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Monday, Jan. 23, 2017

Picturing the Past 49: Back to the Dixie

Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2010, at 10:08 AM

A postcard photo of the Hotel Dixie. (Submitted photo)
The Hotel Dixie blog two weeks ago (PTP 47) really brought out the comments -- and several readers contributed photos as well. Thanks for doing so.

Several people took a look at the photo of Peoples National Bank workers at a December 1950 Christmas dinner and were able to identify most of those pictured. Those names have now been added under that photo, so you may want to go back and take a look.

This week -- in grainy color, no less -- is an undated postcard of the Dixie. I don't see any immediate clues which would help reveal when this was made except that there are no parking meters or utility poles.


Also contributed was this photo made in the Dixie's dining room. The directors of Bedford County Farm Bureau are meeting in December 1941, and considering the time it was made it would sure be interesting to know what was on their minds. Anyway, it shows more of the dining room and was shot from a further distance back.

This time everyone's identified. Seated, from left, are Dan Parker, Jess Powell, Bob Beachboard, Lee Munsey, Horace Barris, P.G. Anthony, E.G. Roberts, Joe Sloan, R.S. Hudson, E.M. Molder, Lawrence Williams, Charles Eblen, Mrs. Sydney McGrew, Mrs. Ed Philpott, Mrs. J.T. Shearin, Mrs. Montie Pannell, Miss Sara Young (listed as H.D.A. --- did H.D. refer to Home Demonstration?), and Mrs. Dan Parker. Standing, from left, Marvin Holt, Roy Alexander, Cecil Ray - state worker, Greer Wiggins, Franklin Yates (finishing his first year as county agent, and several years before becoming a newspaper owner-publisher), C.A. Molder, --- Henslee (no first name listed), Farris Sharp, Ernest Cooper, Clarence Curtis, J.T. Henslee, L.R. Taylor, George Eblen, Edwin Moulder, Roy Butts, Roscoe Shoffner, Howard Lane, William Turrentine of Halls Mill (the only one with a location listed), Moody Arnold, J.T. McBride and Clarence Shoffner.

The Hotel Dixie was one of those gathering places at which most people who lived through a certain period of years in Shelbyville spent time. I wonder, if that building had survived into the 1990s or beyond -- a time in which people began paying more attention to preservation -- it could have been preserved or rebuilt.

For that matter, is the 1939-vintage old Central High School preservable? Or will it just sit beside Elm Street for years to come, slowly deteriorating while considered both too sturdy to tear down cheaply yet too expensive to renovate?

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

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

Thanks David for two more great pictures. Yes, in my mind I am thinking that HDA stood for home demonstration agent.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 11:11 AM

For that matter, is the 1939-vintage old Central High School preservable? Or will it just sit beside Elm Street for years to come, slowly deteriorating while considered both too sturdy to tear down cheaply yet too expensive to renovate?

David, I wonder if the answer to your question "too expensive to renovate" might possibly be found in the criteria used to arrive at a conclusion.

If the only consideration is the possibility of short term gain, or at least avoiding any possible loss, I would think that a blindfolded, smash and burn, scorched earth policy would serve the purpose well.

On the other hand, if we place even a moderate amount of value on the educational history of our town and county, it seems to me that we should be asking ourselves "Can we afford NOT to preserve one of the few remaining links between yesterday and today?"

There has to be some positive use for a school that has been such a valuable resource, for so many people, for such a long time. Perhaps a museum, dedicated to the history of Bedford County, staffed by volunteers of various local organizations.Sure, it would cost some big bucks on the front end to do a quality upgrade on the building, but with a worthwhile goal in mind, and a well planned approach, it could be done.

I did not attend this school myself, but if there was a legal fund set up for the preservation of it, I would certainly be willing to make a one time contribution, just out of respect for what it has meant to the community.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 2:09 PM

In the newly posted photo of the Dixie Hotel I can faintly makeout what I remember as vertical strings with ivy growing on them on the porches....I'm sure many famous people stayed at the Dixie...I remember my Dad telling about Minnie Pearl's Cadillac breaking down and he took her there when he worked at Stewart-Potts...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 2:10 PM

I remember the grand old bilding in many ways. I remember Miss Kitties beauty shop,Quick Loan service,and the switch board with all the Cathey's taking turn working it. They also worked at every job it took to operate the Hotel.

I worked for Mrs.Cathey in the kitchen as a cook,and doubled as a waitress.

I had lunch there once,and they served food in a home fashion,by putting your order in bowls on the table,and you filled your own plate.

It was just a special part of the square,I hated to see that wrecking ball hit it.

-- Posted by Gus on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 2:52 PM

Does anyone remember the song by Johnny Cash,"on a Sunday morning sidewalk",and did't they shoot some promotional track where the Dixie was a part of.

-- Posted by Gus on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 2:58 PM

We've had quite a few people mentioning the Johnny Cash video shoot. I'll be checking our files soon and dig out what we've got.

-- Posted by David Melson on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 3:16 PM

I am still trying to get a copy of the video. No luck yet, but I will keep searching.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 4:09 PM

My grandfather lived there several years because he insisted on living on his own. There were no 'retirement' homes in those days and this was as close as he get. The Cathey's were wonderful, they more or less adopted him and did a great job of looking out for him. They made sure he ate well and checked on him regularly. I will never forget Mr. and Mrs. Cathey for the care and love they gave "Mr. Shorty" They were very special people.

-- Posted by chs61 on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 7:58 PM

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