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Picturing the Past 47: Down South in the Dixie

Posted Monday, February 22, 2010, at 2:44 PM

(Photo)
Peoples National Bank employees enjoy Christmas dinner at the Hotel Dixie in December 1950. UPDATE: Several people have looked over this photo and identified most of those pictured. On the side of the table closest to the camera are, from left, Grace Huffman; Edward Huffman; Katherine Steelman; unidentified; unidentified; Helen Maupin; Kennedy Maupin; W.P. Cooper; Henry Tilford; unidentified; unidentified; and at far right sort of looking toward the camera, Katherine Potts. On the other side of the table are, from left, Rell Tillett; next four unidentified; H.J. Thompson; E.B. Maupin Jr.; Mary Ruth Maupin; Mary Maupin; unidentified; possibly Argie Cooper; after a gap, Annie Deery Parker; William Parker; Hortense Cooper; and Prentice Cooper. (T-G file photo)
Those old enough to remember the late 1970s and earlier remember the Hotel Dixie as an imposing landmark on the northeast side of the Shelbyville square. It stood where US Bank does today.

The Dixie was torn down around 1977 or 1978 for the bank building, which was originally Peoples National Bank's new home (not the same as today's Peoples Bank). Most people were glad to see the once-grand hotel, which had become an eyesore, disappear.

But in years past the Dixie was much more than a hotel. Meetings and celebrations, like the one you see above, were held there. At one time it housed Shelbyville's library. I've seen old ads for lawyers' offices and other businesses there.

The photo above is of, ironically, employees of the bank which demolished the property years later. You're looking at the Dixie's dining room and Peoples National Bank's Christmas party, from a negative dated Dec. 26, 1950. I'd guess the banquet was actually held before Christmas, but Dec. 26 was a Tuesday so I suppose that could be the actual date.

Look at that huge mirror and the ornate light fixtures and furniture. And you can see some signs of wear on that old building even then. I'm seeing what appear to be scratches on the large overhead fan at right and what may have been anything from mold to paint chipping above the mirror -- and this negative was in great condition compared to most I've printed, so this was apparently actual damage. But it still looks like a pretty good place to have had a meal. How was their menu compared to the other restaurants in Shelbyville?

Photobucket

Thanks to a contributor who prefers to remain anonymous, here's a look at the outside of the Hotel Dixie, looking from the west, taken from the 1957 Central High Aquila yearbook. From the decorations on the utility lines I'd guess this was taken during a 1956 Christmas parade (they had one then? I don't remember any before the early 1980s) and that the Central High band is marching.

Wonder what happened to the Dixie's big corner sign when the building was demolished? That would have made a great collectible for someone with lots of room to display it and an interest in history.

Segroves Daniel Gordon Realty & Auction was one of the businesses located in the Dixie's office suites. And I don't know why this stands out to me, but is there any reason that their sign was shaped like the state of Arkansas?

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


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leeiii, thanks for the info on Johnny Cash. That was good to see The Dixie, square, and other sites. I did enjoy.

-- Posted by Cal t on Sat, Jun 5, 2010, at 11:47 PM

Earlier on this blog we had been talking about the film shoot for "Sunday Morning Coming Down" being done in Shelbyville with locations of Dixie Hotel, Square, Court House, Southside School, upper North Main, Railroad Tracks, alley behind the old Kroger Store/Ben Franklin on the square.

I have since located at least part of that film. You can find it on youtube.com. Enter Johnny Cash Ride This Train, then go to: The second to last item on page 4. "J. Cash Ride This Train, Story 21 [The lines of the Hobo Jungle]". Enjoy.

-- Posted by leeiii on Sat, Jun 5, 2010, at 11:11 AM

I worked at the Fair Store for Mr. Pfliger and that was my first job away from home. He had a mens side on the left which I worked in and the other side to the West was the womens side. It is amazing how much I have forgotten over the years, but the memories come back as we keep going over things.

-- Posted by Cal t on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 9:04 PM

I am new to this Blog thing and just took a look at a previous blog about the South side and I think all the questions about store locations has been covered. Like someone said in that blog that stores changed locations quite often. They also mentioned the store that had the machine that you could look at your feet to see if your shoes fit. I remember that being Parks Belk next to Bracey's . I loved to check out my feet in that thing.

-- Posted by Cal t on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 8:55 PM

Cal t, I can not remember the year but before it was the Fair Store, it was known as A.R. Johnson's and it was a dry goods store.

