Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This Old House Mystery ...

Photo Courtesy of Bill Hickman

This old house faced the railroad and backed up to the old Coffee Pot cafe operated by my cousins, to whom we affectionately refer as the "Dixie Springs Carruths."

Bill Hickman took this photo in 1986, and the structure, which evidently was beyond repair and probably infested with termites, was torn down soon after the picture was taken.  The house at one point was used as a business office, and for a long time after it was demolished, Bill reports, an old brick safe survived the razing.

If anyone has any idea who built this house and when, or knows any of its history, please leave a comment either here on the blog or on my FB page. 

After the Coffee Pot ceased existence as one of the South's very first "fast food" places, Bill's grandfather took over the cafe's location and used it as an office to run his masonite business, from around 1940 until he died in the 1980s. Between this old house and the Coffee Pot was a pole yard and a storage shed.  The wood his grandfather traded in was loaded, along with poles and pilings, next to this old house and onto rail cars.

Thanks, Bill, for the photo and the information!  It's good to keep Brookhaven's history alive.

UPDATE:  Marti Parker reports this house was unusual in that the rear of the home faced the railroad, while so many others built in the same time frame had their fronts facing the tracks.  We are not clear on when this house was built, but for many years it was the home of an African American family by the name of Dow.  The family members were well known for their activities promoting higher education in the community.


  1. wow...I didn't know I have missed this old house until seeing it again! I passed by it so many times. btw...are there any photos around of the Coffee Pot in its heyday?

    1. Hi, Bettie, I think my cousins may have copies. I will have to double check with them when I get home the next time.