A Little History

Joyce Kennamer, seated, shared a brief history of the city of Scottsboro and Jackson County with AARP members during the organization’s most recent meeting. Pictured with Kennamer, who is holding a photo of the former Jackson County High School, are Julia Suchorski and Billy Joe Claybrook.

The members of the Jackson County Chapter of AARP recently enjoyed a look back at life in Scottsboro in the days when Scottsboro native, Joyce Kennamer grew up as the youngest of nine children.

Scottsboro was very different during the days before the depression and WWII than it is today.

The first difference is in size. The town has grown substantially since the 1950s.

Kennamer had telephone directories from 1951 and today as an examples of how times have changed. She shared her memories of the city and how it has grown through the years.

"The telephone operators were a source of information and passed on the information,” said Kennamer

Life literally centered around the square and immediately off of the square with all the businesses, churches, car dealerships and theaters. Paynes Drug Store and Wales Jewelry are the only ones that are still in business on the square. Many of the building have the original names on them.

Time was spent at the movies, library, school, church activities, scouts and roller skating only where parent allowed the children to go.

“There were four subdivisions — Walsh, Webb, Skelton and Thomas; three manufacturing companies —Benham, Maples and Gays; three banks — First National, Jacobs and Central; rooming houses, two weekly newspapers — the Sentinel and the Progress; and restaurants in Scottsboro,” Kennamer said.

First Monday was a trade day with dogs and cats, horses and more and it was court day. The dogs and cats that were not sold were left in town to roam or be adopted.

Arlene Grede announced that AARP has established an office for volunteerism. Information may be found at www.volunteeraarp.org or at 866-740-7719.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, June 5 at 3 p. m. at Jackson County Senior Center in Scottsboro. Interested people are invited to attend.

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