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 8:25 PM

Not to change the subject here, but I was just looking at the 1959 "Aquila" and there is a very clear South side of the Square Pic with almost all stores visible.I can't see The Fair Store which was near Hales shoes

-- Posted by Cal t on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 8:06 PM

Boys and Girls I believe that we have a "big ole good 'un" here or maybe a "good ole big 'un. I have been searching the biggest part of the day for that video (so far with no luck).

Here is what I think I remember: some filming in a hotel room at the Dixie Hotel, sidewalk scenes both on the East side of the square and the North side of the square, footage at the Southside Elementary School playground, and the fact that it was done in black and white.

Bo, do you remember the month and year that the filming was done. I have been using the year 1970 in my searches but I am not sure that is right. Johnny Cash included the song (audio) in an album that he did in 1970. Ray Stevens was the first one to record it (audio) and he did that in 1969.

marnold1118, if I find it I will let you know where I found it at. I am also looking for Ray Stevens version. I have found it on an album or two but I would really just like to buy the individual song.

ilikeoldsongs, I checked the link that you mentioned but that was an onstage event from his TV show.

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 5:23 PM

marnold1118, There is a pretty nice version of that video at www.myplay.com. I believe, but don't know for sure, that this particular video is from the Johnny Cash tv show that was aired from 1969 to 1971. At any rate it is a better quality, and more true to the actual recording, than what I have seen on youtube. Don't know if there is some way that you could download it from this site, or not.

The Johnny Cash Show: The Best of Johnny Cash 1969-1971 is available from Amazon as a 2 dvd set for 31.99 and contains this song.I assume that the video on myplay is the same as in this collection, and I base that on the fact that before beginning the song Johnny says that Kristoferson "will be on with us in a couple of weeks".

By the way, if you go to myplay to check out the video, at the top of the page click artists-Johnny cash-videos-Sunday Morning Coming Down.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 4:34 PM

Bo, The name of the loan company, if the one I'm thinking about, was Quick Loan, operated by Herbert Dykes, and he had an employee (maybe a partner)named Evelyn Adams, who I believe might have been the widow of Coy Adams, the operator of the Economaster plant that was located on the Fayetteville highway prior to burning.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 2:51 PM

Speaking of the Johnny Cash video, does anyone know how or where to get a copy that video of "Sunday Morning Coming Down"?

-- Posted by marnold1118 on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 2:50 PM

Does anyone recall the name of the loan company located near the main entrance to Hotel Dixie? I believe the Dykes family ran it.

Shortly before they came here to do footage for Sunday morning coming down the loan company was robbed. A few days later some suspicious people were spotted outside that area of the hotel and police responded quickly. I rushed up to see what was happening and, I believe his name was Perry Rosemond, called over to me.

"Bo, tell them who we are and what we're doing here," he said.

I had been to a few areas with this group prior to the filming and they were constantly playing Johnny Cash singing Sunday Coming down on an eight-track I believe. They were saying it would be a big hit.

So I explained who they were and what they were doing in Shelbyville at that location.

The next day they told me Johnny Cash really laughed about them almost being arrested.

-- Posted by bomelson on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 2:33 PM

I got my order in the mail today. I am looking forward to getting it.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Feb 11, 2010, at 8:48 PM

Thanks, leeiii,don't know how I missed that, but seems to be par for the course lately.

By the way, when you get the "Doors" book I'll bet you can't put it down till you finish it.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Thu, Feb 11, 2010, at 7:57 PM

ilikeoldsongs, In the article on page 90 of the 1969 Sesquicentennial Historical Edition published by the T-G it is stated "In 1886 when Lewis Tillman died, the house was left to his wife but was sold in 1890 to Daniel Stewart and was occupied by Grayson Stewart until recently. It still stands on the banks of Duck River with the inscription '1860' carved in tall letters over the upper balcony".

In the picture used in the article you can clearly see the date 1860 carved in the house.

In the five paragraphs that follow there is some interesting information about the construction of the house such as all of the materials used to build the house came from the land except for the glass and hardware.

A very interesting read indeed.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Feb 11, 2010, at 4:37 PM

David and leeiii, Thanks to both of you for the input.

Like leeiii, I can say that I was never "there", but now that I know where it was I can say that I saw the old house on several occassions, just didn't know what I was looking at, and wasn't looking at it from Stewart Road.

This house was visible from Simms road in the mid 1950's when I would travel it on the way to my uncle's house, across the road from where Simms is joined by Coble Road. From his backyard it was probably no more than a half mile across the river to Wolf Meadows. Of course at that time I had never heard of Wolf Meadows.

