Nov 15 2009
09:21 pm
By: WhitesCreek

By Ray Collett

Hello Readers,
This weekend I was invited to the "Roane County Writers Group" festival by noted author B.J.Gillium. Bill Landry was a keynote speaker and lots of interest was sparked by the young writers attending. While there, displaying my "Rockwood Memories", I also had a few of the "Rockwood 1951 DVD's. So many "immigrants" who have moved from all around these United States and retired in our beautiful Roane County were really interested in Rockwood in the "hustling and bustling" 1950's. Along this line, I will conclude Mr. Harry Shamhart's memories of Rockwood with his listing of businesses along Rockwood's main streets as he remembers.....
Mr. Shamhart writes," This seems to be a good place to record the downtown business area as I recall it. Most businesses were on Rockwood St., Front Ave., and Chamberlain Ave. Beginning with Rockwood St. where it intersects Kingston Ave. on the south side and looking west we have in order:
A brick 2 story building that contained the Texaco service station owned by "Pie" Howard and the office and printing shop of "The Rockwood Times Newspaper." The second floor was occupied by the Masonic Lodge.
A Methodist Church
A residence.
"Secor Flats" which is now Gateway Ave.
Open fields to the Southern Railroad tracks
A 2 story building that housed a candy kitchen and ice cream parlor and
the JC Penny Store
Front Ave.
Martin's Barber Shop
Bristow Grocery and Meat Market
Lambs Jewelry
Bernards Department Store
A pool hall and bar, ( Don't recall the name) it was owned by Walter Howard Sr
Live & Let Live Drug Store
Chandler Grocery (It became Kings Grocery)
Hicks Style Shop
Georges Drug Store
Acuff Hardware (owned by Wm.D.Acuff half bro. to my grandfather Wm.J)
Movie Theater
Chamberlain Ave.
Wilson Jewelry
Smith Furniture
Peterman's Dept. Store (specialized in ladies hats and "Trunk Showings")
Vacant Lot
Kings Furniture Store
Vacant Lot
Wilder Ave.
Residences and vacant lots to Dr. Chas. Wilson and his brother Dr. George Ed
Wilson's medical office
Lenoir Ave.
Presbyterian Church
Residences and vacant lots all the way to the Roane Iron Co. office building

Now return to the starting point of business on Rockwood St. on the north side:
The Morgan Clack property extended to, from Kingston Ave. to Gateway Ave.
Vacant lots to RR
Fritts Cafe
John A. East Ford delership
Front Ave
Vacant lots to Parrott's Dept. Store
Dickson's Barber Shop
Ingram Wholesale Grocery
Molyneaus Chevrolet dealership
Vacant lot
First National Bank
Chamberlain Ave
Lawrence Grocery (uncle Jimmy Ervin & Will Ed Lawrence owned the store)
Southern Bell Telephone office, the switch board was on the second floor; (Mom worked there as an operator for a short time)
The Morefield Hotel (there was a business in the building. Carl mee Sr. had a men's clothing business in that area and later, Bob Hicks a similar business.
Vacant Lot
The First Christian Church
The Church parsonage
A residence
The Post Office
Wilder Ave. (Dr. Phillips office was on Wilder behind his house.)
Residences to Lenoir Ave.
The grammar and high school
Residences to the Roane Iron Commisary, ( at one time, employees of the company were paid, in "chits" which could only be used in the Commisary to purchase food, clothing, and supplies.)
Furnace Ave.
The Roane Iron Co. blast furnaces and coke ovens.
Businesses located on the Avenues were
The Rockwood Hosiery Mill
N. Front Ave.
Lambs Funeral Home (Ben Easter, Director
Gibson Grocery
Rockwood Motors (Ford Dealership)
S. Front
Acuff Garage & Taxi
Fox Pontiac Sales and Service
McCluen Plumbing & Hardware
Blacksmith shop and livery stable
Farm Supply Store (Bronson & Billy Fitzgerald owners)
Rockwood Stove Works
S Chamberlain Av.
Canning Factory
Hickey's Grocery
Ice House
Chamberlain Memorial Hospital
S Wilder
Coca Cola Co
N Wilder
Kelly Grocery
Sanitary Laundry
N Furnace
Tn Central RR passenger & freight station

Thanks to Mr. Harry Shamhart for his "laying" out the business district of Rockwood in his childhood. No doubt it changed from year to year as some businesses closed, opened, moved and changed ownership. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a model of downtown Rockwood in the 1950's on display somewhere? Spring City is one of the towns that opened a museum recently, and a nice one at that....We could sure use one.........Until next week, thanks for reading my articles ( for around five years now ) and more importantly, thanks for contributing to them........Until next week, keep the emails coming, Ray

My books "Rockwood Memories" Volumes 1 and II can be found at "Shack's Restaurant"(home of Rockwood's best pizza,) "Yonder Hollow" (Friday Night's Finest in Musical Entertainment), Gail Score's "Western Apparel", (All of your Western Wear Needs), "O'Those Were The Days Antiques" (A Walk Down Memory Lane), And in Harriman, David Webb's "Rocky Top General Store" ( For everything you can imagine, it is there.) or call me at 865 354 7680....Ray

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