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ROAD TO DALTON 1950

A journey down Memory Lane can be an embarrassingly slippery experience. People who pride themselves on their memory can be embarrassed to discover they can't recall who lived next door in a particular year. For those who can remember who lived next door, the when usually is much more difficult—especially if they are reflecting on their world of half-a-century ago!

On a pleasant summer evening a few years back, several Murray County seniors sat on a porch in Spring Place discussing the "good ole days." In particular we tried to remember who had lived in specific houses in 1950. It became such a challenge that we decided to try to create a list of all of the homes and businesses that had existed at the mid-century point on Highway 52/76 between Highway 411 in Chatsworth and the county line at the Conasauga River. This has been changed to Alternate Highway 52/76 in recent times. Recalling how things were, and who lived where has proved an interesting exercise in reminiscing.

Remembering that era should conjure up images of President Harry Truman, a man that most of us knew very little about at the time. After all, television was far from commonplace then. In 1950, while the Trumans were living temporarily at Blair House because the White House was being renovated, two Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to shoot their way into the mansion to assassinate the President. Upon hearing the gunshots, gutsy Truman stuck his head out of an upstairs window to ask what was going on!

The Census of 1950 reported that the United States had a population of 151,325,798. The State of Georgia's count was 3,444,578. Murray County's population stood at 10,676.

Georgia was represented in Congress by a delegation that included some of the most senior and influential men then in Washington. Senators Walter F. George and Richard B. Russell were two of the most powerful politicians on Capitol Hill. Georgia's senior Congressman was Carl Vinson, who had been sworn in as the youngest member ever of the House of Representatives in 1914, chaired the House Armed Services Committee in 1950. Murray County at the time was included in Georgia's 7th Congressional district, represented by Congressman Henderson Lanham of Rome.

In June 1950 the North Korean Army invaded South Korea. On July 1 the first American soldiers arrived in South Korea to participate in what was termed "a police action." Numerous men from Murray County would eventually fight in that far-off county that most had previously never heard of.

At home, Americans in 1950 were agonizing over the worrisome antics of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who seemed convinced that the federal government should search for Communists under every bed in America.

In Georgia Herman Talmadge was Governor. Murray County was represented in the Georgia State Senate by Wallace Bryant, and in the Georgia House of Representatives by Charles Pannell.

J. Roy McGinty, Jr. was Publisher of The Chatsworth Times. Murray County's Sheriff was Frank Butler. Ray Bagley was County School Superintendent. Elswick Keith was Principal of Murray County High School.

One of the enduring new products introduced that year was a new watch offering dependability at an affordable price. Advertising that it "takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'," Timex quickly became a household name.

We who were young in 1950, were more interested in the few fun things in our rather ordinary lives. The "funnies" provided cheap entertainment for most of us. "Dick Tracy"; "Smilin' Jack"; "Nancy"; "Little Orphan Annie"; "Lil' Abner"; "Snuffy Smith" and "Alley Oop" were mainstays. Two new comic strips introduced that year were "Beetle Bailey: and "Peanuts".

In the popular music field of 1950 "Goodnight Irene" reigned supreme. The "Third Man Theme"; "Harbor Lights"; "Rag Mop"; "My Foolish Heart"; "If I knew You were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake" and "Mona Lisa" were all big hits that year. At age 19 Teresa Brewer had her first million-copy recording, "Music, Music, Music." Newcomers to pop music in 1950 included Eddie Fisher, Mitch Miller's Orchestra, and the team of Les Paul and Mary Ford. "Peter Cottontail" was so popular that spring that the newly introduced tune outdid the more traditional "Easter Parade." Gene Autry introduced "Frosty the Snowman" that Christmas.

One of the local favorites everyone recalls fondly was "Under the Double Eagle."

The top money-making movie for 1950 was "Samson and Delilah," starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr. Other big movies that year included: "Cinderella"; "All About Eve"; "Sunset Boulevard"; "Rio Grande"' and "King Solomon's Mines." Best remembered actors appearing in movies that year included: Bob Hope, John Wayne, Bing Crosby, James Stewart, Ester Williams, Betty Grable, William Holden, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. At age 18, actress Elizabeth Taylor married Conrad "Nicky" Hilton, Jr., in May. Before the year had ended she had filed for divorce.

The scant few Murray County families who owned television sets in 1950 could watch "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show"; "The Jack Benny Show"; "What's My Line?"; "You Bet Your Life"; "Armstrong Circle Theater"; and more westerns than anyone can possibly remember!! Those who owned television sets often had unexpected, perhaps even uninvited, visitors who wanted to watch the amazing new entertainment box.

