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Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Picturing the Past 150: Atkinson Street

Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2012, at 9:41 AM

(Photo)
Flooded Atkinson Street in January 1949. (Photo submitted by Donna Farrar)
Here's another photo from Donna Farrar's stash of 1949 Shelbyville flood photos.

This one was labeled 'Atkinson Street' by the original photographer.

Go here for a larger view.

I've heard of Atkinson Street over the years. It was one of the streets that disappeared with the 1960s urban renewal program.

Where was Atkinson Street? And what's located at this site today?

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


Comments
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Looks like this may be at the Duck River bridge about where the flood gate is now. Compare this with P.T.P.148and look at the house above the Texaco sign on Bridge St. Looks like the one in 150.If you go back to the air view of the flood, seems like those buildings are there.

-- Posted by Cal t on Wed, Mar 14, 2012, at 10:46 AM

Coming off the bridge and proceeding straight North was Atkinson Street. Cal t is right on.

-- Posted by walrite on Wed, Mar 14, 2012, at 2:02 PM

I agree with both Cal t and walrite on the location shown in this picture. Atkinson Street pretty much followed what is known today as North Cannon Blvd. up to the point where it makes the sharp bend around behind the Big Springs Shopping Center.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 6:52 AM

This is the location for sure. My husband's father and grandfather came here from AL in the late 40's and early 50's to start a plumbing business. It would have been on Atkinson Street. They never got far with their dream. The grandfather died from a heart attack at the The Dixie Hotel (their home away from home ).

-- Posted by decorate1956 on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 7:49 AM

If you have the Pictorial History of Bedford County 1994, look on page 67 for a pic of the bridge and this same location looking South from where the Chamber of Commerce is now. I would like to see an air view of the same shot of the flood pic over the Court House in todays world and compare the two.

-- Posted by Cal t on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 1:22 PM

What is standing now where these buildings once were?

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Mar 18, 2012, at 9:12 PM

I walked up Atkinson St. to Central Elementary School. I believe it was 114 Atkinson that we lived. It went from the bridge, through the now Housing Renewal and on up the hill to Elm St. Today you come out beside the Vance Clay building which was then Bakers Grocery. Willams Bros. Furniture was on the corner below our house. Now the housing and shpping center is in that area.

-- Posted by nanato5 on Wed, Mar 21, 2012, at 7:30 PM

To answer Tim's question,if you compare the several flood photos with todays Google Earth we can see several things.Bridge street came from the end of the bridge to the center of the square right where Regions drive thru is now, which means the house in the Atkinson pic was on the dike location or just South of it.The Atkinson pic looks like it was taken at the South end of the Chamber of Commerce. The old bridge in the flood pic is straight and the new bridge on Google has a curve in it. Was the new bridge up or down stream from the old one?

Our School Bus route came South on Atkinson past Williams Furniture to the Studebaker dealer then turned right to the first street past the Pencil Co. then left to the next street then right to Shelbyville Mills School.

-- Posted by Cal t on Thu, Mar 22, 2012, at 11:11 AM

I remember this area well since my grandmother lived at 412 Atkinson St. The area pictured was just a hop from the iron bridge and a bit north of the dike I think. The small brick building was Dr. Isaacson's Vet. Clinic. A small creek, usually dry, ran beside the building well below street level. Beside the house shown in the picture was a small street or alley, but I have no memory of its name. Not shown in the picture was a diner made from an old streetcar. It sat at the top of the hill almost exactly where the dike is now. It was decrepit at the time, so it must have been quite old. I used to walk up there and buy packages of pork skins and an orange Nehi, same order every time and take it with me. From my grandmother's house we would walk in the opposite direction and up a hill where there was an old fashioned grocery store, quite small and it was just a little ways from Elm St.

-- Posted by JRL on Sun, Apr 8, 2012, at 10:47 PM

The little grocery store was A. C. Ray and Son Grocery and was in the fork of Galbrieth Street and Union Street, 90% to the right, of the fork, you had Sevier Street. Mr. Cleve Ray and Mrs. Alla ran that store until the urban renewal came along. My parents traded there for years and generally charged the groceries. If you recall you would read off the grocery list and Mr. Cleve and Mrs. Alla would get the groceries together, weighing the beans, etc. putting them in a brown paper bag and tying the bags with the roll of cotton string that was next to the roll of brown paper.

Mr. Cleve would always give me a cone of ice cream before we left, I always thought Mom got the most of it because she would say it's going to drip and take a BIG lick.

Remember John Foster, he was the meat man.

Thomas School now sits at that location.

-- Posted by walrite on Tue, Apr 24, 2012, at 3:53 PM


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