Archived Story

Remembering Main Street in the 1950s

Published 2:40pm Monday, December 31, 2012

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

As the year comes to a close, we tend to reflect on past years — a few years ago for some, many for the rest of us.

Sitting in front of a blazing fire the other night, with a steaming cup of hot cocoa, my mind went back to the happy days of the 1950s and the businesses and interesting people who worked on the one block of Main Street between Shelby and Middle.

The picture (courtesy of M. Goggins) Montevallo's Main Street of the 1950s. (contributed)

My mouth waters when I remember Julia Rotenberry’s mile-high lemon pies at the popular Plaza Grill.

Five different movies were shown at Eddie Watson’s Strand Theatre. All of the children loved the hot popcorn and the Saturday westerns, and it was the coolest place in town.

It was always fun to stop in to chat with Sam and Rose Klotzman at Klotzman’s Clothing Store.

Friendly young boys on bicycles with huge baskets rode all over town delivering groceries from McCulley’s, Holcombe’s or Jeter Mercantile.

We always looked forward to the news in the Montevallo Times. It was published by Mayor Wyatt from an office in the old Masonic Building.

For a child with a toothache, it was still a long dreaded climb upstairs to see the most-gentle-of-all dentists, Dr. Milton Orr. Dr. Orr later served as the town’s mayor.

The wonderful aroma of roasted peanuts filled the air around Rogan Furniture Store, where Fred and his son, Paul, sold everything from dishes to baby beds and caskets.

Ladies could have their hair styled by Louise Young or Sadie Little at the Modern Beauty Shop, or by Ethel Mahan in her shop behind Red Mahan’s barber shop. Men had the choice of Mahan’s or across the street at Kendrick’s.

The beautifully dressed Laura Hicks at Hick’s Ben Franklin usually could find anything you needed, and it was fun to choose candy from the bins in the front of the store.

And then there were always lively discussions with Jack Sims while enjoying a Coke at the soda fountain at Montevallo Drug.

Oh well, I wish we could jump ahead to read about 2013…or do I?

Catherine Legg can be reached by email at

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