball.

What year did you graduate High School?

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 11:22 AM

Leeiii,Left dear old CHS in 1959

-- Posted by eyeavol on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 9:33 AM

eyeavol, I graduated in '58. I have looked through my annual to see if I could identify you. There are just too many possibilities for me to be able to narrow it down as to who you are. I will keep working on it.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 10:52 AM

eyeavol, Is there a possibility that you bowled with the "Whiz Kids" in your younger days?

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 11:01 AM

Leeiii,nope couple of them were good friends. I did my bowling a primrose lanes.

-- Posted by eyeavol on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 11:45 AM

eyeavol, Okay, my second question is did you have an older brother named Bobby?

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 1:38 PM

Leeiii,no brother. My e-mail address is:

eyeavol@netzero.net

-- Posted by eyeavol on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 8:38 AM

eyeavol, Sorry, but I am in Shelbyville this week-end. I talked with ilikeoldsongs this morning and he let me know that I had a message from you on the blogs with your address attached. I just stopped by the motel office long enough to get your message and respond to it. We will be back home Sunday night if God is willing. I will send you an e-mail then.

-- Posted by leeiii on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 4:19 PM


Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.


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