Three thousand souls - and that seems drastically insufficient for the architecture you’re about to see.

The population peaked at 4800 in the 50s, but that still seems scant.

This, of course, could be anywhere.

The tree, which of course brought back downtown shoppers by the multitudes, and the old ornamental lighting fixture, which means someone’s thinking about “a historic district.” Bricked up lower floors, painted over. But it’s not a picture that says decay.

Let’s go around the corner:

I’ve researched what this means, and came up with nothing particularly interesting. In short, I don’t think that’s the Maritzky Building.


This is. You know, the Clarborne Hotel and Clinic.


It’s a museum now, well-reviewed; concerns itself with local history. And if that makes you think of family trips wandering around an underpopulated place, keeping your voice down, pushing buttons on “interactive” exhibits, well, I hope that’s a pleasant memory. It is for me.

Wikipedia: “The museum claims the oldest compressed bale of cotton in existence in the United States. This cotton display is believed to have been baled about 1930.” Oh.

An unusual modernization, but intriguing:


Looks as if it slants out, like the cover of some enormous electric razor.

Hoorah! A few still exist.

As regular readers to this site know, I love the old grocery store chains, mostly because I’m not required to shop in 1965. I prefer the variety of items you get in a modern store - but I still love the old signage and Muzak.

None of which you’ll find here, probably.

Yes, there’s your downtown overhaul. Empty spot where the tree used to be. .


Pavers heaved up for maximum tripping power.

Hard to read, this one; The awning doesn’t seem to match the black-mirror tiles. The inset was a window? A bigger sign? Where are the old windows?

Another post-war rehab separating the second floor from the first with extreme prejudice:


Something was Limited, but we’ll never know from here.

A nuclear blast in 1890 left shadows of the citizens forever burned into the side of the building:


Oh, this was a beaut:

ding ding

Either take it all off or leave it alone. This looks like a skin condition:


Not the most stirring of murals, but its heart is in the right place.

Of course, the bank. Which is banky.

You expect the tiny trash can to say "answer me these questions three" before it'll let you pass.

Finally: the courthouse. One of the few pre-Civil War courthouses remaining.


It’s the center of town, and the square around it . . . seems to drowse in the heat like a cliched dog in a cliched movie where deep-seated tensions are about to simmer to the top.