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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Picturing the Past 100: More of the square

Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2011, at 12:03 PM

(Photo)
The south side of the Shelbyville square in the early 1950s. (Photo provided by Monte Arnold)
Last week we featured a portion of the south side of the Shelbyville square behind a group of Times-Gazette carriers.

Thanks to Monte Arnold, we have a better shot of that area from approximately the same time period, the early 1950s. The period can be pinpointed by a sign advertising television sales and service and a high antenna in the background, plus the ages of the cars, the newest of which appear to be early 1950s models.

Of note is Joe Katz Department Store next to the Bedford Theater. I remember as a child seeing the name 'Joe Katz' inset into the floor at the entrance of one of the jewelry stores on the east side of the square.

Many of those stores, such as Nina's, The Fair Store, Fly's Drugs and Castner Knott, survived well into the 1970s. I saw those Fly's, NIna's, Standard Rexall Drugs and Castner Knott signs so many times as a child in the 1950s and 1960s that I remember them.

This photo is like looking at the past and the present at the same time. The cars, signs, and most of the people are different, but all of those buildings still stand.

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


Comments
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LOOK!!!! I see Carol and Doug Armstrong painting the Bedford Theatre :) Just kidding ;) They are not quite "that" old. Wonder who the painters are.??.

-- Posted by decorate1956 on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 11:59 AM

LOOK!!!! I see Carol and Doug Armstrong painting the Bedford Theatre :) Just kidding ;) They are not quite "that" old. Wonder who the painters are.??.

-- Posted by decorate1956 on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 11:58 AM

Didn't see it mentioned above, but when did the square go from 2-way to one-way. In the 60s it was always one way as I remember.

-- Posted by cfder on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 5:20 PM

This may narrow the discussion a bit. Looking through my collection of telephone and city directories here is what I was able to discern:

1936 City Dir.--No mention of Knox Pitts Hdwe.

1949 Phone Dir.--Knox Pitts Hdwe. was located at 116 E. Depot Street (almost across from what used to be Hames-Daughtry Drug Store).

1953 phone book--still at 116 E. Depot St.

1960 phone book--the hardware store had moved to 117 South Side of Square--space occupied by Bedford Theatre in this blog photo. There was also a Knox Pitts Housewares at 131 South Side square--on the end where Ed Craig Furniture was in the photo.

1962 phone book--still at 117 SS square

1965 phone book--had moved to 121 SS square

1999 phone book--see Cal t's entry about K-P still being at 121.

So, apparently, Blessed Assurance, Knox Pitts moved to the square sometime between 1953 and 1960.

-- Posted by marnold1118 on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 1:35 PM

I have a " thru April 1999 " Shelbyville phone book which still lists Knox-Pitts as 121 S. Side Square.

-- Posted by Cal t on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 12:32 PM

Yes, I am sure Knox Pitts was there well into the 70s and maybe some years beyond.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 11:03 AM

Sorry, I meant 1999 for the last ad.

-- Posted by Cal t on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 10:51 AM

Blessed, I can find nothing before 1958 on Knox-Pitts. They are in ads in the Aquila 1959,1960 then on the other end my last ad is 1969,but I'm thinking they were there longer.

-- Posted by Cal t on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 10:32 AM

I still would like to know when Knox-Pitts Hardware starting occupying nearly 1/2 of the south side of the square?

I was always under the impression that they had been on the square since forever but as can be seen from the pictures they were not there in the early 50's. Who knows the approximate date they came to the square?

-- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 5:59 AM

Ever since Wolf Clan mentioned that a Florist family over near the horse show grounds had donated the chimes in memory of their son who had died in an automobile accident a spark of memory has arisen in me. Here is what I think that I remember and I think that I have seen it written somewhere. I have poured over my books this morning but as of yet I can not find the reference. I think that the chimes were donated by Frank and Faye Yancy (owners of Yancy Flower Shop) in memory of their son, Frank Yancy, Jr. who was killed in a motorcycle accident on the Lewisburg Highway in front of the WHAL transformer. It seems to me that Jimmy Redd's mother, Mrs. Redd (our school music teacher) had played the chimes for some time in the late afternoon. Also, I keep coming up with the First Baptist Church as the location of said chimes.

-- Posted by leeiii on Mon, Feb 21, 2011, at 9:19 AM

Take a look at Sesqui- Centennial Historic Edition 1819-1969 and pages 165,168 for good pics of the old First Christian and First Baptist. This shows the towers and speakers on The old First Baptist.

-- Posted by Cal t on Sun, Feb 20, 2011, at 10:31 PM

The Pictoral History of Bedford County "Blue Book" 1994 shows First Baptist Church on 117, and that is what we are seeing here. Also on page 125 is First Christian, which was torn down in the '60s, and was located where the phone tower is located. On 138 is a pic of Thompson Funeral Home which was closer to Depot Street.

Thanks for the info on a picture we can see. I couldn't read that clock for the life of me.Yes I know I'm getting old.

-- Posted by Cal t on Sun, Feb 20, 2011, at 9:54 PM

Thank you for the full resolution. It has been placed on my desktop as wallpaper. FANTASTIC!

Did anyone spot the two painters on The Bedford ??

I'd stll like to know who owned that beautiful old car on the left.

