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Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017

Picturing the Past 167: Corner of the square

Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012, at 3:16 PM

The southwest corner of the Shelbyville square in early January 1973. (T-G File Photo by Bo Melson)
Take a look at the businesses behind the police officers on a night in early January 1973. The buildings are there, but every single business has changed. Two jewelry stores and three loan companies, and years before apartments in the Gunter Building.

Here's a brain-teaser for you: Try to name the businesses you remember on each side of the square at a particular time or year.

In early 1973, I think it was:

North side, from west to east: First United Methodist Church and its annex building, another building which I can't recall what it housed, Dixie Hotel and a loan company and law office (Marvin Marshall?) within the hotel. East side, north to south: Hardware store, Parks-Belk, Pope's Cafe, jewelry store, dime store in the old Brantley's Drug Store location, Benchie Reed's barber shop in the basement, women's clothing store, Tip Thompson's men's store, McKee's department store, dime store on the corner. South side, east to west: Drug store (Fly's or, by that time, a chain store?), The Fair Store, a few clothing stores and, going by this photo, Knox Pitts Hardware, Waffle House?, Henning Jewelers (note the "going out of business' sign) and Home Credit Co. (I can still remember their Christmas ad jingle). South side, in the first floor of the Gunter Building, Murfreesboro Federal Savings & Loan, Capertons' Drug Store (am I right about the owner?) and Dickerson Studios downstairs with William H. Turner Insurance, a lawyer's office and Dr. Archer's dental office on upper floors. Next door was First National Bank. Was it really almost 40 years ago?

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

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[Show in chronological order instead]

Since I last wrote on here, I thought about Buchanan's Furniture Store which was close to the old Kroger store on the corner.

-- Posted by Number25 on Mon, Oct 15, 2012, at 2:16 PM

I was somewhat amazed that no one remembered the Bedford Theater. It might have been another name but it was there in the 50's as well as the Princess Theater on Depot Street which was later changed to the Capri. And about the poolhall--there was another one next to the drug store on the south side of the square (if I'm not mistaken on the location) because I remember my Daddy playing there.

-- Posted by Number25 on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 10:00 AM

One store I've not seen mention is DRAPER & DARWIN. I remember my Grandma Skinner shopping there. If memory serves me right, it was over by the Fair Store.

-- Posted by redddj on Tue, Oct 9, 2012, at 8:02 AM

If memory serves me Braceys Hardware was where John Nortons office is.Parks Belk knocked the wall out and put in the mens clothes after Braceys closed.VK Greenfield also had a store on the south side of sq until he moved out on Madison St. beside Working Mans Friend service station.Then VK moved to Depot street where Hockaday is now after that building was sold.Seems like he was at another location I can't remember.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Sun, Oct 7, 2012, at 3:41 PM

steadyeddie you may be right about Hale's and Katz's. I do remember that Katz's had a "K" in the sidewalk of the entranceway kind of like terrazzo or something. Ed Craig's does ring a bell. I am not sure of the year for the Waffle Shop but it was still there in 1959 when my future wife and I got engaged.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Oct 4, 2012, at 7:28 AM

leeiii...You brought back many memories naming everything around the square in the early 50's. My recollection is basically the same as yours except for the South side. Seems like you may have switched the locations of Hale's Shoes and Joe Katz....maybe not. The furniture store you couldn't remember was Ed Craig's Furniture I believe. And lastly.....there was never anything on the square called "Waffle" anything before I left Shelbyville in 1954. Do you think it might have come along a little later?

-- Posted by steadyeddie on Thu, Oct 4, 2012, at 1:28 AM

I covered an unusual incident during the wee hours of a cool October morning at the time Bracey's was located on the square. Two men who spent most of every year in jail, especially during the winter months, definitely had a plan. One of them smashed a front window by throwing a rock. They were sitting outside on the curb in front of the store when police arrived. They complained of being cold and questioned why it took police so long to arrive.

-- Posted by bomelson on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 2:46 PM

Bracy's Sporting Goods was on the northeast side of the square in the early to mid 1950's. Don't know the year he opened there. And, at one time he was in the the building on up North Main next to the railroad tracks but I don't know when. Bill Rhodes opened a pool room in this building in the late to mid1950's and i spent many an hour in it after school was out. Also Mr Stanton ran a poolroom in the basement under Fly's Drug Store in the 1960's possibly into the 1970's. I also spent many an hour in there.

