Tag Archives: South Georgia Department Stores

Watt & Holmes Hardware Building, 1908, Cordele

This marble-front commercial block is one of the nicest historic retail buildings remaining in downtown Cordele. Its condition is probably not good, but hopefully, it can be saved. Watt and Holmes was one of the most successful businesses in early-20th-century Cordele. It was last home to an Allied Department Store.

Cordele Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --CRISP COUNTY GA--, Cordele GA

Dooly Street, Montezuma

montezuma ga historic commercial storefronts dooly street photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Montezuma Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --MACON COUNTY GA--, Montezuma GA

Duralite Paints Sign, Abbeville

abbeville ga smiths department store duralite paint sign photograph copyright brian brown vaniishing south georgia usa 2016

Smith’s Department Store was Abbeville’s retail headquarters for many years.

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Filed under --WILCOX COUNTY GA--, Abbeville GA

Knights of Pythias Lodge, Louisville

Louisville GA Knights of Pythias Hall Museum Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The two-story brick building was once home to the Knights of Pythias; today it serves as the Museum and Archives of the Jefferson County Historical Society.

Sheldon Daitch writes: A little more history on the building which now houses the Jefferson County Historical Society. My earliest recollections of that building (early 1950s) is that the ground floor was Goldfarb’s Department Store, owned by Leon and Zelda Goldfarb. At some point, they move out of Louisville and my father moved his clothing store, Daitch Department Store, from the one story dark green fronted building to the two story building, pretty much doubling the floor space for the store.

After the old Daitch location was emptied, Sam Clark opened a hardware store, run first by Sam, senior, and then Sam junior ran it for a number of years.

The Historical Society took over the building at some point after my father retired and closed up the store. I do not know if there was any occupant in the ground floor between Dad’s store closure and the Historical Society’s occupancy.

Also note the brick wall between the two sets of display windows. When my Dad had the property, that brick wall was actually an entrance to the stairway for the second floor occupants. I believe the Historical Society closed up that outside entrance and then made an entryway to the stairs from inside the building.

Louisville Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --JEFFERSON COUNTY GA--, Louisville GA

Friedlander’s Department Store, 1936, Moultrie

historic downtown moultrie ga friedlanders department store photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2012

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.

moultrie ga friedlanders store before restoration photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2008

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

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Filed under --COLQUITT COUNTY GA--, Moultrie GA

The Fair Store, Sylvester

sylvester-ga-the-fair-store-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2011

The Fair stores were a small chain in Southwest Georgia.

Sylvester Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --WORTH COUNTY GA--, Sylvester GA

A. S. Harris Department Store, 1953, Ocilla

a s harris department store irwin countys trading center ocilla ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

The byline on the front awning said it all. A. S. Harris Department Store was “Irwin County’s Trading Center” for much of the twentieth century. Many of my Irwin County friends remember buying school clothes here, but more than that, this was a “cradle to the grave” sort of store, where everything from baby clothes to funeral attire could be found. Martha Jo Felson Katz shared this history: My grandfather, A.S. Harris opened the store in 1907. For 93 years, it was the cornerstone of our little town. He married my grandmother Ida Bank Harris from Baltimore, Maryland, in 1910 and she moved to Ocilla where she loved, lived and died there. We grew up working in the store. My grandfather started the First State Bank, built the Community House, and owned several other buildings on the main street. He helped my mother and father open Felson’s next door to A.S.Harris’s. Abe died in 1947 and in 1952, the old store was torn down, and the new one built in the same location. We built a red brick building on Cherry Street as a temporary building while the new one was being constructed. It seems like the end of an era now with all of our family there gone.

I never shopped here, but I knew Mr. Harris from meals shared at the Fitzgerald Elks Lodge with my parents. He and his wife, Esther, were two of the nicest people you could ever know.

florsheim shoes sign as harris department store ocilla ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

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Filed under --IRWIN COUNTY GA--, Ocilla GA