The West Side

On Saturdays crowds of people would come to town to do their shopping and to just stand around and talk. The stores on the west side of the courthouse square housed many of the popular businesses: two drug stores, the post office, Farmers and Merchants Bank, two department stores, and a hardware store. This side of the courthouse square attracted the majority of the people. Wide sheds covered the brick sidewalks in front of the stores with wooden benches built between the outer supporting posts providing resting places for weary feet.

When I was five or six we lived in the first house south of the courthouse square with Mrs. Jenny Farrar and it was a very short walk to town. It seemed that there were more tobacco chewers and snuff dippers back then and they didn’t mind spitting on the covered sidewalk. I always dreaded going up town on Saturday,especially bare foot. It was certainly a time for shoes, but if I were careful I could skip, hop, and jump with only a few unpleasant slips and slides.

Among the people there was a festive air with a lot of loud talking and laughter. Although most were not wearing their Sunday’s best, their dress was better than their everyday attire. Those with automobiles parked out front under one of the trees that lined the edge of the sidewalk. Mules with wagons and horses with buggies were parked in the back where hitching posts were available.

The courthouse provided the essential needs for the crowd: restrooms, a telephone in the hallway, and a water fountain on the south lawn. There were no other facilities like these in town and they were in constant use.

With progress and changes through the years a special event like going to town on Saturday is a thing of the past.


*Picture from files of the Fayette County Historical Society
(Picture before the time mentioned as can be told by size of the trees)