-- Posted by marwi on Sun, Feb 20, 2011, at 4:33 PM

Wolf Clan,

I feel certain that you are correct about the chimes being at the Presbyterian Church. I can remember them, but I never new the story behind them. I grew up living fairly close to the church and this has brought back good memories. Do they still ring, and if not, I wonder when they stopped.

-- Posted by cookie on Sun, Feb 20, 2011, at 4:29 PM

Thanks Chad O for the picture. There are several more things that I notice in this picture. You can see the speakers on the steeple of the First Baptist Church. You can see that the clock is mounted on the facade of the Peoples National Bank, and you can see the water towers on Standpipe Hill just to name a few.

-- Posted by leeiii on Sun, Feb 20, 2011, at 7:06 AM

For photos with this much detail you should link us to the full resolution version. Here it is...

http://www.t-g.com/photos/14/34/71/14347...

-- Posted by Chad O on Sat, Feb 19, 2011, at 10:57 PM

Folks I might be wrong, but I think the Chimes at the Church were at the Presbyterian Church. I can't remember the name of the street, but it ran parallel to N. Main. It was almost behind what is now the Post Office. I seem to remember the chimes were donated by a family who owned a florist over toward the Horse Show Grounds. They were in memory of a son who was killed in an auto accident.

-- Posted by Wolf Clan on Sat, Feb 19, 2011, at 9:17 PM

Thanks marnold,I was a young child and just remembered what I thought was a steeple on the funeral home.I do remember them running an ambulance out of there.Best I remember Pollys Flowers was across the street from the funeral home.I just wish I could go back in time and walk the streets of Shelbyville.What a wonderful time that would be.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 5:14 PM

Mytaxes: I think the steeple, in the background of this photo, is definitely that of the First Baptist Church. Howell Funeral Home (then known as Thompson Funeral Home) was originally an old house and while it had more than one spire, they were not as tall as the church and not as far off Depot St. as the church was--as can be seen in this view.

The First Baptist Church that burned in 1908 had a very tall, prominent spire, as does the current facility. However, the church was replaced in the '70s had a much more modest steeple.

-- Posted by marnold1118 on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 2:39 PM

Thanks David, sure brings back some great memories. The gentleman crossing the street looks like a lawyer with an empty briefcase.

-- Posted by Grits on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 11:01 AM

In the top left corner of the photo, down Depot Street, is the First National Bank clock. I've blown up the original photo on my screen and it looks like 10:53 a.m. - if that clock was correct.

I've seen that clock in a 1939 photo as well. Wonder what happened to it? Thrown out as junk - or could it still exist somewhere?

-- Posted by David Melson on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 9:59 AM

Marwi,I was just yanking your chain on the time.I have no idea what time it was.As for the steeple I don't know if it was a church or Howell Funeral Home.I remember it having a tall steeple,and it would have been in that location,or very close.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 8:56 AM

marwi to answer your question, yes, that appears to be the steeple of the First Baptist Church. The speakers were mounted on the steeple if I am remembering correctly.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 8:56 PM

Thanks mytax, I will give you that 45 minutes.

Would you identify the church steeple in the background. Is this the church where the beautiful chimes rang out every evening?

-- Posted by marwi on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 8:09 PM

Marwi,Id say you are close.I say 12:45 due to the slight Northeastern cast on the cars.I base this by telling it is a Summer photo from the leaves on the trees.Being June thru August this would put it in the right time frame of closer to 1 pm.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 11:33 AM

You can tell by the shadows , it was 'high noon'. Maybe there was a big court case going on or everyone was in town for lunch at Popes Cafe. ))

Look at the really old car seven cars down on the left.

This is truly one of the best b/w pictures I have ever seen.

-- Posted by marwi on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 11:04 AM

I notice mostly how clean and neat our town looked THEN.

-- Posted by decorate1956 on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 2:14 PM

I worked at Joe Katz on Saturdays during my high school days 1948-51 for $3.00 per Saturday. Was tickled to death when I got to move down the block and work at Fly's for $3.50 a Saturday.

-- Posted by luckylu on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 10:40 AM

It must have been court day on the square.OH I forget,people use to actually do business there.Wish it were like that again.Its really sad when you think about it.THANKS BIG SPRINGS SHOPPING CENTER YOU CAUSED IT ALL.(HEHE)

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 9:17 AM

I can't recall the Bedford Theater, but I do remember the Fair Store, Castner Knotts, the Rexall Drug Store. this is another great picture of our town square's past David. Keep em coming!

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 2:01 AM

I know Ina Armstrong spent many years at Knox-Pitts. She was such a nice lady.

-- Posted by marwi on Tue, Feb 15, 2011, at 7:56 PM

What year did Knox Pitts Hardware appear on the scene? I have not noticed it in any of your past pictures of the square.

-- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Tue, Feb 15, 2011, at 7:43 PM

That wonderful picture brought back so many memories. The old Bedford stood out above all.

I had this best friend named Doris. Just happened Doris' dad was with the Shelbyville Police Dept. we could always get in free.

It was at The Bedford that I first fell in love with Roy Rogers.

To this day he is still my first love.

-- Posted by marwi on Tue, Feb 15, 2011, at 7:27 PM

Thanks David for another great picture. That brings back a lot of great memories. One that comes to mind is the step-down just to the West of Nina's. If you were not paying attention to where you were going (window shopping) and stepped off that step-down it would rattle your eye teeth. I say that from experience.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Feb 15, 2011, at 5:04 PM


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