A question about this old two story house in which my uncle lived at the Simms & Coble intersection. It was really old in 1954, but in its day would have been an impressive home for that period of time. Anyone know who might have been the builder of this house, and when? In the garden spot behind the house I found an 1882 Indian Head penny that was covered with a green coating that probably indicated that it had been in the ground for a long time before 1954.

Also in this area, if you look at the bend in the river, just before it comes out of its bend, I caught my first mink on the far bank. What a thrill.

One more question and I'll quit pestering for awhile. All the trot liners that I knew years ago called the hole of water behind Wolf Meadows the Grayson Stewart Hole. I have read of the Stewart name being connected to Wolf Meadows, but not a Grayson Stewart. Anyone know who he was? Or was it perhaps someone whose last name was Grayson, and what they were saying was Grayson-Stewart?

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Thu, Feb 11, 2010, at 4:06 PM

David, Thanks for the directions. Now I have been able to spot it, and I can know for sure that I was never there. It is a shame that we lost that part of history going all the way back to the Civil War in that fire.

I once drove a chicken truck for a few weeks for D.B. Nelson so I can relate to the chicken trucks. That was an experience to last a lifetime.

ilikeoldsongs, The only two landmarks that I had in that area were Bob Holland's fishing cabin and Southern Rendering. I have not been able to pinpoint Bob Holland's cabin on Bing, but I am almost sure that I have been able to locate the former site of Southern Rendering. I think that it would be the piece of land on the road (next road to the SE of Stewart Road) that goes all the way back to the river. Keep in mind that it has been almost 50 years since I was there, so do not bet the farm on my memory of that area.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Feb 11, 2010, at 1:14 PM

On Bing maps, follow Fishingford Pike (now known as Warners Bridge Road, but still Fishingford on Bing) until you see Stewart Road, directly across from the west end of Rabbit Branch Road. Wolf Meadows was at the end of Stewart Road. Its former location can be clearly seen.

I'm too young to remember Southern Rendering, but today you don't to be behind a Griffin Industries truck (they haul dead livestock and usually stink!) or, for that matter, a Tyson truck carrying a load of chickens.

-- Posted by David Melson on Thu, Feb 11, 2010, at 12:27 PM

leeiii,My favotite there was a root beer and a small pack of Oreo cookies. Always loved my sweets. I didn't hang around there too much, but enough that I probably should remember some of the other employees besides Phyllis. Then again, maybe the fact that Phyllis married a friend of mine several years later is what established her in my mind in relation to A&W. Marriage does tend to create lasting memories.

leeiii, Wolf Meadows was out the Fishing Ford Pike, on the left, about, (and I'm guessing here from a near fifty years ago memory)about a mile from the Triangle Market. Smokey and I passed the drive leading to it once, and he pointed it out to me, and said it was too rough at that location to put a boat in the river, so I never gave any thought to fishing there, and as a result never actually laid eyes on the place. I imagine that David or Monte could give a more precise location, since they have been there.

I actually spent some serious time with the Bing Maps a couple of months ago, trying to pinpoint the location myself, but never having seen it, and with all the development that has occured in that area over the past several years, I'm unable to say for sure what I was looking at, and also, am unable to pinpoint the location of Southern Rendering which was also in the general vicinity, but closer to town, I think. How lucky the younger members of our community are to have never experienced the agony of finding themselves behind one of those trucks, or felt the panic of the sudden appearance of one coming toward you after you have just had a good meal.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Thu, Feb 11, 2010, at 8:47 AM

ilikeoldsongs, The root beer stand was a place that I visited often, but it is puzzling to me that I can not remember the girls who worked there except that I think Peggy Allen worked there at least one Summer, and I can remember that both Mr. and Mrs. Enzfelter always worked inside. I also remember those Enzburgers which were a lot like today's Manwich Sandwich or Sloppy Joes with the loose ground beef.

Thanks for the heads up on "Doors to the Past". I plan to get my order blank in the mail today. What is the exact location of Wolf Meadows? I am having a hard time pinpointing it.

FlaDon, Thanks for the memory. I had forgotten about "the Dugout" where boys picked up their Tenneseean and Banner newspapers. I can remember that there was a Tucker guy who was circulation manager. His first name escapes me right now.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Feb 11, 2010, at 7:29 AM

Does anyone remember the "Dugout" at the east end

of the Hotel where the Nashville newspapers were

distributed in the 1950's??? I remember we were

folding the Banner and the headlines

read "SEGREGATION OVERRULED" We were confused as

to which way that meant....Segregation and

integration were new terms to us....

