Archived Story

Pull out your old picture albums

Published 7:28pm Monday, November 8, 2010

MainStreet Alexander City needs your help.

Last week, I sat down with MainStreet executive director Richard Wagoner and Larry Tuggle at the MainStreet office to talk about a new project the organization has undertaken.

They want to piece together a chronological history of buildings in Alexander City.

The idea is to eventually place plaques in all of the buildings – particularly downtown – telling when they were built and the business transitions that have taken place within.

During the interview, Mr. Wagoner pulled out a box full of black-and-whites the organization has collected so far, and they talked about the puzzle pieces still missing.

There was a photo of the Alexander City Bank circa 1940, a photo of former Alabama governor John Patterson during a visit to Alexander City, a photo of a crowd packed on Main Street for the Alexander City Christmas parade circa 1950 and photos of past downtown businesses and restaurants, such as The Climax Café and Dairy Farms.

“Carlisle’s has been in there building since 1914, but what was there before it? Old Baldy’s, but what was that? A saloon or a boarding house possibly, I don’t know,” Wagoner said. “Then the Masonic building, I think the post office was in it at one time, we just need to know for certain or need a picture to show that the post office was in the bottom of the Masonic building. Tapley’s Appliance, I remember when it was Firestore. Where McGuire Auto is was Bon Fire. I’d love to have a picture of the Bon Fire.”

My hope is the community will come together and help with this project.

“A lot of people don’t even know we’re looking for pictures who might like to know this,” Tuggle said. “Even though we’ve talked to a lot of people … there may be a lot of other people out there with old albums that they haven’t even looked at in 50 years.”

So pull out your old picture albums and see if you have anything that can help MainStreet with this project. Bring the photos by The Outlook office, we’ll scan them and give them back to you before you leave.

As Mr. Wagoner said, “We don’t need to lose this history.”

Natalie Nettles is a staff writer for The Alexander City Outlook.