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David Melson

Picturing the Past 56: Car dealers - and a bonus

Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010, at 6:06 AM
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  • Thanks David for two more great pictures and even a bonus of Honeyland. That sure does bring back some memories.

    It is interesting to note that the building referred to as Wilkins started out as Darnell-Benson when it was first built, and was operated by Ernie Darnell (Nancy June Brandon's father) and "Duck" Benson (Billy Joe Benson's father). I am not sure of the time frame of L.T. Bellar being a part of the business but in the back of my mind it seems to me that I can remember Wilkins coming into the business and eventually solely owning it himself. I will check with Gayle and see if I can get a more accurate timeline for us.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Apr 13, 2010, at 12:06 PM
  • My father purchased several vehicles at Wilkins motors. The last one was a very nice 1975 Pontiac Grand Prix. That car road like a boat! I also recall that the old bowling alley was right across the street where Piggly Wiggly is now. Thanks for the memories David! Oddly enough, my family was renting Mr. Lowes small farm house out where Blackberry Ridge golf course is now.

    -- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Apr 14, 2010, at 1:17 AM
  • Just a note here, I heard from a family member of the original owners of the Union Street building and edited the blog text slightly. R.L. Benson, not a Mr. Bellar, was the original owner and it was built in 1947 rather than 1950. I got the 1950 date from seeing old newspapers indicating the Buick franchise was moved from Depot Street to the Union Street building that year.

    -- Posted by David Melson on Wed, Apr 14, 2010, at 6:08 AM
  • Boy, I'd love to have that 'Take a Rocket Test' sign!

    -- Posted by espoontoon on Wed, Apr 14, 2010, at 12:30 PM
  • In 1956 I bought a 1954 yellow Ford convertable from Duck Benson. I met my wife about that time.

    The Ford is gone but I have had my wife for 53 years.

    -- Posted by jim8377 on Wed, Apr 14, 2010, at 3:04 PM
  • Congratulations jim8377. My wife and I are celebrating our 50th tomorrow.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Apr 14, 2010, at 5:05 PM
  • My Dad worked at Bellar Pontiac until he went out of business. He then went to work at Lowe Oldsmobile and was working there when it burned in the fall of 1959. I think the year is correct. Bellar Pontiac was on North Main where the employment office is now, and it backed up to the old jail. The Oldsmobile dealer was between the railroad track and the Dixie Hotel before it moved out on Madison St.The front of the Oldsmobile dealership was saved from the fire and is still there today. I was a young kid then but remember going in Honeyland getting hamburgers and spending a lot of time at Sanders Body Shop which was behind Lowe Olds.

    -- Posted by sixtysomething on Wed, Apr 21, 2010, at 2:06 PM
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