Our beloved Murfreesboro has been a bustling center of commerce for years and years. Let’s take a look at some of the places that have catered to local customers from the city’s earliest beginnings to today thanks to The Heritage Center For Murfreesboro & Rutherford County’s amazing photography and information.
The former J.C. Penny, located on N. Maple in Murfreesboro.
The much remembered Princess Theater!
The Carnation Milk Plant opened in Murfreesboro in October 1927. Within a year, the company was buying 200,000 pounds of milk per day from the farmers of Rutherford and adjoining counties. (A History of Rutherford County, p. 206).
The Putnam Overall Manufacturing Company, operating 150 machines, is the fifth largest clothing factory from St. Louis to the coast. It is the largest plant in Tennessee that manufactures a complete line of working-men’s clothes.
(Handbook of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, Tennessee, p.5)
The first cotton gin in the county was owned by James Rucker.
(From Annals of Rutherford County, v. 1, John C. Spence, p. 67).
“One of the first wholesale groceries established in Tennessee outside of the larger cities was organized by Henry King in 1900, and began business under the name of Overall, King & Lytle. On January 1, 1915 the business was incorporated under the name of Henry King & Company…”
(Handbook of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County Tennessee (1923), p. 42)
The City Cafe was opened on the south side of the Square in February 1900. It moved in 1952 and again in 1991, and can now be found on East Main Street. (Deborah Wagnon and Christian Hidalgo, Murfreesboro, p. 11). (Photo c.
1935, courtesy Library of Congress)
The Square, c. 1970s, showing Henry’s Florist, Fred’s, Rone Jewelry, Ruby’s. Who remembers shopping at any of these stores?
The Haynes Hotel (the building beneath the large red arrow) was built just before the beginning of the 20th century by James Monroe Haynes at the corner of College and Maple. It was next owned by Ferdinand Washington Miles from c. 1910 to the 1930s. C.B. Arnette described it as Murfreesboro’s finest hotel in the first quarter of the 20th century. (Photo from the Historic Murfreesboro Postcard Collection donated by Ridley Wills II.)
The Murfreesboro Square in the 1930s, from the Library of Congress. Photo taken by Ben Shahn, c. 1935, and is part of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives.
William Goldstein came to Murfreesboro from Lithuania in 1885. In 1900, he purchased the brick building on the southeast corner of the Square that became his store for decades. (C.B. Arnette, From Mink Slide to Main Street, p. 51-52). What are your favorite memories of Goldstein’s?
The building formerly located at 208 S. Church Street, as it appeared in 1988. Built c. 1880, on the 1887 Sanborn map this is shown as a grocery store. Linebaugh Library and City Plaza now occupy this spot.
Dave Cohen immigrated to the United States from Lithuania/Poland at the age of 25 in 1912. His first job in the US was peddling in Cannon County. After his brother Harry followed Dave to America and they accumulated the capital necessary to purchase a store building on the west side of the Square in the 1920s. Photo is from the Library of Congress, taken by Ben Shahn in 1935.
Louis Flimin, whose store may be seen in this photograph of the 1913 tornado damage, owned a dry goods store in Murfreesboro. Born in Austria in 1869, he immigrated to the United States in 1890. He is listed in the 1900 census as living in Murfreesboro with his wife, Shelly and their 3 children, Birdie, Sadie, and Lena. By 1920, the Flimin family had left our community, showing up in the 1920 census in Lincoln County and in Chattanooga in 1923. Mr. Flimin is buried in the Monroe Jewish Cemetery in Monroe, Louisiana. (Photo from the Albert Gore Research Center)
The former Rutherford Health Department building, still located at 303 N. Church Street, was built in 1931 by James Gamble Rogers. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, and is an important example of the Commonwealth Fund of New York’s public health initiatives.
This photograph of the National Woman’s Party Headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, shows Mrs. Walter C. Jackson of Murfreesboro, Tennessee (beneath the red arrow), a member of the party and likely a woman who worked for suffrage. (Image courtesy the Library of Congress )
Rutherford County was known for its dairy industry. There were more than 25,000 milk cows in the county in 1928. The R.L. Smith Farm, seen here as depicted in the Handbook of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, was located west of Murfreesboro on Franklin Pike. (Photo from the Handbook of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County)