North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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August 15, 2013

Cornelius is restoring historic Fieldstown store

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GARDENDALE —

This was the meeting place for the men, once they came home from a day’s work. In the winter months, they gathered around the pot-belly stove to solve the world’s problems. In the summer months they gathered on the front porch and told long tales. World War II was a big topic since the war had emptied the community of most young men.  

Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats were also a pleasure to discuss. The Great Depression was still on the hearts and minds of many.

On the fun side, this was a great place for the men to pitch horse shoes or play checkers. During the day, the ladies would shop for items to cook for supper. They took this opportunity to discuss their favorite radio soap opera.

Often, they would piece quilt tops or crochet with Maymie. Dock offered several promotions to his customers.

The ladies were so excited when White Lily started putting their flour in printed fabric sacks. This beautiful fabric was used to make the little girl’s dresses and the mom’s pretty aprons. Families had more flour than the mothers could bake up. The ladies would exchange fabric until they matched up their own pattern, which was ready for sewing.

The other exciting promotion was S&H Green Stamps. Customers could not believe they could actually get prizes with these little stamps.

Business started to decline once the larger chain stores opened in nearby areas. Citizens slowly watched their beloved little store sink. The store served the community and many families until the mid 1960s.

For many years now, it has been sad to see the little store boarded up.  

If only the walls of the old store could talk.

Joyce Fields Blankenship is a member of the Gardendale Historical Society.

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