Sunday, January 27, 2008

Alleys in Marietta

I can only think of three alleys in Marietta. These are two of the three.

The top alley is the alley that runs from Atlanta Street to Winters Street where the Marietta Journal used to be before they moved to the new building.

The Atlanta Street side had an interesting flow of tenants on the southside. It is now a cigar store, or the last time I looked it was. Before that it was an annex for Saul’s, a clothing and cloth material store. I am sure there were other stores between the two. When I was a growing adolescent it was the Marietta Police Station. My father was the Chief of Police there then.

Years before it was a police station it was a theater, I believe it was The Strand Theater before The Strand moved across the Square and became a huge grand glittering art palace.

When it was here, in, just outside the view of this picture, there was a door in the theater that led out to this alley. One time a young man was sitting and watching the movie and afterwards he stepped out in this alley and shot himself in the head with a gun he had with him. I heard the bullet scar in the brick or cement is still there. I looked for it and couldn’t find it.

It must have been some movie.

If you look carefully you can see the ghost of the man who shot himself - or see his shadow anyway. In more than one of my photo he has made his appearance - usually on sunny days!

On the north side of the Atlanta end was Reynolds and Ferrell Drug Store, then Kay Jewelry, where the commercial was “It’s OK to Owe Kay” – which I did. I bought a Royal typewriter there when I first got out of high school and paid on it for months and months. If I remember correctly, I paid by a payment coupon book. I dropped by there weekly or monthly, I forgot which, and made a payment.

Now it is an antique store. About a year ago I was there browsing and they had on LP record albums for sale for a buck each. I bought a few.

The alley not shown is off Church Street. Between antique shops that is a driveway to a parking lot near the railway tracks. Now, it is between antique shops, in my time on the left was the Economy Restauant (chilidogs, chiliburgers, and Hunt’s Ice cream) and on the right was a leather/shoe shop that had always been there and I thought always would. They closed up about a year or two ago. I used to get a pleasure out of stepping in the leather store and taking a deep breath. The new leather aroma was great – well, it smelled good.

The bottom two alleys are the same alley taken at different times. It is off Atlanta street. Across the street used to be Marietta’s big post office with a pile of steps leading up to high Greek-like pillows – then it was the library, now it is the Marietta Art Museum.

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Blogger deborah wilson said...

haha - I suppose these are the 'true alleys'. I never go into these areas. This is the first time I've heard of the suicide in the alley. omg.

Over time things tend to forgotten. Or else they are hush-hush. Marietta is like that, hush-hush.

But why do folks today, like myself, think of the McNeel Street area as alleys?

10:54 AM  
Blogger ET said...

'Fess-up time!
Remember my posting about McNeel Street?
Honestly, I forgot the name of the street and had the picture titled "Alley between Mill & Whitlock Avenue". It has the characters of an alley: Only back doors and garbage cans.
One morning before I launched the McNeel Street post I drove downtown to see the name of that street. My MS map program did not show the name of it and neither did Mapquest or the old City of Marietta Map I have.
Before I made the 7 mile trip I figured out how to combine things. I went to the Trammell house on Trammell Street, I had an old article I wanted to give the owner, and I wanted to look for an old friend's grave at City Cemetery, but couldn't find it.
And I was home by 10 am!

11:25 AM  
Blogger deborah wilson said...

I guess we could just say that the NcNeel St. area are just bigger alleys...:)

But you won't see traffic cutting through there (or at least I never have). I have seen a delivery truck or two parked, maybe a car every now and then. This area is definately for pedestrian enjoyment/entertainment, especially during the warm months.

Don't feel alone, I have to check and recheck info all the time. I wasn't born until 1961 so sometimes I get turned around.

At other times I remember the strangest things - for instance about 4 nights ago I dreamed of Mrs. Hicks that use to own Hicks Grocery on Atlanta Street, right across the railroad tracks. I can't remember her face, but I do remember she was a very sweet lady to me.

12:02 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Regina Hicks nice? I suppose so - she reminded me of somebody very hyper. And her brother Dudley Hicks was very relaxed and laid back.
At the time in my youth I dropped by Hick's Grocery almost every day she reminded me of the mad scientist in the Captain Marvel comic books. They looked similar.
A few years ago I was talking to a lady at Krogers and the more we talked the more we realized we both grew up in Marietta and just about had the same stomping grounds. Well, to make a long story short, she is Dudley Hicks' daughter and was married to an old high school classmate of mine.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Hog's Head Cheese said...

I also used to spend a good bit of time at Hick's Grocery. They had the best selection of candy behind the counter like candy cigarettes (bubble gum), and litte wax coke bottles with just a sip of colored sugared water inside. Ms. Hicks usually asked us to leave if we stayed there very long and did not make up our mind.
Do either of you remember reading about a tunnel that started in the basement of a store that backed up to the railroad side of Church Street where mostly antique shops are now? It supposedly went diagonally across under the square to the old courthouse. Best guess is that it was used to move prisoners or slaves between the courthouse and the railroad.
I have not been able to find anything on the internet since I read the article in the AJC or MDJ several years ago.