Radio shows were still the most common form of entertainment-from-a-box for Murray County families in 1950. "The Shadow"; "The Lone Ranger"; "The Roy Rogers Show"; "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon"; "Nick Carter, Master Detective"; "Hallmark Hall of Fame"; "Stella Dallas"— a veritable buffet offered something for almost everyone's taste. Many homes, though still without electricity, used battery powered radios.

At that time Murray County residents typically called Highway 52/76 "the Dalton Highway." Although some had already begun to traverse the road daily commuting to work, for countless others the trip to Dalton remained a rare treat.

People living along this highway could step out to the road and flag down scheduled buses destined for either Chatsworth or Dalton. Bus driver Henry "Jitney" Bramblett seemed to know everybody who lived along that route. And everyone came to know him.

The most unusual sight along that particular stretch of highway in 1950 undoubtedly was the rolling store. Long gone but fondly remembered, this unusual business appeared just a regularly as Thursdays rolled around. A company in Ranger, Georgia had created a large wooden box building on a truck chassis, and equipped its interior with appropriate shelving, counter, and storage space to operate a small dry goods store on wheels. With canned and prepackaged goods galore, a reasonable selection of candy bars, chewing gum, and soft-drinks, plus "light-bread", baloney, cheese, and a hanging stalk of bananas, the rolling store was better stocked than many smaller permanent stores around the county.

Everyone living along the highway seemed to know approximately when the huge, dark green truck would appear. Those wanting to buy something would wave for the driver to stop the truck along the shoulder of the highway, then climb up the steps at the truck's rear to enter. Many marveled at how much merchandise could be found in such an unusual store. Customers bought "coal oil" that they used for their lamps and to start fires in their stoves from a large kerosene tank mounted on the back of the truck. On the opposite side of the steps hung a series of open wire cages holding live chickens. Customers could pay for their purchases with cash, eggs or live chickens!

Remembering every-day life as it was lived a half-century earlier, we realized that the mid-century way of life would be totally incomprehensible to today's young people. We decided to document, to the extent that our memories would permit, information about every building that stood along the road to Dalton in the year 1950. Eventually we would like to list the names of all of the family members living in each house that year. Perhaps in the year 2022, when the federal government makes public the Census records for 1950, someone will compare our efforts with the Census just to see how well our memories worked!

Eventually we'd like to obtain pictures of some of the houses that no longer exist—to be preserved in the Historical's Society's records maintained in the old Spring Place Methodist Church. A few of the houses dated from the late 1800s; some are fondly remembered for their unusual features.

Although we think that we have done a pretty good job of listing most of buildings that existed along the highway in 1950, we haven't a clue who lived in a few of the houses at that time. And, of course, we undoubtedly have some erroneous information on the list.

We hope that the publication of this listing will inspire other people to create and share similar lists for additional highways and roads in the county. After all, in just a few years there won't by any of us remaining who can remember such simple details from 1950!

Highway 52/76 From Highway 411, Chatsworth
Driving West To Dalton
in 1950


* indicates building no longer exists.
"Unknown Occupant" means building existed but occupant(s) not known.
? indicates uncertainty about a name.

Houses/Buildings on North Side (Right Side) Driving Toward Dalton
  • Highway 411
    Courthouse
    County Jail
    Esther Shelton
    Charlie Gray
    Kenemer Brothers Funeral Home
  • 5th Avenue
    W. A. ("Pop") West
    L. D. Spivey
    Unknown Occupant
  • 6th Avenue
    John Hemphill
    Earl Lively


Houses/Buildings on North Side (Right Side) Driving Toward Dalton
  • Jackson Street
    Jack Rouse
    Ed Womack
    Ed Womack's Garage
  • School Street
    Lee Cox
    Frances Cox Thompson
    S. J. Rogers
  • 9th Avenue
    Dasher Bates
    Paul Baggett
  • 10th Avenue
    Bill Bradley
  • Charles Road
    Pryor Campbell
    Gerald Leonard (rental)
    Mrs. Lum Leonard
    Lum Leonard
    C. B. Kirk
    Paul Turner
    Arnold Adams (set well back from highway)
    Adams' Garage
  • Lowery
    Edwin Wilbanks
  • White
  • Bagley
    Robert Little


