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David Melson

Picturing the Past 197: Depot Street in 1940s

Posted Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at 3:16 PM
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  • What I would give to go back in time and walk the square in that time frame.I did notice where John W Ruth store was, a sign that had Drugs with Jewelry under that.I have never heard of Ruth and Sons selling drugs.I was born in the mid 50's but have had interest in the downtown merchants dating back to the 20's.Anyone know if Ruth did sale drugs or is that a different store?

    -- Posted by kings11 on Wed, Jan 15, 2014, at 4:49 PM
  • Sesqui-Centennial 1819-1969 page 58-59 tells the history of Turrentine & Ruth as watchmakers and silversmiths , but never anything about drugs.

    -- Posted by Cal t on Wed, Jan 15, 2014, at 6:08 PM
  • The men's clothing store was Robinson and Thompson, Mr. Clark Robinson and Tip Thompson. I think it was after Mr. Robinson's death that Mr. Thompson moved just North (three or four buildings) of the square on North Main and later moved his store to the East side off the square.

    Mr. Gene Hayes had a men's store, where Robinson and Thompsons was, on Depot later. He and Mr. Haynes had the H & H men's store between the banks before that. Their ads always had "The store between the bank".

    -- Posted by walrite on Thu, Jan 16, 2014, at 12:27 PM
  • The men's clothing store was Robinson and Thompson, Mr. Clark Robinson and Tip Thompson. I think it was after Mr. Robinson's death that Mr. Thompson moved just North (three or four buildings) off the square on North Main and later moved his store to the Eastside of the square.

    Mr. Gene Hayes had a men's store, where Robinson and Thompsons was, on Depot later. He and Mr. Haynes had the H & H men's store between the banks before that. Their ads always had "The store between the bank".

    I think you're right that Ben Franklin's was on the corner of Depot and the Square, and Mr. Cohern owned and ran it.

    -- Posted by walrite on Thu, Jan 16, 2014, at 12:35 PM
  • Also, seeing the Whiteside Hardware sign, the hardware store was to the rear of the grocery store, the building went all the way to McGrew Street. I remember they sat up a boxing ring there and had boxing matches, I only remember seeing one, I was pretty small at the time. My Uncle Joe challanged someone and got the snot beat out of him.

    -- Posted by walrite on Thu, Jan 16, 2014, at 12:45 PM
  • Kuhns bought out Ben Franklin if I am correct.Later was move to the Big Springs shopping center and became Kuhns Big K.(not Big K Mart) I also do not remember if Kuhns was on the sign just Big K,but was promoted as such.

    -- Posted by kings11 on Thu, Jan 16, 2014, at 1:17 PM
  • I am thinking that there was a women' clothing store on the north side of Depot, between the Western Union sign and the Princess Theater. Wasn't it May's. I remember getting my school books at John W. Ruth's every year. I believe that some of these books were used and some new. Maybe some of you ole timers remember the school books, and correct me if I am wrong.

    -- Posted by cookie on Fri, Jan 17, 2014, at 9:01 AM
  • Hey, it's almost 10 o'clock -- time for a Dr. Pepper!

    -- Posted by jcarney on Fri, Jan 17, 2014, at 9:50 AM
  • Carolyn's, a ladies wear, was on the corner, I don't recall what was there prior to that. The rear part of the building, where the steps remain (East side), was a beer joint run by Mr. Emmett Darnell, I think. Mr. E.G. Simmons bought the building and we remodeled the whole building into what he named CAROLYN'S, which was named for his daughter. Mr. Simmons owned SIMMON'S, cheerful credit, jewelry store on the Eastside of the Square.

    Wasn't Mays just to the left (Square side) of Carolyn's? and wasn't May's a ladies hat store? I recall a ladies hat store along there and the window was always full of ladies hats.

    -- Posted by wcartwright0451 on Fri, Jan 17, 2014, at 11:56 AM
  • Cookie, I believe the State of Tennessee started Free Textbooks in 1951 since I still have my 8th grade books...Prior to then I believe we bought our own books used from individuals or new from John W. Ruth...The back flyleaf had a used condition/price guide...I don't remember used books from Ruth's...

    -- Posted by FlaDon on Fri, Jan 17, 2014, at 3:45 PM
  • This week you have opened up a whole new can of worms for me. I have been told in the past that my father-in-law worked at that grocery store mentioned as Thompson Brothers Grocery before he left for the Army in 1944. His name was William Hoyte Thompson and he died in New Guinea in October of 1944. I am wondering if the owners of that grocery store could have been some of his kinfolks. I have a pretty complete list of his Uncles and Great Uncles as well as his parents. If any of you have any answers for me I would be most appreciative.

    FlaDon and cookie, I too remember going into Jno. W. Ruth's to buy school books but I can not remember if they carried used books or not. In my early school years I had both new and used books and I do remember that my parents got some of the used ones from neighbors whose children were a year ahead of me in school. Some of the new Arithmetic books had several pages of answers in the back of the book. I also remember clocks on the wall and on the shelves but I do not remember drugs. As a matter of fact the only medicines I can remember from those days were; Dr. Fuston's ointment, Vicks salve, Castor oil, Iodine, Turpintine, Coal oil, Whiskey and sugar, Camphor, and a few others.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Jan 17, 2014, at 4:30 PM
  • Let's shop Big K, the king of value

    And your one stop shopping center is Big K!

    I'm sure that is not all the words but I remember the jingle.

    -- Posted by LivingInThe County on Sat, Jan 18, 2014, at 8:42 PM
  • Lets shop Big K.The king of values.The place you save day after day.99 big departments.Quality at a price.There's a Big K store that's near you,And there open nights,Lets shop Big K the king of values,And your one stop shopping center is Big K! Open nights use to be 6-8 now its 24 hours.Anyone remember Sunday hours for them? Was it 1 to 5-6 or something like that? Wonder what's happen to America.People use to go to church 2 times on Sunday and back on Wednesday night.They were not required to work Sundays,it was optional and double time pay.They did not play sports Sunday or Wednesdays.Little to no homework was given for Wednesday night.People didn't cram what they believed down your throat, and we all had a front porch we could sit on and watch the world go by with the WHOLE family.(sorry I got on a rant thinking about everything use to be closed Sundays and better times in America)

    -- Posted by kings11 on Sun, Jan 19, 2014, at 9:21 AM
  • One Big K jingle did mention easy free parking.I think it was there's a Big K close with easy parking and there open nights.

    -- Posted by kings11 on Sun, Jan 19, 2014, at 9:51 AM
  • My parents bought new school books for me at Ruths Jewelry in 1946. It was so exciting to get the books and know they were ours, smelled so good, and instilled a love of books that I still have today. First thing we did was cover them with heavy brown paper and put your names in them. I have one book from that era still with me: Engine Whistles reader for the 5th grade at East Side Elementary. Things were done right in those days when common sense reigned. Also noticed Locke's cafe across the street where I ate many, many delicious hamburgers. It was owned by Earl and W.H.Locke who always wore the little white caps that looked like GI caps. There was also a barber shop on the same side next to Daughtrey's Drug Store. Good memories.

    -- Posted by JRL on Wed, Feb 5, 2014, at 11:16 PM
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