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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Athens in Limestone County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

West Side of Square

 
 
West Side of Square Marker image. Click for full size.
October 18, 2020
1. West Side of Square Marker
Inscription.  Top row, left to right:
• The First Presbyterian Church was built on the corner of Jefferson and Washington streets about 1900. This 1949 photograph shows Standard Oil and Sinclair Gasoline signs. Built in 1926, the Standard Oil Filling Station was the first in Athens.
• The Christian Church was organized in Limestone County as early as 1832. A former law office was bought and remodeled for a church, but was later torn down. A new church building was completed in 1901 in the same location. The congregation split and, in 1919, the Church of Christ bought the building when the First Christian Church built a new facility a block away.
• Kreme Delite opened for business in 1951. Neither the location, the decor, the menu, nor the recipes have changed since its first day of business.
• Fire Chief A.E. "Mutt" Bumpus standing on the 1935 Pirsch fire truck. This truck, the second oldest fire fighting unit in Athens, was later restored to its original beauty and is sometimes used in parades.
• Construction of a post office began late in 1932 and was completed in the fall of 1933. It was the first time the Athens Post Office
West Side of Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 2, 2020
2. West Side of Square Marker
had its own building. Before this, it had been located in various buildings around town. The Athens Post Office began using lock boxes in 1860, making it easier to handle the mail. With the introduction of the postcard in 1875, business increased at a rapid rate. About this time an inspector declared Athens to have the best run post office in the south.

Center, left: U. G. White Hardware Store moved to its current location at the corner of Jefferson and Market streets in 1937, just before this picture was taken.

Center, right: The #7 Bus Line leads a parade down Jefferson Street during the 1930s.

Bottom row, left to right:
• A view of the businesses on Jefferson Street in 1973.
• George H. Wood from near the depot to the west side of the square to open his new store in 1908. A watchmaker and optometrist, he operated his business for forty years. The elegance of his store is indicated by the stained glass canopy and windows. The Rogers Center of the First Presbyterian Church is now located on this site.
• The Grand Lodge of Alabama, AF & AM Lodge No. 59491, was dedicated in 1921. This was home to the Masonic and Eastern Star lodges until Red Clay Company bought the building. The Limestone County Hospital, known as the "Dr. J.O. Belue Hospital," and several doctors occupied the first floor from 1939 until 1951. In May
West Side of Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 2, 2020
3. West Side of Square Marker
1951 the Athens-Limestone County Hospital opened its doors and the doctors relocated to the new hospital.
• At the far left of this photograph of the intersection of Jefferson and Market streets is the Athens Fire Station, with the fire truck ready to roll. Next is Red Corner's Meat and Grocery Market, and McConnell's Funeral Home. Across to the right is U. G. White Hardware Store. Notice the vehicles parked in the middle of the street.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureChurches & ReligionFraternal or Sororal OrganizationsIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 34° 48.175′ N, 86° 58.337′ W. Marker is in Athens, Alabama, in Limestone County. Marker is on North Jefferson Street north of West Washington Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Athens AL 35611, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Athens First Presbyterian Church (within shouting distance of this marker); James Edwin Horton, Jr. (within shouting distance of this marker); A County Older Than the State (within shouting distance of this marker); Judge David Lee Rosenau, Jr. (within shouting distance of this marker); Limestone County Courthouse Bell (within shouting distance
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of this marker); Athens Sacked and Plundered (within shouting distance of this marker); Courthouse and Poor Farm Fence (within shouting distance of this marker); Athens, Alabama (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 3, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 52 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on October 18, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.   2, 3. submitted on August 3, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 25, 2021