At the age of 16, in 1907, Louis Friedlander came to Colquitt County and began a business of peddling sundries to local farmers, first on foot and later with a mule and wagon. He opened a small store at this location in 1908, known originally as the Bargain Store but soon thereafter changed to Friedlander’s. He built this structure in 1936, even though the community was suffering immensely from the ravages of the Great Depression, and it became one of the most successful retailers in South Georgia. A recent restoration reinforces the importance of this local landmark, one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in Georgia. I made the photo below in 2008, before it was restored.
Many Moultrie folks have great memories of Friedlander’s. Fay Brock writes: I worked in the office at Friedlander’s from November 1967 until August 1970. I loved my time spent there, I really learned a lot working for this family owned and operated business. The books from all of the stores were kept in this main location. There were about 6 or 7 stores in Georgia and two in Daytona Beach, Florida. They gave me my first real job, and I will be forever grateful that they had enough faith in me to give me the opportunity. Judy Plymel recalls: wow..if this store could talk.. bought so many cool clothes here.. my first prom dress.. when I was a little girl.. my Easter shoes.. Easter dress on occasion.. it was 3 stories.. and the only one in town with an elevator for many years.. such a cool store at the time.. I can add that my hometown of Fitzgerald also had a Friedlander’s store when I was a boy. My great aunt, Gladys Brown, worked there for many years and visiting her was always a treat.
Moultrie Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places