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Bankhead Highway

Popularity has its Price in 1952

People--along with their cars--flocked to the grand opening of Lowry's Home Furnishings when the moved in 1952 from their original site on Smokey Row to gain more visibility along the Bankhead Highway. The event lasted six days and created parking challenges for the sizable cars that were popular during that time.

Rolling out New Models in 1954

While the car industry generated new trades, many old businesses that served the horse and buggy transformed to service the automobile. For example, prior to selling Chevrolets, the Teague family owned a blacksmith shop wheelwright service, also located along the Bankhead Highway.

The Refuge of the Road in 1925

The ability for tourist to travel greater distances brought the need for businesses along the Bankhead Highway such as Mrs. Myra Galt's tourist court with public shower and cafe service ice cold beer. In addition to creature comforts, recreation activities like Mrs. Galt's Happy Hazards miniature golf course, located behind the courts, gave visitors something fun to do.

Attention to Brand in 1929

Gulf Oil branded their product with red brick gas stations designed to look like solid, stately homes. They were small—more a filling station than auto repair shop—and served affluent public who could not only afford the new automobile but also to travel with their own mechanics. Pictured here is the Miller Gulf Station, Mount Vernon.

Downtown Parks, 1945

Routing the Bankhead Highway through downtown Mount Vernon, planners made use of the existing paved main street through town. This introduced new residents to the area, brought out-of-town customers to downtown businesses, and transformed the plaza from a place to tether your horse into a charming site for travelers to rest and picnic. Just ask Melba Hogan Lawrence, who is pictured here enjoying a sunny day.