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Picturing the Past 109: Before the Dixie

Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2011, at 4:08 PM

Homes which stood at the intersection of Madison, North Main and Elm streets in 1946 before Dixie Service Station occupied the site. (Submitted photo)
Last week I posted a photo of the Dixie Service Station at the southeast corner of the Madison-North Main-Elm Streets intersection.

I always thought that building had been around for years more than it actually was. Thanks to Dick Hulan for sending this photo of the homes which had occupied that location up until 1946 or so.

Were these houses facing Madison Street or North Main?

I wonder if the old car at bottom left belonged to the brick mason at right. Anyone recognize him? And what were they building?

Does it look like the rear part of the home was already being torn down?

One more thing I noticed is the boxy-looking thing at the bottom of the utility pole in the center of the photo. Any idea what it was?

Unlabeled photos: The Times-Gazette has been serving as a collection point for photos blown from storm-ravaged northern Alabama into Bedford County.

I've scanned nearly 20 photos and posted them to a Facebook site for recovered photos and documents. Most of those photos have no identification written on them. Surprisingly, at least to me, few of the photos we're finding appear very old. Most appear to be from the 1970s or later. Several have been identified as from the tornado which hit Smithville, Miss. and Hackleburg and Phil Campbell, ALla.

Showing comments in chronological order
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Wow! Thanks David and Dick. If anyone had asked me to describe this area before the Dixie, I would not have had a clue. The times that I passed by here I guess that nothing caught my eye. I do remember when the concrete was being poured for 41-A but not here (it was a little further out just past where Eureka used to stand).

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, May 3, 2011, at 4:20 PM

I can't tell much about the traffic light in the small pic's of the intersection,but from what I can see ,it looks like the traffic light does not have an over head feeder,so I would say that thing near the light pole is a signal control box for an underground feeder. There was a man named Beaty Meadows in the 40's that did block,rock,and brick work,but he did not have a car because I remember my dad talking about him walking 4 miles to our house to work.There was another man who worked with him, but I don't recall his name at the moment.

-- Posted by Cal t on Tue, May 3, 2011, at 5:44 PM

The houses face Main St., and the one on the left is on the lot that became the Dixie Service site. I have three photos of the house from the same roll, and two are captioned in my dad's hand. The more complete one says "Roy Hulan was born here March 10, 1910. S.E. corner N. Main & U.S. 41A, Shelbyville, Tenn." This one says "Birthplace of Roy Hulan, 3-10-1910. Photo in 1946."

I think the pictures were taken in early spring, when the trees were just leafing out. If so, he had just been discharged in San Francisco, and was picking us up to go back to the church in Illinois that had given him leave of absence to be a Navy Chaplain. We had stayed with my mom's parents, the J.E. Huffmans, at 734 N. Main while he was on sea duty. I had not turned seven, at the time, and my brother was nine.

-- Posted by razyn on Tue, May 3, 2011, at 10:22 PM

Speaking of Dixie. Lots of memories of the old Dixie Hotel. Anyone remember the old bands that played there.

-- Posted by marwi on Thu, May 12, 2011, at 10:05 PM

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