-- Posted by FlaDon on Wed, Feb 10, 2010, at 8:33 PM

leeiii, Among the names you mentioned above there is a tie-in with A&W Root Beer. Phyllis Ann Hayes worked there for awhile, possibly 1956, more likely though, 1957, I think.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Wed, Feb 10, 2010, at 8:19 PM

Some mention had been made about the majorettes in the band picture. The majorettes were from left to right: Jo Ann Oglesby, Carol Pruitt, Phyllis Ann Hayes, Barbara Ann Sexton, Anne Eley, and Elizabeth Moulder.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Feb 10, 2010, at 7:47 PM

The photos of Wolf Meadows used in the 1969 Sesqui-Centennial book were taken that year. I recall the home was still being used as a home for patients with various types of disabilities and emotional problems. On the day that I took those photos, the late, beloved Robert Brown (the Fix-It Shop man) agreed to go with me, since he frequently went to Wolf Meadows to handle their repair jobs. The patients were not alarmed when he was there, so he went inside and made sure everyone was in the back of the house and away from the front windows. Thus, I was able to wander around and take the photos we used with the article. Understandability, I could not take interior photos.

For those interested, the Tennessee Historical Society magazine published a series of well-written and illustrated articles several years ago about Wolf Meadows and the Tilman family, who built the house.

Regarding the "Doors to the Past", Dick Poplin headed up that project for the Bedford County Historical Society and it was printed by the Times-Gazette. The BCHS has a supply of that book as well as many of Dick's other titles. The family donated them to the society when he died.

Cal Phelps was a very accomplished amateur photographer. He mostly shot only black & white and voluntarily photographed many community events. Another "Cal" that did similar work was Calvin Daughtrey (sp ?) who owned the Hames-Daughtrey Drug Store on Depot Street. The two "Cal's" were the finest of gentlemen and assets to Shelbyville.

My apologies for rambling.

-- Posted by marnold1118 on Wed, Feb 10, 2010, at 4:21 PM

Thanks, ilikeoldsongs. I have that publication also and will look it up. Only problem with sitting down with these books is that I can lose track of time!

-- Posted by dianainnc on Wed, Feb 10, 2010, at 3:35 PM

dianainnc and leeiii,

There is a nice article about the Black House on page 57 of the 1969 T-G book, and it seems to indicate that it was a private dwelling when built, and was then used as a boarding house following the death of William Black. Seems that it wore several different hats during its lifetime.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Wed, Feb 10, 2010, at 3:24 PM

dianainnc, In my remembrance I can only remember the Black house being a boarding house. I can not tell you whether or not it was ever a private residence.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Feb 10, 2010, at 2:48 PM

Another book worth looking for is "A Pictorial History of Bedford County" published by the Times Gazette in 1994. There are lots of flood pictures, including a view of North Main looking south toward the Court House. This picture on page 60 shows Brown's Grocery that we were talking about last week in one of the comments. It also shows the Black House which no one has mentioned -- a large two story frame house. I would be interested in hearing what that house was used for, boarding house, hotel or private residence?

-- Posted by dianainnc on Wed, Feb 10, 2010, at 2:00 PM

leeiii, "Doors" is the only name that I associate with this publication.

The copyright date is 1969, and was printed by the T-G. It is a Bedford County Historical Society publication, and I'm reasonably sure is still available from them, and possibly the T-G and other sources as well.

I believe that I bought my copy at the Chamber Of Commerce years ago, for maybe something like 2.50, and well worth many times that small price for the beautiful photos of many of the oldest homes in the area. The photo of Wolf Meadow in this publication was made in an earlier time than that one in the T-G 1969 book, and was apparently still occupied, and the home was in a much higher state of repair than in the later picture.

By the way, the photographers listed in the front of the book are Calvert Phelps and Dick Poplin. I'm not familiar with Mr. Phelps, but have had many wonderful conversations with Dick Poplin through the years. Dick published a small booklet titled "Signs Of My Time" that is a very interesting and entertaining collection of signs that he encountered and photographed during his travels. I'm not sure where that could be obtained, since Dick gave me a signed copy of it.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Wed, Feb 10, 2010, at 10:54 AM

ilikeoldsongs, I am having a hard time locating "Doors To The Past", however it sounds familiar to me. Is there another name that I should be looking for?

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Feb 10, 2010, at 9:20 AM

marnold1118, that was our freshman year, and I did not become a majorette until the next year. I did play in the band at that time. Good memories.

-- Posted by cookie on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 6:52 PM

Page 90 of the 1969 T-G Book, and page 61 of "Doors To The Past" contain pictures of Wolf Meadow.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 6:02 PM

No photos of Wolf Meadows are around, at least as far as I know. I remember it well, though, and was there the night it burned.