2:06 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Yes, I remember the tunnel. Then, the space was bought for a tea room and when they where in the cellar cleaning up they discovered the tunnel.
I remember the fact that I read the article - I retained that, but the facts and details in the article I did not retain.
I was thinking about that tunnel recently and was wondering if it was a escape route to do with the Civil War, like some houses on Kennesaw Avenue have.
I might have cut that article out and it is lying hidden in one of the many boxes of articles I have in our basement. I am in the process of scanning all those articles and filing them electronically, if I ran across it, I'll let you know.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous HHC said...

Kool! I always meant to go check it out but never got to it. I thought for sure someone would have put a blurb on the internet but my search has been futile.

Do you happen to remember a small grocery on Powder Springs Street that was on the right side heading south and across from the Marietta Cemetery? The area behind it was once called "colored town". The store was known as McEntyre's Grocery and later as Shirey's Grocery.

2:29 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Did you know I have an ancestors, Cherokee Indians, that has the surname of Hogshed? In doing research I have found the family using HOGSHED and also HOGSHEAD. A hogs shed would be a place for hogs to turn in at night and grunt and wallow, the same as they do in the day time... however, a hogs head is what you would crack open to get Hog's Head Cheese.
Anyway, I remember the store you mentioned when it was McEntyres Grocery. My friend Sam, who lived on Hedges Street and I were studying one night and we had a plan... he was going to say, "Do you have any notebook paper?"
And I was going to say, "No."
Then he was going to tell his mother we were going to ride up to McEntyres and get some notebook paper, when in reality, we were going to go there and buy some cigarettes.
Sam started off the adventure by saying, "Do you have any notebook paper?"
And I automatically said, "Sure, I have plenty."
The look he gave me! Boy, did we have a good laugh on that. We rolled in the floor laughing. He reminded me of that not long ago.
Racking my brain, I think McEntyres was next to a little street named Griggs Street, which led down into "colored town".

3:39 PM  
Anonymous HHC said...

Wow! I can't believe you came up with Griggs St. I checked on mapquest and you are correct!

So, Polly Hogshe(a)d was your g-g-g grandmother. That's interesting. You sure have found a lot of different surnames in your research. That must be rewarding.

4:48 PM  
Blogger ET said...

In this case, Griggs was an easy name to remember, my father worked with a policeman named Harold Griggs. As I remember, Harold dabbled in real estate some, so through my life I wondered if he owned the land that Griggs Street was on. Also, Harold Griggs was the original owner of Kennesaw Memorial Cemetery.

My ancestor Polly Hogshe(a)d Trammell drowned while tending her fish traps in the Little Tennessee River in Franklin, NC. I think I located the part of the river where the mishap happened.

5:17 PM  
Blogger deborah wilson said...

Eddie and HHC,

Well, Mrs. Hicks did seem sweet to me, I went in her store all the time, it was in the middle 60's, I was only 4 - 8 years old. Yessiree, I remember her candy, she always made sure I got what I wanted! lol But I'm glad to now know her name was Regina.

About that tunnel - isn't that interesting??? I never heard about that before...Eddie, see if you can come up with something and I'll search too. I'd also like to know what that tunnel was used for.

6:13 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I am not sure where I would have filed the article about the tunnel, which means it is probably in the boxes of "undecided where to file". I'll look for it.

Regina Hicks and her mother lived behind the store on East Dixie Avenue, across the street from the barber shop and a railroad yard. The RR yard is where many hobos used as their passenger terminal. One time a man, who I suspect came from the RR yard across the street, broke into their house. Regina took off running, leaving her poor old mother their to defend for herself... which, who knows, any person might have done the same thing under fear for their life.
I think the man was caught and the mother got a bruise on her forehead, but other than that, everybody lived happily ever-after.

2:07 AM  
Blogger deborah wilson said...


I was thinking, if you can't find the article, I'm sure MDJ has a print in their archive.

I googled last night, and like HHC, I came up blank.

Mrs. Hicks, I never heard anything about that, but of course, I was too small. I'm not sure if Mom knows or not. But I do know that in later years, that whole area turned bad, and today some of it is still bad.

11:41 AM  
Blogger ET said...


I just went through my History of Marietta File; Georgia History File; and Marietta File. I didn't find the article about the tunnel but I may have it in one of the 4 or 5 boxes that the clipped articles are not in any kind of order.
I think the Archives might be a quicker way of finding it. And another thought, my mother-in-law may have it, she clips and saves everything - she has an archives filing system tht would make any archivist simmer with envy. I'll ask her the next time I talk to her.

12:26 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I forgot to mention that area going bad. A couple of years ago I bought a new bicycle and would drive either downtown and park at the 1st Methodist Church or at Larry Bell Park and ride over my old haunts. I agree, it does look run-down a bit.

On my rides, on East Dixie Avenue on the corner of Delk Street was always a man sitting on his porch in a wheel chair. I stopped and talked to him every time. My uncle lived next door to him years ago and he told me he was the one that found my uncle dead... my uncle's daughter called him to check on her dad, and sure 'nuff, he was sitting in his living room dead.
Now, during the past year, each time I ride by his house he is no longer sitting on the front porch - that is sad.

1:42 PM  

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