Having lived in Fayette County and specifically in Fayetteville for 52 years, I have surely seen quite a number of changes around the city square.
I have bought groceries at McElwany’s store now occupied by Bidez Photography, eaten at a tiny restaurant now occupied by a real estate office and purchased birthday gifts at a spot where you now go to purchase beer. Heaven only knows how much it will have changed 52 years from now.
Today though, I want to share the kinds of stores that occupied those around the square in the early 1900s. It will take a couple of columns.
Nearly 45 changes have been made in the past 100 years in the types of businesses that are housed around the courthouse square in Fayetteville. Generally speaking, very few new buildings have been constructed, but walls and doorways have changed back and forth numerous times.
Let’s start with the northwest corner, which now is the city parking lot. At one time the home of the L. G. Jenkins family sat here. He ran the Redwine Store across the street, where the Holiday Inn is now. After the house was demolished, it served as the Garner Service Station and is now an empty lot available for city parking.
The store was located, again, where the hotel is now. The building was a two-story and upstairs Dr. George Wallis had his office.
When this building was demolished, Harry Redwine built a Ford agency on the spot, with a garage in the back. Upstairs housed a Masonic Lodge and R. J. Dorsey operated a black funeral parlor. The Ford agency later moved around the corner to be the Davis Ford and is still in place, now Allan Vigil Ford.
To the east sat the Burks Hotel, built in 1906 and taken down in 1977. The Holiday Inn now occupies the spot. It had 14 rooms and was built by S. J. Burks.
On the northeast corner, now occupied by the sanctuary of the Fayetteville First United Methodist Church, sat the Griggs home, which existed until the early 1970s.
I have written several times this was the home of the Griggs family lastly occupied by two sisters, one of whom moved back from Atlanta when her husband died, and the other sister never married.
This sister made hats and sold them in the corner building now selling that beer.
She had a clothes line hanging in the back yard, and if her sister caught a bus into Atlanta, she would hang a white slip on that line. This let the gentleman know in that clothes shop he could come to call. However, if a black slip was hung out, the widowed sister was going to be home.
Next week we’ll continue around the square of the “Cary Courthouse.”