-- Posted by tenn49 on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 8:51 PM

eyeavol, I just now did a quick search of the internet and the only place I could find a mention of Ruff & Reddy was on www.nashlinks.com/remember. His name was Jim Sanders and evidently he was only famous to those of us kids who were crazy about "B" Westerns. The mention of him was under bullet number 42.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Sep 27, 2012, at 4:30 PM

I thought Bracey's sport store was about a block off of the square,where the railroad track was,next to the box factory. I don't recall Ruff&Ready,but how about Dave Overton and the 5'Oclock Hop?

-- Posted by eyeavol on Thu, Sep 27, 2012, at 3:19 PM

leeii, I think you pretty much nailed it. Thanks!

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 11:56 PM

FlaDon, I think you are about right about Bracey's being there in the early 50s but I cannot pinpoint a year for you. Since you mentioned early TV it reminded me of watching the test pattern for channel 4 on a neighbor's new TV before programming became available in our area. I also remember watching Ruff and Ready at 5:00 every weekday and some of the good cowboy movies on there.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 8:55 PM

leeiii, You seem pretty accurate to me...Do you remember what years Theron Bracey had the Sporting Goods Store where you have Finney Brothers Grocery listed...I know it was there during the early days of TV circa 1952...David, Early TV in Shelbyville might be a good topic...Are any of the old TV Antennas still in use???

-- Posted by FlaDon on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 7:42 PM

I remember a Castner-Knotts',a Kuhn's (pre-cursor to Big K/Wal-mart),Dot's Tot Shop,Kitty's Beauty salon and a shoe shine stand.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 3:41 PM

Thanks David for a good one. Here is what I think I remember from 1950 if you give or take a few years. The East side of the square from North to South would be Finney Brothers Grocery, Parks-Belk, Popes Café, Simmons Jewelry, cannot remember, Wright's 5 & 10 cent store, Brantley's Drug Store, Cohern's 5 & 10 cent store (there has been some dispute between us oldtimers as to whether or not Cohern's was ever at this location but in my mind this is the way I remember it), H. J. Thompson, McKee's, Kroger. The popcorn stand was on this side of the square. WHAL radio studios was above Wrights with the stairwell between Wright's and Brantley's.

The South side of the square from East to West would be Fly's Drug Store, Pool hall, A. R. Johnson's, The Fair Store, Hales's Shoe Store, Bedford Theatre, Joe Katz, Rexall Drug Store, Nina's (just before the stepdown in the sidewalk), McDonald Furniture, Knox Pitts, Waffle Shop, Jewelry store (Hennings I think), and the last store I think was a Furniture store.

The West side of the square from South to North would be Cohn-Glazier, Caperton's Drug Store, Dickerson's Studios and the entrance to the Gunter Building (Times-Gazette was straight back past the elevator and stairwell) Farrar Hosiery, Gunter Hardware and offices for Gunter Lumber located behind the Gunter Building, Bridge Street, Taylor's Grocery, restaurant and hamburger joint that I remember as belonging to Taylor (not sure), City Hall and police station, Fire department, Hoover Furniture. The Tea Room was downstairs on the South end as well as Roy Pressgrove's Barber Shop. The Masonic Lodge was upstairs above Farrar's Hosiery. There were a myriad of businesses in the Gunter Building such as Dr. Archer, Dr. Ford, William H. Turner Insurance and many others.

The North side of the square from West to East would be First Methodist Church, educational building of the First Methodist Church, Burkhalter's on the ground floor of the Cooper building, Dixie Hotel with many businesses along the ground floor.

That is the way I remember it but it is in no way definitive.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 2:28 PM

The restaurant next to Hennings Jewelers was The Waffle Shop, not Waffle House!

-- Posted by bbbluebird on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 12:52 PM

west side of square was First National Bank, Farrar's Hosiery Store or The Masons Lodge, Dickerson's Studios, Caperton's and Murfreesboro Federal with Foster's Tea Room below [ if it was still open then}

-- Posted by decorate1956 on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 10:56 AM

I can remember the Dixie Hotel, Pope's, Parks Belks, The Fare Store, Knox Pitts, Dickerson Studios, Tip Thompsons, The Ben Franklin Store, Browns Pool Hall, Rone Jewelers. That's all I can come up with right now. Mid 70's is the time frame. Also Doctor Taylor Farrar's office and Caperton's Drug store.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Sep 26, 2012, at 1:23 AM

I miss Caperton's . . . I remember my father taking me there to get his prescriptions filled and we would get drinks or a milkshake at the soda fountain.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Tue, Sep 25, 2012, at 8:37 PM

David, I will have to think on it overnight, and then sometime tomorrow or the next day I will try to give you the list from about 1950 give or take a year or two as best as my pitiful old brain can come up with. Do not, I repeat, do not bet the farm on my list.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Sep 25, 2012, at 6:56 PM

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