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Picturing the Past 37: Depot and the squarePosted Tuesday, December 1, 2009, at 9:40 AM
The old First National Bank building in January 1959. (T-G file photo)
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.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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