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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Picturing the Past 128: Final North Main flood?

Posted Monday, August 29, 2011, at 3:27 PM

(Photo)
Flooding on North Main in March 1963, showing one long-gone building and two which still exist.
This photo, from March 1963, shows North Main Street in a state of transition. The dam and floodgate weren't quite finished and this may have been the last flood to strike that area. The Sinclair gas station at left was listed as "Parsons Motors" on the negative envelope and was where the building which housed Swing's Phillips 66 for years now stands; the J.B. Cook Auto Machine co. building is now the home of American Billiards and the building (another gas station then) beside Cook's is now the Brass Shears hair salon.

For a look at this area today, type '497 North Main St,' into Google Street View.

Stay tuned. Some interesting photos from the late 1970s are coming.

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


Comments
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The building (Gulf Station) just to the left of Leonard Parson's Sinclair Station on the corner of North Main and West Lane is where my Dad was in the mid 50s. In years earlier (late 40s and early 50s Yearwood Motors was on that corner.

-- Posted by leeiii on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 4:03 PM

Hey the old JB Cook building still floods.After a heavy rain water pours in the front.I have seen them bailing out water after a flash flood,and have the doors open with fans blowing trying to dry it out.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 6:19 PM

This old Sinclair Station really brings back memories. I pumped gas and washed cars at this location in the early 50's when it was Hoover's Service Station....Gas around 23 cents a gallon and a hand car cash (in and out) for $1.00. That included blacking the tires. Our only credit card customer in those days was Mr. C. O. Jett, the high school principal. He did not have a plastic card as we know it, but a paper "courtesy card" from the Sinclair Oil company. A gentleman named Talley had a little one-bay body shop to the left of Hoover's...then Yearwood Motors was to the left of that. When I got hungry, I'd cross the street to Bud's Cafe to get some of the world's best chili. I do not know the year that the Sinclair Station became Parson's Motors.

-- Posted by steadyeddie on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 11:48 PM

Thanks Leeiii and steadyeddie.

Brought back forgotten memories.

Do either of you remember when Yearwood Motors was in the building where the Times Gazette is now? Am I imagining that?

-- Posted by Wolf Clan on Tue, Aug 30, 2011, at 2:11 AM

Wolf Clan you are right but I can not tell you what year for sure. My guess would be about 1954 or 55.

steadyeddie you helped to bring back a lot of memories as well. I was started out in the service station business washing cars, and yes, by hand. There were more blackwall tires in those days than there were whitewall tires, so I got a lot of practice blacking tires. Do you remember when U. S. Royal came out with a tire that had colored sidewalls (red, blue, green, etc.? Stewart-Potts was a distributor for U. S. Royal tires.

The thing that I remember most about Bud (Uncle Bud) Watley's Cafe was his Chili Dog. I have never found another that tasted as good. Even when his son (Bud) opened the Drive-In restaurant on Madison where the present day Handy Dandy is, using his Dad's recipe the Chili Dogs were never quite the same. Maybe the location had something to do with it.

Another thought that came to my mind was the branch (Big Spring runoff maybe?) that ran behind my Dad's service station. It flooded whenever there was a forecast of rain.

Oh yes, we also had a double cylinder lift outside where you could lift a milk truck or other one ton or ton and a half truck to work on them.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Aug 30, 2011, at 6:39 AM

I'm not originally from here, so I really enjoy looking at these old pictures and seeing what Shelbyville used to look like. It's neat to see them and then see what's in their place today.

-- Posted by candasons07 on Tue, Aug 30, 2011, at 9:28 AM

I know a lot of the Times-Gazette building's history (even though the first few years were before I was born...)

The older part of the T-G building was built for Yearwood Motors and finished in, I think, 1950, according to old newspaper ads. Yearwood was gone by the mid-1950s and the building housed a Pontiac dealership for a year -- there's an old print ad from 1956 showing a Pontiac convertible in our "showroom" and the Pontiac sign out front; wish I could find that negative! The T-G bought the building in 1957. If you stand in the "showroom" it's still obvious it was built for a car dealership.

-- Posted by David Melson on Tue, Aug 30, 2011, at 3:12 PM

David you probably don't remember when the Times was in the Gunter Building. The basement under the drug store was the pressroom. The office was straight back from the lobby doors, past the Dickerson Studios business desk.

-- Posted by Wolf Clan on Tue, Aug 30, 2011, at 4:46 PM

David, the very first AA group in Shelbyville also held their meetings in the basement of the Times Gazette building. I believe they began having meetings there once per week in 58 or 59.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Fri, Sep 2, 2011, at 1:31 AM


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