Houses/Buildings on North Side (Right Side) Driving Toward Dalton
  • Old Dalton-Ellijay Road
    Walt Baggett
    Tom Elrod
    Jim Roberts
    Rembert Ballew
    Carl Davis (rental)
    Carl Davis (rental)
    * Carl Davis
    * Carl Davis (garage apartment)
    * Treadwell House (Evans Family?)
    * Dr. J. E. Bradford
    Vann House
  • Highway 225 to Cleveland, TN
    Dr. Bradford (rental) (Stafford Family?)
    Mark Swanson
    * Jesse Fowler
    Rob Bishop
    Hattie Southers
    Unknown Occupant
    Beadie Jones (rental) (Ridley Family?)
  • Beattie Jones Road
    C. L. Jones
    Jay Hayes
    * Annie Etheride
    Homer Stanfield
    Walker Pritchett
  • Old Free Hope Road
    Rev. Eugene Bartenfeld (rental) (McCullough Family?)
    Rev. John Vineyard
    Troy Ledford


Houses/Buildings on North Side (Right Side) Driving Toward Dalton
  • Road that later became Free Hope Road
    Tommy Walls
    Joe Deane
    Tom Lance
    Albert Farrer
    Albert Farrer's Store
    * John Greeson
    Bobby Pierce
    * Homer Luffman
    * Davis Brothers Garage
    * John Luffman
    * John Luffman's Store
    * Flossie Swanson
    Walter Johnson
    * Tom Treadwell
    * Claude Ridley Store
    * Claude Ridley
    Clarence Ridley
    Nathan Ridley
    Nathan Ridley Store
    Dr. ------__ Easley
    Loran Ross

(County Line at Conasauga River)

Houses/Buildings on South Side (Left Side) Driving Toward Dalton
  • Highway 411
    * Dr. Robert Dickie
    Luke Kenemer
    Carl Smith
    Mattie Bagley, Frank & Aileen Clayton
    C. B. Honey
    Sam Jones
    Bert Roberts
    Tom Moreland


Houses/Buildings on North Side (Right Side) Driving Toward Dalton
(County Line at Conasauga River)

Houses/Buildings on South Side (Left Side) Driving Toward Dalton
  • 5th Avenue
    Dewey Leonard
    Wally Myers
    Virgil Myers
    Sammy Walls
  • 6th Avenue
    Starlin Heartsell
    Clyde Greeson
    Ed Cox
    Dr. James ("Jim") Mullins
    Mary Jinkins
    Richard Kendricks
    Harris Richards
    Avery Whitener
    Bill Elrod
    Gerald Leonard
  • Sitton Road
    Roy Sitton
    George Aikens
    Elmer Edwards
    Luke Greeson
    Eunice Stocks
    Unknown Occupant
    —Ellijay Street
    Luke Ballew
    * W. T. Richards
    W. T. Richards Store
    * Cotton Gin


Houses/Buildings on North Side (Right Side) Driving Toward Dalton
(County Line at Conasauga River)

Houses/Buildings on South Side (Left Side) Driving Toward Dalton
  • Highway 225 to Calhoun
    Dr. Bradford's Barn (had been old flour mill)
    Levi Branham (set way back from highway)
    Carter Evans
    Dick Morrison
    Arthur Pierce
    Barrett Richards
    Tom Grider
    Henry Blankenship
    * Lester Jones
    Nelson Davis
    Nelson Davis (rental)
    Nelson Davis (converted spreadhouse rental) (Plemmons?)
    * Nelson Davis (duplex rental)
    Ava Nell ("Chicken") Chapman Green
    * J. B. Davis (rental)
    * Sanford Davis (rental) (Amie McDaniel)
    J. B. Davis
    J. B. Davis (rental) (Jack Jones Family?)
  • Ridge Road (Later Callie Jones Rd)
    J. B. Davis (rental) (Quarles Family?)


Houses/Buildings on North Side (Right Side) Driving Toward Dalton
(County Line at Conasauga River)

Houses/Buildings on South Side (Left Side) Driving Toward Dalton
  • Barney Pierce Road
    Jess East
    ------ Hall
    Hall Store
    * ------ ? Jones ?
    John Southers ?
    Arthur Fowler
    Ame Bishop
    J. T. Carroll
    Cecil Greeson
    Dub Green
    Billy Brindle
    Lawrence King
    Elbert Ridley
    Rembert Moore
    Cleve Pickering
    * George McHan
    * Poley Scott
    * L. L. Hill Store
    L. L. Hill (rental) (Sally Osborne)
    Carl Scott
    Sydney Sluder
    Troy Hardin
    (Old Cemetery)
    Johnny Mack Keith Service Station
  • Road later named Keith Road, then Greeson Bend
    Horace Ridley
    * Horace Ridley Store
    * Bud Ridley (set back from highway)
    Murph Ridley
    * Murph Ridley's Store
    Gordon Treadwell
    Extra Perkins

(County line at Conasauga River)

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