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

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

Washington Street

 
 
Washington Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 2, 2020
1. Washington Street Marker
Inscription.  Top row, left to right:
• The Commercial Hotel, owned by George L. Sherrill in the late 1800s, adertised in 1885 that it catered to commercial travelers at $2 a day. After many years of operation by the Sherrill family, it was torn down in 1920 to make way for other buildings. The hotel was located at the corner of Washington and Monroe streets.
• Bass Corner - Leslie Hotel. In 1889 the hotel had many boarders and a dressmaking shop. Situated by the old McDaniel building, the hotel originally faced Washington Street but was moved to the rear of the McDaniel building and turned to face Marion Street . In 1897 Colonel R. Pepper bought the hotel and changed the name to "Pepper Hotel." It has since been torn down to make way for parking.
• Ross Hotel. Originally this home was built in 1858 by Brice Townsend for his family. Later it was sold to Dr. James Sowell. The Ross family bought the house in 1907 and turned it into a hotel. Being located near the railroad, the hotel catered to traveling salesmen, often called "drummers" in those days. They displayed their merchandise at the hotel. The Ross family added twenty-three bedrooms,
Washington Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 2, 2020
2. Washington Street Marker
a new kitchen, a dining room, and steam heating. Much of the hotel burned in 1981, and the building was subsequently demolished.
• Sherrill Hardware Store, ca. 1912. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church erected the building in 1852, but later sold it to The Sherrill Opera House. The building was torn down about 1900 and later became the site of the Hendricks-Patton Company.

Middle row, left to right:
• Bass Corner - Washington and Marion streets, ca. 1900. The left side of the photograph shows the Leslie Hotel next to the McDaniel building on the corner. Looking across Marion Street, to the right, is the McDonald Livery Stable.
• Chapman Quarters extended from Washington Street to Market Street. Viewed from Market Street, the Griffin Hotel sign can be seen on the end of the building. These buildings were demolished in 2002 to make way for new Limestone County offices.
• Chapman Quarters viewed from Washington Street. The buildings stretched in a row from Washington to Market streets and have housed a restaurant, hotel, pawn shop, antique shop, art gallery, and a variety of other small businesses.
• Martin Hardware, established in 1916, was the place to go for farm supplies, sporting goods, or anything needed on a farm or in the home.

Bottom row, left to right:
• Bass Corner. A 1981 view of the intersection of Washington
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and Marion streets. Many buildings have been remodeled.
• R. A. Chambers & Sons. This business was built for the #7 Bus Line. It originated as a local line running from Huntsville to Florence. Other firms located here were Martin Hardware and Richardson-Deemer Insurance.
• The Athens bus station was built about 1928 by L. C. Hightower for the #7 Bus Line. Buses entered the building from Clinton Street, circled through, and exited on Washington Street.
• Washington Street in the 1920s. Note that gas was selling for 21 cents a gallon. The Holmes Furniture Store across the street later became the site of W. E. Estes & Sons.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureIndustry & CommerceRoads & Vehicles.
 
Location. 34° 48.132′ N, 86° 58.242′ W. Marker is in Athens, Alabama, in Limestone County. Marker is on West Washington Street east of South Market Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 113 West Washington Street, 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. East Side of Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Limestone County Beirut Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Limestone County Iraq — Afghanistan Memorial (about 300 feet away); Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle Surrender Site
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(about 300 feet away); Limestone County Vietnam War Memorial (about 300 feet away); Athens, Alabama (about 300 feet away); Courthouse and South Side of Square (about 300 feet away); Courthouse and Poor Farm Fence (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 4, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 4, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
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Oct. 31, 2020