Citizens get a chance to ‘See Demopolis’

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 13, 2005

It is usually a little out of the way when going where I need to be going, nevertheless, on average of at least once a day,

I sidetrack just in order to travel on this street and make it part of my route.

I do so because I think it is that neat of a street.

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After C.C. Stone surveyed the surrounding land in 1819 and platted the initial layout of the City of Demopolis for the original city founders, one of the tasks remaining for others was to give these newly surveyed streets names.

The name given to this particular north and south corridor was “Main Street.”

Sure, that lacked imagination, for how many towns do you go to that does not have one similarly named?

But, I get the impression as I travel it, is that in years past, it lived up to its nomenclature.

And maybe, even today, its namesake is a mantle that is not too ill fitted for it.

Yesterday, I made the turn off of Pettus Street and headed north on Main Street on my way to wherever.

But, I did so this time with a predetermined commitment to slow down and to try and take in the “character” of the street.

The first thing that grabbed my eye, of course, was the “Old School House” on Main.

Her halls once were entrusted with the education of our city’s school children, and they were the place where these children darted from one classroom to another.

Her grounds teemed with the thrills of daily recesses.

Those were its glory days, when it stood tall in the eyes of the community.

But today, its shoulders are not as broad or straight.

It looks somewhat tired and is showing its age.

It now more resembles that of a doting grandparent.

It knows that its days of having a primary role in the care for the city’s children are long past.

But when children come to visit it, on such occasions as to practice and perform a Canebrake play in its auditorium, or to practice for Little League Football on its grounds, you can sense a little rejuvenation in its tired mortar and bricks, for once again, even though for only a short while, children are running down her steps and are enjoying her playgrounds.

As I traveled a little farther north on Main, paralleling its nicely landscaped center median, I carefully viewed the many houses on both of its sides.

Architectural styles vary greatly, but in a good way.

Most of these houses have been in their spots for fifty-plus years.

Some are approaching a hundred; a few are well past that anniversary.

But yet, there is evidence of recently built ones as well.

This is a great testament to Main Street.

I can only imagine some of the stories that many of the old houses could tell, of past inhabitants and past events that they eye witnessed over the many years.

And yet, as I traveled Main and observed the number of houses that have young children in them, I could see that present day memories are being made that are just as valuable as any of those from days gone by.

So, from South Main all the way through the “Grittney” area of North Main, where the houses of

Dr. Judy Travis and Red Chiles anchor its northern residence boundaries, this street remains a valuable landmark of our town’s history and yet, it still breathes new life into its current day-affairs.

May 7 through May 15 is “See America” Week/National Tourism Week.”

The Chamber has designated May 14 as “See Demopolis Day” and Kelley Smith, the Events&Tourism Director at the Chamber, will be at Parr’s Chevron on that day, along with volunteers.

They will be washing windshields and handing out “Windshield Tour” maps of Demopolis, along with brochures that inform about the economic impact of travel and tourism.

This is being done so that travelers and locals can better “See Demopolis.”

I encourage you to do so.

Do like I did.

Slow down; take in the “character” of your town.

“See Demopolis.”