Riding around Andalusia …. Remember when?

Published 1:14 pm Saturday, April 16, 2016

Riding around the streets of Andalusia, I often try to picture in my mind how things used to be.

Remember when the Andalusia high school campus used to be the John Chapman farm with the pecan orchards that ran all the way south to East Three Notch Street. Look for those remaining old pecan trees in the yards up and down 2nd Avenue.

Remember when Faircloth Street, McRainey Loop, and Roselane Drive used to be the Perrett farm. There used to be a sign about where the Perrett home sits, the residence now owned and occupied by the Hopkins, “1 mile to Andalusia” the sign read.

Remember when most of the main street homes ended on the curve on East Three Notch, the curve on River Falls St., and on the top of Bay Branch hill on South Three Notch Street.

Remember when many of the Andalusia homes, bungalows mostly, were located on South Cotton Street, Riley, Rankin, and Auburn Streets – that is, those homes other than the stately main street homes built in the 1920s. By the late 1920s and into the 1930s the Three Notch Court and Sanford Road homes were constructed. In that era and into the late 1930s and early 1940s homes began sprouting up south of AHS on the numbered streets and avenues.

Remember when the soldiers began returning from World War II and the post WWII homes were built for the young couples in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Remember when homes lined East Three Notch all the way within one block of the Public Square. Mrs. “Pinkie” Benson’s home was on the corner of East Three Notch and Central Street. She had a well in her back yard that had the coldest and clearest water. She agreed to sell the property to Count Darling to build his car dealership with the stipulation that he would never cover up her well, a deed restriction, it has been said! They say that the well is still there in the back of the Taylor Parts building – with boxes piled on top and the well open to honor her wishes!

Remember when the AHS stadium used to be a gulley. Sidney Waits has written a lot of memories about his gang of friends playing in that gulley that was eventually transformed into the Andalusia Municipal Stadium some 10 years after the high school was built in 1939-40. Wonder where those Bulldog football games were played for those 10 years? The late Mr. Reid Merrill of the Andalusia Manufacturing Company stated that a family was living in a cave in that gulley during the depression!

Remember when East Three Notch Street was a two-lane street lined with oak trees and front yard picket fences. It seems that the homeowners were all creative. Not one picket fence was like the neighbor’s. There is an old photo displayed at the Three Notch Museum with that street scene from the east looking west. Straight ahead, one can see the old courthouse that used to be situated in the middle of the square.

Remember when the J. W. Shreve home was built in 1915 the year after the new East Three Notch School was constructed in 1914. Someone asked Mr. Shreve of the feed and seed business, “Will, why did you build your home so far out of town?”

Remember when the aroma downtown before the days of air conditioning was a delicious smell of bread and cinnamon rolls baking? One would have to visit the Brunson Bakery on his way home!

Remember when downtown business was booming six days a week and even on Saturday evenings until 8:00. Even though the Taylor Shop had those long hours, Mr. Luther Taylor remembered that many Sunday mornings, his father would receive phone calls to open up his shop to get someone’s suit that had been dry cleaned so they could wear it to church. He would accompany his father to town to open the store. These remembrances are just a few I thought I would share with you, memories that I heard from the older generation.