-- Posted by David Melson on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 5:26 PM

David, do you have any pictures of the old place at Wolf Meadows, before it burned? I haven't been able to find any photo's of it.Or can you tell me where I might could find some.

-- Posted by Perplexed on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 5:02 PM

David, do you have any pictures of the old place at Wolf Meadows, before it burned? I haven't been able to find any photo's of it.Or can you tell me where I might could find some.

-- Posted by Perplexed on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 5:01 PM

quantumcat, As you were describing dining at the Dixie Hotel I could almost envision a Norman Rockwell portrait of your eating experience with your patent leather Mary Janes barely touching the floor as you ate your lunch.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 3:32 PM

As I recall,the Dixie Hotel had "Sunday" kind of food-a bit fancier than a "meat and three" but not quite as elegant as a tea room.

People who had business on the square could eat a decent lunch as easily as at Pope's,Caperton's,et al but it was also a place for parties (as seen above).

I remember dining there in patent leather Mary Janes,starched crinolines,short gloves with pearl buttons and a freshly-done hair-do (courtesy of Ms. Kitty).

(I didn't get that fancy for Bud's,the Stirrup,Rebel Maid or that ilk.)

The food was good-especially the pineapple sherbet.

It was a real delicacy back then.

(I think I wore more of it than I ate and got scrubbed raw before we made it to anywhere else.)

If I'd known about F. Scott Fitzgerald back then,I'd have recognized the same practical,grown-up elegance seen in Jay Gatsby.

I knew every woman there outclassed Jacqueline Kennedy and Grace of Monaco-or even Loretta Young and Donna Reed.

Even when I had meat loaf and green beans in my hair,I felt like a real lady.

"Grand Hotel" couldn't have done any better.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 3:13 PM

This is more fun than a jigsaw puzzle. I'm like leeii, it's likely a few more could be identified with a larger image. I'm gonna take a stab at a couple more, but I may or may not be right. Counting 3 more people down from Rell Tillett is Tom Segroves. Behind him, just in front of the righthand window drape is Carl Brandon, and I think the man at the end of the table (maybe head table) on the right side of the photo, with light gray coat and dark hair is Prentice Cooper. A side note, Prentice and Hortense just got married in April of 1950. That's all I'm going out on a limb to try, but I keep looking for Bud McGrew in that photo.

Regarding the hotel, the dining room was featured in an old copy of The Ford Times magazine. I have a copy if I can dig it out, and also a lunch menu. I recall eating lunch there occasionally in the late sixties and early seventies. It was quite a place. Only just recently I acquired a little bell (the kind you hit with the palm of your hand) that was used at the registration desk when the desk clerk had stepped away.

The best treat of all for me is the 1956 band photo. Yes, Bill Thomas was the drum major and I was one of several trombone players that marched on the front row, just behind the majorettes--1956 to 1960. Cookie, you were one of the majorettes in that photo weren't you?

-- Posted by marnold1118 on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 2:12 PM

balloon boy, Another site that was used in the "Sunday Morning Coming Down" video movie was the Southside Elementary School playground. I would need to see the video again to place some of the other sites used but the Dixie Hotel was definately one of them.

cookie, Some of the people that I think I instantly recognize would be E.B. (Eddie) Maupin, Jr. He would be the fifth from the left of the chairs with their back to the photographer. His chair is pushed back a little bit. Then Kennedy Maupin would be two more chairs down from Eddie. William Parker is at the head table. He would be at the right edge of the big mirror behind him, and I think that Hortense Cooper is sitting at his left hand. If I had a clear copy of the picture I might be able to identify more of them.

In the band picture Billy Thomas (who recently passed away) is the Drum Major. He was the son of Ervin Thomas who was the principal at Madison Street Elementary and also the Junior High school in the mid 40s and 50s. I can also identify all of the Majorettes.

David, I agree with you that the sign is shaped like Arkansas, but I do not know the story behind it. I know that both Tom and G.S. were local boys. I do not know about Bill.

As for the menu at the Dixie, I never ate there so I could not be of a help on this one.

Two more great pictures David. Please keep us the good work.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 12:51 PM

I wish that some of you could identify some of bank employees in the picture. I only found one, Rell Tillett, Sr. sitting far left, back of the table.

Another good picture, David.

-- Posted by cookie on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 11:58 AM

Johnny Cash made a music video (before the term was actually used) at the Hotel Dixie to the song Sunday Morning Coming Down.

-- Posted by balloon boy on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 11:41 AM


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